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Sample records for blue tits cyanistes

  1. The intensity threshold of colour vision in a passerine bird, the blue tit (Cyanistes caeruleus).

    PubMed

    Gomez, Doris; Grégoire, Arnaud; Del Rey Granado, Maria; Bassoul, Marine; Degueldre, David; Perret, Philippe; Doutrelant, Claire

    2014-11-01

    Many vertebrates use colour vision for vital behaviour but their visual performance in dim light is largely unknown. The light intensity threshold of colour vision is known only for humans, horses and two parrot species. Here, we first explore this threshold in a passerine bird, the blue tit (Cyanistes caeruleus). Using classic conditioning of colour cues to food rewards in three individuals, we find a threshold ranging from 0.05 to 0.2 cd m(-2). Results are comparable to the two previously tested bird species. For tits, nest light conditions probably exceed that threshold, at least after sunrise. These results shed new light on the lively debate questioning the visual performance of cavity nesters and the evolutionary significance of egg and chick coloration. Although this needs further investigation, it is possible that blue tits exploit both colour and brightness cues when viewing their eggs, chicks or conspecifics in their nests. © 2014. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  2. Migratory and resident blue tits Cyanistes caeruleus differ in their reaction to a novel object.

    PubMed

    Nilsson, Anna L K; Nilsson, Jan-Åke; Alerstam, Thomas; Bäckman, Johan

    2010-11-01

    Individuals differ consistently in their behavioural reactions towards novel objects and new situations. Reaction to novelty is one part of a suit of individually consistent behaviours called coping strategies or personalities and is often summarised as bold or shy behaviour. Coping strategies could be particularly important for migrating birds exposed to novel environments on their journeys. We compared the average approach latencies to a novel object among migrants and residents in partially migratory blue tits Cyanistes caeruleus. In this test, we found migrating blue tits to have shorter approach latencies than had resident ones. Behavioural reactions to novelty can affect the readiness to migrate and short approach latency may have an adaptive value during migration. Individual behaviour towards novelty might be incorporated among the factors associated with migratory or resident behaviour in a partially migratory population.

  3. Migratory and resident blue tits Cyanistes caeruleus differ in their reaction to a novel object

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nilsson, Anna L. K.; Nilsson, Jan-Åke; Alerstam, Thomas; Bäckman, Johan

    2010-11-01

    Individuals differ consistently in their behavioural reactions towards novel objects and new situations. Reaction to novelty is one part of a suit of individually consistent behaviours called coping strategies or personalities and is often summarised as bold or shy behaviour. Coping strategies could be particularly important for migrating birds exposed to novel environments on their journeys. We compared the average approach latencies to a novel object among migrants and residents in partially migratory blue tits Cyanistes caeruleus. In this test, we found migrating blue tits to have shorter approach latencies than had resident ones. Behavioural reactions to novelty can affect the readiness to migrate and short approach latency may have an adaptive value during migration. Individual behaviour towards novelty might be incorporated among the factors associated with migratory or resident behaviour in a partially migratory population.

  4. Eggshell pigmentation pattern in relation to breeding performance of blue tits Cyanistes caeruleus.

    PubMed

    Sanz, Juan José; García-Navas, Vicente

    2009-01-01

    1. We test the consequences, in terms of breeding success and parental effort, of eggshell pigmentation pattern in a hole-nesting bird, the blue tit Cyanistes caeruleus that lays eggs asymmetrically speckled with reddish spots (maculated eggs). 2. We assess the effect of distribution of spots (pigment 'spread') and spot size and pigment intensity (pigment 'darkness') on eggshell physical properties and breeding parameters concerning nestling condition, investment of parents in offspring care and reproductive output in two different habitat types: a deciduous oakwoodland and an evergreen forest. 3. Blue tit clutches with more widely distributed spots showed a thicker eggshell, a shorter incubation period, a lesser amount of mass loss per day and a higher hatching probability than those with spots forming a 'corona' ring. While eggs with larger and darker (more pigment intensity) spots showed a thicker eggshell and a shorter incubation period. In the light of 'signal function hypothesis', these egg traits may reflect female health status and, consequently, this could affect male parental effort. 4. Here we show supports for some of the necessary assumptions of this hypothesis. We found a positive relationship between egg pigment 'spread' and male but not female provisioning rates per day. On the other hand, pigment 'darkness' of blue tits' clutches was positively related to female tarsus length, while pigment 'spread' was positively related to clutch size, male body mass and nestling tarsus length. Our study shows that eggshell pigment 'spread' can be used as an indicator of clutch quality. Further investigations are needed to understand the role of calcium availability as possible causal agent of deviant eggs and its relation to the maculation phenomenon.

  5. Maternal transfer of organochlorines and brominated flame retardants in blue tits (Cyanistes caeruleus).

    PubMed

    Van den Steen, Evi; Jaspers, Veerle L B; Covaci, Adrian; Neels, Hugo; Eens, Marcel; Pinxten, Rianne

    2009-01-01

    Although eggs have frequently been used as a biomonitoring tool for contamination with organohalogenated pollutants (OHPs), few studies have investigated the processes of maternal transfer in birds. Here, maternal transfer of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), organochlorine pesticides (OCPs) and polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) was investigated through comparison of the concentrations and profiles between whole homogenised female blue tits (Cyanistes caeruleus) and their eggs. In addition, we examined if there was an effect of laying order on the concentrations of PCBs, OCPs and PBDEs. PCBs were the most abundant contaminants in female blue tits and their eggs, followed by OCPs and PBDEs. Among the OCPs, p,p'-DDE was the most dominant compound and accounted for more than 80% of the sum OCPs. Egg concentrations decreased significantly in relation to the laying order from 1623+/-148 ng/g lipid weight (lw) to 1040+/-47 ng/g lw for the sum PCBs, from 342+/-24 ng/g lw to 235+/-17 ng/g lw for the sum OCPs and from 49+/-5 ng/g lw to 27+/-5 ng/g lw for the sum PBDEs. When reviewing all studies investigating laying order effects of OHPs in birds, no clear patterns emerged, which may be due to differences in study species and methodology among studies. Despite the fact that there were laying order effects in blue tit clutches, the variance in concentrations of PCBs and PBDEs was larger among clutches than within clutches. Variance in OCP concentrations among clutches was similar to the variance within clutches. These results suggest that one randomly collected blue tit egg from a clutch is useful as biomonitoring tool for PCBs and PBDEs, while for OCPs it is recommended to consistently use the same egg from the laying sequence as a biomonitoring tool. Lipid-normalized concentrations of sum PCBs, sum OCPs and sum PBDEs in female blue tits after clutch completion were comparable to the concentrations in the first-laid eggs. The egg/female lipid concentration ratios for

  6. Dietary antioxidants, lipid peroxidation and plumage colouration in nestling blue tits Cyanistes caeruleus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Larcombe, Stephen D.; Mullen, William; Alexander, Lucille; Arnold, Kathryn E.

    2010-10-01

    Carotenoid pigments are responsible for many of the red, yellow and orange plumage and integument traits seen in birds. One idea suggests that since carotenoids can act as antioxidants, carotenoid-mediated colouration may reveal an individual's ability to resist oxidative damage. In fact, there is currently very little information on the effects of most dietary-acquired antioxidants on oxidative stress in wild birds. Here, we assessed the impacts on oxidative damage, plasma antioxidants, growth and plumage colouration after supplementing nestling blue tits Cyanistes caeruleus with one of three diets; control, carotenoid treatment or α-tocopherol treatment. Oxidative damage was assessed by HPLC analysis of plasma levels of malondialdehyde (MDA), a by-product of lipid peroxidation. Contrary to predictions, we found no differences in oxidative damage, plumage colouration or growth rate between treatment groups. Although plasma lutein concentrations were significantly raised in carotenoid-fed chicks, α-tocopherol treatment had no effect on concentrations of plasma α-tocopherol compared with controls. Interestingly, we found that faster growing chicks had higher levels of oxidative damage than slower growing birds, independent of treatment, body mass and condition at fledging. Moreover, the chromatic signal of the chest plumage of birds was positively correlated with levels of MDA but not plasma antioxidant concentrations: more colourful nestlings had higher oxidative damage than less colourful individuals. Thus, increased carotenoid-mediated plumage does not reveal resistance to oxidative damage for nestling blue tits, but may indicate costs paid, in terms of oxidative damage. Our results indicate that the trade-offs between competing physiological systems for dietary antioxidants are likely to be complex in rapidly developing birds. Moreover, interpreting the biological relevance of different biomarkers of antioxidant status represents a challenge for evolutionary

  7. Dietary antioxidants, lipid peroxidation and plumage colouration in nestling blue tits Cyanistes caeruleus.

    PubMed

    Larcombe, Stephen D; Mullen, William; Alexander, Lucille; Arnold, Kathryn E

    2010-10-01

    Carotenoid pigments are responsible for many of the red, yellow and orange plumage and integument traits seen in birds. One idea suggests that since carotenoids can act as antioxidants, carotenoid-mediated colouration may reveal an individual's ability to resist oxidative damage. In fact, there is currently very little information on the effects of most dietary-acquired antioxidants on oxidative stress in wild birds. Here, we assessed the impacts on oxidative damage, plasma antioxidants, growth and plumage colouration after supplementing nestling blue tits Cyanistes caeruleus with one of three diets; control, carotenoid treatment or α-tocopherol treatment. Oxidative damage was assessed by HPLC analysis of plasma levels of malondialdehyde (MDA), a by-product of lipid peroxidation. Contrary to predictions, we found no differences in oxidative damage, plumage colouration or growth rate between treatment groups. Although plasma lutein concentrations were significantly raised in carotenoid-fed chicks, α-tocopherol treatment had no effect on concentrations of plasma α-tocopherol compared with controls. Interestingly, we found that faster growing chicks had higher levels of oxidative damage than slower growing birds, independent of treatment, body mass and condition at fledging. Moreover, the chromatic signal of the chest plumage of birds was positively correlated with levels of MDA but not plasma antioxidant concentrations: more colourful nestlings had higher oxidative damage than less colourful individuals. Thus, increased carotenoid-mediated plumage does not reveal resistance to oxidative damage for nestling blue tits, but may indicate costs paid, in terms of oxidative damage. Our results indicate that the trade-offs between competing physiological systems for dietary antioxidants are likely to be complex in rapidly developing birds. Moreover, interpreting the biological relevance of different biomarkers of antioxidant status represents a challenge for evolutionary

  8. Nest-site selection, territory quality and breeding performance in a Blue Tit Cyanistes caeruleus population

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Maícas, Ramón; Muriel, Jaime; Bonillo, Juan Carlos; Fernández Haeger, Juan

    2012-02-01

    Patterns of territory selection and sources of variation for reproductive performance in a Blue Tit Cyanistes caeruleus population breeding in nest-boxes during years 2007 and 2008 in a holm oak forest are analyzed. Territory selection has been assessed as a function of two fixed effect factors: territory location (peripheral vs. interior in the nestbox patch) and nestbox type (entrance hole: 26 mm vs. 32 mm). Breeding density was independent of these factors. Pairs nesting in periphery nest-boxes and in small-holed nestboxes owned territories bigger than those nesting in interior and large-holed nestboxes, respectively. The breeding traits studied were laying date, clutch size, hatching success, fledgling success and breeding success. Egg laying was earlier in periphery territories and small-holed nestboxes. Between-year variation was a factor significantly affecting to all breeding traits. Clutch size declines in late clutches. Hatching success was higher in territories with more tree density. Although egg laying started earlier in some territories, the mean breeding success was similar in all of them. However, territories with the greatest contribution of individuals to the population were those with small-holed nestboxes. Breeding success in successful pairs had a tendency to be higher in pairs with late clutches and in those nesting in interior territories with large-holed nestboxes. Both decreased breeding success and total breeding failure were much more important in the second breeding year than in the first one. The high breeding density of Blue Tit, favored by the experimental design of nestbox plot, did not suggest significant variation between territories in terms of breeding success achieved. Implications for nestbox management are discussed.

  9. Individual genetic diversity and probability of infection by avian malaria parasites in blue tits (Cyanistes caeruleus).

    PubMed

    Ferrer, E S; García-Navas, V; Sanz, J J; Ortego, J

    2014-11-01

    Understanding the importance of host genetic diversity for coping with parasites and infectious diseases is a long-standing goal in evolutionary biology. Here, we study the association between probability of infection by avian malaria (Plasmodium relictum) and individual genetic diversity in three blue tit (Cyanistes caeruleus) populations that strongly differ in prevalence of this parasite. For this purpose, we screened avian malaria infections and genotyped 789 blue tits across 26 microsatellite markers. We used two different arrays of markers: 14 loci classified as neutral and 12 loci classified as putatively functional. We found a significant relationship between probability of infection and host genetic diversity estimated at the subset of neutral markers that was not explained by strong local effects and did not differ among the studied populations. This relationship was not linear, and probability of infection increased up to values of homozygosity by locus (HL) around 0.15, reached a plateau at values of HL from 0.15 to 0.40 and finally declined among a small proportion of highly homozygous individuals (HL > 0.4). We did not find evidence for significant identity disequilibrium, which may have resulted from a low variance of inbreeding in the study populations and/or the small power of our set of markers to detect it. A combination of subtle positive and negative local effects and/or a saturation threshold in the association between probability of infection and host genetic diversity in combination with increased resistance to parasites in highly homozygous individuals may explain the observed negative quadratic relationship. Overall, our study highlights that parasites play an important role in shaping host genetic variation and suggests that the use of large sets of neutral markers may be more appropriate for the study of heterozygosity-fitness correlations.

  10. Intraspecific variation and interspecific differences in the bacterial and fungal assemblages of blue tit (Cyanistes caeruleus) and great tit (Parus major) nests.

    PubMed

    Goodenough, Anne E; Stallwood, Bethan

    2010-02-01

    Although interest in the relationship between birds and microorganisms is increasing, few studies have compared nest microbial assemblages in wild passerines to determine variation within and between species. Culturing microorganisms from blue tit (Cyanistes caeruleus) and great tit (Parus major) nests from the same study site demonstrated diverse microbial communities with 32 bacterial and 13 fungal species being isolated. Dominant bacteria were Pseudomonas fluorescens, Pseudomonas putida, and Staphylococcus hyicus. Also common in the nests were the keratinolytic bacteria Pseudomonas stutzeri and Bacillus subtilis. Dominant fungi were Cladosporium herbarum and Epicoccum purpurascens. Aspergillus flavous, Microsporum gallinae, and Candida albicans (causative agents of avian aspergillosis, favus, and candidiasis, respectively) were present in 30%, 25%, and 10% of nests, respectively. Although there were no differences in nest mass or materials, bacterial (but not fungal) loads were significantly higher in blue tit nests. Microbial species also differed interspecifically. As regards potential pathogens, the prevalence of Enterobacter cloacae was higher in blue tit nests, while Pseudomonas aeruginosa-present in 30% of blue tit nests-was absent from great tit nests. The allergenic fungus Cladosporium cladosporioides was both more prevalent and abundant in great tit nests. Using discriminant function analysis (DFA), nests were classified to avian species with 100% accuracy using the complete microbial community. Partial DFA models were created using a reduced number of variables and compared using Akaike's information criterion on the basis of model fit and parsimony. The best models classified unknown nests with 72.5-95% accuracy using a small subset of microbes (n = 1-8), which always included Pseudomonas agarici. This suggests that despite substantial intraspecific variation in nest microflora, there are significant interspecific differences-both in terms of

  11. Heterozygosity-based assortative mating in blue tits (Cyanistes caeruleus): implications for the evolution of mate choice

    PubMed Central

    García-Navas, Vicente; Ortego, Joaquín; Sanz, Juan José

    2009-01-01

    The general hypothesis of mate choice based on non-additive genetic traits suggests that individuals would gain important benefits by choosing genetically dissimilar mates (compatible mate hypothesis) and/or more heterozygous mates (heterozygous mate hypothesis). In this study, we test these hypotheses in a socially monogamous bird, the blue tit (Cyanistes caeruleus). We found no evidence for a relatedness-based mating pattern, but heterozygosity was positively correlated between social mates, suggesting that blue tits may base their mating preferences on partner's heterozygosity. We found evidence that the observed heterozygosity-based assortative mating could be maintained by both direct and indirect benefits. Heterozygosity reflected individual quality in both sexes: egg production and quality increased with female heterozygosity while more heterozygous males showed higher feeding rates during the brood-rearing period. Further, estimated offspring heterozygosity correlated with both paternal and maternal heterozygosity, suggesting that mating with heterozygous individuals can increase offspring genetic quality. Finally, plumage crown coloration was associated with male heterozygosity, and this could explain unanimous mate preferences for highly heterozygous and more ornamented individuals. Overall, this study suggests that non-additive genetic traits may play an important role in the evolution of mating preferences and offers empirical support to the resolution of the lek paradox from the perspective of the heterozygous mate hypothesis. PMID:19474042

  12. Life history correlates of fecal bacterial species richness in a wild population of the blue tit Cyanistes caeruleus.

    PubMed

    Benskin, Clare McW H; Rhodes, Glenn; Pickup, Roger W; Mainwaring, Mark C; Wilson, Kenneth; Hartley, Ian R

    2015-02-01

    Very little is known about the normal gastrointestinal flora of wild birds, or how it might affect or reflect the host's life-history traits. The aim of this study was to survey the species richness of bacteria in the feces of a wild population of blue tits Cyanistes caeruleus and to explore the relationships between bacterial species richness and various life-history traits, such as age, sex, and reproductive success. Using PCR-TGGE, 55 operational taxonomic units (OTUs) were identified in blue tit feces. DNA sequencing revealed that the 16S rRNA gene was amplified from a diverse range of bacteria, including those that shared closest homology with Bacillus licheniformis, Campylobacter lari, Pseudomonas spp., and Salmonella spp. For adults, there was a significant negative relationship between bacterial species richness and the likelihood of being detected alive the following breeding season; bacterial richness was consistent across years but declined through the breeding season; and breeding pairs had significantly more similar bacterial richness than expected by chance alone. Reduced adult survival was correlated with the presence of an OTU most closely resembling C. lari; enhanced adult survival was associated with an OTU most similar to Arthrobacter spp. For nestlings, there was no significant change in bacterial species richness between the first and second week after hatching, and nestlings sharing the same nest had significantly more similar bacterial richness. Collectively, these results provide compelling evidence that bacterial species richness was associated with several aspects of the life history of their hosts.

  13. Sparrowhawk movement, calling, and presence of dead conspecifics differentially impact blue tit (Cyanistes caeruleus) vocal and behavioral mobbing responses.

    PubMed

    Carlson, Nora V; Pargeter, Helen M; Templeton, Christopher N

    2017-01-01

    Many animals alter their anti-predator behavior in accordance to the threat level of a predator. While much research has examined variation in mobbing responses to different predators, few studies have investigated how anti-predator behavior is affected by changes in a predator's own state or behavior. We examined the effect of sparrowhawk (Accipiter nisus) behavior on the mobbing response of wild blue tits (Cyanistes caeruleus) using robotic taxidermy sparrowhawks. We manipulated whether the simulated predator moved its head, produced vocalizations, or held a taxidermy blue tit in its talons. When any sparrowhawk model was present, blue tits decreased foraging and increased anti-predator behavior and vocalizations. Additionally, each manipulation of the model predator's state (moving, vocalizing, or the presence of a dead conspecific) impacted different types of blue tit anti-predator behavior and vocalizations. These results indicate that different components of mobbing vary according to the specific state of a given predator-beyond its presence or absence-and suggest that each might play a different role in the overall mobbing response. Last, our results indicate that using more life-like predator stimuli-those featuring simple head movements and audio playback of vocalizations-changes how prey respond to the predator; these 'robo-raptor' models provide a powerful tool to provide increased realism in simulated predator encounters without sacrificing experimental control. Anti-predatory behavior is often modulated by the threat level posed by a particular predator. While much research has tested how different types of predators change prey behavior, few experiments have examined how predator behavior affects anti-predatory responses of prey. By experimentally manipulating robotic predators, we show that blue tits not only respond to the presence of a sparrowhawk, by decreasing feeding and increasing anti-predator behavior and vocalizations, but that they vary

  14. Characterization of the genome and transcriptome of the blue tit Cyanistes caeruleus: polymorphisms, sex-biased expression and selection signals.

    PubMed

    Mueller, Jakob C; Kuhl, Heiner; Timmermann, Bernd; Kempenaers, Bart

    2016-03-01

    Decoding genomic sequences and determining their variation within populations has potential to reveal adaptive processes and unravel the genetic basis of ecologically relevant trait variation within a species. The blue tit Cyanistes caeruleus--a long-time ecological model species--has been used to investigate fitness consequences of variation in mating and reproductive behaviour. However, very little is known about the underlying genetic changes due to natural and sexual selection in the genome of this songbird. As a step to bridge this gap, we assembled the first draft genome of a single blue tit, mapped the transcriptome of five females and five males to this reference, identified genomewide variants and performed sex-differential expression analysis in the gonads, brain and other tissues. In the gonads, we found a high number of sex-biased genes, and of those, a similar proportion were sex-limited (genes only expressed in one sex) in males and females. However, in the brain, the proportion of female-limited genes within the female-biased gene category (82%) was substantially higher than the proportion of male-limited genes within the male-biased category (6%). This suggests a predominant on-off switching mechanism for the female-limited genes. In addition, most male-biased genes were located on the Z-chromosome, indicating incomplete dosage compensation for the male-biased genes. We called more than 500,000 SNPs from the RNA-seq data. Heterozygote detection in the single reference individual was highly congruent between DNA-seq and RNA-seq calling. Using information from these polymorphisms, we identified potential selection signals in the genome. We list candidate genes which can be used for further sequencing and detailed selection studies, including genes potentially related to meiotic drive evolution. A public genome browser of the blue tit with the described information is available at http://public-genomes-ngs.molgen.mpg.de. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  15. Carotenoid-based plumage colouration is associated with blood parasite richness and stress protein levels in blue tits (Cyanistes caeruleus).

    PubMed

    del Cerro, Sara; Merino, Santiago; Martínez-de la Puente, Josué; Lobato, Elisa; Ruiz-de-Castañeda, Rafael; Rivero-de Aguilar, Juan; Martínez, Javier; Morales, Judith; Tomás, Gustavo; Moreno, Juan

    2010-04-01

    Carotenoids are molecules that birds are not able to synthesize and therefore, must be acquired through their diet. These pigments, besides their function of giving birds red and yellow colouration when deposited in feathers, seem to act as immune-stimulators and antioxidants in the organism. Hence, only the healthiest individuals would be able to express carotenoid-based ornaments to a larger extent without compromising the physiological functions of carotenoids. Various studies have reported that birds infected by parasites are paler than those uninfected, but, to our knowledge, none of them has assessed the possible effect of multiple infections by blood parasites on plumage colour. By comparing the yellow colour in the breast plumage of blue tits, Cyanistes caeruleus, between birds infected by different numbers of blood parasite genera, we found that those birds infected by more than one genus were paler than those parasitized just by one. In addition, we examined the potential role of carotenoid-based plumage colour of blue tits as a long-term indicator of other parameters of health status, such as body condition and immunoglobulin and heat shock protein (HSP) levels. Our results indicate that more brightly coloured birds had lower HSP70 levels than paler birds, but we did not find any significant association between colour and body condition or immunoglobulin levels. In addition, we found a positive significant association between Haemoproteus density of infection and HSP60 levels. Overall, these results support the role of carotenoid-based colours as indicators of health status in blue tits and show detrimental effects of parasitism on this character.

  16. Distribution of vasotocin- and vasoactive intestinal peptide-like immunoreactivity in the brain of blue tit (Cyanistes coeruleus)

    PubMed Central

    Montagnese, Catherine M.; Székely, Tamás; Csillag, András; Zachar, Gergely

    2015-01-01

    Blue tits (Cyanistes coeruleus) are songbirds, used as model animals in numerous studies covering a wide field of research. Nevertheless, the distribution of neuropeptides in the brain of this avian species remains largely unknown. Here we present some of the first results on distribution of Vasotocine (AVT) and Vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP) in the brain of males and females of this songbird species, using immunohistochemistry mapping. The bulk of AVT-like cells are found in the hypothalamic supraoptic, paraventricular and suprachiasmatic nuclei, bed nucleus of the stria terminalis, and along the lateral forebrain bundle. Most AVT-like fibers course toward the median eminence, some reaching the arcopallium, and lateral septum. Further terminal fields occur in the dorsal thalamus, ventral tegmental area and pretectal area. Most VIP-like cells are in the lateral septal organ and arcuate nucleus. VIP-like fibers are distributed extensively in the hypothalamus, preoptic area, lateral septum, diagonal band of Broca. They are also found in the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis, amygdaloid nucleus of taenia, robust nucleus of the arcopallium, caudo-ventral hyperpallium, nucleus accumbens and the brainstem. Taken together, these results suggest that both AVT and VIP immunoreactive structures show similar distribution to other avian species, emphasizing evolutionary conservatism in the history of vertebrates. The current study may enable future investigation into the localization of AVT and VIP, in relation to behavioral and ecological traits in the brain of tit species. PMID:26236200

  17. Life history correlates of fecal bacterial species richness in a wild population of the blue tit Cyanistes caeruleus

    PubMed Central

    Benskin, Clare McW H; Rhodes, Glenn; Pickup, Roger W; Mainwaring, Mark C; Wilson, Kenneth; Hartley, Ian R

    2015-01-01

    Very little is known about the normal gastrointestinal flora of wild birds, or how it might affect or reflect the host's life-history traits. The aim of this study was to survey the species richness of bacteria in the feces of a wild population of blue tits Cyanistes caeruleus and to explore the relationships between bacterial species richness and various life-history traits, such as age, sex, and reproductive success. Using PCR-TGGE, 55 operational taxonomic units (OTUs) were identified in blue tit feces. DNA sequencing revealed that the 16S rRNA gene was amplified from a diverse range of bacteria, including those that shared closest homology with Bacillus licheniformis, Campylobacter lari, Pseudomonas spp., and Salmonella spp. For adults, there was a significant negative relationship between bacterial species richness and the likelihood of being detected alive the following breeding season; bacterial richness was consistent across years but declined through the breeding season; and breeding pairs had significantly more similar bacterial richness than expected by chance alone. Reduced adult survival was correlated with the presence of an OTU most closely resembling C. lari; enhanced adult survival was associated with an OTU most similar to Arthrobacter spp. For nestlings, there was no significant change in bacterial species richness between the first and second week after hatching, and nestlings sharing the same nest had significantly more similar bacterial richness. Collectively, these results provide compelling evidence that bacterial species richness was associated with several aspects of the life history of their hosts. PMID:25750710

  18. Return flight to the Canary Islands--the key role of peripheral populations of Afrocanarian blue tits (Aves: Cyanistes teneriffae) in multi-gene reconstructions of colonization pathways.

    PubMed

    Päckert, Martin; Martens, Jochen; Hering, Jens; Kvist, Laura; Illera, Juan Carlos

    2013-05-01

    Afrocanarian blue tits (Cyanistes teneriffae) have a scattered distribution on the Canary Islands and on the North African continent. To date, the Canary Islands have been considered the species' main Pleistocene evolutionary center, but their colonization pathways remain uncertain. We set out to reconstruct a dated multi-gene phylogeny and ancestral ranges for Cyanistes tit species including the currently unstudied, peripheral Libyan population of C. t. cyrenaicae. In all reconstructions the most easterly and westerly peripheral populations (in Libya and on La Palma) represented basal offshoots of C. teneriffae. These two peripheral populations shared all four major indels and differed in this respect from all other members of the Afrocanarian core group. The basal split of Afrocanarian blue tits from their European relatives was dated to the early Pliocene. The two ancestral area reconstructions were contradictory and suggested either a Canarian or a North African origin of C. teneriffae - but unambiguously ruled out a continental European ancestral range. We conclude that the peripheral populations of C. teneriffae represent relic lineages of a first faunal interchange, presumably downstream colonization from North Africa to the Canary Islands. Subsequent eastward stepping-stone colonization within the Canarian Archipelago culminated in a very recent late (possibly even post-) Pleistocene back-colonization from the Canary Islands to North Africa.

  19. Disentangling the complex evolutionary history of the Western Palearctic blue tits (Cyanistes spp.) - phylogenomic analyses suggest radiation by multiple colonization events and subsequent isolation.

    PubMed

    Stervander, Martin; Illera, Juan Carlos; Kvist, Laura; Barbosa, Pedro; Keehnen, Naomi P; Pruisscher, Peter; Bensch, Staffan; Hansson, Bengt

    2015-05-01

    Isolated islands and their often unique biota continue to play key roles for understanding the importance of drift, genetic variation and adaptation in the process of population differentiation and speciation. One island system that has inspired and intrigued evolutionary biologists is the blue tit complex (Cyanistes spp.) in Europe and Africa, in particular the complex evolutionary history of the multiple genetically distinct taxa of the Canary Islands. Understanding Afrocanarian colonization events is of particular importance because of recent unconventional suggestions that these island populations acted as source of the widespread population in mainland Africa. We investigated the relationship between mainland and island blue tits using a combination of Sanger sequencing at a population level (20 loci; 12 500 nucleotides) and next-generation sequencing of single population representatives (>3 200 000 nucleotides), analysed in coalescence and phylogenetic frameworks. We found (i) that Afrocanarian blue tits are monophyletic and represent four major clades, (ii) that the blue tit complex has a continental origin and that the Canary Islands were colonized three times, (iii) that all island populations have low genetic variation, indicating low long-term effective population sizes and (iv) that populations on La Palma and in Libya represent relicts of an ancestral North African population. Further, demographic reconstructions revealed (v) that the Canary Islands, conforming to traditional views, hold sink populations, which have not served as source for back colonization of the African mainland. Our study demonstrates the importance of complete taxon sampling and an extensive multimarker study design to obtain robust phylogeographical inferences.

  20. Blue tits (Cyanistes caeruleus) respond to an experimental change in the aromatic plant odour composition of their nest.

    PubMed

    Mennerat, A

    2008-11-01

    Although the use of olfaction by birds is now widely recognised, the olfactory abilities of passerine birds remain poorly explored, for historical reasons. Several studies however suggest that passerines can perceive volatile compounds in several biologically relevant contexts. In Corsica, recent findings suggest that cavity-nesting blue tits may use volatile compounds in the context of nest building and maintenance. Although they build their nests mainly from moss, female blue tits also frequently incorporate fragments of several species of aromatic plants in the nest cup. In field experiments, breeding female blue tits altered their nest maintenance behaviour in response to experimental addition of aromatic plants in their nest. In aviary experiments, captive male blue tits could be trained to detect lavender odour from a distance. Here I report results from a field study aimed to test whether adult blue tits altered their chick-feeding behaviour after an experimental change in nest odour composition. I experimentally added fragments of aromatic plant species that differed from those brought in the nests before the start of the experiment in a set of experimental nests and added moss, the basic nest material, in a set of control nests. Both male and female blue tits hesitated significantly longer entering the nest cavity after addition of new aromatic plant fragments, as compared to moss addition. This response was especially observed during the first visit following the experimental change in nest plant composition. Nest composition treatment had no effect on the time spent in the nest. This study demonstrates that free-ranging blue tits detect changes in nest odour from outside the nest cavity.

  1. Spring vegetation phenology is a robust predictor of breeding date across broad landscapes: a multi-site approach using the Corsican blue tit (Cyanistes caeruleus).

    PubMed

    Bourgault, Patrice; Thomas, Don; Perret, Philippe; Blondel, Jacques

    2010-04-01

    The regulation of reproductive schedules is an important determinant of avian breeding success. In heterogeneous environments, the optimal breeding period may fluctuate temporally across habitats, often on a spatial scale much shorter than the average dispersal range of individuals. The synchronisation of reproductive events with the most favourable period at a given site therefore involves the integration of a suite of fine-scale environmental signals which contain information about future breeding conditions. In this study, we monitored clutch initiation date of blue tits (Cyanistes caeruleus) breeding in a wide range of environmental conditions (altitude, temperature regimes, habitat type) in Corsica (France) to understand the role of spring temperature and leafing phenology on the precise fine-tuning of egg laying on a local scale. Timing of breeding in blue tits was strongly correlated with phenology of the dominant vegetation (r(2) = 0.87). In contrast, spring temperature was not as robust a predictor of the timing of breeding, because a large part of the residual variation in egg-laying date was accounted by differences (ca. 2 weeks) in the development of the vegetation between habitat types (evergreen vs. deciduous oak forests). Female blue tits therefore appear to use the environmental variable (vegetation phenology) that is most closely linked to the future production of insect prey in order to accurately time laying over the entire spatio-temporal breeding landscape.

  2. Breeding performance of blue tits (Cyanistes cæruleus ultramarinus) in relation to lead pollution and nest failure rates in rural, intermediate, and urban sites in Algeria.

    PubMed

    Brahmia, Zahra; Scheifler, Renaud; Crini, Nadia; Maas, Samuel; Giraudoux, Patrick; Benyacoub, Slim

    2013-03-01

    The breeding parameters and the egg and nestling morphology of Cyanistes caeruleus populations from rural, intermediate, and urban sites in Algeria and the relationships of those variables with lead contamination were studied during three consecutive years. Breeding success was explained only by predation and vandalism rates. Predation was higher in the rural area, whereas vandalism was higher in the urban site. The other measured breeding parameters and egg characteristics were relatively insensitive to study site. The morphology of urban nestlings exhibited a trend toward smaller body size and mass compared to individuals from intermediate and rural sites. Although lead concentrations were higher in the tissues of urban birds than in intermediate and rural individuals, we did not detect a clear influence of this variable on nestling morphology. We conclude that urbanization influenced blue tit breeding parameters through predation and vandalism and nestling morphology through mechanisms other than lead pollution. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. Low Cross-Sex Genetic Correlation in Carotenoid-Based Plumage Traits in the Blue Tit Nestlings (Cyanistes caeruleus)

    PubMed Central

    Drobniak, Szymon M.; Wiejaczka, Dariusz; Arct, Aneta; Dubiec, Anna; Gustafsson, Lars; Cichoń, Mariusz

    2013-01-01

    In some bird species, both adult and juvenile individuals are often brightly coloured. It has been commonly assumed that identical plumage colouration present in both sexes results from strong intersexual genetic correlations in colour-related traits. Here, we aimed at testing this hypothesis in juvenile individuals and looked at genetic parameters describing carotenoid-based colouration of blue tit nestlings in a wild population. To separate genetic and environmental sources of phenotypic variation we performed a cross-fostering experiment. Our analyses confirmed the existence of sexual dichromatism in blue tit nestlings and revealed a significant, although low, genetic component of carotenoid-based colouration. However, genetic effects are expressed differently across sexes as indicated by low cross-sex genetic correlations (rmf). Thus our results do not support the prediction of generally high rmf and suggest that intersexual constraints on the evolution of colouration traits may be weaker than expected. We hypothesise that observed patterns of genetic correlations result from sex-specific selective pressures acting on nestling plumage colouration. PMID:23936101

  4. Influence of fine-scale habitat structure on nest-site occupancy, laying date and clutch size in Blue Tits Cyanistes caeruleus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Amininasab, Seyed Mehdi; Vedder, Oscar; Schut, Elske; de Jong, Berber; Magrath, Michael J. L.; Korsten, Peter; Komdeur, Jan

    2016-01-01

    Most birds have specific habitat requirements for breeding. The vegetation structure surrounding nest-sites is an important component of habitat quality, and can have large effects on avian breeding performance. We studied 13 years of Blue Tit Cyanistes caeruleus population data to determine whether characteristics of vegetation structure predict site occupancy, laying date and number of eggs laid. Measurements of vegetation structure included the density of English Oak Quercus robur, European Beech Fagus sylvatica, and other deciduous, coniferous and non-coniferous evergreen trees, within a 20-m radius of nest-boxes used for breeding. Trees were further sub-divided into specific classes of trunk circumferences to determine the densities for different maturity levels. Based on Principal Component Analysis (PCA), we reduced the total number of 17 measured vegetation variables to 7 main categories, which we used for further analyses. We found that the occupancy rate of sites and the number of eggs laid correlated positively with the proportion of deciduous trees and negatively with the density of coniferous trees. Laying of the first egg was advanced with a greater proportion of deciduous trees. Among deciduous trees, the English Oak appeared to be most important, as a higher density of more mature English Oak trees was associated with more frequent nest-box occupancy, a larger number of eggs laid, and an earlier laying start. Furthermore, laying started earlier and more eggs were laid in nest-boxes with higher occupancy rates. Together, these findings highlight the role of deciduous trees, particularly more mature English Oak, as important predictors of high-quality preferred habitat. These results aid in defining habitat quality and will facilitate future studies on the importance of environmental quality for breeding performance.

  5. Intra-specific variation in wing morphology and its impact on take-off performance in blue tits (Cyanistes caeruleus) during escape flights.

    PubMed

    McFarlane, Laura; Altringham, John D; Askew, Graham N

    2016-05-01

    Diurnal and seasonal increases in body mass and seasonal reductions in wing area may compromise a bird's ability to escape, as less of the power available from the flight muscles can be used to accelerate and elevate the animal's centre of mass. Here, we investigated the effects of intra-specific variation in wing morphology on escape take-off performance in blue tits (Cyanistes caeruleus). Flights were recorded using synchronised high-speed video cameras and take-off performance was quantified as the sum of the rates of change of the kinetic and potential energies of the centre of mass. Individuals with a lower wing loading, WL (WL=body weight/wing area) had higher escape take-off performance, consistent with the increase in lift production expected from relatively larger wings. Unexpectedly, it was found that the total power available from the flight muscles (estimated using an aerodynamic analysis) was inversely related to WL. This could simply be because birds with a higher WL have relatively smaller flight muscles. Alternatively or additionally, variation in the aerodynamic load on the wing resulting from differences in wing morphology will affect the mechanical performance of the flight muscles via effects on the muscle's length trajectory. Consistent with this hypothesis is the observation that wing beat frequency and relative downstroke duration increase with decreasing WL; both are factors that are expected to increase muscle power output. Understanding how wing morphology influences take-off performance gives insight into the potential risks associated with feather loss and seasonal and diurnal fluctuations in body mass.

  6. Intra-specific variation in wing morphology and its impact on take-off performance in blue tits (Cyanistes caeruleus) during escape flights

    PubMed Central

    McFarlane, Laura; Altringham, John D.; Askew, Graham N.

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT Diurnal and seasonal increases in body mass and seasonal reductions in wing area may compromise a bird's ability to escape, as less of the power available from the flight muscles can be used to accelerate and elevate the animal's centre of mass. Here, we investigated the effects of intra-specific variation in wing morphology on escape take-off performance in blue tits (Cyanistes caeruleus). Flights were recorded using synchronised high-speed video cameras and take-off performance was quantified as the sum of the rates of change of the kinetic and potential energies of the centre of mass. Individuals with a lower wing loading, WL (WL=body weight/wing area) had higher escape take-off performance, consistent with the increase in lift production expected from relatively larger wings. Unexpectedly, it was found that the total power available from the flight muscles (estimated using an aerodynamic analysis) was inversely related to WL. This could simply be because birds with a higher WL have relatively smaller flight muscles. Alternatively or additionally, variation in the aerodynamic load on the wing resulting from differences in wing morphology will affect the mechanical performance of the flight muscles via effects on the muscle's length trajectory. Consistent with this hypothesis is the observation that wing beat frequency and relative downstroke duration increase with decreasing WL; both are factors that are expected to increase muscle power output. Understanding how wing morphology influences take-off performance gives insight into the potential risks associated with feather loss and seasonal and diurnal fluctuations in body mass. PMID:26994175

  7. Tits on the move: exploring the impact of environmental change on blue tit and great tit migration distance.

    PubMed

    Smallegange, Isabel M; Fiedler, Wolfgang; Köppen, Ulrich; Geiter, Olaf; Bairlein, Franz

    2010-03-01

    1. In response to warmer spring conditions in Central Europe many migratory bird species have shifted their timing of breeding. Environmental change has also led to warmer winters, shortening the distance between the breeding grounds of migratory birds and their overwintering areas. 2. Here, we show that in response to warmer winters, blue tits (Cyanistes caeruleus), but not great tits (Parus major), breeding in Germany decreased their migration distance between 1964 and 1996. Understanding this difference provides insight into possible constraints and selection pressures involved in how species respond to environmental change. Here, we focus on their breeding ecology. 3. In a nest box population in southern Germany, both species laid their first clutch earlier with increasing spring temperature, but over the study period (1974-1999) blue tits showed a significant and stronger advancement in laying date than great tits. For both species, selection for earlier breeding did not vary with environmental change, indicating that early laying pairs did not do better than later laying pairs as spring temperature increased. 4. Blue tits in the nest box population were single-brooded and existing hypotheses state that single-brooded species likely advance their laying date to match timing of reproduction with the advancing food peak in spring. We hypothesize that this might be one reason why blue tits adjusted their migration strategy as closer proximity to the breeding grounds in winter allows better prediction of the onset of spring. Ten per cent of great tits successfully produced second broods and their first clutch laying date is a compromise between first and second clutch laying date, which might be why great tits had not advanced their laying date nor altered their migration strategy.

  8. The evolutionary history of Afrocanarian blue tits inferred from genomewide SNPs.

    PubMed

    Gohli, Jostein; Leder, Erica H; Garcia-Del-Rey, Eduardo; Johannessen, Lars Erik; Johnsen, Arild; Laskemoen, Terje; Popp, Magnus; Lifjeld, Jan T

    2015-01-01

    A common challenge in phylogenetic reconstruction is to find enough suitable genomic markers to reliably trace splitting events with short internodes. Here, we present phylogenetic analyses based on genomewide single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of an enigmatic avian radiation, the subspecies complex of Afrocanarian blue tits (Cyanistes teneriffae). The two sister species, the Eurasian blue tit (Cyanistes caeruleus) and the azure tit (Cyanistes cyanus), constituted the out-group. We generated a large data set of SNPs for analysis of population structure and phylogeny. We also adapted our protocol to utilize degraded DNA from old museum skins from Libya. We found strong population structuring that largely confirmed subspecies monophyly and constructed a coalescent-based phylogeny with full support at all major nodes. The results are consistent with a recent hypothesis that La Palma and Libya are relic populations of an ancient Afrocanarian blue tit, although a small data set for Libya could not resolve its position relative to La Palma. The birds on the eastern islands of Fuerteventura and Lanzarote are similar to those in Morocco. Together they constitute the sister group to the clade containing the other Canary Islands (except La Palma), in which El Hierro is sister to the three central islands. Hence, extant Canary Islands populations seem to originate from multiple independent colonization events. We also found population divergences in a key reproductive trait, viz. sperm length, which may constitute reproductive barriers between certain populations. We recommend a taxonomic revision of this polytypic species, where several subspecies should qualify for species rank.

  9. Mediterranean blue tits as a case study of local adaptation.

    PubMed

    Charmantier, Anne; Doutrelant, Claire; Dubuc-Messier, Gabrielle; Fargevieille, Amélie; Szulkin, Marta

    2016-01-01

    While the study of the origins of biological diversity across species has provided numerous examples of adaptive divergence, the realization that it can occur at microgeographic scales despite gene flow is recent, and scarcely illustrated. We review here evidence suggesting that the striking phenotypic differentiation in ecologically relevant traits exhibited by blue tits Cyanistes caeruleus in their southern range-edge putatively reflects adaptation to the heterogeneity of the Mediterranean habitats. We first summarize the phenotypic divergence for a series of life history, morphological, behavioural, acoustic and colour ornament traits in blue tit populations of evergreen and deciduous forests. For each divergent trait, we review the evidence obtained from common garden experiments regarding a possible genetic origin of the observed phenotypic differentiation as well as evidence for heterogeneous selection. Second, we argue that most phenotypically differentiated traits display heritable variation, a fundamental requirement for evolution to occur. Third, we discuss nonrandom dispersal, selective barriers and assortative mating as processes that could reinforce local adaptation. Finally, we show how population genomics supports isolation - by - environment across landscapes. Overall, the combination of approaches converges to the conclusion that the strong phenotypic differentiation observed in Mediterranean blue tits is a fascinating case of local adaptation.

  10. Can video playback provide social information for foraging blue tits?

    PubMed Central

    Rowland, Hannah M.; Mappes, Johanna; Thorogood, Rose

    2017-01-01

    Video playback is becoming a common method for manipulating social stimuli in experiments. Parid tits are one of the most commonly studied groups of wild birds. However, it is not yet clear if tits respond to video playback or how their behavioural responses should be measured. Behaviours may also differ depending on what they observe demonstrators encountering. Here we present blue tits (Cyanistes caeruleus) videos of demonstrators discovering palatable or aversive prey (injected with bitter-tasting Bitrex) from coloured feeding cups. First we quantify variation in demonstrators’ responses to the prey items: aversive prey provoked high rates of beak wiping and head shaking. We then show that focal blue tits respond differently to the presence of a demonstrator on a video screen, depending on whether demonstrators discover palatable or aversive prey. Focal birds faced the video screen more during aversive prey presentations, and made more head turns. Regardless of prey type, focal birds also hopped more frequently during the presence of a demonstrator (compared to a control video of a different coloured feeding cup in an empty cage). Finally, we tested if demonstrators’ behaviour affected focal birds’ food preferences by giving individuals a choice to forage from the same cup as a demonstrator, or from the cup in the control video. We found that only half of the individuals made their choice in accordance to social information in the videos, i.e., their foraging choices were not different from random. Individuals that chose in accordance with a demonstrator, however, made their choice faster than individuals that chose an alternative cup. Together, our results suggest that video playback can provide social cues to blue tits, but individuals vary greatly in how they use this information in their foraging decisions. PMID:28344901

  11. Can video playback provide social information for foraging blue tits?

    PubMed

    Hämäläinen, Liisa; Rowland, Hannah M; Mappes, Johanna; Thorogood, Rose

    2017-01-01

    Video playback is becoming a common method for manipulating social stimuli in experiments. Parid tits are one of the most commonly studied groups of wild birds. However, it is not yet clear if tits respond to video playback or how their behavioural responses should be measured. Behaviours may also differ depending on what they observe demonstrators encountering. Here we present blue tits (Cyanistes caeruleus) videos of demonstrators discovering palatable or aversive prey (injected with bitter-tasting Bitrex) from coloured feeding cups. First we quantify variation in demonstrators' responses to the prey items: aversive prey provoked high rates of beak wiping and head shaking. We then show that focal blue tits respond differently to the presence of a demonstrator on a video screen, depending on whether demonstrators discover palatable or aversive prey. Focal birds faced the video screen more during aversive prey presentations, and made more head turns. Regardless of prey type, focal birds also hopped more frequently during the presence of a demonstrator (compared to a control video of a different coloured feeding cup in an empty cage). Finally, we tested if demonstrators' behaviour affected focal birds' food preferences by giving individuals a choice to forage from the same cup as a demonstrator, or from the cup in the control video. We found that only half of the individuals made their choice in accordance to social information in the videos, i.e., their foraging choices were not different from random. Individuals that chose in accordance with a demonstrator, however, made their choice faster than individuals that chose an alternative cup. Together, our results suggest that video playback can provide social cues to blue tits, but individuals vary greatly in how they use this information in their foraging decisions.

  12. Spatial and Temporal Variation in Heterophil-to-Lymphocyte Ratios of Nestling Passerine Birds: Comparison of Blue Tits and Great Tits

    PubMed Central

    Banbura, Jerzy; Skwarska, Joanna; Banbura, Miroslawa; Gladalski, Michal; Holysz, Magdalena; Kalinski, Adam; Markowski, Marcin; Wawrzyniak, Jaroslaw; Zielinski, Piotr

    2013-01-01

    Environmental factors affecting trophic conditions act as stressors on nestling altricial birds. Access of parental birds to a sufficient supply of food in a limited period of the nestling stage differ in time and space, depending on nesting habitat, prey density and weather conditions. Heterophil-to-lymphocyte ratio (H/L) is considered as a reliable indicator of prolonged stress reaction in birds. In this study we examine if variation in H/L shows consistent spatio-temporal patterns in nestlings of two parids, blue tit Cyanistes caeruleus and great tit Parus major. We found that blue tit nestlings had on average higher H/L than great tit nestlings, which corresponds with the ecological sensitivity of these species. In both species H/L was higher in a poor parkland habitat than in a high quality forest habitat. In nestling blue tits, higher H/L values occurred in years characterized by more extreme weather conditions and worse caterpillar availability. Such consistent patterns of variation in the H/L ratio of nestling blue tits and great tits suggest that, when age-dependent effects are controlled, the ratio can be used as an indicator of physiological stress that is generated by food-related stressors differing in space and time. In particular, elevated H/L ratios are indicative of human-induced changes in the structure of breeding habitats. PMID:24066123

  13. Spatial and temporal variation in heterophil-to-lymphocyte ratios of nestling passerine birds: comparison of blue tits and great tits.

    PubMed

    Banbura, Jerzy; Skwarska, Joanna; Banbura, Miroslawa; Gladalski, Michal; Holysz, Magdalena; Kalinski, Adam; Markowski, Marcin; Wawrzyniak, Jaroslaw; Zielinski, Piotr

    2013-01-01

    Environmental factors affecting trophic conditions act as stressors on nestling altricial birds. Access of parental birds to a sufficient supply of food in a limited period of the nestling stage differ in time and space, depending on nesting habitat, prey density and weather conditions. Heterophil-to-lymphocyte ratio (H/L) is considered as a reliable indicator of prolonged stress reaction in birds. In this study we examine if variation in H/L shows consistent spatio-temporal patterns in nestlings of two parids, blue tit Cyanistes caeruleus and great tit Parus major. We found that blue tit nestlings had on average higher H/L than great tit nestlings, which corresponds with the ecological sensitivity of these species. In both species H/L was higher in a poor parkland habitat than in a high quality forest habitat. In nestling blue tits, higher H/L values occurred in years characterized by more extreme weather conditions and worse caterpillar availability. Such consistent patterns of variation in the H/L ratio of nestling blue tits and great tits suggest that, when age-dependent effects are controlled, the ratio can be used as an indicator of physiological stress that is generated by food-related stressors differing in space and time. In particular, elevated H/L ratios are indicative of human-induced changes in the structure of breeding habitats.

  14. Brood size constrains the development of endothermy in blue tits.

    PubMed

    Andreasson, Fredrik; Nord, Andreas; Nilsson, Jan-Åke

    2016-07-15

    Altricial birds are unable to maintain body temperature when exposed to low ambient temperatures during the first days after hatching. Thermoregulatory capacity begins to form as postnatal development progresses, and eventually nestlings become homeothermic. Several factors may influence this development at both the level of the individual and the level of the whole brood, but to our knowledge no studies have focused on the effect of brood size per se on the development of endothermy in individual nestlings. We performed cooling experiments on blue tit (Cyanistes caeruleus) nestlings in the field, to study how different experimental brood sizes affected the development of endothermy in individual nestlings and the thermal environment experienced by the whole brood in the nest. Nestlings from all experimental brood sizes showed a decrease in cooling rate as they grew older, but birds from reduced broods showed an earlier onset of endothermy compared with nestlings from enlarged and control broods. This difference manifested during early development and gradually disappeared as nestlings grew older. The thermal environment in the nests differed between treatments during nestling development, such that nest temperature in reduced broods was lower than that in enlarged broods during all days and during nights at the end of the experimental period. We suggest that the development of endothermy in blue tit nestlings is not ontogenetically fixed, but instead may vary according to differences in developmental, nutritional and thermal conditions as determined by brood size.

  15. Mate preference of female blue tits varies with experimental photoperiod.

    PubMed

    Reparaz, Laura B; van Oers, Kees; Naguib, Marc; Doutrelant, Claire; Visser, Marcel E; Caro, Samuel P

    2014-01-01

    Organisms use environmental cues to time their life-cycles and among these cues, photoperiod is the main trigger of reproductive behaviours such as territory defence or song activity. Whether photoperiod is also important for another behaviour closely associated with reproduction, mate choice, is unknown. In many bird species, mate choice occurs at two different times during the annual cycle that strongly differ in daylength: in late winter when photoperiod is short and social mates are chosen, and again around egg-laying when photoperiod is longer and extra-pair mates are chosen. This duality makes the role that photoperiod plays on mate choice behaviours intriguing. We investigated the effect of photoperiod on mate choice using three experimental photoperiodic treatments (9 L:15 D, 14 L:10 D, 18 L:6 D), using blue tits (Cyanistes caeruleus) as a biological model. We show that female choice was stronger under long photoperiods. In addition, female blue tits spent significantly more time near males with long tarsi and long wings. This latter preference was only expressed under long photoperiods, suggesting that some indices of male quality only become significant to females when they are strongly photostimulated, and therefore that females could select their social and extra-pair mates based on different phenotypic traits. These results shed light on the roles that photoperiod may play in stimulating pair-bonding and in refining female selectivity for male traits.

  16. Extreme weather event in spring 2013 delayed breeding time of Great Tit and Blue Tit

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Glądalski, Michał; Bańbura, Mirosława; Kaliński, Adam; Markowski, Marcin; Skwarska, Joanna; Wawrzyniak, Jarosław; Zieliński, Piotr; Bańbura, Jerzy

    2014-12-01

    The impact of climatic changes on life cycles by re-scheduling the timing of reproduction is an important topic in studies of biodiversity. Global warming causes and will probably cause in the future not only raising temperatures but also an increasing frequency of extreme weather events. In 2013, the winter in central and north Europe ended late, with low temperatures and long-retained snow cover—this extreme weather phenomenon acted in opposition to the increasing temperature trend. In 2013, thermal conditions measured by the warmth sum in the period 15 March-15 April, a critical time for early breeding passerines, went far beyond the range of the warmth sums for at least 40 preceding years. Regardless of what was the reason for the extreme early spring 2013 and assuming that there is a potential for more atypical years because of climate change, we should look closely at every extreme phenomenon and its consequences for the phenology of organisms. In this paper, we report that the prolonged occurrence of winter conditions during the time that is crucial for Blue Tit ( Cyanistes caeruleus) and Great Tit ( Parus major) reproduction caused a substantial delay in the onset of egg laying in comparison with typical springs.

  17. Extreme weather event in spring 2013 delayed breeding time of Great Tit and Blue Tit.

    PubMed

    Glądalski, Michał; Bańbura, Mirosława; Kaliński, Adam; Markowski, Marcin; Skwarska, Joanna; Wawrzyniak, Jarosław; Zieliński, Piotr; Bańbura, Jerzy

    2014-12-01

    The impact of climatic changes on life cycles by re-scheduling the timing of reproduction is an important topic in studies of biodiversity. Global warming causes and will probably cause in the future not only raising temperatures but also an increasing frequency of extreme weather events. In 2013, the winter in central and north Europe ended late, with low temperatures and long-retained snow cover--this extreme weather phenomenon acted in opposition to the increasing temperature trend. In 2013, thermal conditions measured by the warmth sum in the period 15 March–15 April, a critical time for early breeding passerines, went far beyond the range of the warmth sums for at least 40 preceding years. Regardless of what was the reason for the extreme early spring 2013 and assuming that there is a potential for more atypical years because of climate change, we should look closely at every extreme phenomenon and its consequences for the phenology of organisms. In this paper, we report that the prolonged occurrence of winter conditions during the time that is crucial for Blue Tit (Cyanistes caeruleus) and Great Tit (Parus major) reproduction caused a substantial delay in the onset of egg laying in comparison with typical springs.

  18. Corticosterone metabolites in blue tit and pied flycatcher droppings: effects of brood size, ectoparasites and temperature.

    PubMed

    Lobato, Elisa; Merino, Santiago; Moreno, Juan; Morales, Judith; Tomás, Gustavo; Martínez-de la Puente, Josué; Osorno, José Luis; Kuchar, Alexandra; Möstl, Erich

    2008-01-01

    The hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis of birds induces the secretion of corticosterone (CORT) as a response to different ecological variables. In this study we tested experimentally if manipulations of brood size or ectoparasitism led to subsequent differences in the concentration of excreted CORT metabolites of adult and nestling blue tits (Cyanistes caeruleus). No significant effect of the manipulation of brood size was detected in adults or nestlings. No significant effect of ectoparasitism was detected in males or nestlings, although females from uninfested nests showed lower concentrations of excreted CORT metabolites. In addition, we analysed if weather conditions had an influence on the concentration of excreted CORT metabolites of blue tits and pied flycatchers (Ficedula hypoleuca) breeding in the same forest. We detected no effect of weather conditions on adults, but nestlings of both species showed a negative correlation between their excreted CORT metabolites and the average mean temperatures they were subjected to during their growth. This effect was not found in blue tits in a colder year, suggesting that the sensitivity of the HPA axis to ambient temperature may be subjected to interannual variation. Moreover, we found a positive effect of the maximum temperature on the day of sampling on the concentration of CORT metabolites of blue tit nestlings in one of the years. These results suggest that weather conditions may act as environmental stressors to which the HPA axis of blue tit and pied flycatcher nestlings may be sensitive.

  19. Spatial and temporal variation of lead, cadmium, and zinc in feathers of great tit and blue tit nestlings in Central Poland.

    PubMed

    Markowski, Marcin; Bańbura, Mirosława; Kaliński, Adam; Markowski, Janusz; Skwarska, Joanna; Wawrzyniak, Jarosław; Zieliński, Piotr; Bańbura, Jerzy

    2014-11-01

    In this study, we examined heavy-metal concentrations in feathers of nestling great tits Parus major and blue tits Cyanistes caeruleus at two different sites (urban parkland vs. deciduous forest) located in the Łódź agglomeration in relation to interyear variation. We found that tit species did not differ significantly in lead and cadmium concentrations. Zinc concentration was significantly higher in blue tits. We also found that lead and cadmium levels in blue tit nestlings and the level of lead in great tit nestlings were higher in the parkland site than in the woodland site. We explain habitat variation in heavy-metal concentrations in feathers of nestlings by different levels of contamination at study sites. For both tit species, significant variation in heavy-metal amounts accumulated by nestlings was found between years with the lowest value in a year with the lowest value of rainfall. We suggest that the interyear variation may be accounted for by differences in rainfall, thus influencing quantities of trace elements bioavailable in the environment.

  20. Nocturnal body temperature in wintering blue tits is affected by roost-site temperature and body reserves.

    PubMed

    Nord, Andreas; Nilsson, Johan F; Nilsson, J-Å

    2011-09-01

    Birds commonly use rest-phase hypothermia, a controlled reduction of body temperature (T(b)), to conserve energy during times of high metabolic demands. We assessed the flexibility of this heterothermic strategy by increasing roost-site temperature and recording the subsequent T(b) changes in wintering blue tits (Cyanistes caeruleus L.), assuming that blue tits would respond to treatment by increasing T(b). We found that birds increased T(b) when roost-site temperature was increased, but only at low ambient temperatures. Moreover, birds with larger fat reserves regulated T(b) at higher levels than birds carrying less fat. This result implies that a roosting blue tit maintains its T(b) at the highest affordable level, as determined by the interacting effect of ecophysiological costs associated with rest-phase hypothermia and energy reserves, in order to minimize potential fitness costs associated with a low T(b).

  1. Effects of extreme thermal conditions on plasticity in breeding phenology and double-broodedness of Great Tits and Blue Tits in central Poland in 2013 and 2014

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Glądalski, Michał; Bańbura, Mirosława; Kaliński, Adam; Markowski, Marcin; Skwarska, Joanna; Wawrzyniak, Jarosław; Zieliński, Piotr; Bańbura, Jerzy

    2016-11-01

    Many avian species in Europe breed earlier as a result of higher temperatures caused by global climate changes. Climate change means not only higher temperatures but also more frequent extreme weather events, sometimes contrasting with the long-term trends. It was suggested that we should look closely at every extreme phenomenon and its consequences for the phenology of organisms. Examining the limits of phenotypic plasticity may be an important goal for future research. Extremely low spring temperatures in 2013 (coldest spring in 40 years) resulted in birds laying unusually late, and it was followed in 2014 by the earliest breeding season on record (warmest spring in 40 years). Here, we present results concerning breeding phenology and double-broodedness in the Great Tit ( Parus major) and the Blue Tit ( Cyanistes caeruleus) in 2013 and 2014 in an urban parkland and a deciduous forest in central Poland. Great Tits started laying eggs 18.2 days later in 2013 than in 2014 in the parkland, whereas the analogous difference was 21.1 days in the forest. Blue Tits started laying eggs in the parkland 18.5 days later in 2013 than in 2014, while the analogous difference was 21.6 days in the forest. The difference in the proportion of second clutches in Great Tits between 2013 (fewer second clutches) and 2014 (more second clutches) was highly significant in the parkland and in the forest. This rather large extent of breeding plasticity has developed in reaction to challenges of irregular inter-annual variability of climatic conditions. Such a buffer of plasticity may be sufficient for Blue Tits and Great Tits to adjust the timing of breeding to the upcoming climate changes.

  2. Effects of extreme thermal conditions on plasticity in breeding phenology and double-broodedness of Great Tits and Blue Tits in central Poland in 2013 and 2014.

    PubMed

    Glądalski, Michał; Bańbura, Mirosława; Kaliński, Adam; Markowski, Marcin; Skwarska, Joanna; Wawrzyniak, Jarosław; Zieliński, Piotr; Bańbura, Jerzy

    2016-11-01

    Many avian species in Europe breed earlier as a result of higher temperatures caused by global climate changes. Climate change means not only higher temperatures but also more frequent extreme weather events, sometimes contrasting with the long-term trends. It was suggested that we should look closely at every extreme phenomenon and its consequences for the phenology of organisms. Examining the limits of phenotypic plasticity may be an important goal for future research. Extremely low spring temperatures in 2013 (coldest spring in 40 years) resulted in birds laying unusually late, and it was followed in 2014 by the earliest breeding season on record (warmest spring in 40 years). Here, we present results concerning breeding phenology and double-broodedness in the Great Tit (Parus major) and the Blue Tit (Cyanistes caeruleus) in 2013 and 2014 in an urban parkland and a deciduous forest in central Poland. Great Tits started laying eggs 18.2 days later in 2013 than in 2014 in the parkland, whereas the analogous difference was 21.1 days in the forest. Blue Tits started laying eggs in the parkland 18.5 days later in 2013 than in 2014, while the analogous difference was 21.6 days in the forest. The difference in the proportion of second clutches in Great Tits between 2013 (fewer second clutches) and 2014 (more second clutches) was highly significant in the parkland and in the forest. This rather large extent of breeding plasticity has developed in reaction to challenges of irregular inter-annual variability of climatic conditions. Such a buffer of plasticity may be sufficient for Blue Tits and Great Tits to adjust the timing of breeding to the upcoming climate changes.

  3. Eggshell spottiness reflects maternally transferred antibodies in blue tits.

    PubMed

    Holveck, Marie-Jeanne; Grégoire, Arnaud; Staszewski, Vincent; Guerreiro, Romain; Perret, Philippe; Boulinier, Thierry; Doutrelant, Claire

    2012-01-01

    Blue-green and brown-spotted eggshells in birds have been proposed as sexual signals of female physiological condition and egg quality, reflecting maternal investment in the egg. Testing this hypothesis requires linking eggshell coloration to egg content, which is lacking for brown protoporphyrin-based pigmentation. As protoporphyrins can induce oxidative stress, and a large amount in eggshells should indicate either high female and egg quality if it reflects the female's high oxidative tolerance, or conversely poor quality if it reflects female physiological stress. Different studies supported either predictions but are difficult to compare given the methodological differences in eggshell-spottiness measurements. Using the blue tit Cyanistes caeruleus as a model species, we aimed at disentangling both predictions in testing if brown-spotted eggshell could reflect the quality of maternal investment in antibodies and carotenoids in the egg, and at improving between-study comparisons in correlating several common measurements of eggshell coloration (spectral and digital measures, spotted surface, pigmentation indices). We found that these color variables were weakly correlated highlighting the need for comparable quantitative measurements between studies and for multivariate regressions incorporating several eggshell-color characteristics. When evaluating the potential signaling function of brown-spotted eggshells, we thus searched for the brown eggshell-color variables that best predicted the maternal transfer of antibodies and carotenoids to egg yolks. We also tested the effects of several parental traits and breeding parameters potentially affecting this transfer. While eggshell coloration did not relate to yolk carotenoids, the eggs with larger and less evenly-distributed spots had higher antibody concentrations, suggesting that both the quantity and distribution of brown pigments reflected the transfer of maternal immune compounds in egg yolks. As yolk antibody

  4. Eggshell Spottiness Reflects Maternally Transferred Antibodies in Blue Tits

    PubMed Central

    Holveck, Marie-Jeanne; Grégoire, Arnaud; Staszewski, Vincent; Guerreiro, Romain; Perret, Philippe; Boulinier, Thierry; Doutrelant, Claire

    2012-01-01

    Blue-green and brown-spotted eggshells in birds have been proposed as sexual signals of female physiological condition and egg quality, reflecting maternal investment in the egg. Testing this hypothesis requires linking eggshell coloration to egg content, which is lacking for brown protoporphyrin-based pigmentation. As protoporphyrins can induce oxidative stress, and a large amount in eggshells should indicate either high female and egg quality if it reflects the female's high oxidative tolerance, or conversely poor quality if it reflects female physiological stress. Different studies supported either predictions but are difficult to compare given the methodological differences in eggshell-spottiness measurements. Using the blue tit Cyanistes caeruleus as a model species, we aimed at disentangling both predictions in testing if brown-spotted eggshell could reflect the quality of maternal investment in antibodies and carotenoids in the egg, and at improving between-study comparisons in correlating several common measurements of eggshell coloration (spectral and digital measures, spotted surface, pigmentation indices). We found that these color variables were weakly correlated highlighting the need for comparable quantitative measurements between studies and for multivariate regressions incorporating several eggshell-color characteristics. When evaluating the potential signaling function of brown-spotted eggshells, we thus searched for the brown eggshell-color variables that best predicted the maternal transfer of antibodies and carotenoids to egg yolks. We also tested the effects of several parental traits and breeding parameters potentially affecting this transfer. While eggshell coloration did not relate to yolk carotenoids, the eggs with larger and less evenly-distributed spots had higher antibody concentrations, suggesting that both the quantity and distribution of brown pigments reflected the transfer of maternal immune compounds in egg yolks. As yolk antibody

  5. Brighter yellow blue tits make better parents.

    PubMed Central

    Senar, J C; Figuerola, J; Pascual, J

    2002-01-01

    Whether or not bird ornaments are a signal for direct (e.g. good parents) or indirect (e.g. good genes) benefits to prospective partners in sexual selection is controversial. Carotene coloration in Parus species is directly related to the ingestion of caterpillars, so that a brightly carotene-coloured tit may be signalling its ability to find caterpillars, a main high-quality food source for good fledgling development, and hence its parental abilities. If carotene-based plumage coloration is related to the good-parent hypothesis, we predict that yellow plumage brightness of tit fathers should be positively correlated to their investment in offspring provisioning. Here, we use cross-fostering experiments in blue tits (Parus caeruleus) to show that chick development (as measured by tarsus length) is related to yellowness of the foster father, but not to that of the genetic parents. Using these data, we were able to measure, for the first time to our knowledge, the separate contribution of genetic and environmental factors (i.e. parental plumage coloration) to chick development, and hence parental investment. Our data, which relate carotenoid coloration to models of good parents, and data from other authors, which relate ultraviolet coloration to good-genes models, stress that different kinds of coloration within an individual may provide different units of information to prospective females. PMID:11839194

  6. Patterns and dynamics of rest-phase hypothermia in wild and captive blue tits during winter.

    PubMed

    Nord, Andreas; Nilsson, Johan F; Sandell, Maria I; Nilsson, Jan-Ake

    2009-08-01

    We evaluated biotic and abiotic predictors of rest-phase hypothermia in wintering blue tits (Cyanistes caeruleus) and also assessed how food availability influences nightly thermoregulation. On any given night, captive blue tits (with unrestricted access to food) remained largely homeothermic, whereas free-ranging birds decreased their body temperature (T(b)) by about 5 degrees C. This was not an effect of increased stress in the aviary as we found no difference in circulating corticosterone between groups. Nocturnal T(b) in free-ranging birds varied with ambient temperature, date and time. Conversely, T(b) in captive birds could not be explained by climatic or temporal factors, but differed slightly between the sexes. We argue that the degree of hypothermia is controlled predominantly by birds' ability to obtain sufficient energy reserves during the day. However, environmental factors became increasingly important for thermoregulation when resources were limited. Moreover, as birds did not enter hypothermia in captivity when food was abundant, we suggest that this strategy has associated costs and hence is avoided whenever resource levels permit.

  7. MHC class II B diversity in blue tits: a preliminary study

    PubMed Central

    Aguilar, Juan Rivero-de; Schut, Elske; Merino, Santiago; Martínez, Javier; Komdeur, Jan; Westerdahl, Helena

    2013-01-01

    In this study, we partly characterize major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class II B in the blue tit (Cyanistes caeruleus). A total of 22 individuals from three different European locations: Spain, The Netherlands, and Sweden were screened for MHC allelic diversity. The MHC genes were investigated using both PCR-based methods and unamplified genomic DNA with restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) and southern blots. A total of 13 different exon 2 sequences were obtained independently from DNA and/or RNA, thus confirming gene transcription and likely functionality of the genes. Nine out of 13 alleles were found in more than one country, and two alleles appeared in all countries. Positive selection was detected in the region coding for the peptide binding region (PBR). A maximum of three alleles per individual was detected by sequencing and the RFLP pattern consisted of 4–7 fragments, indicating a minimum number of 2–4 loci per individual. A phylogenetic analysis, demonstrated that the blue tit sequences are divergent compared to sequences from other passerines resembling a different MHC lineage than those possessed by most passerines studied to date. PMID:23919136

  8. Population genomic footprints of fine-scale differentiation between habitats in Mediterranean blue tits.

    PubMed

    Szulkin, M; Gagnaire, P-A; Bierne, N; Charmantier, A

    2016-01-01

    Linking population genetic variation to the spatial heterogeneity of the environment is of fundamental interest to evolutionary biology and ecology, in particular when phenotypic differences between populations are observed at biologically small spatial scales. Here, we applied restriction-site associated DNA sequencing (RAD-Seq) to test whether phenotypically differentiated populations of wild blue tits (Cyanistes caeruleus) breeding in a highly heterogeneous environment exhibit genetic structure related to habitat type. Using 12 106 SNPs in 197 individuals from deciduous and evergreen oak woodlands, we applied complementary population genomic analyses, which revealed that genetic variation is influenced by both geographical distance and habitat type. A fine-scale genetic differentiation supported by genome- and transcriptome-wide analyses was found within Corsica, between two adjacent habitats where blue tits exhibit marked differences in breeding time while nesting < 6 km apart. Using redundancy analysis (RDA), we show that genomic variation remains associated with habitat type when controlling for spatial and temporal effects. Finally, our results suggest that the observed patterns of genomic differentiation were not driven by a small proportion of highly differentiated loci, but rather emerged through a process such as habitat choice, which reduces gene flow between habitats across the entire genome. The pattern of genomic isolation-by-environment closely matches differentiation observed at the phenotypic level, thereby offering significant potential for future inference of phenotype-genotype associations in a heterogeneous environment.

  9. Split-second escape decisions in blue tits (Parus caeruleus)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lind, Johan; Kaby, Ulrika; Jakobsson, Sven

    2002-07-01

    Bird mortality is heavily affected by birds of prey. Under attack, take-off is crucial for survival and even minor mistakes in initial escape response can have devastating consequences. Birds may respond differently depending on the character of the predator's attack and these split-second decisions were studied using a model merlin (Falco columbarius) that attacked feeding blue tits (Parus caeruleus) from two different attack angles in two different speeds. When attacked from a low attack angle they took off more steeply than when attacked from a high angle. This is the first study to show that escape behaviour also depends on predator attack speed. The blue tits responded to a high-speed attack by dodging sideways more often than when attacked at a low speed. Escape speed was not significantly affected by the different treatments. Although they have only a split-second before escaping an attack, blue tits do adjust their escape strategy to the prevailing attack conditions.

  10. Split-second escape decisions in blue tits (Parus caeruleus).

    PubMed

    Lind, Johan; Kaby, Ulrika; Jakobsson, Sven

    2002-09-01

    Bird mortality is heavily affected by birds of prey. Under attack, take-off is crucial for survival and even minor mistakes in initial escape response can have devastating consequences. Birds may respond differently depending on the character of the predator's attack and these split-second decisions were studied using a model merlin (Falco columbarius) that attacked feeding blue tits (Parus caeruleus) from two different attack angles in two different speeds. When attacked from a low attack angle they took off more steeply than when attacked from a high angle. This is the first study to show that escape behaviour also depends on predator attack speed. The blue tits responded to a high-speed attack by dodging sideways more often than when attacked at a low speed. Escape speed was not significantly affected by the different treatments. Although they have only a split-second before escaping an attack, blue tits do adjust their escape strategy to the prevailing attack conditions.

  11. Aromatic herbs in Corsican blue tit nests: The 'Potpourri' hypothesis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lambrechts, Marcel M.; Dos Santos, Anabelle

    2000-05-01

    This study reports that Corsican blue tit ( Parus caeruleus ogliastrae) nests contain between one to five aromatic herb species between the onset of egg laying till the chicks' finished growth 13 d after hatching. An herb removal experiment during the chick stage shows that blue tits bring fresh aromatic material 1-5 d after herb removal. Nests with a series of distinct odour classes easily perceived by humans have never been reported in birds. A new 'Potpourri' hypothesis is proposed that may explain the functional significance of this behaviour.

  12. Assortative mating by colored ornaments in blue tits: space and time matter.

    PubMed

    Fargevieille, Amélie; Grégoire, Arnaud; Charmantier, Anne; Del Rey Granado, Maria; Doutrelant, Claire

    2017-04-01

    Assortative mating is a potential outcome of sexual selection, and estimating its level is important to better understand local adaptation and underlying trait evolution. However, assortative mating studies frequently base their conclusions on small numbers of individuals sampled over short periods of time and limited spatial scales even though spatiotemporal variation is common. Here, we characterized assortative mating patterns over 10 years in four populations of the blue tit (Cyanistes caeruleus), a passerine bird. We focused on two plumage ornaments-the blue crown and the yellow breast patch. Based on data for 1,657 pairs of birds, we found large interannual variation: assortative mating varied from positive to negative. To determine whether there was nonetheless a general trend in the data, we ran a within-study meta-analysis. It revealed that assortative mating was moderately positive for both ornaments. It also showed that mating patterns differed among populations and especially between two neighboring populations that displayed phenotypic divergence. Our results therefore underscore that long-term studies are needed to draw broad conclusions about mating patterns in natural populations. They also call for studying the potential role of assortative mating in local adaptation and evolution of ornaments in both sexes.

  13. Incubation temperature affects growth and energy metabolism in blue tit nestlings.

    PubMed

    Nord, Andreas; Nilsson, Jan-Åke

    2011-11-01

    Because the maintenance of proper developmental temperatures during avian incubation is costly to parents, embryos of many species experience pronounced variation in incubation temperature. However, the effects of such temperature variation on nestling development remain relatively unexplored. To investigate this, we artificially incubated wild blue tit (Cyanistes caeruleus L.) clutches at 35.0°, 36.5°, or 38.0°C for two-thirds of the incubation period. We returned clutches to their original nests before hatching and subsequently recorded nestling growth and resting metabolic rate. The length of the incubation period decreased with temperature, whereas hatching success increased. Nestlings from the lowest incubation temperature group had shorter tarsus lengths at 2 weeks of age, but body mass and wing length were not affected by temperature. In addition, nestlings from the lowest temperature group had a significantly higher resting metabolic rate compared with mid- and high-temperature nestlings, which may partly explain observed size differences between the groups. These findings suggest that nest microclimate can influence nestling phenotype, but whether observed differences carry over to later life-history stages remains unknown.

  14. Local weather conditions have complex effects on the growth of blue tit nestlings.

    PubMed

    Mainwaring, Mark C; Hartley, Ian R

    2016-08-01

    Adverse weather conditions are expected to result in impaired nestling development in birds, but empirical studies have provided equivocal support for such a relationship. This may be because the negative effects of adverse weather conditions are masked by parental effects. Globally, ambient temperatures, rainfall levels and wind speeds are all expected to increase in a changing climate and so there is a need for a better understanding of the relationship between weather conditions and nestling growth. Here, we describe a correlative study that examined the relationships between local temperatures, rainfall levels and wind speeds and the growth of individual blue tit (Cyanistes caeruleus) nestlings in relation to their hatching order and sex. We found that changes in a range of morphological characters were negatively related to both temperature and wind speed, but positively related to rainfall. These patterns were further influenced by the hatching order of the nestlings but not by nestling sex. This suggests that the predicted changes in local weather conditions may have complex effects on nestling growth, but that parents may be able to mitigate the adverse effects via adaptive parental effects. We therefore conclude that local weather conditions have complex effects on avian growth and the implications for patterns of avian growth in a changing climate are discussed. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. Early Birds by Light at Night: Effects of Light Color and Intensity on Daily Activity Patterns in Blue Tits.

    PubMed

    de Jong, Maaike; Caro, Samuel P; Gienapp, Phillip; Spoelstra, Kamiel; Visser, Marcel E

    2017-08-01

    Artificial light at night disturbs the daily rhythms of many organisms. To what extent this disturbance depends on the intensity and spectral composition of light remain obscure. Here, we measured daily activity patterns of captive blue tits ( Cyanistes caeruleus) exposed to similar intensities of green, red, or white light at night. Birds advanced their onset of activity in the morning under all light colors but more under red and white light than under green light. Offset of activity was slightly delayed in all light colors. The total activity over a 24-h period did not change but birds moved a part of their daily activity into the night. Since the effect of red and white lights are comparable, we tested the influence of light intensity in a follow-up experiment, where we compared the activity of the birds under different intensities of green and white light only. While in the higher range of intensities, the effects of white and green light were comparable; at lower intensities, green light had a less disturbing effect as compared with white light on daily rhythms in blue tits. Our results show that the extent of this disturbance can be mitigated by modulating the spectral characteristics and intensity of outdoor lighting, which is now feasible through the use of LED lighting.

  16. Female plumage coloration is sensitive to the cost of reproduction. An experiment in blue tits.

    PubMed

    Doutrelant, Claire; Grégoire, Arnaud; Midamegbe, Afiwa; Lambrechts, Marcel; Perret, Philippe

    2012-01-01

    1. A growing number of studies suggest that female ornaments are linked to maternal quality and influence male mate choice. These findings challenge the traditional male-biased view of sexual selection and the hypothesis that female ornaments are the outcome of a genetic correlation with male ornaments. To further test the hypothesis that female traits have a function, it is now essential to investigate their honesty and to determine how signalling and reproduction interact in females. If female traits are honest indicators of quality, then they are likely to have a specific signalling function. 2. We investigated whether carry-over effects of reproduction might ensure the honesty of plumage colour signalling of a bird species with conspicuous UV-blue and yellow coloration, the blue tit Cyanistes caeruleus. Reproductive effort was manipulated by removing clutches, thereby forcing both sexes to reproduce twice and to raise chicks later in the breeding season when food is less abundant. In the year following this manipulation, we investigated the change in plumage in experimental and control males and females. The change was measured in the two putative feather ornaments, the UV-blue cap and the yellow breast, and another feather trait probably less likely to be sexually selected: the wing length. We also tested whether higher-quality females had their coloration less affected by the experiment. 3. We found that control but not manipulated males and females increased their signal towards UV. In addition, in the manipulated group, females that were able to lay more eggs had their UV-blue coloration less affected by the treatment. For yellow coloration, we found that manipulated yearlings but not manipulated adults decreased their yellow chroma in comparison with control. Lastly, our results show that the condition of the manipulated females tended to be positively correlated with yellow chroma. 4. These results show that the trade-offs between reproduction and

  17. Effects of competition on great and blue tit reproduction: intensity and importance in relation to habitat quality.

    PubMed

    Dhondt, André A

    2010-01-01

    1. In studies on the effect of competition in plant communities two terms are used to describe its effects: the absolute reduction in growth of an individual as a consequence of the presence of another one is called intensity, while the relative impact of competition on an individual as a proportion of the impact of the whole environment is called importance. One school of thought is that the role of competition remains constant across productivity gradients, while the other is that it decreases with increasing severity. J.B. Grace (1991. A clarification of the debate between grime and tilman. Functional Ecology, 5, 583-587.) suggested that the apparent contradiction might be solved if we acknowledge that the two schools are discussing different aspects of competition: the intensity of competition might remain constant while its importance declines with increasing severity. 2. There are no studies that compare intensity and importance of competition in bird populations between areas that differ in quality or productivity and hence it is not possible to make predictions how intensity or importance of competition would vary between them. 3. I compared variation in intensity and importance of competition of three demographic variables between five plots that differ strongly in quality for great Parus major L. and blue tit Cyanistes caeruleus (L.). 4. Both intensity and importance of competition are larger in great than in blue tit populations meaning that the effect of competition on demographic variables is stronger in great than in blue tits and that the contribution of competition to variation in these variables is relatively higher in great than in blue tits. 5. Intensity of competition is higher in low quality than in high quality plots for both species, a result not expected from studies in plant communities. 6. Importance of competition varies strongly between plots. It is larger in oak-dominated plots than in mixed deciduous plots. 7. In birds breeding density

  18. What do we really know about the signalling role of plumage colour in blue tits? A case study of impediments to progress in evolutionary biology.

    PubMed

    Parker, Timothy H

    2013-08-01

    Evolutionary biologists seek to explain the origin and maintenance of phenotypes, and a substantial portion of this research is accomplished by thorough study of individual species. For instance, many researchers study individual species to understand evolution of ornamental traits which appear to be products of sexual selection. I explored our understanding of sexual ornaments in a well-studied vertebrate species that may serve as a case study for research programs in evolutionary biology. I attempted to located all published papers examining plumage colour and variables related to sexual selection hypotheses in a common European songbird, the blue tit (Cyanistes caeruleus). Researchers have estimated over 1200 statistical relationships with plumage colour of blue tits in 52 studies. However, of the approximately 1000 main-effect relationships from the 48 studies that are candidates for inclusion in this meta-analysis, more than 400 were reported without details of strength and direction. Circumstantial evidence suggests that an unknown number of other estimated effects remain unpublished. Missing information is a substantial barrier to interpretation of these papers and to meta-analytic synthesis. Examination and analysis of funnel plots indicated that unpublished effects may be a biased sample of all effects, especially for comparisons of plumage colour to age and individual quality, and possibly also to measures of mate choice. Further, type I error was likely elevated by the large number of statistical comparisons evaluated, the frequent use of iterative model-building procedures, and a willingness to interpret a wide variety of results as support for a hypothesis. Type I errors were made more problematic because blue tit plumage researchers only rarely have attempted to replicate important findings in their own work or that of others. Replication is essential to drawing robust scientific conclusions, especially in probabilistic systems with moderate to weak

  19. Energy Reserves, Information Need and a Pinch of Personality Determine Decision-Making on Route in Partially Migratory Blue Tits

    PubMed Central

    Nilsson, Jan-Åke; Mettke-Hofmann, Claudia

    2016-01-01

    In facultative partial migrants some individuals in a population are migratory and others are resident and individuals decide each year anew which strategy to choose. While the proportion of birds migrating is in part determined by environmental conditions and competitive abilities, the timing of individual departure and behaviours on route are little understood. Individuals encounter different environmental conditions when migrating earlier or later. Based on cost/ benefit considerations we tested whether behaviours on route were affected by time constraints, personality and/or age in a partially migrating population of Blue tits (Cyanistes caeruleus). We captured female Blue tits on migration at the Southern tip of Sweden during early, peak and late migration and measured latency to feed in an unfamiliar environment, exploration of a novel object and hesitation to feed beside a novel object (neophobia). Lean birds and birds with long wings started feeding earlier when released into the cage indicating that foraging decisions were mainly determined by energetic needs (lean and large birds). However, juveniles commenced feeding later with progression of the migratory season in concordance with predictions about personality effects. Furthermore, lean birds started to explore earlier than birds with larger fat reserves again indicating an effect of maintaining threshold energy reserves. Moreover, late migrating juveniles, started to explore earlier than early migrating juveniles possibly due to time constraints to find high-quality foraging patches or a suitable winter home. Finally, neophobia did not change over the migratory season indicating that this behaviour is not compromised by time constraints. The results overall indicate that decisions on route are mainly governed by energetic requirements and current needs to learn about the environment and only to a small extent by differences in personality. PMID:27732602

  20. MHC-I affects infection intensity but not infection status with a frequent avian malaria parasite in blue tits.

    PubMed

    Westerdahl, Helena; Stjernman, Martin; Råberg, Lars; Lannefors, Mimi; Nilsson, Jan-Åke

    2013-01-01

    Host resistance against parasites depends on three aspects: the ability to prevent, control and clear infections. In vertebrates the immune system consists of innate and adaptive immunity. Innate immunity is particularly important for preventing infection and eradicating established infections at an early stage while adaptive immunity is slow, but powerful, and essential for controlling infection intensities and eventually clearing infections. Major Histocompatibility Complex (MHC) molecules are central in adaptive immunity, and studies on parasite resistance and MHC in wild animals have found effects on both infection intensity (parasite load) and infection status (infected or not). It seems MHC can affect both the ability to control infection intensities and the ability to clear infections. However, these two aspects have rarely been considered simultaneously, and their relative importance in natural populations is therefore unclear. Here we investigate if MHC class I genotype affects infection intensity and infection status with a frequent avian malaria infection Haemoproteus majoris in a natural population of blue tits Cyanistes caeruleus. We found a significant negative association between a single MHC allele and infection intensity but no association with infection status. Blue tits that carry a specific MHC allele seem able to suppress H. majoris infection intensity, while we have no evidence that this allele also has an effect on clearance of the H. majoris infection, a result that is in contrast with some previous studies of MHC and avian malaria. A likely explanation could be that the clearance rate of avian malaria parasites differs between avian malaria lineages and/or between avian hosts.

  1. Energy Reserves, Information Need and a Pinch of Personality Determine Decision-Making on Route in Partially Migratory Blue Tits.

    PubMed

    Nilsson, Anna L K; Nilsson, Jan-Åke; Mettke-Hofmann, Claudia

    2016-01-01

    In facultative partial migrants some individuals in a population are migratory and others are resident and individuals decide each year anew which strategy to choose. While the proportion of birds migrating is in part determined by environmental conditions and competitive abilities, the timing of individual departure and behaviours on route are little understood. Individuals encounter different environmental conditions when migrating earlier or later. Based on cost/ benefit considerations we tested whether behaviours on route were affected by time constraints, personality and/or age in a partially migrating population of Blue tits (Cyanistes caeruleus). We captured female Blue tits on migration at the Southern tip of Sweden during early, peak and late migration and measured latency to feed in an unfamiliar environment, exploration of a novel object and hesitation to feed beside a novel object (neophobia). Lean birds and birds with long wings started feeding earlier when released into the cage indicating that foraging decisions were mainly determined by energetic needs (lean and large birds). However, juveniles commenced feeding later with progression of the migratory season in concordance with predictions about personality effects. Furthermore, lean birds started to explore earlier than birds with larger fat reserves again indicating an effect of maintaining threshold energy reserves. Moreover, late migrating juveniles, started to explore earlier than early migrating juveniles possibly due to time constraints to find high-quality foraging patches or a suitable winter home. Finally, neophobia did not change over the migratory season indicating that this behaviour is not compromised by time constraints. The results overall indicate that decisions on route are mainly governed by energetic requirements and current needs to learn about the environment and only to a small extent by differences in personality.

  2. Testing for associations between candidate genes for circadian rhythms and individual variation in sleep behaviour in blue tits.

    PubMed

    Steinmeyer, C; Kempenaers, B; Mueller, J C

    2012-06-01

    The regulation of sleep in animals is controlled by environmental factors, homeostatic mechanisms and endogenous circadian oscillators. The molecular mechanisms underlying such circadian oscillators have been described in detail and a variety of genes that are components of these molecular clocks have been reported. In addition to inter-specific variation in the temporal organization of sleep, there is significant intra-specific variation in different organisms. From numerous studies in humans it is known that polymorphisms in the regulatory clock genes are causing such variation but knowledge about associations between naturally occurring polymorphisms and sleep patterns in wild animals is scarce. In this study, we investigated the phenotypic sleep correlates of eleven previously described polymorphisms in seven candidate genes within a free-living blue tit Cyanistes caeruleus population. We detected associations between four single nucleotide polymorphisms and three of the nine tested sleep parameters representing temporal organization. Awakening time was associated with polymorphisms in AANAT and PERIOD2, morning latency with a polymorphism in CKIε and the duration of the longest sleep bout with a second polymorphism in AANAT. However, by a permutation procedure we showed that the number of significant results and the most significant association has a study-wide likelihood of 46.7 and 5.9 % respectively. Further replication studies are needed to evaluate the potential associations.

  3. Conserved G-matrices of morphological and life-history traits among continental and island blue tit populations.

    PubMed

    Delahaie, B; Charmantier, A; Chantepie, S; Garant, D; Porlier, M; Teplitsky, C

    2017-08-01

    The genetic variance-covariance matrix (G-matrix) summarizes the genetic architecture of multiple traits. It has a central role in the understanding of phenotypic divergence and the quantification of the evolutionary potential of populations. Laboratory experiments have shown that G-matrices can vary rapidly under divergent selective pressures. However, because of the demanding nature of G-matrix estimation and comparison in wild populations, the extent of its spatial variability remains largely unknown. In this study, we investigate spatial variation in G-matrices for morphological and life-history traits using long-term data sets from one continental and three island populations of blue tit (Cyanistes caeruleus) that have experienced contrasting population history and selective environment. We found no evidence for differences in G-matrices among populations. Interestingly, the phenotypic variance-covariance matrices (P) were divergent across populations, suggesting that using P as a substitute for G may be inadequate. These analyses also provide the first evidence in wild populations for additive genetic variation in the incubation period (that is, the period between last egg laid and hatching) in all four populations. Altogether, our results suggest that G-matrices may be stable across populations inhabiting contrasted environments, therefore challenging the results of previous simulation studies and laboratory experiments.

  4. Conserved G-matrices of morphological and life-history traits among continental and island blue tit populations

    PubMed Central

    Delahaie, Boris; Charmantier, Anne; Chantepie, Stéphane; Garant, Dany; Porlier, Mélody; Teplitsky, Céline

    2017-01-01

    The genetic variance-covariance matrix (G-matrix) summarizes the genetic architecture of multiple traits. It has a central role in the understanding of phenotypic divergence and the quantification of the evolutionary potential of populations. Laboratory experiments have shown that G-matrices can vary rapidly under divergent selective pressures. However, due to the demanding nature of G-matrix estimation and comparison in wild populations, the extent of its spatial variability remains largely unknown. In this study, we investigate spatial variation in G-matrices for morphological and life-history traits using long-term data sets from one continental and three island populations of Blue tit (Cyanistes caeruleus), which have experienced contrasting population history and selective environment. We found no evidence for differences in G-matrices among populations. Interestingly, the phenotypic variance-covariance matrices (P) were divergent across populations, suggesting that using P as a substitute for G may be inadequate. These analyses also provide the first evidence in wild populations for additive genetic variation in the incubation period (i.e. the period between last egg laid and hatching) in all four populations. Altogether, our results suggest that G-matrices may be stable across populations inhabiting contrasted environments therefore challenging the results of previous simulation studies and laboratory experiments. PMID:28402327

  5. Fat provisioning in winter impairs egg production during the following spring: a landscape-scale study of blue tits.

    PubMed

    Plummer, Kate E; Bearhop, Stuart; Leech, David I; Chamberlain, Dan E; Blount, Jonathan D

    2013-05-01

    1. Provisioning of garden birds is a growing phenomenon, particularly during winter, but there is little empirical evidence of its true ecological impacts. One possibility is that winter provisioning could enhance subsequent breeding performance, but this seems likely to depend on the types of nutrients provided. For example, whereas effects of macronutrients such as fat are unlikely to be carried over to influence breeding in small passerines, micronutrients such as dietary vitamin E (an antioxidant) may be stored or have lasting health benefits. 2. Here, we examine the carry-over effects of winter food supplements on egg production in wild populations of blue tits (Cyanistes caeruleus). Over three consecutive years, birds were provisioned with fat, fat plus vitamin E or remained unfed (controls). 3. The provision of fat in winter resulted in smaller relative yolk mass in larger eggs and reduced yolk carotenoid concentrations in early breeders. However, these effects were not seen in birds provisioned with fat plus vitamin E. Lay date, clutch size, egg mass and yolk vitamin E concentrations were not significantly affected by winter provisioning treatment. 4. Our results indicate that winter provisioning can have important downstream consequences, in particular affecting investment in egg production several weeks or months later. 5. Provisioning is widely applied to support garden bird populations and for the conservation management of endangered species. However, our results challenge the assumption that such practices are always beneficial at the population level and emphasize how the ecological impacts can depend on the specific nutritional profile of provisioned foods.

  6. The strength of the association between heterozygosity and probability of interannual local recruitment increases with environmental harshness in blue tits.

    PubMed

    Ferrer, Esperanza S; García-Navas, Vicente; Sanz, Juan José; Ortego, Joaquín

    2016-12-01

    The extent of inbreeding depression and the magnitude of heterozygosity-fitness correlations (HFC) have been suggested to depend on the environmental context in which they are assayed, but little evidence is available for wild populations. We combine extensive molecular and capture-mark-recapture data from a blue tit (Cyanistes caeruleus) population to (1) analyze the relationship between heterozygosity and probability of interannual adult local recruitment and (2) test whether environmental stress imposed by physiologically suboptimal temperatures and rainfall influence the magnitude of HFC. To address these questions, we used two different arrays of microsatellite markers: 14 loci classified as neutral and 12 loci classified as putatively functional. We found significant relationships between heterozygosity and probability of interannual local recruitment that were most likely explained by variation in genomewide heterozygosity. The strength of the association between heterozygosity and probability of interannual local recruitment was positively associated with annual accumulated precipitation. Annual mean heterozygosity increased over time, which may have resulted from an overall positive selection on heterozygosity over the course of the study period. Finally, neutral and putatively functional loci showed similar trends, but the former had stronger effect sizes and seemed to better reflect genomewide heterozygosity. Overall, our results show that HFC can be context dependent, emphasizing the need to consider the role of environmental heterogeneity as a key factor when exploring the consequences of individual genetic diversity on fitness in natural populations.

  7. Settlement decisions in blue tits: difference in the use of social information according to age and individual success

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Parejo, Deseada; White, Joel; Danchin, Etienne

    2007-09-01

    Dispersers are expected to assess breeding habitat quality before settlement. Although cues reflecting habitat quality are well studied, social cues have not been as well evaluated. In this paper, we studied breeding habitat selection during 3 years in a natural population of blue tits, Cyanistes caeruleus, breeding in nest-boxes. Our aim was to investigate if this species used conspecific density and/or reproductive success of con- and heterospecifics (i.e., social cues) in settlement decisions. The patterns observed were consistent with the idea that juveniles, when dispersing from their natal patches, did not react to any of the cues that we tested. In contrast, breeders that dispersed seemed to respond to both conspecific mean patch reproductive success (PRS) and breeding density of the settlement patch in the year of dispersal, their response differing according to their own reproductive success. Indeed, failed breeders moved to areas with high PRS and low density relative to source patches, while successful breeders behaved the opposite. The comparison between juveniles and adults might be modulated by the limited time available to juveniles to gather information on PRS and density at the end of the dispersing year. Adults lacking these time constraints, however, seemed to rely on these conspecific cues although limited by their own quality. Additionally, breeders were more likely to be immigrants in patches with relatively low breeding success and density the previous year, suggesting that settlement is influenced by multiple cues, which may reveal information on different aspects of habitat and be available at different moments. Collectively, our results support the importance of social cues for blue tits’ settlement.

  8. Habitat fragmentation influences nestling growth in Mediterranean blue and great tits

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bueno-Enciso, Javier; Ferrer, Esperanza S.; Barrientos, Rafael; Serrano-Davies, Eva; Sanz, Juan José

    2016-01-01

    In patchy forest areas, the size of the forest patch where birds breed has a strong influence on their breeding success. However, the proximate effects contributing to lowering the breeding success in small forest patches remain unclear; and a shortage of crucial resources in those forest patches has been suggested to account in some degree for this failure. With the aim to further investigate this issue, we have monitored the breeding cycle of blue and great tits in three 'large' forest patches (ranging between 26.5 and 29.6 ha) and twelve 'small' forest patches (ranging between 1.1 and 2.1 ha) in a Mediterranean area in central Spain, during three years (2011-2013). We also recorded the nestling diet inside the nest-boxes with the aid of handy-cams. Only males significantly differed between forest patch size categories; being on average younger and with better body condition in small patches for great and blue tits respectively. Reproductive traits did not vary between forest patch size categories, but the body condition of blue tit nestlings and the size of great tit nestlings did, being significantly better and larger respectively in large forest patches. The recruitment rate of blue tit nestlings was also higher in large patches. Regarding nestling diet, blue tits did not differ but great tits did, delivering a larger amount of caterpillars in large forest patches. Most variation in the reproductive traits occurred between years, probably due to annual differences in environmental conditions. This study suggests that food supply could be limiting the breeding success of birds above all in small patches, but also in large patches under particular environmental conditions.

  9. Natural selection on immune responsiveness in blue tits Parus caeruleus.

    PubMed

    Råberg, Lars; Stjernman, Martin

    2003-07-01

    What is the form of natural selection on immune responsiveness? For a population at evolutionary equilibrium, there are two different scenarios. First, it is generally assumed that immune defense has both benefits and costs. If variation in immune responsiveness is due to variation in how individuals trade off these costs and benefits, one would expect immune responsiveness to be subject to stabilizing selection. Second, it is well known that an individual's immune responsiveness is often dependent on its overall condition. If immune responsiveness is condition-dependent, one would expect immune responsiveness to be under positive directional selection. We would therefore expect that the form of natural selection on immune responsiveness depends on the relative magnitude of these two sources of variation: variation in how individuals trade off the costs and benefits of defense, and variation in condition. We measured primary and secondary antibody responsiveness to diphtheria-tetanus vaccine in blue tits during winter and investigated the relationship between responsiveness and survival to the following breeding season. We use responsiveness to these antigens as measures of an individual's ability or propensity to mount an antibody response in case of an infection. Interestingly, different measures of responsiveness were subject to different selective regimes: primary responsiveness to diphtheria was subject to stabilizing selection, whereas secondary responsiveness to tetanus was subject to positive directional selection. In contrast, there was no significant selection on primary responsiveness to tetanus or secondary responsiveness to diphtheria. The finding of stabilizing selection on a measure of responsiveness is evidence that immune defense can incur fitness costs; a central but little-tested assumption of theories of the ecology and evolution of immunological defense. The finding of directional selection on a measure of responsiveness is consistent with the

  10. Stabilizing selection on blue tit fledgling mass in the presence of sparrowhawks

    PubMed Central

    Adriaensen, F.; Dhondt, A. A.; Dongen, S. Van; Lens, L.; Matthysen, E.

    1998-01-01

    Like British great tits, Belgian blue tits have a lower winter body mass when sparrowhawks are present. Since body mass affects manoeuvrability in small birds, tits may balance the risks of starvation and the risk of hawk predation by varying the amount of extra fat carried during winter. Predation pressure by sparrowhawks on young and inexperienced fledglings is at least as intense as that on the adults during winter. We therefore expected that tit fledgling body mass could also be reduced in the presence of sparrowhawks. In the years after one pair of sparrowhawks settled in a study plot, the mean body mass of blue tit fledglings was lower compared with that in years when there were no sparrowhawks. Furthermore, the shape of the curve relating juvenile survival to fledging mass changed, because the survival of the heaviest fledglings was reduced, which altered the selection differential of juvenile survival as a function of body mass from directional to stabilizing. Of seven published studies on the fledgling body mass–survival relation in tits, all three of the studies conducted in the absence of sparrowhawks showed the highest survival rates for the heaviest young, whereas in all four studies with sparrowhawks present this was no longer the case.

  11. Plumage colour in nestling blue tits: sexual dichromatism, condition dependence and genetic effects.

    PubMed Central

    Johnsen, Arild; Delhey, Kaspar; Andersson, Staffan; Kempenaers, Bart

    2003-01-01

    Sexual-selection theory assumes that there are costs associated with ornamental plumage coloration. While pigment-based ornaments have repeatedly been shown to be condition dependent, this has been more difficult to demonstrate for structural colours. We present evidence for condition dependence of both types of plumage colour in nestling blue tits (Parus caeruleus). Using reflectance spectrometry, we show that blue tit nestlings are sexually dichromatic, with males having more chromatic (more 'saturated') and ultraviolet (UV)-shifted tail coloration and more chromatic yellow breast coloration. The sexual dimorphism in nestling tail coloration is qualitatively similar to that of chick-feeding adults from the same population. By contrast, the breast plumage of adult birds is not sexually dichromatic in terms of chroma. In nestlings, the chroma of both tail and breast feathers is positively associated with condition (body mass on day 14). The UV/blue hue of the tail feathers is influenced by paternally inherited genes, as indicated by a maternal half-sibling comparison. We conclude that the expression of both carotenoid-based and structural coloration seems to be condition dependent in blue tit nestlings, and that there are additional genetic effects on the hue of the UV/blue tail feathers. The signalling or other functions of sexual dichromatism in nestlings remain obscure. Our study shows that nestling blue tits are suitable model organisms for the study of ontogenetic costs and heritability of both carotenoid-based and structural colour in birds. PMID:12816639

  12. The importance of a main dish: nestling diet and foraging behaviour in Mediterranean blue tits in relation to prey phenology.

    PubMed

    García-Navas, Vicente; Sanz, Juan José

    2011-03-01

    Insectivorous birds rely on a short period of food abundance to feed their young; they must time their reproduction to match the timing of Lepidoptera larvae, their main prey. Apart from the net result (i.e. birds are timed or mistimed with respect to the food's peak), an important aspect is the possible influence of other factors, such as the seasonality of the environment or the abundance and diversity of species contributing to the caterpillar peak, on birds' phenology and their ability to cope well with unpredictable food supplies. In a 2-year study, we explored the seasonal variation of nestling diet in Mediterranean blue tits Cyanistes caeruleus and how reproductive parameters (nestling condition, provisioning rates) are affected by the phenology and composition of food. We also examined the influence of the synchrony between offspring needs and caterpillar peak in shaping the composition of the nestlings' diet. We found that the effect of synchrony on nestling condition varied between years which may be partially due to differences in food peak attributes. The adequacy of birds' timing in relation to prey phenology affected foraging decisions; those birds that were not able to correctly adjust their timing were forced to rely on less preferred prey (tortricids). In this sense, we found that relative contribution of tortricids (smaller caterpillars but easier to get) and noctuids (preferred prey but more difficult to find) to the diet influenced nestling condition and parental provisioning effort; parents performed fewer feeding events and reared heavier nestlings as the contribution of noctuids to the diet increased. The relationship between the proportion of caterpillars and nestling mass was curvilinear, whereas that parameter was negatively affected by the percentage of pupae. Our results show how changes in diet composition may contribute to explain the effect of mismatching on birds' breeding performance.

  13. Evaluation of biochemical effects related to perfluorooctane sulfonic acid exposure in organohalogen-contaminated great tit (Parus major) and blue tit (Parus caeruleus) nestlings.

    PubMed

    Hoff, Philippe Tony; Van de Vijver, Kristin; Dauwe, Tom; Covaci, Adrian; Maervoet, Johan; Eens, Marcel; Blust, Ronny; De Coen, Wim

    2005-12-01

    A perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS) biomonitoring survey was conducted on great tit (Parus major) and blue tit (Parus caeruleus) nestlings from Blokkersdijk, a bird reserve in the proximity of a fluorochemical plant in Antwerp (Belgium) and Fort IV, a control area. PFOS, together with 11 organochlorine pesticides, 20 polychlorinated biphenyl congeners and 7 polybrominated diphenyl ethers were measured in liver tissue. The hepatic PFOS concentrations at Blokkersdijk (86-2788 and 317-3322 ng/g wet weight (ww) for great and blue tit, respectively) were among the highest ever measured and were significantly higher than at the control area (17-206 and 69-514 ng/g ww for great and blue tit, respectively). The hepatic PFOS concentration was species- and sex-independent and correlated significantly and positively with the serum alanine aminotransferase activity and negatively with the serum cholesterol and triglyceride levels in both species but did not correlate with condition or serum protein concentration. In the great tit, a significant positive correlation was observed between the liver PFOS concentration and the relative liver weight. In the blue tit, the hepatic PFOS concentration correlated positively and significantly with hematocrite values. None of the investigated organohalogen pollutants except for PFOS were suggested to be involved in the observed biological alterations.

  14. Different Seasonal Patterns in Song System Volume in Willow Tits and Great Tits.

    PubMed

    Longmoor, Georgia K; Lange, C Henrik; Darvell, Hannah; Walker, Lauren; Rytkönen, Seppo; Vatka, Emma; Hohtola, Esa; Orell, Markku; Smulders, Tom V

    2016-01-01

    In most species of seasonally breeding songbirds studied to date, the brain areas that control singing (i.e. the song control system, SCS) are larger during the breeding season than at other times of the year. In the family of titmice and chickadees (Paridae), one species, the blue tit (Cyanistes caeruleus), shows the typical pattern of seasonal changes, while another species, the black-capped chickadee (Poecile atricapillus), shows, at best, very reduced seasonal changes in the SCS. To test whether this pattern holds up in the two Parid lineages to which these two species belong, and to rule out that the differences in seasonal patterns observed were due to differences in geography or laboratory, we compared the seasonal patterns in two song system nuclei volumes (HVC and Area X) in willow tits (Poecile montanus), closely related to black-capped chickadees, and in great tits (Parus major), more closely related to blue tits, from the same area around Oulu, Finland. Both species had larger gonads in spring than during the rest of the year. Great tit males had a larger HVC in spring than at other times of the year, but their Area X did not change in size. Willow tits showed no seasonal change in HVC or Area X size, despite having much larger gonads in spring than the great tits. Our findings suggest that the song system of willow tits and their relatives may be involved in learning and producing nonsong social vocalizations. Since these vocalizations are used year-round, there may be a year-round demand on the song system. The great tit and blue tit HVC may change seasonally because the demand is only placed on the song system during the breeding season, since they only produce learned vocalizations during this time. We suggest that changes were not observed in Area X because its main role is in song learning, and there is evidence that great tits do not learn new songs after their first year of life. Further study is required to determine whether our hypothesis

  15. Through experience to boldness? Deactivation of neophobia towards novel and aposematic prey in three European species of tits (Paridae).

    PubMed

    Adamová-Ježová, Dana; Hospodková, Eliška; Fuchsová, Lucie; Štys, Pavel; Exnerová, Alice

    2016-10-01

    European tits (Paridae) exhibit species-specific levels of initial wariness towards aposematic prey. This wariness may be caused by neophobia, dietary conservatism or innate bias against particular prey traits. We assessed the contribution of these three mechanisms to the behaviour of juvenile tits towards novel palatable prey and novel aposematic prey. We compared levels of initial wariness in great tits (Parus major), blue tits (Cyanistes caeruleus) and coal tits (Periparus ater), and tested how the wariness can be deactivated by experience with a palatable prey. One group of birds was pre-trained to attack familiar naturally coloured mealworms the other one, novel red-painted mealworms. Then all the birds were offered a novel palatable prey of different colour and shape: cricket (Acheta domestica) with blue sticker, and then a novel aposematic firebug (Pyrrhocoris apterus). The three species of tits differed in how the experience with a novel palatable prey affected their behaviour towards another novel prey. Great tits and coal tits from experienced groups significantly decreased their neophobia towards both palatable prey and aposematic prey while blue tits did not change their strongly neophobic reactions. The interspecific differences may be explained by differences in body size, geographic range, and habitat specialisation.

  16. No evidence for general condition-dependence of structural plumage colour in blue tits: an experiment.

    PubMed

    Peters, A; Kurvers, R H J M; Roberts, M L; Delhey, K

    2011-05-01

    Condition-dependence is a central but contentious tenet of evolutionary theories on the maintenance of ornamental traits, and this is particularly true for structural plumage colour. By providing diets of different nutritional quality to moulting male and female blue tits, we experimentally manipulated general condition within the natural range, avoiding deprivation or stressful treatments. We measured reflectance of the structural-coloured UV/blue crown, a sexually selected trait in males, and the white cheek, a nonpigmented structural colour, directly after moult and again during the following spring mating season. We employed a variety of colour indices, based on spectral shape and avian visual models but, despite significant variation in condition and coloration, found no evidence for condition-dependence of UV/blue or white plumage colour during either season. These and previously published results suggest that structural colour might be sensitive to stress, rather than reduced body condition, during moult.

  17. Paternity analysis reveals opposing selection pressures on crown coloration in the blue tit (Parus caeruleus).

    PubMed Central

    Delhey, Kaspar; Johnsen, Arild; Peters, Anne; Andersson, Staffan; Kempenaers, Bart

    2003-01-01

    In socially monogamous species, extra-pair paternity can increase the variance in reproductive success and thereby the potential for sexual selection on male ornaments. We studied whether male secondary sexual ornaments are selected through within- and/or extra-pair reproductive success in the blue tit (Parus caeruleus). Male blue tits display a bright blue crown plumage, which reflects substantially in the ultraviolet (UV) and previously has been indicated to be an important sexual signal. We show that males with a more UV-shifted crown hue were less cuckolded, which probably resulted from female preference for more ornamented mates. By contrast, however, older males and males with a less UV-shifted hue sired more extra-pair young. This probably did not reflect direct female preference, since cuckolders were not less UV-ornamented than the males they cuckolded. Alternatively, a trade-off between UV ornamentation and other traits that enhance extra-pair success could explain this pattern. Our results might reflect two alternative male mating tactics, where more UV-ornamented males maximize within-pair success and less UV-ornamented males maximize extra-pair success. Since crown colour was selected in opposite directions by within-pair and extra-pair paternity, directional selection through extra-pair matings seemed weak, at least in this population and breeding season. Reduced intensity of sexual selection due to alternative mating tactics constitutes a potential mechanism maintaining additive genetic variance of male ornaments. PMID:14561295

  18. Patch time allocation and patch sampling by foraging great and blue tits.

    PubMed

    Naef-Daenzer

    2000-05-01

    The rate at which parents deliver energy to their brood is an important factor in avian reproduction because poor condition caused by malnutrition may reduce the offspring's survival to breeding. Models of central place foraging predict that nesting parents should optimize their prey delivery rate by minimizing travelling distances and by selecting patches where the gain per unit cost is high. I investigated the allocation of searching time amongst food patches in the home ranges of breeding great tits, Parus major, and blue tits P. caeruleus, by radiotracking. The density of locations in individual trees was positively correlated with prey biomass within trees and negatively with the distance of the trees from the nest. These two factors explained 52% of the variance in the allocation of the birds' search time. In rich patches, food was reduced considerably within 20 m of the nests, and the birds' travelling distances increased significantly during the nestling period. In parallel to foraging selectively in rich resources near the nest, the birds continually sampled the trees in their territory. The average surplus search time due to resource exploration was 1.52 times (range 1.25-1.99) the expected search time if the birds had exclusively used the most profitable patch. Despite considerable effort in patch sampling, the overall search time per unit prey was 30% better than expected by an equal use of trees. The results suggest that foraging tit parents come close to the maximum rate of prey delivery possible in a given patch distribution. Copyright 2000 The Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour.

  19. Colour ornamentation in the blue tit: quantitative genetic (co)variances across sexes.

    PubMed

    Charmantier, A; Wolak, M E; Grégoire, A; Fargevieille, A; Doutrelant, C

    2017-02-01

    Although secondary sexual traits are commonly more developed in males than females, in many animal species females also display elaborate ornaments or weaponry. Indirect selection on correlated traits in males and/or direct sexual or social selection in females are hypothesized to drive the evolution and maintenance of female ornaments. Yet, the relative roles of these evolutionary processes remain unidentified, because little is known about the genetic correlation that might exist between the ornaments of both sexes, and few estimates of sex-specific autosomal or sex-linked genetic variances are available. In this study, we used two wild blue tit populations with 9 years of measurements on two colour ornaments: one structurally based (blue crown) and one carotenoid based (yellow chest). We found significant autosomal heritability for the chromatic part of the structurally based colouration in both sexes, whereas carotenoid chroma was heritable only in males, and the achromatic part of both colour patches was mostly non heritable. Power limitations, which are probably common among most data sets collected so far in wild populations, prevented estimation of sex-linked genetic variance. Bivariate analyses revealed very strong cross-sex genetic correlations in all heritable traits, although the strength of these correlations was not related to the level of sexual dimorphism. In total, our results suggest that males and females share a majority of their genetic variation underlying colour ornamentation, and hence the evolution of these sex-specific traits may depend greatly on correlated responses to selection in the opposite sex.

  20. Survival costs of reproduction in the blue tit (Parus caeruleus): a role for blood parasites?

    PubMed Central

    Stjernman, Martin; Råberg, Lars; Nilsson, Jan-Ake

    2004-01-01

    One of the central tenets in life-history theory is that there is a trade-off between current and future reproduction (i.e. a cost of reproduction). The mechanism for this cost of reproduction is, however, largely unknown. One hypothesis is that the high workload during reproduction compromises resistance to parasites and that the resulting increase in parasitaemia has negative effects on the prospects of future survival. Although empirical evidence for a negative relationship between reproductive effort and parasite resistance exists, the causal relationships between reproductive effort, parasite resistance and future reproduction are still unclear. We use a path analytical approach to investigate whether a change in parasite resistance (as measured by intensities of infections by the blood parasite Haemoproteus) after manipulation of reproductive effort, translates into altered survival in female blue tits. Our results show a negative relationship between reproductive effort and parasite resistance, although evident only in first-year breeders. Moreover, we found survival costs of reproduction in first-year breeders. These costs were, however, not mediated by the blood parasite studied. PMID:15556892

  1. Immune responsiveness in adult blue tits: heritability and effects of nutritional status during ontogeny.

    PubMed

    Råberg, Lars; Stjernman, Martin; Hasselquist, Dennis

    2003-08-01

    What is the relative contribution of genetic and various environmental factors to variation in the ability to mount an immune response? We measured antibody responsiveness to diphtheria-tetanus vaccine during the winter in free-ranging blue tits with a known nestling history to investigate (1) if nutritional status during the nestling stage has persistent effects on an individual's immune defence and (2) if immune responsiveness is heritable. There was no correlation between nutritional status during the nestling phase (measured as size-corrected body mass day 14 post-hatch) and antibody responsiveness as an adult. On the other hand, the heritability of responsiveness to diphtheria and tetanus, as estimated by parent-offspring regression, was 0.21+/-0.51 and 1.21+/-0.40 SE, respectively. Thus, while there was little evidence that natural variation in antibody responsiveness to these antigens reflected nutritional conditions during early life, responsiveness to at least one of the antigens (tetanus) had a strong genetic component.

  2. Colour ornamentation in the blue tit: quantitative genetic (co)variances across sexes

    PubMed Central

    Charmantier, A; Wolak, M E; Grégoire, A; Fargevieille, A; Doutrelant, C

    2017-01-01

    Although secondary sexual traits are commonly more developed in males than females, in many animal species females also display elaborate ornaments or weaponry. Indirect selection on correlated traits in males and/or direct sexual or social selection in females are hypothesized to drive the evolution and maintenance of female ornaments. Yet, the relative roles of these evolutionary processes remain unidentified, because little is known about the genetic correlation that might exist between the ornaments of both sexes, and few estimates of sex-specific autosomal or sex-linked genetic variances are available. In this study, we used two wild blue tit populations with 9 years of measurements on two colour ornaments: one structurally based (blue crown) and one carotenoid based (yellow chest). We found significant autosomal heritability for the chromatic part of the structurally based colouration in both sexes, whereas carotenoid chroma was heritable only in males, and the achromatic part of both colour patches was mostly non heritable. Power limitations, which are probably common among most data sets collected so far in wild populations, prevented estimation of sex-linked genetic variance. Bivariate analyses revealed very strong cross-sex genetic correlations in all heritable traits, although the strength of these correlations was not related to the level of sexual dimorphism. In total, our results suggest that males and females share a majority of their genetic variation underlying colour ornamentation, and hence the evolution of these sex-specific traits may depend greatly on correlated responses to selection in the opposite sex. PMID:27577691

  3. Effects of carotenoid availability during laying on reproduction in the blue tit.

    PubMed

    Biard, Clotilde; Surai, Peter F; Møller, Anders P

    2005-06-01

    Carotenoids are antioxidant pigments involved in several physiological processes and signalling in animals that cannot synthesise them and therefore must acquire them from food. We experimentally investigated the effects of carotenoid availability in the diet during egg laying on antioxidant deposition in egg yolk and the related effects on nestling condition, female body condition and parental investment in the blue tit (Parus caeruleus). Carotenoid supplementation of egg-laying females resulted in a significant increase in carotenoid concentration in egg yolk, but not in vitamin E or A concentration. There was no relationship between yellow plumage colour of adult females and carotenoid deposition in eggs, and no differential effect of feeding treatment depending on female colour. Nestlings from eggs laid by carotenoid supplemented females had longer tarsi, had faster development of the immune system as reflected by leukocyte concentration in blood, and grew brighter yellow feathers than nestlings from control females. However, nestlings from the two groups did not differ significantly in body mass, plasma antioxidants or plumage colour hue. At the time of chick rearing, carotenoid-fed females had increased plasma vitamin E levels compared to controls. However, females from the two treatment groups did not differ significantly in body condition or feeding rate. These results suggest that carotenoid availability is limiting during egg laying, and that females may have to balance the benefits of investing in egg quality against the potential costs of impairing their own future antioxidant protection. In addition, there may be considerable variation in carotenoid availability not only across seasons, but also among different stages of the breeding season.

  4. Female blue tits with brighter yellow chests transfer more carotenoids to their eggs after an immune challenge.

    PubMed

    Midamegbe, Afiwa; Grégoire, Arnaud; Staszewski, Vincent; Perret, Philippe; Lambrechts, Marcel M; Boulinier, Thierry; Doutrelant, Claire

    2013-10-01

    Female ornaments are present in many species, and it is more and more accepted that sexual or social selection may lead to their evolution. By contrast, the information conveyed by female ornaments is less well understood. Here, we investigated the links between female ornaments and maternal effects. In birds, an important maternal effect is the transmission of resources, such as carotenoids, into egg yolk. Carotenoids are pigments with antioxidant and immunomodulatory properties that are crucial for females and developing offspring. In blue tits, we evaluated whether ultraviolet (UV)/blue and yellow feather colouration signals a female's capacity to allocate carotenoids to egg yolk. Because mounting an immune response is costly and trade-offs are more detectable under harsh conditions, we challenged the immune system of females before laying and examined the carotenoid level of their eggs afterward. A positive association between feather carotenoid chroma and egg carotenoid level would be expected if yellow colouration signals basal immunity. Alternatively, if female colouration more generally reflects maternal capacity to invest in reproduction under challenging conditions, then other components of colouration (i.e. yellow brightness and UV/blue colouration) could be linked to maternal capacity to invest in eggs. No association between egg carotenoid levels and UV/blue crown colouration or female yellow chest chroma was found; the latter result suggests that yellow colouration does not signal immune capacity at laying in this species. By contrast, we found that, among females that mounted a detectable response to the vaccine, those with brighter yellow chests transmitted more carotenoids into their eggs. This result suggests yellow brightness signals maternal capacity to invest in reproduction under challenging conditions, and that male blue tits may benefit directly from choosing brighter yellow females.

  5. Habitat structure is associated with the expression of carotenoid-based coloration in nestling blue tits Parus caeruleus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Arriero, Elena; Fargallo, Juan Antonio

    2006-04-01

    We investigated how the expression of carotenoid-based plumage coloration (lightness and chroma) in nestling blue tits Parus caeruleus is associated with forest structure in oak forests of central Spain. We found evidence of a reduced expression of carotenoid-based coloration in nestlings growing up in successionally young and structurally simple forest territories. Our results suggest that breast feather coloration can be used as an indicator of nestling quality because nestlings with more intense yellow plumage coloration had larger body size and stronger immune responses to the injection of phytohemagglutinin (PHA). Given the association of forest structural complexity with carotenoid-based plumage coloration, our findings suggest that variation in habitat structure may have a significant impact on forest birds in their first stages of life which has implications for forest management practices.

  6. Selection on parental performance opposes selection for larger body mass in a wild population of blue tits.

    PubMed

    Thomson, Caroline E; Bayer, Florian; Crouch, Nicholas; Farrell, Samantha; Heap, Elizabeth; Mittell, Elizabeth; Zurita-Cassinello, Mar; Hadfield, Jarrod D

    2017-03-01

    There is abundant evidence in many taxa for positive directional selection on body size, and yet little evidence for microevolutionary change. In many species, variation in body size is partly determined by the actions of parents, so a proposed explanation for stasis is the presence of a negative genetic correlation between direct and parental effects. Consequently, selecting genes for increased body size would result in a correlated decline in parental effects, reducing body size in the following generation. We show that these arguments implicitly assume that parental care is cost free, and that including a cost alters the predicted genetic architectures needed to explain stasis. Using a large cross-fostered population of blue tits, we estimate direct selection on parental effects for body mass, and show it is negative. Negative selection is consistent with a cost to parental care, mainly acting through a reduction in current fecundity rather than survival. Under these conditions, evolutionary stasis is possible for moderately negative genetic correlations between direct and parental effects. This is in contrast to the implausibly extreme correlations needed when care is assumed to be cost-free. Thus, we highlight the importance of accounting correctly for complete selection acting on traits across generations.

  7. To graze or gorge: consistency and flexibility of individual foraging tactics in tits.

    PubMed

    Milligan, Nicole D; Radersma, Reinder; Cole, Ella F; Sheldon, Ben C

    2017-02-13

    An individual's foraging behaviour and time allocated to feeding have direct consequences for its fitness. Despite much research on population-level foraging decisions, few studies have investigated individual differences in fine-scale daily foraging patterns amongst wild animals. Here, we explore the consistency and plasticity of feeding tactics of individual great tits (Parus major) and blue tits (Cyanistes caeruleus), using a grid of 65 automated feeding stations in a 385-ha woodland, during three winters. We use a principal component analysis to describe individual variation in six feeding parameters and examine how these differences covary with dominance-linked attributes (species, age and sex), the personality trait 'exploration behaviour', distance to territory, and local competition intensity. Analysis of 933,086 feeder visits by 3,134 individuals revealed that the majority of variation in the timing of feeding was explained by two principal components. PC1 ('binge-eating'), accounting for 38% of variation, captured temporal clustering of feeding, with high repeatability both within and between years (r range: 0.42 to 0.55). PC2 ('transience'), accounting for 27% of variance, described how much individuals used feeders and was also repeatable (r: 0.34 to 0.62). While exhibiting consistent individual differences, birds also showed flexibility in foraging patterns, binge-eating less and using feeders more when they experienced greater local competition. Individuals in behaviourally dominant states (great tits, males and adults) binged more than subordinate birds (blue tits, females and juveniles) when their territories were distant from feeding stations. Moreover, great tits and males used feeders more than blue tits and females respectively, while birds feeding further from their territory used feeders less than those feeding closer. 'Exploration behaviour' was unrelated to both measures of daily foraging behaviour. This study presents some of the first

  8. Pronounced fixation, strong population differentiation and complex population history in the Canary Islands blue tit subspecies complex.

    PubMed

    Hansson, Bengt; Ljungqvist, Marcus; Illera, Juan-Carlos; Kvist, Laura

    2014-01-01

    Evolutionary molecular studies of island radiations may lead to insights in the role of vicariance, founder events, population size and drift in the processes of population differentiation. We evaluate the degree of population genetic differentiation and fixation of the Canary Islands blue tit subspecies complex using microsatellite markers and aim to get insights in the population history using coalescence based methods. The Canary Island populations were strongly genetically differentiated and had reduced diversity with pronounced fixation including many private alleles. In population structure models, the relationship between the central island populations (La Gomera, Tenerife and Gran Canaria) and El Hierro was difficult to disentangle whereas the two European populations showed consistent clustering, the two eastern islands (Fuerteventura and Lanzarote) and Morocco weak clustering, and La Palma a consistent unique lineage. Coalescence based models suggested that the European mainland forms an outgroup to the Afrocanarian population, a split between the western island group (La Palma and El Hierro) and the central island group, and recent splits between the three central islands, and between the two eastern islands and Morocco, respectively. It is clear that strong genetic drift and low level of concurrent gene flow among populations have shaped complex allelic patterns of fixation and skewed frequencies over the archipelago. However, understanding the population history remains challenging; in particular, the pattern of extreme divergence with low genetic diversity and yet unique genetic material in the Canary Island system requires an explanation. A potential scenario is population contractions of a historically large and genetically variable Afrocanarian population, with vicariance and drift following in the wake. The suggestion from sequence-based analyses of a Pleistocene extinction of a substantial part of North Africa and a Pleistocene/Holocene eastward

  9. Genetic Correlates of Individual Differences in Sleep Behavior of Free-Living Great Tits (Parus major).

    PubMed

    Stuber, Erica F; Baumgartner, Christine; Dingemanse, Niels J; Kempenaers, Bart; Mueller, Jakob C

    2016-01-06

    Within populations, free-living birds display considerable variation in observable sleep behaviors, reflecting dynamic interactions between individuals and their environment. Genes are expected to contribute to repeatable between-individual differences in sleep behaviors, which may be associated with individual fitness. We identified and genotyped polymorphisms in nine candidate genes for sleep, and measured five repeatable sleep behaviors in free-living great tits (Parus major), partly replicating a previous study in blue tits (Cyanistes caeruleus). Microsatellites in the CLOCK and NPAS2 clock genes exhibited an association with sleep duration relative to night length, and morning latency to exit the nest box, respectively. Furthermore, microsatellites in the NPSR1 and PCSK2 genes associated with relative sleep duration and proportion of time spent awake at night, respectively. Given the detection rate of associations in the same models run with random markers instead of candidate genes, we expected two associations to arise by chance. The detection of four associations between candidate genes and sleep, however, suggests that clock genes, a clock-related gene, or a gene involved in the melanocortin system, could play key roles in maintaining phenotypic variation in sleep behavior in avian populations. Knowledge of the genetic architecture underlying sleep behavior in the wild is important because it will enable ecologists to assess the evolution of sleep in response to selection.

  10. Effects of experimental reduction in nest micro-parasite and macro-parasite loads on nestling hemoglobin level in blue tits Parus caeruleus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Słomczyński, Robert; Kaliński, Adam; Wawrzyniak, Jarosław; Bańbura, Mirosława; Skwarska, Joanna; Zieliński, Piotr; Bańbura, Jerzy

    2006-09-01

    Theory suggests that macro- and micro-parasites may be important factors of selection for life-histories. They generate selection pressures by detrimental effects on host health. Nests of secondary cavity nesters provide a convenient habitat for an assemblage of parasites exploiting nestlings. In this study, natural blue tit Parus caeruleus nests (26) were replaced with clean artificial nests, twice during the nestling stage. This treatment caused an increase of 7-10.5 g/l in hemoglobin level of 12-day-old nestlings in comparison with control nestlings. Nestlings that developed in parasite-pathogen-free nests improved their health status. The experimental sterilization did not affect a morphometric index of condition. Potential effects on condition indices might be masked by trophic conditions.

  11. Calibration of a molecular clock in tits (Paridae)--do nucleotide substitution rates of mitochondrial genes deviate from the 2% rule?

    PubMed

    Päckert, Martin; Martens, Jochen; Tietze, Dieter Thomas; Dietzen, Christian; Wink, Michael; Kvist, Laura

    2007-07-01

    The ongoing debate on the reliability of avian molecular clocks is actually based on only a small number of calibrations carried out under different assumptions with respect to the choice and constraints of calibration points or to the use of substitution models. In this study, we provide substitution rate estimates for two mitochondrial genes, cytochrome b and the control region, and age estimates for lineage splits within four subgenera of tits (Paridae: Parus, Cyanistes, Poecile and Periparus). Overall sequence divergence between cytochrome b lineages covers a range of 0.4-1.8% per million years and is thus consistent with the frequently adopted approximation for a sequence divergence between avian lineages of 1.6-2% per my. Overall rate variation is high and encompasses the 2% value in a 95% CI for model corrected data. Mean rate estimates for cytochrome b range between 1.9 and 8.9 x 10(-3) substitutions per site per lineage. Local rates differ significantly between taxonomic levels with lowest estimates for haplotype lineages. At the population/subspecies level mean sequence divergence between lineages matches the 2% rule best for most cytochrome b datasets (1.5-1.9% per my) with maximum estimates for small isolated populations like those of the Canarian P. teneriffae complex (up to 3.9% per my). Overall rate estimates for the control region range at similar values like those for cytochrome b (2.7-8.8 x 10(-3), 0.5-1.8% per my), however, within some subgenera mean rates are higher than those for cytochrome b for uncorrected sequence data. The lowest rates for both genes were calculated for coal tits of subgenus Periparus (0.04-0.6% per my). Model-corrected sequence data tend to result in higher rate estimates than uncorrected data. Increase of the gamma shape parameter goes along with a significant decrease of rate and partly age estimates, too. Divergence times for earliest deep splits within tit subgenera Periparus and Parus were dated to the mid Miocene at

  12. Chromaticity in the UV/blue range facilitates the search for achromatically background-matching prey in birds

    PubMed Central

    Stobbe, Nina; Dimitrova, Marina; Merilaita, Sami; Schaefer, H. Martin

    2008-01-01

    A large variety of predatory species rely on their visual abilities to locate their prey. However, the search for prey may be hampered by prey camouflage. The most prominent example of concealing coloration is background-matching prey coloration characterized by a strong visual resemblance of prey to the background. Even though this principle of camouflage was recognized to efficiently work in predator avoidance a long time ago, the underlying mechanisms are not very well known. In this study, we assessed whether blue tits (Cyanistes caeruleus) use chromatic cues in the search for prey. We used two prey types that were achromatically identical but differed in chromatic properties in the UV/blue range and presented them on two achromatically identical backgrounds. The backgrounds had either the same chromatic properties as the prey items (matching combination) or differed in their chromatic properties (mismatching combination). Our results show that birds use chromatic cues in the search for mismatching prey, whereupon chromatic contrast leads to a ‘pop-out’ of the prey item from the background. When prey was presented on a matching background, search times were significantly higher. Interestingly, search for more chromatic prey on the matching background was easier than search for less chromatic prey on the matching background. Our results indicate that birds use both achromatic and chromatic cues when searching for prey, and that the combination of both cues might be helpful in the search task. PMID:19000974

  13. Chromaticity in the UV/blue range facilitates the search for achromatically background-matching prey in birds.

    PubMed

    Stobbe, Nina; Dimitrova, Marina; Merilaita, Sami; Schaefer, H Martin

    2009-02-27

    A large variety of predatory species rely on their visual abilities to locate their prey. However, the search for prey may be hampered by prey camouflage. The most prominent example of concealing coloration is background-matching prey coloration characterized by a strong visual resemblance of prey to the background. Even though this principle of camouflage was recognized to efficiently work in predator avoidance a long time ago, the underlying mechanisms are not very well known. In this study, we assessed whether blue tits (Cyanistes caeruleus) use chromatic cues in the search for prey. We used two prey types that were achromatically identical but differed in chromatic properties in the UV/blue range and presented them on two achromatically identical backgrounds. The backgrounds had either the same chromatic properties as the prey items (matching combination) or differed in their chromatic properties (mismatching combination). Our results show that birds use chromatic cues in the search for mismatching prey, whereupon chromatic contrast leads to a 'pop-out' of the prey item from the background. When prey was presented on a matching background, search times were significantly higher. Interestingly, search for more chromatic prey on the matching background was easier than search for less chromatic prey on the matching background. Our results indicate that birds use both achromatic and chromatic cues when searching for prey, and that the combination of both cues might be helpful in the search task.

  14. Influence of radar radiation on breeding biology of tits (Parus sp.).

    PubMed

    Rejt, L; Mazgajski, T; Kubacki, R; Kieliszek, J; Sobiczewska, E; Szmigielski, S

    2007-01-01

    The aim of the present study is to observe the influence of long-term exposure to radar radiation on breeding biology of tits (Parus sp.), living and building nests around a military radar station, emitting pulse-modulated microwave radiation of 1,200-3,000 MHz. Two series of 36 nest-boxes each were located on the radar station area. Measurements of exposure were performed separately for each nest-box. Average power density (P(av), W/m(2)) and dose of exposure (W/m(2) x h) were recorded for each nest-box during 45 days. Control nest-boxes (N = 42) were located in other part of the same forests, free from radar radiation. The assessment of effects of radar exposure on breeding biology of tits included number of inhabited nest-boxes, number of eggs, and nestlings in the nest (Why not chick mortality?). Experimental nest-boxes were either exposed to relatively high levels of radiation (2.0-5.0 W/m(2), mean 3.41 +/- 1.38 W/m(2)) or an intermediate level of radiation that ranged from 0.1-2.0 W/m(2) (mean 1.12 +/- 0.84 W/m(2)). For control nest-boxes the exposure ranged from 0.001-0.01 W/m(2) (mean 0.0062 +/- 0.0007 W/m(2)). Only blue or great tits occupied all nest-boxes, used in the experiment. The number of nesting blue tits was higher in nest-boxes located on the radar station area than in the control boxes. In contrast, control nest-boxes were inhabited mainly by great tits. On the radar station area, blue tits nested in high exposed nest-boxes (67,0%) and great tit occupied mainly these boxes, which were exposed to low-level radiation (62,5%), the difference being statistically significant (p < 0.01). No statistically significant differences in other parameters of breeding biology (number of eggs per box, number of nestling per box) were observed between tits occupying exposed and control nest boxes. Results of the present study show that radar radiation generally does not lead to decrease of number of nesting tits, but may cause shifts in tits species living

  15. Bird predation by tawny owls ( Strix aluco L.) and its effect on the reproductive performance of tits

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sasvári, Lajos; Hegyi, Zoltán

    1998-11-01

    The density of great tit Parus major L. and blue tit Parus caeruleus L. was artificially increased by placing nest-box colonies for these species in the vicinity of the nests of breeding tawny owls during 1993-1997. Bird prey composition in the owl nests, the proportion of parents disappearing from the breeding tit populations and the reproductive performance of the widowed parents were analysed. The frequency of predation on tits by tawny owls was greater in areas where tit density had been artificially increased. Owls preyed more on tits during the feeding period of owlets than during the incubation period and more in years when snow covered the ground during the incubation period than when it did not. Mortality due to predation was male biased and more females lost their mates in populations breeding near tawny owl nests. Reproductive performance of the widowed parents was lower and their body weights were lighter at the end of the nestling period than those found in birds rearing youngs with their mates. Predation by owls increased the between-year turnover in the breeding tit population: widowed parents did not return to the nesting site for the next breeding season.

  16. Cluster networks and Bruhat-Tits buildings

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kozyrev, S. V.

    2014-08-01

    We consider a clustering procedure in the case where a family of metrics is used instead of a fixed metric. In this case, a classification network (a directed acyclic graph with nondirected cycles) is obtained instead of a classification tree. We discuss the relation to Bruhat-Tits buildings and introduce the notion of the dimension of a general cluster network.

  17. Great tits search for, capture, kill and eat hibernating bats

    PubMed Central

    Estók, Péter; Zsebők, Sándor; Siemers, Björn M.

    2010-01-01

    Ecological pressure paired with opportunism can lead to surprising innovations in animal behaviour. Here, we report predation of great tits (Parus major) on hibernating pipistrelle bats (Pipistrellus pipistrellus) at a Hungarian cave. Over two winters, we directly observed 18 predation events. The tits specifically and systematically searched for and killed bats for food. A substantial decrease in predation on bats after experimental provisioning of food to the tits further supports the hypothesis that bat-killing serves a foraging purpose in times of food scarcity. We finally conducted a playback experiment to test whether tits would eavesdrop on calls of awakening bats to find them in rock crevices. The tits could clearly hear the calls and were attracted to the loudspeaker. Records for tit predation on bats at this cave now span more than ten years and thus raise the question of whether cultural transmission plays a role for the spread of this foraging innovation. PMID:19740892

  18. Great tits search for, capture, kill and eat hibernating bats.

    PubMed

    Estók, Péter; Zsebok, Sándor; Siemers, Björn M

    2010-02-23

    Ecological pressure paired with opportunism can lead to surprising innovations in animal behaviour. Here, we report predation of great tits (Parus major) on hibernating pipistrelle bats (Pipistrellus pipistrellus) at a Hungarian cave. Over two winters, we directly observed 18 predation events. The tits specifically and systematically searched for and killed bats for food. A substantial decrease in predation on bats after experimental provisioning of food to the tits further supports the hypothesis that bat-killing serves a foraging purpose in times of food scarcity. We finally conducted a playback experiment to test whether tits would eavesdrop on calls of awakening bats to find them in rock crevices. The tits could clearly hear the calls and were attracted to the loudspeaker. Records for tit predation on bats at this cave now span more than ten years and thus raise the question of whether cultural transmission plays a role for the spread of this foraging innovation.

  19. Ising model on the generalized Bruhat-Tits tree

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zinoviev, Yu. M.

    1991-08-01

    The partition function and the correlation functions of the Ising model on the generalized Bruhat-Tits tree are calculated. We computed also the averages of these correlation functions when the corresponding vertices are attached to the boundary of the generalized Bruhat-Tits tree.

  20. Ising model on the generalized Bruhat-Tits tree

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zinoviev, Yu. M.

    1990-06-01

    The partition function and the correlation functions of the Ising model on the generalized Bruhat-Tits tree are calculated. We computed also the averages of these correlation functions when the corresponding vertices are attached to the boundary of the generalized Bruhat-Tits tree.

  1. Hatching asynchrony vs. foraging efficiency: the response to food availability in specialist vs. generalist tit species.

    PubMed

    Barrientos, R; Bueno-Enciso, J; Sanz, J J

    2016-11-28

    Breeding mistiming is increasingly frequent in several ecosystems in the face of current climate change. Species belonging to higher trophic levels must employ mechanisms to reduce it. One of these mechanisms is hatching asynchrony, with the eggs in a clutch hatching over a period of several days. Some authors have suggested it to be adaptive when food is unpredictable. However, these birds can also suffer associated costs. We tested whether a species with higher foraging efficiency avoid hatching asynchrony compared to its sister species. We studied hatching asynchrony and nestling provisioning in relation to food availability in sympatric populations of blue and great tits. For the first time, we show that sister species respond to food availability with different strategies. Blue tit feeding rates readily responded to the abundance of their main prey, and also reduced the impact of nestling size hierarchy on mean nestling weight, consequently increasing fledging rate. Our results suggest that levels of hatching asynchrony seem to be influenced by species-specific life history traits, as generalist foragers rely less on it. They also highlight the importance of multi-species approaches when studying the response of organisms to environmental unpredictability.

  2. Hatching asynchrony vs. foraging efficiency: the response to food availability in specialist vs. generalist tit species

    PubMed Central

    Barrientos, R.; Bueno-Enciso, J.; Sanz, J. J.

    2016-01-01

    Breeding mistiming is increasingly frequent in several ecosystems in the face of current climate change. Species belonging to higher trophic levels must employ mechanisms to reduce it. One of these mechanisms is hatching asynchrony, with the eggs in a clutch hatching over a period of several days. Some authors have suggested it to be adaptive when food is unpredictable. However, these birds can also suffer associated costs. We tested whether a species with higher foraging efficiency avoid hatching asynchrony compared to its sister species. We studied hatching asynchrony and nestling provisioning in relation to food availability in sympatric populations of blue and great tits. For the first time, we show that sister species respond to food availability with different strategies. Blue tit feeding rates readily responded to the abundance of their main prey, and also reduced the impact of nestling size hierarchy on mean nestling weight, consequently increasing fledging rate. Our results suggest that levels of hatching asynchrony seem to be influenced by species-specific life history traits, as generalist foragers rely less on it. They also highlight the importance of multi-species approaches when studying the response of organisms to environmental unpredictability. PMID:27892941

  3. The Demazure-Tits subgroup of a simple Lie group

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Michel, L.; Patera, J.; Sharp, R. T.

    1988-04-01

    The Demazure-Tits subgroup of a simple Lie group G is the group of invariance of Clebsch-Gordan coefficients tables (assuming an appropriate choice of basis). The structure of the Demazure-Tits subgroups of An, Bn, Cn, Dn, and G2 is described. Orbits of the permutation action of the DT group in any irreducible finite-dimensional representation space of A2, C2, and G2 are decomposed into the sum of irreducible representations of the DT group.

  4. Data on taxonomic status and phylogenetic relationship of tits.

    PubMed

    Li, Xue-Juan; Lin, Li-Liang; Cui, Ai-Ming; Bai, Jie; Wang, Xiao-Yang; Xin, Chao; Zhang, Zhen; Yang, Chao; Gao, Rui-Rui; Huang, Yuan; Lei, Fu-Min

    2017-02-01

    The data in this paper are related to the research article entitled "Taxonomic status and phylogenetic relationship of tits based on mitogenomes and nuclear segments" (X.J. Li et al., 2016) [1]. The mitochondrial genomes and nuclear segments of tits were sequenced to analyze mitochondrial characteristics and phylogeny. In the data, the analyzed results are presented. The data holds the resulting files of mitochondrial characteristics, heterogeneity, best schemes, and trees.

  5. Ground tit genome reveals avian adaptation to living at high altitudes in the Tibetan plateau.

    PubMed

    Qu, Yanhua; Zhao, Hongwei; Han, Naijian; Zhou, Guangyu; Song, Gang; Gao, Bin; Tian, Shilin; Zhang, Jinbo; Zhang, Ruiying; Meng, Xuehong; Zhang, Yuan; Zhang, Yong; Zhu, Xiaojia; Wang, Wenjuan; Lambert, David; Ericson, Per G P; Subramanian, Sankar; Yeung, Carol; Zhu, Hongmei; Jiang, Zhi; Li, Ruiqiang; Lei, Fumin

    2013-01-01

    The ground tit (Parus humilis) is endemic to the Tibetan plateau. It is a member of family Paridae but it was long thought to be related to the ground jays because of their morphological similarities. Here we present the ground tit's genome and re-sequence two tits and one ground jay, to clarify this controversially taxonomic status and uncover its genetic adaptations to the Tibetan plateau. Our results show that ground tit groups with two tits and it diverges from them between 7.7 and 9.9 Mya. Compared with other avian genomes, ground tit shows expansion in genes linked to energy metabolism and contractions in genes involved in immune and olfactory perception. We also found positively selected and rapidly evolving genes in hypoxia response and skeletal development. These results indicated that ground tit evolves basic strategies and 'tit-to-jay' change for coping with the life in an extreme environment.

  6. Great tit response to decreasing industrial heavy metal emissions.

    PubMed

    Costa, R A; Gomes, T; Eira, C; Vaqueiro, J; Vingada, J V

    2017-08-01

    This study evaluated the effects of environmental pollution on decreasing great tit (Parus major) breeding parameters in an industrial area in the west coast of Portugal. Several great tit breeding parameters were monitored in the industrial area, as well as in a rural area not affected by industrial emissions. Low levels of air pollution in both industrial and rural areas were confirmed by assessing trace element concentrations in pine needles. Concentrations of Cd and Hg in pine needles from the industrial area (Cd = 0.05 ppm; Hg = 0.005 ppm) were significantly lower than those found in needles collected from the reference area (Cd = 0.07 ppm; Hg = 0.007 ppm). Additionally, the breeding success of great tits increased in the industrial area in comparison to the reference area (0.93 ± 0.08 and 0.62 ± 0.22, respectively). The changes on great tit breeding parameters were probably related with changes in the breeding density of other competitive species, together with a decreasing frass-fall biomass. Further long-term ecological studies in industrial areas are necessary to understand the changing breeding performance and strategies used by great tits in response to pollution shifts in the environment.

  7. Tits Satake projections of homogeneous special geometries

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fré, Pietro; Gargiulo, Floriana; Rosseel, Jan; Rulik, Ksenya; Trigiante, Mario; Van Proeyen, Antoine

    2007-01-01

    We organize the homogeneous special geometries, describing as well the couplings of D = 6, 5, 4 and 3 supergravities with eight supercharges, in a small number of universality classes. This relates manifolds on which similar types of dynamical solutions can exist. The mathematical ingredient is the Tits Satake projection of real simple Lie algebras, which we extend to all solvable Lie algebras occurring in these homogeneous special geometries. Apart from some exotic cases all the other, 'very special', homogeneous manifolds can be grouped into seven universality classes. The organization of these classes, which capture the essential features of their basic dynamics, commutes with the r- and c-map. Different members are distinguished by different choices of the paint group, a notion discovered in the context of cosmic billiard dynamics of non-maximally supersymmetric supergravities. We comment on the usefulness of this organization in universality class both in relation with cosmic billiard dynamics and with configurations of branes and orbifolds defining special geometry backgrounds.

  8. A complete multilocus species phylogeny of the tits and chickadees (Aves: Paridae).

    PubMed

    Johansson, Ulf S; Ekman, Jan; Bowie, Rauri C K; Halvarsson, Peter; Ohlson, Jan I; Price, Trevor D; Ericson, Per G P

    2013-12-01

    The avian family Paridae (tits and chickadees) contains c. 55 species distributed in the Palearctic, Nearctic, Afrotropics and Indomalaya. The group includes some of the most well-known and extensively studied avian species, and the evolutionary history, in particular the post-glacial colonization of the northern latitudes, has been comparably well-studied for several species. Yet a comprehensive phylogeny of the whole clade is lacking. Here, we present the first complete species phylogeny for the group based on sequence data from two nuclear introns and one mitochondrial gene for 67 taxa of parids. Our results strongly support the inclusion of the Fire-capped Tit (Cephalopyrus flammiceps), currently placed in the Remizidae, as the most basal member of the Paridae. The Yellow-browed Tit (Sylviparus modestus) and the Sultan Tit (Melanochlora sultanea) constitute the next two sequential branches whereas the remaining tits fall into two large clades, one of which contains the seed hoarding and nest excavating species. The indicated clades within these two groups are largely congruent with recent classifications, but with several unforeseen relationships, such as non-monophyly of the Sombre Tit (Poecile lugubris) and the Marsh Tit (Poecile palustris), as well as non-monophyly of both the African gray and the African black tits. Further, our results support a close relationship between the White-fronted Tit (Parus semilarvatus) and the varied Tit (Poecile varius) as well as a close relationship between the White-naped Tit (Parus nuchalis) and the Yellow-cheeked and Black-lored tits (Parus spilonotus and P. xanthogenys). Finally, Hume's Ground-tit (Pseudopodoces humilis) is found to be closely related to the Green-backed Tit (Parus monticolus) and the Great Tit (Parus major). We propose a new classification that is in accordance with this phylogeny.

  9. Non-archimedean strings and Bruhat-Tits trees

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zabrodin, A. V.

    1989-09-01

    It is shown that the Bruhat-Tits tree for the p-adic linear group GL(2) is a natural non-archimedean analog of the open string world sheet. The boundary of the tree can be identified with the field of p-adic numbers. We construct a “lattice” quantum field theory on the Bruhat-Tits tree with a simple local lagrangian and show that it leads to the Freund-Olson amplitudes for emission processes of the particle states from the boundary.

  10. Non-Archimedean String Action and Bruhat-Tits Trees

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zabrodin, A.

    It is shown that the Bruhat-Tits tree for p-adic linear group GL(2) is a natural non-archimedean analog of the open string world sheet. A boundary of the tree can be identified with the field of p-adic numbers. We construct a lattice quantum field theory on the Bruhat-Tits tree with a simple local Lagrangian and show that it leads to Freund-Olson amplitudes for emission processes of the particle states from the boundary.

  11. Scattering on the Bruhat-Tits tree. I

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Romanov, R. V.; Rudin, G. E.

    1995-02-01

    The scattering problem on the Bruhat-Tits tree being the realization of the p-adic hyperbolic plane is studied. The spectral decomposition of the corresponding Laplace-Beltrami operator is constructed. The Lax-Phillips resonance scattering theory for the problem is developed in a closed form. The properties of the analytic continuation of the S-matrix are described.

  12. Breeding success and lutein availability in great tit ( Parus major)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sillanpää, Saila; Salminen, Juha-Pekka; Eeva, Tapio

    2009-11-01

    The relationship among temporal variation in the availability of carotenoid-rich food, tissue carotenoid levels and breeding success are poorly known. We studied how diet quality and quantity affect the carotenoid profile and fledging success of great tit ( Parus major) nestlings along a pollution gradient. We found declining seasonal trend in lutein concentration of caterpillars, which may be the explanation for the declining trend in nestlings' lutein concentration of plasma with season, despite the increase in caterpillar biomass. This may be because the biomass of most lutein-rich caterpillars (autumnal moths) decreased and less lutein-rich caterpillars (sawflies) increased during the breeding season. The temporal difference in occurrence of different caterpillar species means that peak lutein availability does not coincide with peak caterpillar abundance. However the positive association between total larval biomass and the number of great tit fledglings may suggest that fledging success depends more on total caterpillar availability than on lutein concentration of caterpillars.

  13. Evidence against observational spatial memory for cache locations of conspecifics in marsh tits Poecile palustris.

    PubMed

    Urhan, A Utku; Emilsson, Ellen; Brodin, Anders

    2017-01-01

    Many species in the family Paridae, such as marsh tits Poecile palustris, are large-scale scatter hoarders of food that make cryptic caches and disperse these in large year-round territories. The perhaps most well-known species in the family, the great tit Parus major, does not store food itself but is skilled in stealing caches from the other species. We have previously demonstrated that great tits are able to memorise positions of caches they have observed marsh tits make and later return and steal the food. As great tits are explorative in nature and unusually good learners, it is possible that such "memorisation of caches from a distance" is a unique ability of theirs. The other possibility is that this ability is general in the parid family. Here, we tested marsh tits in the same experimental set-up as where we previously have tested great tits. We allowed caged marsh tits to observe a caching conspecific in a specially designed indoor arena. After a retention interval of 1 or 24 h, we allowed the observer to enter the arena and search for the caches. The marsh tits showed no evidence of such observational memorization ability, and we believe that such ability is more useful for a non-hoarding species. Why should a marsh tit that memorises hundreds of their own caches in the field bother with the difficult task of memorising other individuals' caches? We argue that the close-up memorisation procedure that marsh tits use at their own caches may be a different type of observational learning than memorisation of caches made by others. For example, the latter must be done from a distance and hence may require the ability to adopt an allocentric perspective, i.e. the ability to visualise the cache from the hoarder's perspective. Members of the Paridae family are known to possess foraging techniques that are cognitively advanced. Previously, we have demonstrated that a non-hoarding parid species, the great tit P. major, is able to memorise positions of caches that

  14. Asymmetries in commitment in an avian communication network

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Randler, Christoph; Vollmer, Christian

    2013-02-01

    Mobbing of predators occurs within a conspecific and heterospecific context but has not been quantified within the framework of a communication network and analysed with respect to heterospecific reciprocity. Here, we used playbacks of mobbing calls to show that mobbing is unequally distributed within a community of deciduous forest birds. Five species (great tit Parus major, blue tit Cyanistes caeruleus, marsh tit Poecile palustris, nuthatch Sitta europaea and chaffinch Fringilla coelebs) responded to each other's playbacks of mobbing calls. Commitment to mob was measured by minimum distance, response latency and uttering of calls. Commitment was higher when conspecific calls were broadcast. Yet, responses to heterospecific calls were significantly different between the five species. Chaffinches had the lowest commitment, and blue tits tended to have the highest. The communication network is asymmetric. Some species invest more than they receive from other species. As mobbing might incur costs, these are unequally distributed across the community.

  15. [Maternity blues].

    PubMed

    Gonidakis, F

    2007-04-01

    Maternity blues is a transient change of mood that occurs mainly between the 1st and 10th day of puerpartum and is characterized by bursts of tears, mild depressive mood, anxiety and liability of mood. The frequency of maternity blues varies in different studies form 4% to 80%. A number of biological and psychosocial parameters have been studied in order to determine their correlation with maternity blues. The most well studied biological parameters are progesterone and cortizol although their relation with maternity blues has not yet been clearly defined. Stress and the emotional state of the woman during pregnancy as well as history of mood disorders or maternity blues in a previous birth are the psychosocial parameters that are more likely to correlate with the occurrence of maternity blues. Most of the authors suggest that information on maternity blues and reassurance of the woman are the best way to deal with maternity blues both on preventive and therapeutical basis.

  16. Object permanence in the food-storing coal tit (Periparus ater) and the non-storing great tit (Parus major): Is the mental representation required?

    PubMed

    Marhounová, Lucie; Frynta, Daniel; Fuchs, Roman; Landová, Eva

    2017-05-01

    Object permanence is a cognitive ability that enables animals to mentally represent the continuous existence of temporarily hidden objects. Generally, it develops gradually through six qualitative stages, the evolution of which may be connected with some specific ecological and behavioral factors. In birds, the advanced object permanence skills were reported in several storing species of the Corvidae family. In order to test the association between food-storing and achieved performance within the stages, we compared food-storing coal tits (Periparus ater) and nonstoring great tits (Parus major) using an adapted version of Uzgiris & Hunt's Scale 1 tasks. The coal tits significantly outperformed the great tits in searching for completely hidden objects. Most of the great tits could not solve the task when the object disappeared completely. However, the upper limit for both species is likely to be Stage 4. The coal tits could solve problems with simply hidden objects, but they used alternative strategies rather than mental representation when searching for completely hidden objects, especially if choosing between two locations. Our results also suggest that neophobia did not affect the overall performance in the object permanence tasks. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved).

  17. Song trait similarity in great tits varies with social structure.

    PubMed

    Snijders, Lysanne; van der Eijk, Jerine; van Rooij, Erica P; de Goede, Piet; van Oers, Kees; Naguib, Marc

    2015-01-01

    For many animals, long-range signalling is essential to maintain contact with conspecifics. In territorial species, individuals often have to balance signalling towards unfamiliar potential competitors (to solely broadcast territory ownership) with signalling towards familiar immediate neighbours (to also maintain so-called "dear enemy" relations). Hence, to understand how signals evolve due to these multilevel relationships, it is important to understand how general signal traits vary in relation to the overall social environment. For many territorial songbirds dawn is a key signalling period, with several neighbouring individuals singing simultaneously without immediate conflict. In this study we tested whether sharing a territory boundary, rather than spatial proximity, is related to similarity in dawn song traits between territorial great tits (Parus major) in a wild personality-typed population. We collected a large dataset of automatized dawn song recordings from 72 unique male great tits, during the fertile period of their mate, and compared specific song traits between neighbours and non-neighbours. We show here that both song rate and start time of dawn song were repeatable song traits. Moreover, neighbours were significantly more dissimilar in song rate compared to non-neighbours, while there was no effect of proximity on song rate similarity. Additionally, similarity in start time of dawn song was unrelated to sharing a territory boundary, but birds were significantly more similar in start time of dawn song when they were breeding in close proximity of each other. We suggest that the dissimilarity in dawn song rate between neighbours is either the result of neighbouring great tits actively avoiding similar song rates to possibly prevent interference, or a passive consequence of territory settlement preferences relative to the types of neighbours. Neighbourhood structuring is therefore likely to be a relevant selection pressure shaping variation in

  18. Effects of heavy metal exposure on the condition and health of adult great tits (Parus major).

    PubMed

    Dauwe, Tom; Janssens, Ellen; Eens, Marcel

    2006-03-01

    We examined the possible effects of heavy metal exposure on the quality and health of adult great tits (Parus major) at four study sites along a pollution gradient near a non-ferrous smelter in Belgium. Tarsus length, wing length, body mass and condition of great tits were compared with respect to study site, age (first-year and older great tits), sex and season (birds caught in winter and during breeding). Tarsus length did not differ significantly among study sites. The wing length of great tits was larger at the study site furthest from the smelter, especially for older great tits. The length of the outermost tail feathers, however, did not differ significantly among study sites. We found no signs of loss of body mass or condition towards the pollution source. The body mass and condition was lowest for female great tits at the site furthest from the smelter, especially during winter. Haematocrit values did not differ significantly among sites. Overall, we found no clear significant effects of heavy metal pollution on morphological measurements and health parameters of great tits.

  19. Do great tits (Parus major) starve to reproduce?

    PubMed

    Hõrak, Peeter; Jenni-Eiermann, Susanne; Ots, Indrek

    1999-05-01

    To test whether nest abandonment is associated with parental health state, reproductive parameters and parental condition indices were examined in relation to brood desertion in great tits. Before desertion, pairs that abandoned their broods in the second half of the nestling period had significantly higher nestling mortality as well as lower average weight of nestlings and entire broods. Independently of brood size, female great tits that deserted their broods on average weighed 1 g (>5%) more than non-deserters. Comparison of metabolic profiles revealed that deserting females were in better nutritional condition (inclined to fat deposition) than non-deserters, which showed symptoms of postresorptive catabolic state, as indicated by a lower level of plasma triglycerides, very low density lipoproteins, and a higher level of free fatty acids and β-hydroxy-butyrate. These results suggest that desertion can be regarded as a reproductive restraint and that non-deserting females invested at least some of their maintenance resources on brood rearing. We found no evidence that desertion or non-desertion was associated with age- or disease-related differences in residual reproductive values. Male condition was not related to brood abandonment, suggesting that desertions were primarily initiated by females.

  20. Male great tits assort by personality during the breeding season.

    PubMed

    Johnson, Katerina V-A; Aplin, Lucy M; Cole, Ella F; Farine, Damien R; Firth, Josh A; Patrick, Samantha C; Sheldon, Ben C

    2017-06-01

    Animal personalities can influence social interactions among individuals, and thus have major implications for population processes and structure. Few studies have investigated the significance of the social context of animal personalities, and such research has largely focused on the social organization of nonterritorial populations. Here we address the question of whether exploratory behaviour, a well-studied personality trait, is related to the social structure of a wild great tit, Parus major, population during the breeding season. We assayed the exploration behaviour of wild-caught great tits and then established the phenotypic spatial structure of the population over six consecutive breeding seasons. Network analyses of breeding proximity revealed that males, but not females, show positive assortment by behavioural phenotype, with males breeding closer to those of similar personalities. This assortment was detected when we used networks based on nearest neighbours, but not when we used the Thiessen polygon method where neighbours were defined from inferred territory boundaries. Further analysis found no relationship between personality assortment and local environmental conditions, suggesting that social processes may be more important than environmental variation in influencing male territory choice. This social organization during the breeding season has implications for the strength and direction of both natural and sexual selection on personality in wild animal populations.

  1. Yolk carotenoids increase fledging success in great tit nestlings.

    PubMed

    Marri, Viviana; Richner, Heinz

    2014-10-01

    Avian mothers can influence offspring phenotype through the deposition of different compounds into eggs, such as antibodies, hormones and antioxidants. The concentration of carotenoids in yolk is larger than in maternal plasma, suggesting an important role of these compounds for offspring development. Since carotenoids have to be acquired from the diet, they may be available in limiting amounts to the mothers. Here, we investigated the role of egg carotenoids for offspring growth by experimentally increasing the concentration of yolk lutein, the main carotenoid in great tit (Parus major) yolk. We subsequently measured body condition, oxidative stress, immune response, plumage colouration and fledging success. Lutein increased body mass soon after hatching and fledging success, but did not affect tarsus length, oxidative stress, immune response and plumage colouration. The higher content of yolk lutein could have increased body mass by reducing oxidative stress caused by high metabolic rates of rapidly growing embryos or by promoting cell differentiation and proliferation. The positive effect of lutein on fledging success seems to be mediated by its influence on body mass 3 days post-hatch, since these two traits were correlated. The finding that our treatment did not affect traits measured later in the nestling period, except for fledging success, suggests that yolk lutein has short-term effects that are essential to increase survival until fledging. Our study shows the positive effect of yolk lutein on offspring survival in the great tit, and therefore suggests an important role of carotenoid-mediated maternal effects.

  2. Geodesic bulk diagrams on the Bruhat-Tits tree

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gubser, Steven S.; Parikh, Sarthak

    2017-09-01

    Geodesic bulk diagrams were recently shown to be the geometric objects which compute global conformal blocks. We show that this duality continues to hold in p -adic AdS /CFT , where the bulk is replaced by the Bruhat-Tits tree, an infinite regular graph with no cycles, and the boundary is described by p -adic numbers, rather than reals. We apply the duality to evaluate the four-point function of scalar operators of generic dimensions using tree-level bulk diagrams. Relative to standard results from the literature, we find intriguing similarities as well as significant simplifications. Notably, all derivatives disappear in the conformal block decomposition of the four-point function. On the other hand, numerical coefficients in the four-point function as well as the structure constants take surprisingly universal forms, applicable to both the reals and the p -adics when expressed in terms of local zeta functions. Finally, we present a minimal bulk action with nearest neighbor interactions on the Bruhat-Tits tree, which reproduces the two-, three-, and four-point functions of a free boundary theory.

  3. Blue Note

    ScienceCinema

    Murray Gibson

    2016-07-12

    Argonne's Murray Gibson is a physicist whose life's work includes finding patterns among atoms. The love of distinguishing patterns also drives Gibson as a musician and Blues enthusiast."Blue" notes are very harmonic notes that are missing from the equal temperament scale.The techniques of piano blues and jazz represent the melding of African and Western music into something totally new and exciting.

  4. Blue Note

    SciTech Connect

    Murray Gibson

    2007-04-27

    Argonne's Murray Gibson is a physicist whose life's work includes finding patterns among atoms. The love of distinguishing patterns also drives Gibson as a musician and Blues enthusiast."Blue" notes are very harmonic notes that are missing from the equal temperament scale.The techniques of piano blues and jazz represent the melding of African and Western music into something totally new and exciting.

  5. Evolutionary signals of selection on cognition from the great tit genome and methylome

    PubMed Central

    Laine, Veronika N.; Gossmann, Toni I.; Schachtschneider, Kyle M.; Garroway, Colin J.; Madsen, Ole; Verhoeven, Koen J. F.; de Jager, Victor; Megens, Hendrik-Jan; Warren, Wesley C.; Minx, Patrick; Crooijmans, Richard P. M. A.; Corcoran, Pádraic; Adriaensen, Frank; Belda, Eduardo; Bushuev, Andrey; Cichon, Mariusz; Charmantier, Anne; Dingemanse, Niels; Doligez, Blandine; Eeva, Tapio; Erikstad, Kjell Einar; Fedorov, Slava; Hau, Michaela; Hille, Sabine; Hinde, Camilla; Kempenaers, Bart; Kerimov, Anvar; Krist, Milos; Mand, Raivo; Matthysen, Erik; Nager, Reudi; Norte, Claudia; Orell, Markku; Richner, Heinz; Slagsvold, Tore; Tilgar, Vallo; Tinbergen, Joost; Torok, Janos; Tschirren, Barbara; Yuta, Tera; Sheldon, Ben C.; Slate, Jon; Zeng, Kai; van Oers, Kees; Visser, Marcel E.; Groenen, Martien A. M.

    2016-01-01

    For over 50 years, the great tit (Parus major) has been a model species for research in evolutionary, ecological and behavioural research; in particular, learning and cognition have been intensively studied. Here, to provide further insight into the molecular mechanisms behind these important traits, we de novo assemble a great tit reference genome and whole-genome re-sequence another 29 individuals from across Europe. We show an overrepresentation of genes related to neuronal functions, learning and cognition in regions under positive selection, as well as increased CpG methylation in these regions. In addition, great tit neuronal non-CpG methylation patterns are very similar to those observed in mammals, suggesting a universal role in neuronal epigenetic regulation which can affect learning-, memory- and experience-induced plasticity. The high-quality great tit genome assembly will play an instrumental role in furthering the integration of ecological, evolutionary, behavioural and genomic approaches in this model species. PMID:26805030

  6. Acute necrotising pneumonitis associated with Suttonella ornithocola infection in tits (Paridae).

    PubMed

    Lawson, Becki; Malnick, Henry; Pennycott, Tom W; Macgregor, Shaheed K; John, Shinto K; Duncan, Gwen; Hughes, Laura A; Chantrey, Julian; Cunningham, Andrew A

    2011-04-01

    Suttonella ornithocola, first isolated from the lungs of British tit species in 1996, was found to be a novel bacterium belonging to the family Cardiobacteriaceae. Comprehensive surveillance of garden bird mortality across Great Britain between April 2005 and April 2009 involved post mortem and microbiological examination of 82 tits (Paridae; multiple species) and six long-tailed tits (Aegithalidae; Aegithalos caudatus). S. ornithocola was isolated from six birds submitted from six incidents of morbidity and mortality involving Paridae and Aegithalidae species with a wide geographical distribution. The mortality incidents occurred sporadically at low incidence throughout the study period, which suggested that the infection is endemic in native bird populations, with a seasonal peak during early spring. Histopathological examination showed multiple foci of acute pulmonary necrosis associated with gram-negative cocco-bacillary bacteria. These findings supported the hypothesis that S. ornithocola is a primary pathogen of tits in Great Britain.

  7. Altitudinal variation in haemosporidian parasite distribution in great tit populations

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background One of the major issues concerning disease ecology and conservation is knowledge of the factors that influence the distribution of parasites and consequently disease outbreaks. This study aimed to investigate avian haemosporidian composition and the distribution of these parasites in three altitudinally separated great tit (Parus major) populations in western Switzerland over a three-year period. The objectives were to determine the lineage diversity of parasites occuring across the study populations and to investigate whether altitudinal gradients govern the distribution of haemosporidian parasites by lineage. Methods In this study molecular approaches (PCR and sequencing) were used to detect avian blood parasites (Plasmodium sp., Haemoproteus sp. and Leucocytozoon sp.) in populations of adult great tits caught on their nests during three consecutive breeding seasons. Results High levels of parasite prevalence (88-96%) were found across all of the study populations with no significant altitude effect. Altitude did, however, govern the distribution of parasites belonging to different genera, with Plasmodium parasites being more prevalent at lower altitudes, Leucocytozoon parasites more at high altitude and Haemoproteus parasite prevalence increasing with altitude. A total of 27 haemosporidian parasite lineages were recorded across all study sites, with diversity showing a positive correlation to altitude. Parasites belonging to lineage SGS1 (P. relictum) and PARUS4 and PARUS19 (Leucocytozoon sp.) dominated lower altitudes. SW2 (P. polare) was the second most prevalent lineage of parasite detected overall and these parasites were responsible for 68% of infections at intermediate altitude, but were only documented at this one study site. Conclusions Avian haemosporidian parasites are not homogeneously distributed across host populations, but differ by altitude. This difference is most probably brought about by environmental factors influencing vector

  8. Blue Laser.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1985-12-01

    HOLLOW CATHODE LASER FABRICATION 13 4. EXPERIENCE WITH THE BLUE LASER 18 4.1 Operational and Processing Experience 18 4.2 Performance Testing 20 5...34 -. - . •. SECTION 3 BLUE HOLLOW CATHODE LASER FABRICATION This section presents an overview of the steps taken in creating a HCL. There is...to the laser assembly. These steps can actually be considered as the final steps in laser fabrication because some of them involve adding various

  9. Foraging intention affects whether willow tits call to attract members of mixed-species flocks.

    PubMed

    Suzuki, Toshitaka N; Kutsukake, Nobuyuki

    2017-06-01

    Understanding how individual behaviour influences the spatial and temporal distribution of other species is necessary to resolve the complex structure of species assemblages. Mixed-species bird flocks provide an ideal opportunity to investigate this issue, because members of the flocks are involved in a variety of behavioural interactions between species. Willow tits (Poecile montanus) often produce loud calls when visiting a new foraging patch to recruit other members of mixed-species flocks. The costs and benefits of flocking would differ with individual foraging behaviours (i.e. immediate consumption or caching); thus, willow tits may adjust the production of loud calls according to their foraging intention. In this study, we investigated the link between foraging decisions and calling behaviour in willow tits and tested its influence on the temporal cohesion with members of mixed-species flocks. Observations at experimental foraging patches showed that willow tits produced more calls when they consumed food items compared with when they cached them. Playback experiments revealed that these calls attracted flock members and helped to maintain their presence at foraging patches. Thus, willow tits adjusted calling behaviour according to their foraging intention, thereby coordinating the associations with members of mixed-species flocks. Our findings demonstrate the influence of individual decision-making on temporal cohesion with other species and highlight the importance of interspecific communication in mixed-species flocking dynamics.

  10. Genome sequence of ground tit Pseudopodoces humilis and its adaptation to high altitude

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background The mechanism of high-altitude adaptation has been studied in certain mammals. However, in avian species like the ground tit Pseudopodoces humilis, the adaptation mechanism remains unclear. The phylogeny of the ground tit is also controversial. Results Using next generation sequencing technology, we generated and assembled a draft genome sequence of the ground tit. The assembly contained 1.04 Gb of sequence that covered 95.4% of the whole genome and had higher N50 values, at the level of both scaffolds and contigs, than other sequenced avian genomes. About 1.7 million SNPs were detected, 16,998 protein-coding genes were predicted and 7% of the genome was identified as repeat sequences. Comparisons between the ground tit genome and other avian genomes revealed a conserved genome structure and confirmed the phylogeny of ground tit as not belonging to the Corvidae family. Gene family expansion and positively selected gene analysis revealed genes that were related to cardiac function. Our findings contribute to our understanding of the adaptation of this species to extreme environmental living conditions. Conclusions Our data and analysis contribute to the study of avian evolutionary history and provide new insights into the adaptation mechanisms to extreme conditions in animals. PMID:23537097

  11. Blue gods, blue oil, and blue people.

    PubMed

    Fairbanks, V F

    1994-09-01

    Studies of the composition of coal tar, which began in Prussia in 1834, profoundly affected the economies of Germany, Great Britain, India, and the rest of the world, as well as medicine and surgery. Such effects include the collapse of the profits of the British indigo monopoly, the growth in economic power of Germany based on coal tar chemistry, and an economic crisis in India that led to more humane tax laws and, ultimately, the independence of India and the end of the British Empire. Additional consequences were the development of antiseptic surgery and the synthesis of a wide variety of useful drugs that have eradicated infections and alleviated pain. Many of these drugs, particularly the commonly used analgesics, sulfonamides, sulfones, and local anesthetics, are derivatives of aniline, originally called "blue oil" or "kyanol." Some of these aniline derivatives, however, have also caused aplastic anemia, agranulocytosis, and methemoglobinemia (that is, "blue people"). Exposure to aniline drugs, particularly when two or three aniline drugs are taken concurrently, seems to be the commonest cause of methemoglobinemia today.

  12. Personality and information gathering in free-ranging great tits.

    PubMed

    van Overveld, Thijs; Matthysen, Erik

    2013-01-01

    One aspect of animal personality that has been well described in captivity, but received only little attention in studies in the wild, is that personality types may vary in their behavioural flexibility towards environmental changes. A fundamental factor underlying such differences is believed to be the degree to which individual behavior is guided by environmental stimuli. We tested this hypothesis in the wild using free-ranging great tits. Personality variation was quantified using exploratory behaviour in a novel environment, which has previously been shown to be repeatable and correlated with other behaviours in this and other populations of the same species. By temporarily removing food at feeding stations we examined whether birds with different personality differed in returning to visit empty feeders as this may provide information on how birds continue to sample their environment after a sudden change in conditions. In two summer experiments, we found that fast-exploring juveniles visited empty feeders less often compared to slow-exploring juveniles. In winter, sampling behaviour was sex dependent but not related to personality. In both seasons, we found that birds who sampled empty feeders more often were more likely to rediscover food after we again re-baited the feeding stations, but there was no effect of personality. Our results show that personality types may indeed differ in ways of collecting environmental information, which is consistent with the view of personalities as different styles of coping with environmental changes. The adaptive value of these alternative behavioural tactics, however, needs to be further explored.

  13. Intelligent tit-for-tat in the iterated prisoner's dilemma game

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baek, Seung Ki; Kim, Beom Jun

    2008-07-01

    We seek a route to the equilibrium where all the agents cooperate in the iterated prisoner’s dilemma game on a two-dimensional plane, focusing on the role of tit-for-tat strategy. When a time horizon, within which a strategy can recall the past, is one time step, an equilibrium can be achieved as cooperating strategies dominate the whole population via proliferation of tit-for-tat. Extending the time horizon, we filter out poor strategies by simplified replicator dynamics and observe a similar evolutionary pattern to reach the cooperating equilibrium. In particular, the rise of a modified tit-for-tat strategy plays a central role, which implies how a robust strategy is adopted when provided with an enhanced memory capacity.

  14. Taxonomic status and phylogenetic relationship of tits based on mitogenomes and nuclear segments.

    PubMed

    Li, Xuejuan; Lin, Liliang; Cui, Aiming; Bai, Jie; Wang, Xiaoyang; Xin, Chao; Zhang, Zhen; Yang, Chao; Gao, Ruirui; Huang, Yuan; Lei, Fumin

    2016-11-01

    The phylogeny of tits has been studied using various molecular markers, but their phylogenetic relationships remain controversial. To further investigate their taxonomic status and phylogenetic relationships, the entire mitochondrial genomes (mitogenomes) and five nuclear segments were sequenced from 10 species of tits and two outgroups (Sylviparus modestus and Remiz consobrinus), followed by the comparison of mitogenomic characteristics and reconstruction of phylogenetic relationship based on the different datasets. The results revealed the following: the mitogenomes of 10 ingroup tits, each 16,758-16,799bp in length, displayed typical mitogenome organization and the gene order found in most previously determined Passeriformes mitogenomes; close relationships existed between Parus major and P. monticolus, between P. montanus and P. palustris, and between P. ater and P. venustulus; and Pseudopodoces humilis was a sister group to P. spilonotus, P. cyanus, or the clade containing P. major and P. monticolus.

  15. Heavy metal load and dominance hierarchy in juvenile willow tits during winter.

    PubMed

    Hogstad, Olav; Pedersen, Hans Chr

    2007-05-01

    Possible links between plasma testosterone levels, heavy metal loads and dominance in juvenile male willow tits (Parus montanus) are studied during winter conditions in Norway. Dominant individuals have better access to food resources, significantly higher cadmium content in the liver and higher plasma testosterone level compared to subordinates. A positive correlation was also found between plasma testosterone level and content of cadmium in the liver. Although the results in our study shows only a limited difference in testosterone level of dominant and subordinate juvenile male willow tits, possible small changes in behaviour might have crucial effects on winter survival of these birds.

  16. Experimental study of cognitive aspects of ambivalent foraging as exemplified by the great tit.

    PubMed

    Reznikova, Zh I; Maslov, A A; Panteleeva, S N

    2015-11-01

    A hypothesis of ambivalent foraging is proposed based on ideas about dual treating of the prey by a consumer: the food value attracts while the danger repulses. The foraging strategy of the great tit was investigated experimentally with the use of artificial "food patches" with variable amounts of dangerous prey (live red wood ants) and non-dangerous prey (fly larvae). With non-dangerous prey, the behavior of the birds corresponded to the known marginal value theorem: they proceeded with foraging until the resources were exhausted. We found the threshold amount of dangerous prey that prevents tits from hunting.

  17. The TITS Algorithm: A Simple and Robust Method for Calculating Stable Shapes of Axisymmetric Vesicles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lim, Gerald

    2005-03-01

    I have implemented a simple and robust numerical technique for calculating axisymmetric equilibrium shapes of one-component lipid bilayer vesicles. This so-called Tethered Infinitesimal Tori and Spheres (TITS) Algorithm gives shapes that are automatically stable with respect to axisymmetric perturbations. The latest version of this algorithm can, but is not restricted to, impose constraints on any of three geometrical quantities: the area, volume and pole-to-pole distance (in the case of tether formation). In this talk, I will introduce the basic principles of the TITS Algorithm and demonstrate its versatility through a few example shape calculations involving the Helfrich and Area Difference Elasticity bending free energies.

  18. Personality and Information Gathering in Free-Ranging Great Tits

    PubMed Central

    van Overveld, Thijs; Matthysen, Erik

    2013-01-01

    One aspect of animal personality that has been well described in captivity, but received only little attention in studies in the wild, is that personality types may vary in their behavioural flexibility towards environmental changes. A fundamental factor underlying such differences is believed to be the degree to which individual behavior is guided by environmental stimuli. We tested this hypothesis in the wild using free-ranging great tits. Personality variation was quantified using exploratory behaviour in a novel environment, which has previously been shown to be repeatable and correlated with other behaviours in this and other populations of the same species. By temporarily removing food at feeding stations we examined whether birds with different personality differed in returning to visit empty feeders as this may provide information on how birds continue to sample their environment after a sudden change in conditions. In two summer experiments, we found that fast-exploring juveniles visited empty feeders less often compared to slow-exploring juveniles. In winter, sampling behaviour was sex dependent but not related to personality. In both seasons, we found that birds who sampled empty feeders more often were more likely to rediscover food after we again re-baited the feeding stations, but there was no effect of personality. Our results show that personality types may indeed differ in ways of collecting environmental information, which is consistent with the view of personalities as different styles of coping with environmental changes. The adaptive value of these alternative behavioural tactics, however, needs to be further explored. PMID:23383299

  19. Do Wild Great Tits Avoid Exposure to Light at Night?

    PubMed

    de Jong, Maaike; Ouyang, Jenny Q; van Grunsven, Roy H A; Visser, Marcel E; Spoelstra, Kamiel

    2016-01-01

    Studies of wild populations have provided important insights into the effects of artificial light at night on organisms, populations and ecosystems. However, in most studies the exact amount of light at night individuals are exposed to remains unknown. Individuals can potentially control their nighttime light exposure by seeking dark spots within illuminated areas. This uncertainty makes it difficult to attribute effects to a direct effect of light at night, or to indirect effects, e.g., via an effect of light at night on food availability. In this study, we aim to quantify the nocturnal light exposure of wild birds in a previously dark forest-edge habitat, experimentally illuminated with three different colors of street lighting, in comparison to a dark control. During two consecutive breeding seasons, we deployed male great tits (Parus major) with a light logger measuring light intensity every five minutes over a 24h period. We found that three males from pairs breeding in brightly illuminated nest boxes close to green and red lamp posts, were not exposed to more artificial light at night than males from pairs breeding further away. This suggests, based on our limited sample size, that these males could have been avoiding light at night by choosing a roosting place with a reduced light intensity. Therefore, effects of light at night previously reported for this species in our experimental set-up might be indirect. In contrast to urban areas where light is omnipresent, bird species in non-urban areas may evade exposure to nocturnal artificial light, thereby avoiding direct consequences of light at night.

  20. Do Wild Great Tits Avoid Exposure to Light at Night?

    PubMed Central

    de Jong, Maaike; Ouyang, Jenny Q.; van Grunsven, Roy H. A.; Visser, Marcel E.; Spoelstra, Kamiel

    2016-01-01

    Studies of wild populations have provided important insights into the effects of artificial light at night on organisms, populations and ecosystems. However, in most studies the exact amount of light at night individuals are exposed to remains unknown. Individuals can potentially control their nighttime light exposure by seeking dark spots within illuminated areas. This uncertainty makes it difficult to attribute effects to a direct effect of light at night, or to indirect effects, e.g., via an effect of light at night on food availability. In this study, we aim to quantify the nocturnal light exposure of wild birds in a previously dark forest-edge habitat, experimentally illuminated with three different colors of street lighting, in comparison to a dark control. During two consecutive breeding seasons, we deployed male great tits (Parus major) with a light logger measuring light intensity every five minutes over a 24h period. We found that three males from pairs breeding in brightly illuminated nest boxes close to green and red lamp posts, were not exposed to more artificial light at night than males from pairs breeding further away. This suggests, based on our limited sample size, that these males could have been avoiding light at night by choosing a roosting place with a reduced light intensity. Therefore, effects of light at night previously reported for this species in our experimental set-up might be indirect. In contrast to urban areas where light is omnipresent, bird species in non-urban areas may evade exposure to nocturnal artificial light, thereby avoiding direct consequences of light at night. PMID:27355354

  1. Immune Activation Reduces Sperm Quality in the Great Tit

    PubMed Central

    Losdat, Sylvain; Richner, Heinz; Blount, Jonathan D.; Helfenstein, Fabrice

    2011-01-01

    Mounting an immune response against pathogens incurs costs to organisms by its effects on important life-history traits, such as reproductive investment and survival. As shown recently, immune activation produces large amounts of reactive species and is suggested to induce oxidative stress. Sperm are highly susceptible to oxidative stress, which can negatively impact sperm function and ultimately male fertilizing efficiency. Here we address the question as to whether mounting an immune response affects sperm quality through the damaging effects of oxidative stress. It has been demonstrated recently in birds that carotenoid-based ornaments can be reliable signals of a male's ability to protect sperm from oxidative damage. In a full-factorial design, we immune-challenged great tit males while simultaneously increasing their vitamin E availability, and assessed the effect on sperm quality and oxidative damage. We conducted this experiment in a natural population and tested the males' response to the experimental treatment in relation to their carotenoid-based breast coloration, a condition-dependent trait. Immune activation induced a steeper decline in sperm swimming velocity, thus highlighting the potential costs of an induced immune response on sperm competitive ability and fertilizing efficiency. We found sperm oxidative damage to be negatively correlated with sperm swimming velocity. However, blood resistance to a free-radical attack (a measure of somatic antioxidant capacity) as well as plasma and sperm levels of oxidative damage (lipid peroxidation) remained unaffected, thus suggesting that the observed effect did not arise through oxidative stress. Towards the end of their breeding cycle, swimming velocity of sperm of more intensely colored males was higher, which has important implications for the evolution of mate choice and multiple mating in females because females may accrue both direct and indirect benefits by mating with males having better quality sperm

  2. The effects of food availability and distance to protective cover on the winter foraging behaviour of tits (Aves: Parus).

    PubMed

    Walther, B; Gosler, A

    2001-10-01

    To maximize fitness, many animals must trade off their need to forage efficiently against their need to avoid predators. We studied such a trade-off in four species of tits (Paridae) in a forest near Oxford, UK. During winter, tits form flocks which increase feeding efficiency and reduce predation risk. These flocks feed extensively on beech (Fagus sylvatica) seeds, the abundance of which may be critical for winter survival. Because these seeds drop to the ground, where birds are exposed to sparrowhawk (Accipiter nisus) attack, tits need to trade off their need to find seeds against the proximity to protective cover, provided by dense clusters of hawthorn (Crataegus spp.). The quality of the beech crop differs markedly between trees and years. During a year of abundant beechmast, most tits searched for seeds close to protective cover. This 'safety-first' strategy precluded visits to superabundant food patches if they were too far from protective cover. Among beech trees near to cover, tits tended to prefer those with high seed density. Tits benefited from foraging under trees with high seed density because this correlated significantly with seed mass per square metre and because mean search times decreased with increasing seed density. Finally, we show experimentally that great tits, Parus major, can discriminate between edible (viable) and inedible (empty) seeds.

  3. Blue Saturn

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2004-03-19

    Bands and spots in Saturn's atmosphere, including a dark band south of the equator with a scalloped border, are visible in this image from the Cassini-Huygens spacecraft. The narrow angle camera took the image in blue light on Feb. 29, 2004. The distance to Saturn was 59.9 million kilometers (37.2 million miles). The image scale is 359 kilometers (223 miles) per pixel. Three of Saturn's moons are seen in the image: Enceladus (499 kilometers, or 310 miles across) at left; Mimas (398 kilometers, or 247 miles across) left of Saturn's south pole; and Rhea (1,528 kilometers, or 949 miles across) at lower right. The imaging team enhanced the brightness of the moons to aid visibility. The BL1 broadband spectral filter (centered at 451 nanometers) allows Cassini to "see" light in a part of the spectrum visible as the color blue to human eyes. Scientist can combine images made with this filter with those taken with red and green filters to create full-color composites. Scientists can also assess cloud heights by combining images from the blue filter with images taken in other spectral regions. For example, the bright clouds that form the equatorial zone are the highest in altitude and have pressures at their tops of about one quarter of Earth's atmospheric pressure at sea level. The cloud tops at middle latitudes are lower in altitude and have higher pressures of about half that found at sea level. Analysis of Saturn images like this one will be extremely useful to researchers assessing cloud altitudes during the Cassini-Huygens mission. http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA05383

  4. Learning the ecological niche

    PubMed Central

    Slagsvold, Tore; Wiebe, Karen L

    2006-01-01

    A cornerstone of ecological theory is the ecological niche. Yet little is known about how individuals come to adopt it: whether it is innate or learned. Here, we report a cross-fostering experiment in the wild where we transferred eggs of blue tits, Cyanistes caeruleus, to nests of great tits, Parus major, and vice versa, to quantify the consequences of being reared in a different social context, but in an environment otherwise natural to the birds. We show that early learning causes a shift in the feeding niche in the direction of the foster species and that this shift lasts for life (foraging conservatism). Both species changed their feeding niches, but the change was greater in the great tit with its less specialized feeding behaviour. The study shows that cultural transmission through early learning is fundamental to the realization of ecological niches, and suggests a mechanism to explain learned habitat preference and sympatric speciation in animals. PMID:17015332

  5. Learning the ecological niche.

    PubMed

    Slagsvold, Tore; Wiebe, Karen L

    2007-01-07

    A cornerstone of ecological theory is the ecological niche. Yet little is known about how individuals come to adopt it: whether it is innate or learned. Here, we report a cross-fostering experiment in the wild where we transferred eggs of blue tits, Cyanistes caeruleus, to nests of great tits, Parus major, and vice versa, to quantify the consequences of being reared in a different social context, but in an environment otherwise natural to the birds. We show that early learning causes a shift in the feeding niche in the direction of the foster species and that this shift lasts for life (foraging conservatism). Both species changed their feeding niches, but the change was greater in the great tit with its less specialized feeding behaviour. The study shows that cultural transmission through early learning is fundamental to the realization of ecological niches, and suggests a mechanism to explain learned habitat preference and sympatric speciation in animals.

  6. Haematological status of wintering great tits (Parus major) along a metal pollution gradient.

    PubMed

    Geens, Ann; Dauwe, Tom; Bervoets, Lieven; Blust, Ronny; Eens, Marcel

    2010-02-01

    In the long-term biomonitoring of wild populations inhabiting polluted areas, the use of non-destructive biomarkers as markers of condition is very important. We examined the possible effects of metal pollution on the haematological status of adult great tits (Parus major) along a well-established pollution gradient near a non-ferrous smelter in Belgium. We measured blood and feather metal concentrations and assessed the haematological status (amount of red blood cells, haemoglobin concentration, haematocrit, mean corpuscular volume and mean corpuscular haemoglobin) of adult great tits during winter at four study sites. Metal concentrations in blood and feathers indicated that cadmium and lead were the most important metals in the pollution gradient under study. Measurements of haematological parameters revealed that haemoglobin concentration, haematocrit, mean corpuscular volume and mean corpuscular haemoglobin were lower in great tits from the more polluted sites. These parameters were significantly negatively correlated with blood lead concentration. The amount of red blood cells, however, did not significantly differ among study sites. Our results indicate that the haematological status of great tits is negatively affected by metal pollution and may therefore be used as a successful biomarker for monitoring the negative impact of metal exposure in the wild.

  7. Extremal multicenter black holes: nilpotent orbits and Tits Satake universality classes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fré, Pietro; Sorin, Alexander S.

    2013-01-01

    Four dimensional supergravity theories whose scalar manifold is a symmetric coset manifold UD=4/Hc are arranged into a finite list of Tits Satake universality classes. Stationary solutions of these theories, spherically symmetric or not, are identified with those of an euclidian three-dimensional σ-model, whose target manifold is a Lorentzian coset UD=3/H* and the extremal ones are associated with H* nilpotent orbits in the K* representation emerging from the orthogonal decomposition of the algebra {U} D=3 with respect to H*. It is shown that the classification of such orbits can always be reduced to the Tits-Satake projection and it is a class property of the Tits Satake universality classes. The construction procedure of Bossard et al of extremal multicenter solutions by means of a triangular hierarchy of integrable equations is completed and converted into a closed algorithm by means of a general formula that provides the transition from the symmetric to the solvable gauge. The question of the relation between H* orbits and charge orbits W of the corresponding black holes is addressed and also reduced to the corresponding question within the Tits Satake projection. It is conjectured that on the vanishing locus of the Taub-NUT current the relation between H*-orbit and W-orbit is rigid and one-to-one. All black holes emerging from multicenter solutions associated with a given H* orbit have the same W-type. For the S 3 model we provide a complete survey of its multicenter solutions associated with all of the previously classified nilpotent orbits of {s}{l}(2)× {s}{l}(2) within {{{g}}_{2,2 }} . We find a new intrinsic classification of the W-orbits of this model that might provide a paradigm for the analogous classification in all the other Tits Satake universality classes.

  8. Social environment affects juvenile dispersal in great tits (Parus major).

    PubMed

    Nicolaus, Marion; Michler, Stephanie P M; Jalvingh, Kirsten M; Ubels, Richard; van der Velde, Marco; Komdeur, Jan; Both, Christiaan; Tinbergen, Joost M

    2012-07-01

    1. Habitat selection can affect individual fitness, and therefore, individuals are expected to assess habitat quality of potential breeding sites before settlement. 2. We investigated the role of social environment on juvenile dispersal behaviour in the great tit (Parus major). Two main contradictory hypotheses can be formulated regarding social effects on juvenile dispersal as follows: (i) High fledgling density and sex ratio may enhance the intensity of local (kin) competition and, therefore, reduce individual survival chance, enhance emigration and reduce settlement ('repulsion' hypothesis) (ii) Alternatively, high fledgling density and sex ratio may signal high-quality habitat or lead to aggregation and thus increase individual survival chance, reduce emigration and enhance settlement ('attraction' hypothesis). 3. To disentangle positive from negative effects of high density and male-biased sex ratio on dispersal, we manipulated the social composition of the fledgling population in 12 semi-isolated nest-box areas (plots) via a change of fledgling density (low/high) as well as fledgling sex ratio (female-biased/balanced/male-biased) across 3 years. We then tested whether experimental variation in male and female fledgling densities affected variation in local survival, emigration and settlement of juveniles, and whether social effects on survival and dispersal support the 'repulsion' or 'attraction' hypothesis. 4. We found no experimental effects on local survival and emigration probabilities. However, consistent with the 'attraction' hypothesis, settlement was significantly and positively affected by local experimental sex ratio in each of the study years: both male and female juveniles avoided female-biased plots and settled more in plots that were balanced and male-biased the previous year. 5. Our study provides unprecedented experimental evidence that local sex ratio plays a causal role in habitat selection. We suggest that settlers avoid female

  9. Evolution of enlarged body size of coal tits Parus ater in geographic isolation from two larger competitors, the crested tit Parus cristatus and the willow tit Parus montanus, on six Scandinavian islands

    PubMed Central

    Norberg, R. Åke; Lindhe Norberg, Ulla M.

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT Here, we report that on six widely separated Scandinavian islands, the coal tit Parus ater has evolved morphologically in the direction of two absent competitors, the crested tit P. cristatus and the willow tit P. montanus, to the effect that it is up to 10% larger in linear dimensions than conspecifics on the adjacent Swedish mainland, where all three species coexist. The large size is genetically determined, as ascertained by clutch exchange experiments between island and mainland nests. We conclude that the increased size of P. ater in places where it is geographically isolated from its larger congeners is the result of evolutionary adaptation, due ultimately to relaxed interspecific competition. On the islands, P. ater has evolved into a medium-sized generalist, with selection pressures likely governed by the following causal relationships. When competitors are lacking, P. ater takes over the foraging space of the absentees. The enlarged food base allows higher population densities, which intensifies intraspecific interference competition. This, in turn, selects for increased body size. When P. ater coexists with its larger congeners, it occupies peripheral foraging sites in trees, which requires excellent manoeuvrability and energy-expensive locomotion modes. Reduction of body size increases locomotor capacity for mechanical and aerodynamic reasons and lowers energy consumption, so small size is favoured in sympatry. But in geographic isolation, P. ater exploits the tree periphery less and the inner tree regions more, and it also adopts the easier locomotion modes of the absent species. Therefore, selection for manoeuvrability and a small body size is relaxed. The new selection regime shifts the balance between opposing selection forces towards a larger body size. We were able to test 11 alternative hypotheses and available evidence conclusively eliminates them all. As a result, here, evolution could be predicted regarding both direction and amount of

  10. Evolution of enlarged body size of coal tits Parus ater in geographic isolation from two larger competitors, the crested tit Parus cristatus and the willow tit Parus montanus, on six Scandinavian islands.

    PubMed

    Norberg, R Åke; Lindhe Norberg, Ulla M

    2015-10-21

    Here, we report that on six widely separated Scandinavian islands, the coal tit Parus ater has evolved morphologically in the direction of two absent competitors, the crested tit P. cristatus and the willow tit P. montanus, to the effect that it is up to 10% larger in linear dimensions than conspecifics on the adjacent Swedish mainland, where all three species coexist. The large size is genetically determined, as ascertained by clutch exchange experiments between island and mainland nests. We conclude that the increased size of P. ater in places where it is geographically isolated from its larger congeners is the result of evolutionary adaptation, due ultimately to relaxed interspecific competition. On the islands, P. ater has evolved into a medium-sized generalist, with selection pressures likely governed by the following causal relationships. When competitors are lacking, P. ater takes over the foraging space of the absentees. The enlarged food base allows higher population densities, which intensifies intraspecific interference competition. This, in turn, selects for increased body size. When P. ater coexists with its larger congeners, it occupies peripheral foraging sites in trees, which requires excellent manoeuvrability and energy-expensive locomotion modes. Reduction of body size increases locomotor capacity for mechanical and aerodynamic reasons and lowers energy consumption, so small size is favoured in sympatry. But in geographic isolation, P. ater exploits the tree periphery less and the inner tree regions more, and it also adopts the easier locomotion modes of the absent species. Therefore, selection for manoeuvrability and a small body size is relaxed. The new selection regime shifts the balance between opposing selection forces towards a larger body size. We were able to test 11 alternative hypotheses and available evidence conclusively eliminates them all. As a result, here, evolution could be predicted regarding both direction and amount of change.

  11. The Blue Bottle Revisited.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Vandaveer, Walter R., IV; Mosher, Mel

    1997-01-01

    Presents a modification of the classic Blue Bottle demonstration that involves the alkaline glucose reduction of methylene blue. Uses other indicators in the classic Blue Bottle to produce a rainbow of colors. (JRH)

  12. The Blue Bottle Revisited.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Vandaveer, Walter R., IV; Mosher, Mel

    1997-01-01

    Presents a modification of the classic Blue Bottle demonstration that involves the alkaline glucose reduction of methylene blue. Uses other indicators in the classic Blue Bottle to produce a rainbow of colors. (JRH)

  13. Melanin- and carotenoid-dependent signals of great tits (Parus major) relate differently to metal pollution.

    PubMed

    Dauwe, Tom; Eens, Marcel

    2008-10-01

    Due to their high phenotypic plasticity, the expression of secondary sexual characteristics is particularly sensitive to stress. Here, we investigated the expression of two conspicuous visual signals in great tits (Parus major) in a metal pollution gradient. In three study sites with marked differences in metal contamination (mainly lead, cadmium, copper and zinc), we compared melanin and carotenoid colouration of great tits. While carotenoid colouration (yellow breast) was negatively related to metal pollution, the size of a melanin trait (breast stripe) was larger in the most polluted sites. Environmental pollutants not only affect the expression of conspicuous signals but may even enhance, directly or indirectly, a signal of male quality such as breast stripe. Our results also support the multiple messages hypothesis predicting that different signals highlight different aspects of geno- and phenotypic condition of the bearer.

  14. Melanin- and carotenoid-dependent signals of great tits ( Parus major) relate differently to metal pollution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dauwe, Tom; Eens, Marcel

    2008-10-01

    Due to their high phenotypic plasticity, the expression of secondary sexual characteristics is particularly sensitive to stress. Here, we investigated the expression of two conspicuous visual signals in great tits ( Parus major) in a metal pollution gradient. In three study sites with marked differences in metal contamination (mainly lead, cadmium, copper and zinc), we compared melanin and carotenoid colouration of great tits. While carotenoid colouration (yellow breast) was negatively related to metal pollution, the size of a melanin trait (breast stripe) was larger in the most polluted sites. Environmental pollutants not only affect the expression of conspicuous signals but may even enhance, directly or indirectly, a signal of male quality such as breast stripe. Our results also support the multiple messages hypothesis predicting that different signals highlight different aspects of geno- and phenotypic condition of the bearer.

  15. Funnel traps capture a higher proportion of juvenile Great Tits Parus major than automatic traps

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Senar, J.C.; Domenech, J.; Conroy, M.J.

    1999-01-01

    We compared capture rates of Great Tits at funnel traps, where several birds can be captured at once so that some decoy effect may appear, to those obtained at automatic traps, where only one bird can be trapped at a time, at trapping stations in northeastern Spain. Juvenile birds were mainly captured at funnel traps (79% of juvenile captures), whereas adult plumaged birds were captured at both types of traps (51% of captures were at the funnel traps) (test between ages, P<0.001). Juvenile Great Tits had lower body condition as measured by ptilochronology (P<0.01). These birds are more easily trapped in funnel traps, which may be acting as decoy traps, and thus are vulnerable to the same kinds of biases (eg age or body condition) that have been previously documented for decoy traps.

  16. Growth conditions affect carotenoid-based plumage coloration of great tit nestlings

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hõrak, P.; Vellau, Helen; Ots, Indrek; Møller, Anders Pape

    Carotenoid-based integument colour in animals has been hypothesised to signal individual phenotypic quality because it reliably reflects either foraging efficiency or health status. We investigated whether carotenoid-derived yellow plumage coloration of fledgling great tits (Parus major) reflects their nestling history. Great tit fledglings reared in a poor year (1998) or in the urban habitat were less yellow than these reared in a good year (1999) or in the forest. The origin of nestlings also affected their coloration since nestlings from a city population did not improve their coloration when transferred to the forest. Brood size manipulation affected fledgling colour, but only in the rural population, where nestlings from reduced broods developed more yellow coloration than nestlings from increased and control broods. Effect of brood size manipulation on fledgling plumage colour was independent of the body mass, indicating that growth environment affects fledgling body mass and plumage colour by different pathways.

  17. Long-term variation in hemoglobin concentration in nestling great tits Parus major.

    PubMed

    Kaliński, Adam; Bańbura, Mirosława; Glądalski, Michał; Markowski, Marcin; Skwarska, Joanna; Wawrzyniak, Jarosław; Zieliński, Piotr; Cyżewska, Iwona; Bańbura, Jerzy

    2015-07-01

    Several studies have previously proposed that blood hemoglobin concentration in nestling passerines is a reliable index of individual condition and nutritional state. In this paper we present results concerning variation in hemoglobin concentration in the blood of ca. 14-day-old nestling great tits Parus major in central Poland in an 11-year-long period, 2003-2013, in two distinct habitat types: urban park and deciduous forest. The most important findings of the study were: (i) variation in hemoglobin concentration was consistent within broods, (ii) hemoglobin concentration of nestlings varied markedly across years, (iii) hemoglobin concentration was significantly higher in the forest study site which is richer in terms of food abundance during the short period of tits breeding season and (iv) high hemoglobin level was a predictor of nestling survival from hatching to fledging.

  18. Emergence of a Novel Avian Pox Disease in British Tit Species

    PubMed Central

    Lawson, Becki; Lachish, Shelly; Colvile, Katie M.; Durrant, Chris; Peck, Kirsi M.; Toms, Mike P.; Sheldon, Ben C.; Cunningham, Andrew A.

    2012-01-01

    Avian pox is a viral disease with a wide host range. In Great Britain, avian pox in birds of the Paridae family was first diagnosed in a great tit (Parus major) from south-east England in 2006. An increasing number of avian pox incidents in Paridae have been reported each year since, indicative of an emergent infection. Here, we utilise a database of opportunistic reports of garden bird mortality and morbidity to analyse spatial and temporal patterns of suspected avian pox throughout Great Britain, 2006–2010. Reports of affected Paridae (211 incidents) outnumbered reports in non-Paridae (91 incidents). The majority (90%) of Paridae incidents involved great tits. Paridae pox incidents were more likely to involve multiple individuals (77.3%) than were incidents in non-Paridae hosts (31.9%). Unlike the small wart-like lesions usually seen in non-Paridae with avian pox in Great Britain, lesions in Paridae were frequently large, often with an ulcerated surface and caseous core. Spatial analyses revealed strong clustering of suspected avian pox incidents involving Paridae hosts, but only weak, inconsistent clustering of incidents involving non-Paridae hosts. There was no spatial association between Paridae and non-Paridae incidents. We documented significant spatial spread of Paridae pox from an origin in south-east England; no spatial spread was evident for non-Paridae pox. For both host clades, there was an annual peak of reports in August/September. Sequencing of the avian poxvirus 4b core protein produced an identical viral sequence from each of 20 great tits tested from Great Britain. This sequence was identical to that from great tits from central Europe and Scandinavia. In contrast, sequence variation was evident amongst virus tested from 17 non-Paridae hosts of 5 species. Our findings show Paridae pox to be an emerging infectious disease in wild birds in Great Britain, apparently originating from viral incursion from central Europe or Scandinavia. PMID:23185231

  19. Emergence of a novel avian pox disease in British tit species.

    PubMed

    Lawson, Becki; Lachish, Shelly; Colvile, Katie M; Durrant, Chris; Peck, Kirsi M; Toms, Mike P; Sheldon, Ben C; Cunningham, Andrew A

    2012-01-01

    Avian pox is a viral disease with a wide host range. In Great Britain, avian pox in birds of the Paridae family was first diagnosed in a great tit (Parus major) from south-east England in 2006. An increasing number of avian pox incidents in Paridae have been reported each year since, indicative of an emergent infection. Here, we utilise a database of opportunistic reports of garden bird mortality and morbidity to analyse spatial and temporal patterns of suspected avian pox throughout Great Britain, 2006-2010. Reports of affected Paridae (211 incidents) outnumbered reports in non-Paridae (91 incidents). The majority (90%) of Paridae incidents involved great tits. Paridae pox incidents were more likely to involve multiple individuals (77.3%) than were incidents in non-Paridae hosts (31.9%). Unlike the small wart-like lesions usually seen in non-Paridae with avian pox in Great Britain, lesions in Paridae were frequently large, often with an ulcerated surface and caseous core. Spatial analyses revealed strong clustering of suspected avian pox incidents involving Paridae hosts, but only weak, inconsistent clustering of incidents involving non-Paridae hosts. There was no spatial association between Paridae and non-Paridae incidents. We documented significant spatial spread of Paridae pox from an origin in south-east England; no spatial spread was evident for non-Paridae pox. For both host clades, there was an annual peak of reports in August/September. Sequencing of the avian poxvirus 4b core protein produced an identical viral sequence from each of 20 great tits tested from Great Britain. This sequence was identical to that from great tits from central Europe and Scandinavia. In contrast, sequence variation was evident amongst virus tested from 17 non-Paridae hosts of 5 species. Our findings show Paridae pox to be an emerging infectious disease in wild birds in Great Britain, apparently originating from viral incursion from central Europe or Scandinavia.

  20. Taking the Operant Paradigm into the Field: Associative Learning in Wild Great Tits.

    PubMed

    Morand-Ferron, Julie; Hamblin, Steven; Cole, Ella F; Aplin, Lucy M; Quinn, John L

    2015-01-01

    Associative learning is essential for resource acquisition, predator avoidance and reproduction in a wide diversity of species, and is therefore a key target for evolutionary and comparative cognition research. Automated operant devices can greatly enhance the study of associative learning and yet their use has been mainly restricted to laboratory conditions. We developed a portable, weatherproof, battery-operated operant device and conducted the first fully automated colour-associative learning experiment using free-ranging individuals in the wild. We used the device to run a colour discrimination task in a monitored population of tits (Paridae). Over two winter months, 80 individuals from four species recorded a total of 5,128 trials. Great tits (Parus major) were more likely than other species to visit the devices and engage in trials, but there were no sex or personality biases in the sample of great tits landing at the devices and registering key pecks. Juveniles were more likely than adults to visit the devices and to register trials. Individuals that were successful at solving a novel technical problem in captivity (lever-pulling) learned faster than non-solvers when at the operant devices in the wild, suggesting cross-contextual consistency in learning performance in very different tasks. There was no significant effect of personality or sex on learning rate, but juveniles' choice accuracy tended to improve at a faster rate than adults. We discuss how customisable automated operant devices, such as the one described here, could prove to be a powerful tool in evolutionary ecology studies of cognitive traits, especially among inquisitive species such as great tits.

  1. Taking the Operant Paradigm into the Field: Associative Learning in Wild Great Tits

    PubMed Central

    Morand-Ferron, Julie; Hamblin, Steven; Cole, Ella F.; Aplin, Lucy M.; Quinn, John L.

    2015-01-01

    Associative learning is essential for resource acquisition, predator avoidance and reproduction in a wide diversity of species, and is therefore a key target for evolutionary and comparative cognition research. Automated operant devices can greatly enhance the study of associative learning and yet their use has been mainly restricted to laboratory conditions. We developed a portable, weatherproof, battery-operated operant device and conducted the first fully automated colour-associative learning experiment using free-ranging individuals in the wild. We used the device to run a colour discrimination task in a monitored population of tits (Paridae). Over two winter months, 80 individuals from four species recorded a total of 5,128 trials. Great tits (Parus major) were more likely than other species to visit the devices and engage in trials, but there were no sex or personality biases in the sample of great tits landing at the devices and registering key pecks. Juveniles were more likely than adults to visit the devices and to register trials. Individuals that were successful at solving a novel technical problem in captivity (lever-pulling) learned faster than non-solvers when at the operant devices in the wild, suggesting cross-contextual consistency in learning performance in very different tasks. There was no significant effect of personality or sex on learning rate, but juveniles’ choice accuracy tended to improve at a faster rate than adults. We discuss how customisable automated operant devices, such as the one described here, could prove to be a powerful tool in evolutionary ecology studies of cognitive traits, especially among inquisitive species such as great tits. PMID:26288131

  2. The blood parasite Haemoproteus reduces survival in a wild bird: a medication experiment

    PubMed Central

    la Puente, Josué Martínez-de; Merino, Santiago; Tomás, Gustavo; Moreno, Juan; Morales, Judith; Lobato, Elisa; García-Fraile, Sonia; Belda, Eduardo Jorge

    2010-01-01

    While avian chronic haemoparasite infections induce reproductive costs, infection has not previously been shown to affect survival. Here, we experimentally reduced, through medication, the intensity of infection by Haemoproteus parasites in wild-breeding female blue tits Cyanistes caeruleus. However, this treatment did not reduce the intensity of infection in males or the intensity of infection by Leucocytozoon. Medicated females, but not males, showed increased local survival until the next breeding season compared with control birds. To our knowledge, this is the first empirical evidence showing long-term direct survival costs of chronic Haemoproteus infections in wild birds. PMID:20181556

  3. Is Tit-for-Tat the Answer? On the Conclusions Drawn from Axelrod's Tournaments

    PubMed Central

    Rapoport, Amnon; Seale, Darryl A.; Colman, Andrew M.

    2015-01-01

    Axelrod’s celebrated Prisoner’s Dilemma computer tournaments, published in the early 1980s, were designed to find effective ways of acting in everyday interactions with the strategic properties of the iterated Prisoner’s Dilemma game. The winner of both tournaments was tit-for-tat, a program that cooperates on the first round and then, on every subsequent round, copies the co-player’s choice from the previous round. This has been interpreted as evidence that tit-for-tat is an effective general-purpose strategy. By re-analyzing data from the first tournament and some more recent data, we provide new results suggesting that the efficacy of tit-for-tat is contingent on the design of the tournament, the criterion used to determine success, and the particular values chosen for the Prisoner’s Dilemma payoff matrix. We argue that this places in doubt the generality of the results and the policy implications drawn from them. PMID:26225422

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-11-01

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

  5. Assessing heavy metal pollution using Great Tits (Parus major): feathers and excrements from nestlings and adults.

    PubMed

    Costa, R A; Eeva, T; Eira, C; Vaqueiro, J; Vingada, J V

    2013-06-01

    Passerine species have been increasingly used as bioindicators of metal bioaccumulation especially by taking benefit of non-invasive procedures, such as collecting feathers and excrements. In 2009, metal (As, Cd, Cu, Hg, Ni, Pb, Se and Zn) concentrations were determined in feathers and excrements of nestling and adult female great tits (Parus major) in industrial (a paper mill) and rural sites in maritime pine forests on the west coast of Portugal. The aim of this study was to compare the levels of metals between the areas but also between sampling methods (feather vs. excrement) and age classes (nestling vs. adult). Although excrements and feathers of nestling great tits showed different concentrations, similar patterns of accumulation were detected in both study areas. There was a significantly higher concentration of mercury in the industrial area and significantly higher concentrations of arsenic in the rural area in both sample types. Metal levels in adult females had quite different results when compared to nestlings, and only nickel presented significantly higher levels near the paper mill. Since metal levels showed a consistent pattern in feathers and excrements of nestling great tits, we conclude that both represent good and non-invasive methods for the evaluation of these elements in polluted areas.

  6. Mhc-linked survival and lifetime reproductive success in a wild population of great tits.

    PubMed

    Sepil, Irem; Lachish, Shelly; Sheldon, Ben C

    2013-01-01

    Major histocompatibility complex (Mhc) genes are frequently used as a model for adaptive genetic diversity. Although associations between Mhc and disease resistance are frequently documented, little is known about the fitness consequences of Mhc variation in wild populations. Further, most work to date has involved testing associations between Mhc genotypes and fitness components. However, the functional diversity of the Mhc, and hence the mechanism by which selection on Mhc acts, depends on how genotypes map to the functional properties of Mhc molecules. Here, we test three hypotheses that relate Mhc diversity to fitness: (i) the maximal diversity hypothesis, (ii) the optimal diversity hypothesis and (iii) effect of specific Mhc types. We combine mark-recapture methods with analysis of long-term breeding data to investigate the effects of Mhc class I functional diversity (Mhc supertypes) on individual fitness in a wild great tit (Parus major) population. We found that the presence of three different Mhc supertypes was associated with three different components of individual fitness: survival, annual recruitment and lifetime reproductive success (LRS). Great tits possessing Mhc supertype 3 experienced higher survival rates than those that did not, whereas individuals with Mhc supertype 6 experienced higher LRS and were more likely to recruit offspring each year. Conversely, great tits that possessed Mhc supertype 5 had reduced LRS. We found no evidence for a selective advantage of Mhc diversity, in terms of either maximal or optimal supertype diversity. Our results support the suggestion that specific Mhc types are an important determinant of individual fitness.

  7. Rearing conditions have long-term consequences for stress responsiveness in free-living great tits.

    PubMed

    Landys, Mėta M; Goymann, Wolfgang; Slagsvold, Tore

    2011-11-01

    In captivity, the adrenocortical stress response can be permanently altered by events that occur during early life. Free-living animals have rarely been examined in this regard. To examine whether early-life events impact the hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis in the natural setting, we evaluated the stress response of free-living interspecifically cross-fostered great tits (Parus major). Cross-fostered birds may show a long-term potentiation of the adrenocortical stress response because species-specific nutritional requirements may not be met in the nest and/or cross-fostered birds may experience psychosocial stress while being raised by heterospecifics. Nevertheless, we hypothesized that in the natural setting, programmed changes in HPA function would be eclipsed by reactive responses to the immediate environment. Thus, we predicted that adult cross-fostered great tits and controls would show no differences in their adrenocortical stress response. Contrary to predictions, we found that stress responsiveness (i.e., the rate of the corticosterone increase associated with capture and handling) was significantly higher in cross-fostered great tits than in controls. Further, stress responsiveness was not significantly different between mature adults and first-year juveniles. Thus, data indicate significant effects of early rearing conditions on adrenocortical reactivity in the natural setting and also suggest that effects of rearing conditions in free-living animals can last into adulthood.

  8. Do secretions from the uropygial gland of birds attract biting midges and black flies?

    PubMed

    Martínez-de la Puente, Josué; Rivero-de Aguilar, Juan; Del Cerro, Sara; Argüello, Anastasio; Merino, Santiago

    2011-12-01

    Bird susceptibility to attacks by blood-sucking flying insects could be influenced by urogypial gland secretions. To determine the effect of these secretions on biting midges and black flies, we set up a series of tests. First, we placed uropygial gland secretions from blue tit Cyanistes caeruleus broods inside empty nest boxes while empty nest boxes without gland secretions were treated as controls. Blue tit broods, from which we had obtained uropygial secretions, were affected by biting midges and black flies. However, these insects were absent in nest boxes both with and without secretions from nestlings' uropygial glands. We subsequently tested for the effects of uropygial gland secretions from feral pigeons Columba livia monitoring the number of biting midges captured using miniature CDC traps. There was no significant difference in the number of biting midges captured. Overall, our results did not support a potential role of avian uropygial gland secretions in attracting biting midges and black flies.

  9. No evidence for memory interference across sessions in food hoarding marsh tits Poecile palustris under laboratory conditions.

    PubMed

    Urhan, A Utku; Brodin, Anders

    2015-05-01

    Scatter hoarding birds are known for their accurate spatial memory. In a previous experiment, we tested the retrieval accuracy in marsh tits in a typical laboratory set-up for this species. We also tested the performance of humans in this experimental set-up. Somewhat unexpectedly, humans performed much better than marsh tits. In the first five attempts, humans relocated almost 90 % of the caches they had hidden 5 h earlier. Marsh tits only relocated 25 % in the first five attempts and just above 40 % in the first ten attempts. Typically, in this type of experiment, the birds will be caching and retrieving many times in the same sites in the same experimental room. This is very different from the conditions in nature where hoarding parids only cache once in a caching site. Hence, it is possible that memories from previous sessions will disturb the formation of new memories. If there is such proactive interference, the prediction is that success should decay over sessions. Here, we have designed an experiment to investigate whether there is such memory interference in this type of experiment. We allowed marsh tits and humans to cache and retrieve in three repeated sessions without prior experience of the arena. The performance did not change over sessions, and on average, marsh tits correctly visited around 25 % of the caches in the first five attempts. The corresponding success in humans was constant across sessions, and it was around 90 % on average. We conclude that the somewhat poor performance of the marsh tits did not depend on proactive memory interference. We also discuss other possible reasons for why marsh tits in general do not perform better in laboratory experiments.

  10. Artificial light at night affects sleep behaviour differently in two closely related songbird species.

    PubMed

    Sun, Jiachen; Raap, Thomas; Pinxten, Rianne; Eens, Marcel

    2017-09-05

    Artificial light at night (ALAN) or light pollution is an increasing and worldwide problem. There is growing concern that because of the disruption of natural light cycles, ALAN may pose serious risks for wildlife. While ALAN has been shown to affect many aspects of animal behaviour and physiology, few studies have experimentally studied whether individuals of different species in the wild respond differently to ALAN. Here, we investigated the effect of ALAN on sleep behaviour in two closely related songbird species inhabiting the same study area and roosting/breeding in similar nest boxes. We experimentally exposed free-living great tits (Parus major) and blue tits (Cyanistes caeruleus) to artificial light inside their nest boxes and observed changes in their sleep behaviour compared to the previous night when the nest boxes were dark. In line with previous studies, sleep behaviour of both species did not differ under dark conditions. ALAN disrupted sleep in both great and blue tits. However, compared to blue tits, great tits showed more pronounced effects and more aspects of sleep were affected. Light exposed great tits entered the nest boxes and fell asleep later, woke up and exited the nest boxes earlier, and the total sleep amount and sleep percentage were reduced. By contrast, these changes in sleep behaviour were not found in light exposed blue tits. Our field experiment, using exactly the same light manipulation in both species, provides direct evidence that two closely related species respond differently to ALAN, while their sleep behaviour under dark conditions was similar. Our research suggests that findings for one species cannot necessarily be generalised to other species, even closely-related species. Furthermore, species-specific effects could have implications for community dynamics. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. Trace metal concentration in Great Tit (Parus major) and Greenfinch (Carduelis sinica) at the Western Mountains of Beijing, China.

    PubMed

    Deng, Haili; Zhang, Zhengwang; Chang, Chongyan; Wang, Yong

    2007-07-01

    We examined the concentrations of 11 trace metals in tissues from 10 body parts of Great Tits and Greenfinches collected at Badachu Park in the Western Mountains of Beijing, China to assess the metal accumulation level, distribution among body parts, and species and gender related variations. The highest concentrations of Hg, Ni, Zn, and Mn were found in the feather; Pb and Co in the bone; Cd, Cr, and Se in the kidney, and Cu in the liver and heart. Metal concentrations had substantial interspecific variation with Great Tits showing higher levels of Hg, Cr, Ni, and Mn than Greenfinches in tissues of most body parts. Gender related variations were body part and species specific. Meta-analyses using data from this study and other studies suggested that metal concentrations of Great Tits at our study site were relatively low and below the toxic levels.

  12. Methylene blue test

    MedlinePlus

    ... determine the type or to treat methemoglobinemia , a blood disorder. ... Methemoglobinemia - methylene blue test ... Normally, methylene blue quickly lowers the level of ... Some labs use different measurements or test different samples. ...

  13. The Blue Water

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Berger, J. Joel

    1973-01-01

    Describes some of the advantages of an elementary science activity in which students discover that blowing through a straw into a bromthymol blue solution changes the color to yellow. Directions are provided for preparing the bromthymol blue solution. (JR)

  14. Nocturnal loss of body reserves reveals high survival risk for subordinate great tits wintering at extremely low ambient temperatures.

    PubMed

    Krams, Indrikis; Cīrule, Dina; Vrublevska, Jolanta; Nord, Andreas; Rantala, Markus J; Krama, Tatjana

    2013-06-01

    Winter acclimatization in birds is a complex of several strategies based on metabolic adjustment accompanied by long-term management of resources such as fattening. However, wintering birds often maintain fat reserves below their physiological capacity, suggesting a cost involved with excessive levels of reserves. We studied body reserves of roosting great tits in relation to their dominance status under two contrasting temperature regimes to see whether individuals are capable of optimizing their survival strategies under extreme environmental conditions. We predicted less pronounced loss of body mass and body condition and lower rates of overnight mortality in dominant great tits at both mild and extremely low ambient temperatures, when ambient temperature dropped down to -43 °C. The results showed that dominant great tits consistently maintained lower reserve levels than subordinates regardless of ambient temperature. However, dominants responded to the rising risk of starvation under low temperatures by increasing their body reserves, whereas subdominant birds decreased reserve levels in harsh conditions. Yet, their losses of body mass and body reserves were always lower than in subordinate birds. None of the dominant great tits were found dead, while five young females and one adult female were found dead in nest boxes during cold spells when ambient temperatures dropped down to -43 °C. The dead great tits lost up to 23.83 % of their evening body mass during cold nights while surviving individuals lost on average 12.78 % of their evening body mass. Our results show that fattening strategies of great tits reflect an adaptive role of winter fattening which is sensitive to changes in ambient temperatures and differs among individuals of different social ranks.

  15. Blue Origin testing

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2012-04-20

    NASA Administrator Charles Bolden (r) discusses the upcoming testing of Blue Origin's BE-3 engine thrust chamber assembly with Steve Knowles, Blue Origin project manager, at the E-1 Test Stand during an April 20, 2012, visit to Stennis Space Center. Blue Origin is one of NASA's partners developing innovative systems to reach low-Earth orbit.

  16. Sexual conflict and consistency of offspring desertion in Eurasian penduline tit Remiz pendulinus.

    PubMed

    Pogány, Akos; Szentirmai, István; Komdeur, Jan; Székely, Tamás

    2008-09-01

    The trade-off between current and future parental investment is often different between males and females. This difference may lead to sexual conflict between parents over care provisioning in animals that breed with multiple mates. One of the most obvious manifestations of sexual conflict over care is offspring desertion whereby one parent deserts the young to increase its reproductive success at the expense of its mate. Offspring desertion is a wide-spread behavior, and its frequency often varies within populations. We studied the consistency of offspring desertion in a small passerine bird, the Eurasian penduline tit Remiz pendulinus, that has an extremely variable breeding system. Both males and females are sequentially polygamous, and a single parent (either the male or the female) incubates the eggs and rears the young. About 28-40% of offspring are abandoned by both parents, and these offspring perish. Here we investigate whether the variation in offspring desertion in a population emerges either by each individual behaving consistently between different broods, or it is driven by the environment. Using a three-year dataset from Southern Hungary we show that offspring desertion by females is consistent between nests. Male desertion, however, depends on ambient environment, because all males desert their nests early in the season and some of them care late in the season. Therefore, within-population variation in parental care emerges by sexually different mechanisms; between-individual variation was responsible for the observed pattern of offspring desertion in females, whereas within-individual variation was responsible for the observed pattern in males. To our knowledge, our study is the first that investigates repeatability of offspring desertion behavior in nature. The contrasting strategies of the sexes imply complex evolutionary trajectories in breeding behavior of penduline tits. Our results raise an intriguing question whether the sexual difference in

  17. Diurnal brooding behavior of long-tailed tits (Aegithalos caudatus glaucogularis)

    PubMed Central

    YU, Jin; WANG, Peng-Cheng; LÜ, Lei; ZHANG, Zheng-Wang; WANG, Yong; XU, Ji-Liang; LI, Jian-Qiang; XI, Bo; ZHU, Jia-Gui; DU, Zhi-Yong

    2016-01-01

    Brooding is a major breeding investment of parental birds during the early nestling stage, and has important effects on the development and survival of nestlings. Investigating brooding behavior can help to understand avian breeding investment strategies. From January to June in 2013 and 2014, we studied the brooding behaviors of long-tailed tits (Aegithalos caudatus glaucogularis) in Dongzhai National Nature Reserve, Henan Province, China. We analyzed the relationships between parental diurnal brooding duration and nestling age, brood size, temperature, relative breeding season, time of day and nestling frequencies during brooding duration. Results showed that female and male long-tailed tit parents had different breeding investment strategies during the early nestling stage. Female parents bore most of the brooding investment, while male parents performed most of the nestling feedings. In addition, helpers were not found to brood nestlings at the two cooperative breeding nests. Parental brooding duration was significantly associated with the food delivered to nestlings (F=86.10, df=1, 193.94, P<0.001), and was longer when the nestlings received more food. We found that parental brooding duration declined significantly as nestlings aged (F=5.99, df=1, 50.13, P=0.018). When nestlings were six days old, daytime parental brooding almost ceased, implying that longtailed tit nestlings might be able to maintain their own body temperature by this age. In addition, brooding duration was affected by both brood size (F=12.74, df=1, 32.08, P=0.001) and temperature (F=5.83, df=1, 39.59, P=0.021), with it being shorter in larger broods and when ambient temperature was higher. PMID:27029865

  18. Replicated analysis of the genetic architecture of quantitative traits in two wild great tit populations.

    PubMed

    Santure, Anna W; Poissant, Jocelyn; De Cauwer, Isabelle; van Oers, Kees; Robinson, Matthew R; Quinn, John L; Groenen, Martien A M; Visser, Marcel E; Sheldon, Ben C; Slate, Jon

    2015-12-01

    Currently, there is much debate on the genetic architecture of quantitative traits in wild populations. Is trait variation influenced by many genes of small effect or by a few genes of major effect? Where is additive genetic variation located in the genome? Do the same loci cause similar phenotypic variation in different populations? Great tits (Parus major) have been studied extensively in long-term studies across Europe and consequently are considered an ecological 'model organism'. Recently, genomic resources have been developed for the great tit, including a custom SNP chip and genetic linkage map. In this study, we used a suite of approaches to investigate the genetic architecture of eight quantitative traits in two long-term study populations of great tits--one in the Netherlands and the other in the United Kingdom. Overall, we found little evidence for the presence of genes of large effects in either population. Instead, traits appeared to be influenced by many genes of small effect, with conservative estimates of the number of contributing loci ranging from 31 to 310. Despite concordance between population-specific heritabilities, we found no evidence for the presence of loci having similar effects in both populations. While population-specific genetic architectures are possible, an undetected shared architecture cannot be rejected because of limited power to map loci of small and moderate effects. This study is one of few examples of genetic architecture analysis in replicated wild populations and highlights some of the challenges and limitations researchers will face when attempting similar molecular quantitative genetic studies in free-living populations.

  19. Diurnal brooding behavior of long-tailed tits (Aegithalos caudatus glaucogularis).

    PubMed

    Yu, Jin; Wang, Peng-Cheng; Lü, Lei; Zhang, Zheng-Wang; Wang, Yong; Xu, Ji-Liang; Li, Jian-Qiang; Xi, Bo; Zhu, Jia-Gui; Du, Zhi-Yong

    2016-03-18

    Brooding is a major breeding investment of parental birds during the early nestling stage, and has important effects on the development and survival of nestlings. Investigating brooding behavior can help to understand avian breeding investment strategies. From January to June in 2013 and 2014, we studied the brooding behaviors of long-tailed tits (Aegithalos caudatus glaucogularis) in Dongzhai National Nature Reserve, Henan Province, China. We analyzed the relationships between parental diurnal brooding duration and nestling age, brood size, temperature, relative breeding season, time of day and nestling frequencies during brooding duration. Results showed that female and male long-tailed tit parents had different breeding investment strategies during the early nestling stage. Female parents bore most of the brooding investment, while male parents performed most of the nestling feedings. In addition, helpers were not found to brood nestlings at the two cooperative breeding nests. Parental brooding duration was significantly associated with the food delivered to nestlings (F=86.10, df=1, 193.94, P<0.001), and was longer when the nestlings received more food. We found that parental brooding duration declined significantly as nestlings aged (F=5.99, df=1, 50.13, P=0.018). When nestlings were six days old, daytime parental brooding almost ceased, implying that longtailed tit nestlings might be able to maintain their own body temperature by this age. In addition, brooding duration was affected by both brood size (F=12.74, df=1, 32.08, P=0.001) and temperature (F=5.83, df=1, 39.59, P=0.021), with it being shorter in larger broods and when ambient temperature was higher.

  20. Temperature-induced elevation of basal metabolic rate does not affect testis growth in great tits.

    PubMed

    Caro, Samuel P; Visser, Marcel E

    2009-07-01

    The timing of reproduction varies from year to year in many bird species. To adjust their timing to the prevailing conditions of that year, birds use cues from their environment. However, the relative importance of these cues, such as the initial predictive (e.g. photoperiod) and the supplemental factors (e.g. temperature), on the seasonal sexual development are difficult to distinguish. In particular, the fine-tuning effect of temperature on gonadal growth is not well known. One way temperature may affect timing is via its strong effect on energy expenditure as gonadal growth is an energy-demanding process. To study the interaction of photoperiod and temperature on gonadal development, we first exposed 35 individually housed male great tits (Parus major) to mid-long days (after 6 weeks of 8 h L:16 h D at 15 degrees C, photoperiod was set to 13 h L:11 h D at 15 degrees C). Two weeks later, for half of the males the temperature was set to 8 degrees C, and for the other half to 22 degrees C. Unilateral laparotomies were performed at weeks 5 (i.e one week before the birds were transferred to mid-long days), 8 and 11 to measure testis size. Two measures of basal metabolic rate (BMR) were performed at the end of the experiment (weeks 11 and 12). Testis size increased significantly during the course of the experiment, but independently of the temperature treatment. BMR was significantly higher in birds exposed to the cold treatment. These results show that temperature-related elevation of BMR did not impair the long-day-induced testis growth in great tits. As a consequence, temperature may not be a crucial cue and/or constraint factor in the fine-tuning of the gonadal recrudescence in male great tits, and testis growth is not a high energy-demanding seasonal process.

  1. P-adic conformal invariance and the Bruhat—Tits tree

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lerner, E. Yu.; Missarov, M. D.

    1991-06-01

    It is shown that some Gaussian and non-Gaussian scaling invariant p-adic field theories are invariant under the group of transformations which conserve the p-adic norm of the cross-ratio of any four points. This group can be treated as a p-adic conformal group. It has a continuation on the Bruhat—Tits tree, being an automorphism group of that tree. The models also have tree continuation, in particular the binary correlation function of the tree model is a spherical function.

  2. Multiloop Calculus in P-Adic String Theory and Bruhat-Tits Trees

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chekhov, L. O.; Mironov, A. D.; Zabrodin, A. V.

    We treat the open p-adic string world sheet as a coset space F=T/Γ, where T is the Bruhat-Tits tree for the p-adic linear group GL(2, Q p) and Γ⊂PGL(2, Q p) is some Schottky group. The boundary of this world sheet corresponds to p-adic Mumford curve of finite genus. The string dynamics is governed by the local gaussian action on the tree T. We find the amplitudes for emission processes of the tachyon states from the boundary.

  3. The carotenoid-continuum: carotenoid-based plumage ranges from conspicuous to cryptic and back again

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background Carotenoids are frequently used by birds to colour their plumage with green, yellow, orange or red hues, and carotenoid-based colours are considered honest signals of quality, although they may have other functions, such as crypsis. It is usually assumed that red through yellow colours have a signalling function while green is cryptic. Here we challenge this notion using the yellow and green colouration of blue tits (Cyanistes caeruleus), great tits (Parus major) and greenfinches (Carduelis chloris) as a model. Results The relationship between colouration (chroma, computed using visual sensitivities of conspecifics) and detectability (contrast against natural backgrounds as perceived by conspecifics and avian predators) followed a similar curvilinear pattern for yellow and green plumage with minimum detectability at intermediate levels of carotenoid deposition. Thus, for yellow and green plumage, colours at or close to the point of minimum detectability may aid in crypsis. This may be the case for blue and great tit green and yellow plumage, and greenfinch green plumage, all of which had comparably low levels of detectability, while greenfinch yellow plumage was more chromatic and detectable. As yellow and green blue tit colouration are strongly affected by carotenoid availability during moult, variation in pigment availability between habitats may affect the degree of background-matching or the costliness of producing cryptic plumage. Conclusions Increasing carotenoid-deposition in the integument does not always lead to more conspicuous colours. In some cases, such as in blue or great tits, carotenoid deposition may be selected through enhanced background-matching, which in turn suggests that producing cryptic plumage may entail costs. We stress however, that our data do not rule out a signalling function of carotenoid-based plumage in tits. Rather, it shows that alternative functions are plausible and that assuming a signalling function based solely on

  4. Egg Speckling Patterns Do Not Advertise Offspring Quality or Influence Male Provisioning in Great Tits

    PubMed Central

    Stoddard, Mary Caswell; Fayet, Annette L.; Kilner, Rebecca M.; Hinde, Camilla A.

    2012-01-01

    Many passerine birds lay white eggs with reddish brown speckles produced by protoporphyrin pigment. However, the function of these spots is contested. Recently, the sexually selected eggshell coloration (SSEC) hypothesis proposed that eggshell color is a sexually selected signal through which a female advertises her quality (and hence the potential quality of her future young) to her male partner, thereby encouraging him to contribute more to breeding attempts. We performed a test of the SSEC hypothesis in a common passerine, the great tit Parus major. We used a double cross-fostering design to determine whether males change their provisioning behavior based on eggshell patterns they observe at the nest. We also tested the assumption that egg patterning reflects female and/or offspring quality. Because birds differ from humans in their color and pattern perception, we used digital photography and models of bird vision to quantify egg patterns objectively. Neither male provisioning nor chick growth was related to the pattern of eggs males observed during incubation. Although heavy females laid paler, less speckled eggs, these eggs did not produce chicks that grew faster. Therefore, we conclude that the SSEC hypothesis is an unlikely explanation for the evolution of egg speckling in great tits. PMID:22815730

  5. Interpopulation variation in contour feather structure is environmentally determined in great tits.

    PubMed

    Broggi, Juli; Gamero, Anna; Hohtola, Esa; Orell, Markku; Nilsson, Jan-Åke

    2011-01-01

    The plumage of birds is important for flying, insulation and social communication. Contour feathers cover most of the avian body and among other functions they provide a critical insulation layer against heat loss. Feather structure and composition are known to vary among individuals, which in turn determines variation in the insulation properties of the feather. However, the extent and the proximate mechanisms underlying this variation remain unexplored. We analyzed contour feather structure from two different great tit populations adapted to different winter regimes, one northern population in Oulu (Finland) and one southern population in Lund (Sweden). Great tits from the two populations differed significantly in feather structure. Birds from the northern population had a denser plumage but consisting of shorter feathers with a smaller proportion containing plumulaceous barbs, compared with conspecifics from the southern population. However, differences disappeared when birds originating from the two populations were raised and moulted in identical conditions in a common-garden experiment located in Oulu, under ad libitum nutritional conditions. All birds raised in the aviaries, including adult foster parents moulting in the same captive conditions, developed a similar feather structure. These feathers were different from that of wild birds in Oulu but similar to wild birds in Lund, the latter moulting in more benign conditions than those of Oulu. Wild populations exposed to different conditions develop contour feather differences either due to plastic responses or constraints. Environmental conditions, such as nutrient availability during feather growth play a crucial role in determining such differences in plumage structure among populations.

  6. Egg speckling patterns do not advertise offspring quality or influence male provisioning in great tits.

    PubMed

    Stoddard, Mary Caswell; Fayet, Annette L; Kilner, Rebecca M; Hinde, Camilla A

    2012-01-01

    Many passerine birds lay white eggs with reddish brown speckles produced by protoporphyrin pigment. However, the function of these spots is contested. Recently, the sexually selected eggshell coloration (SSEC) hypothesis proposed that eggshell color is a sexually selected signal through which a female advertises her quality (and hence the potential quality of her future young) to her male partner, thereby encouraging him to contribute more to breeding attempts. We performed a test of the SSEC hypothesis in a common passerine, the great tit Parus major. We used a double cross-fostering design to determine whether males change their provisioning behavior based on eggshell patterns they observe at the nest. We also tested the assumption that egg patterning reflects female and/or offspring quality. Because birds differ from humans in their color and pattern perception, we used digital photography and models of bird vision to quantify egg patterns objectively. Neither male provisioning nor chick growth was related to the pattern of eggs males observed during incubation. Although heavy females laid paler, less speckled eggs, these eggs did not produce chicks that grew faster. Therefore, we conclude that the SSEC hypothesis is an unlikely explanation for the evolution of egg speckling in great tits.

  7. Direct reciprocity with costly punishment: generous tit-for-tat prevails

    PubMed Central

    Rand, David G.; Ohtsuki, Hisashi; Nowak, Martin A.

    2008-01-01

    The standard model for direct reciprocity is the repeated Prisoner’s Dilemma, where in each round players choose between cooperation and defection. Here we extend the standard framework to include costly punishment. Now players have a choice between cooperation, defection and costly punishment. We study the set of all reactive strategies, where the behavior depends on what the other player has done in the previous round. We find all cooperative strategies that are Nash equilibria. If the cost of cooperation is greater than the cost of punishment, then the only cooperative Nash equilibrium is generous-tit-for-tat (GTFT), which does not use costly punishment. If the cost of cooperation is less than the cost of punishment, then there are infinitely many cooperative Nash equilibria and the response to defection can include costly punishment. We also perform computer simulations of evolutionary dynamics in populations of finite size. These simulations show that in the context of direct reciprocity, (i) natural selection prefers generous tit-for-tat over strategies that use costly punishment, and (ii) that costly punishment does not promote the evolution of cooperation. We find quantitative agreement between our simulation results and data from experimental observations. PMID:18938180

  8. Predicting demographically sustainable rates of adaptation: can great tit breeding time keep pace with climate change?

    PubMed Central

    Gienapp, Phillip; Lof, Marjolein; Reed, Thomas E.; McNamara, John; Verhulst, Simon; Visser, Marcel E.

    2013-01-01

    Populations need to adapt to sustained climate change, which requires micro-evolutionary change in the long term. A key question is how the rate of this micro-evolutionary change compares with the rate of environmental change, given that theoretically there is a ‘critical rate of environmental change’ beyond which increased maladaptation leads to population extinction. Here, we parametrize two closely related models to predict this critical rate using data from a long-term study of great tits (Parus major). We used stochastic dynamic programming to predict changes in optimal breeding time under three different climate scenarios. Using these results we parametrized two theoretical models to predict critical rates. Results from both models agreed qualitatively in that even ‘mild’ rates of climate change would be close to these critical rates with respect to great tit breeding time, while for scenarios close to the upper limit of IPCC climate projections the calculated critical rates would be clearly exceeded with possible consequences for population persistence. We therefore tentatively conclude that micro-evolution, together with plasticity, would rescue only the population from mild rates of climate change, although the models make many simplifying assumptions that remain to be tested. PMID:23209174

  9. Caterpillar abundance in the territory affects the breeding performance of great tit Parus major minor.

    PubMed

    Seki, Shin-Ichi; Takano, Hajime

    1998-05-01

    The effects of caterpillar food supply on the breeding performance of a population of the Japanese great tit Parus major minor were investigated. Since more than 90% of the food items in our study site were caterpillars living on trees, we estimated the food availability using 20 frass traps per hectare. The sampling error of this method was about 10% on average, which was accurate enough to detect differences between territories. Food abundance at laying in each territory affected the timing of egg laying. However, food amount after hatching was correlated with clutch size. No relationship was found between fledgling quality and food availability, probably because the effects of local variation in food abundance could be canceled out by parental effort such as extending the foraging area. There was a significant negative correlation between the length of the nestling period and food availability. We suggest that parent tits decide the timing of fledging at the point where two factors, predation risk before fledging and additional improvement of nestling quality, are balanced. Food availability just after fledging affected the length of post-fledging parental care; it seems that fledglings in "poor" territories would have had difficulty in finding food and hence needed to depend on their parents longer than those in "rich" territories.

  10. Predicting demographically sustainable rates of adaptation: can great tit breeding time keep pace with climate change?

    PubMed

    Gienapp, Phillip; Lof, Marjolein; Reed, Thomas E; McNamara, John; Verhulst, Simon; Visser, Marcel E

    2013-01-19

    Populations need to adapt to sustained climate change, which requires micro-evolutionary change in the long term. A key question is how the rate of this micro-evolutionary change compares with the rate of environmental change, given that theoretically there is a 'critical rate of environmental change' beyond which increased maladaptation leads to population extinction. Here, we parametrize two closely related models to predict this critical rate using data from a long-term study of great tits (Parus major). We used stochastic dynamic programming to predict changes in optimal breeding time under three different climate scenarios. Using these results we parametrized two theoretical models to predict critical rates. Results from both models agreed qualitatively in that even 'mild' rates of climate change would be close to these critical rates with respect to great tit breeding time, while for scenarios close to the upper limit of IPCC climate projections the calculated critical rates would be clearly exceeded with possible consequences for population persistence. We therefore tentatively conclude that micro-evolution, together with plasticity, would rescue only the population from mild rates of climate change, although the models make many simplifying assumptions that remain to be tested.

  11. Evolution and genetic structure of the great tit (Parus major) complex.

    PubMed

    Kvist, Laura; Martens, Jochen; Higuchi, Hiroyoshi; Nazarenko, Alexander A; Valchuk, Olga P; Orell, Markku

    2003-07-22

    The great tit complex is divided into four groups, each containing several subspecies. Even though the groups are known to differ markedly on morphological, vocal and behavioural characters, some hybridization occurs in the regions where they meet. The great tit has often been referred to as an example of a ring species, although this has later been questioned. Here, we have studied the genetic structure and phylogenetic relationships of the subspecies groups to clarify the evolutionary history of the complex using control region sequences of the mitochondrial DNA. The subspecies groups were found to be monophyletic and clearly distinct in mitochondrial haplotypes, and therefore must have had long-independent evolutionary histories. This conflicts with the ring species assignment and supports the formation of secondary contact zones of previously temporarily isolated groups. According to the phylogenetic species concept, all the subspecies groups could be considered as separate species, but if the definition of the biological species concept is followed, none of the subspecies groups is a true species because hybridization still occurs.

  12. A strategy of win-stay, lose-shift that outperforms tit-for-tat in the Prisoner's Dilemma game

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nowak, Martin; Sigmund, Karl

    1993-07-01

    THE Prisoner's Dilemma is the leading metaphor for the evolution of cooperative behaviour in populations of selfish agents, especially since the well-known computer tournaments of Axelrod1 and their application to biological communities2,3. In Axelrod's simulations, the simple strategy tit-for-tat did outstandingly well and subsequently became the major paradigm for reciprocal altruism4 12. Here we present extended evolutionary simulations of heterogeneous ensembles of probabilistic strategies including mutation and selection, and report the unexpected success of another protagonist: Pavlov. This strategy is as simple as tit-for-tat and embodies the fundamental behavioural mechanism win-stay, lose-shift, which seems to be a widespread rule13. Pavlov's success is based on two important advantages over tit-for-tat: it can correct occasional mistakes and exploit unconditional cooperators. This second feature prevents Pavlov populations from being undermined by unconditional cooperators, which in turn invite defectors. Pavlov seems to be more robust than tit-for-tat, suggesting that cooperative behaviour in natural situations may often be based on win-stay, lose-shift.

  13. Human cooperation in the simultaneous and the alternating Prisoner's Dilemma: Pavlov versus Generous Tit-for-Tat.

    PubMed

    Wedekind, C; Milinski, M

    1996-04-02

    The iterated Prisoner's Dilemma has become the paradigm for the evolution of cooperation among egoists. Since Axelrod's classic computer tournaments and Nowak and Sigmund's extensive simulations of evolution, we know that natural selection can favor cooperative strategies in the Prisoner's Dilemma. According to recent developments of theory the last champion strategy of "win--stay, lose--shift" ("Pavlov") is the winner only if the players act simultaneously. In the more natural situation of players alternating the roles of donor and recipient a strategy of "Generous Tit-for-Tat" wins computer simulations of short-term memory strategies. We show here by experiments with humans that cooperation dominated in both the simultaneous and the alternating Prisoner's Dilemma. Subjects were consistent in their strategies: 30% adopted a Generous Tit-for-Tat-like strategy, whereas 70% used a Pavlovian strategy in both the alternating and the simultaneous game. As predicted for unconditional strategies, Pavlovian players appeared to be more successful in the simultaneous game whereas Generous Tit-for-Tat-like players achieved higher payoffs in the alternating game. However, the Pavlovian players were smarter than predicted: they suffered less from defectors and exploited cooperators more readily. Humans appear to cooperate either with a Generous Tit-for-Tat-like strategy or with a strategy that appreciates Pavlov's advantages but minimizes its handicaps.

  14. Testing for effects of climate change on competitive relationships and coexistence between two bird species.

    PubMed

    Stenseth, Nils Chr; Durant, Joël M; Fowler, Mike S; Matthysen, Erik; Adriaensen, Frank; Jonzén, Niclas; Chan, Kung-Sik; Liu, Hai; De Laet, Jenny; Sheldon, Ben C; Visser, Marcel E; Dhondt, André A

    2015-05-22

    Climate change is expected to have profound ecological effects, yet shifts in competitive abilities among species are rarely studied in this context. Blue tits (Cyanistes caeruleus) and great tits (Parus major) compete for food and roosting sites, yet coexist across much of their range. Climate change might thus change the competitive relationships and coexistence between these two species. Analysing four of the highest-quality, long-term datasets available on these species across Europe, we extend the textbook example of coexistence between competing species to include the dynamic effects of long-term climate variation. Using threshold time-series statistical modelling, we demonstrate that long-term climate variation affects species demography through different influences on density-dependent and density-independent processes. The competitive interaction between blue tits and great tits has shifted in one of the studied sites, creating conditions that alter the relative equilibrium densities between the two species, potentially disrupting long-term coexistence. Our analyses show that long-term climate change can, but does not always, generate local differences in the equilibrium conditions of spatially structured species assemblages. We demonstrate how long-term data can be used to better understand whether (and how), for instance, climate change might change the relationships between coexisting species. However, the studied populations are rather robust against competitive exclusion.

  15. Testing for effects of climate change on competitive relationships and coexistence between two bird species

    PubMed Central

    Stenseth, Nils Chr.; Durant, Joël M.; Fowler, Mike S.; Matthysen, Erik; Adriaensen, Frank; Jonzén, Niclas; Chan, Kung-Sik; Liu, Hai; De Laet, Jenny; Sheldon, Ben C.; Visser, Marcel E.; Dhondt, André A.

    2015-01-01

    Climate change is expected to have profound ecological effects, yet shifts in competitive abilities among species are rarely studied in this context. Blue tits (Cyanistes caeruleus) and great tits (Parus major) compete for food and roosting sites, yet coexist across much of their range. Climate change might thus change the competitive relationships and coexistence between these two species. Analysing four of the highest-quality, long-term datasets available on these species across Europe, we extend the textbook example of coexistence between competing species to include the dynamic effects of long-term climate variation. Using threshold time-series statistical modelling, we demonstrate that long-term climate variation affects species demography through different influences on density-dependent and density-independent processes. The competitive interaction between blue tits and great tits has shifted in one of the studied sites, creating conditions that alter the relative equilibrium densities between the two species, potentially disrupting long-term coexistence. Our analyses show that long-term climate change can, but does not always, generate local differences in the equilibrium conditions of spatially structured species assemblages. We demonstrate how long-term data can be used to better understand whether (and how), for instance, climate change might change the relationships between coexisting species. However, the studied populations are rather robust against competitive exclusion. PMID:25904659

  16. Are nest sites actively chosen? Testing a common assumption for three non-resource limited birds

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Goodenough, A. E.; Elliot, S. L.; Hart, A. G.

    2009-09-01

    Many widely-accepted ecological concepts are simplified assumptions about complex situations that remain largely untested. One example is the assumption that nest-building species choose nest sites actively when they are not resource limited. This assumption has seen little direct empirical testing: most studies on nest-site selection simply assume that sites are chosen actively (and seek explanations for such behaviour) without considering that sites may be selected randomly. We used 15 years of data from a nestbox scheme in the UK to test the assumption of active nest-site choice in three cavity-nesting bird species that differ in breeding and migratory strategy: blue tit ( Cyanistes caeruleus), great tit ( Parus major) and pied flycatcher ( Ficedula hypoleuca). Nest-site selection was non-random (implying active nest-site choice) for blue and great tits, but not for pied flycatchers. We also considered the relative importance of year-specific and site-specific factors in determining occupation of nest sites. Site-specific factors were more important than year-specific factors for the tit species, while the reverse was true for pied flycatchers. Our results show that nest-site selection, in birds at least, is not always the result of active choice, such that choice should not be assumed automatically in studies of nesting behaviour. We use this example to highlight the need to test key ecological assumptions empirically, and the importance of doing so across taxa rather than for single "model" species.

  17. Sexual conflict predicts morphology and behavior in two species of penduline tits

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background The evolutionary interests of males and females rarely coincide (sexual conflict), and these conflicting interests influence morphology, behavior and speciation in various organisms. We examined consequences of variation in sexual conflict in two closely-related passerine birds with contrasting breeding systems: the Eurasian penduline tit Remiz pendulinus (EPT) exhibiting a highly polygamous breeding system with sexually antagonistic interests over parental care, and the socially monogamous Cape penduline tit Anthoscopus minutus (CPT). We derived four a priori predictions from sexual conflict theory and tested these using data collected in Central Europe (EPT) and South Africa (CPT). Firstly, we predicted that EPTs exhibit more sexually dimorphic plumage than CPTs due to more intense sexual selection. Secondly, we expected brighter EPT males to provide less care than duller males. Thirdly, since song is a sexually selected trait in many birds, male EPTs were expected to exhibit more complex songs than CPT males. Finally, intense sexual conflict in EPT was expected to lead to low nest attendance as an indication of sexually antagonistic interests, whereas we expected more cooperation between parents in CPT consistent with their socially monogamous breeding system. Results Consistent with our predictions EPTs exhibited greater sexual dimorphism in plumage and more complex song than CPTs, and brighter EPT males provided less care than duller ones. EPT parents attended the nest less frequently and less simultaneously than CPT parents. Conclusions These results are consistent with sexual conflict theory: species in which sexual conflict is more manifested (EPT) exhibited a stronger sexual dimorphism and more elaborated sexually selected traits than species with less intense sexual conflict (CPT). Our results are also consistent with the notion that EPTs attempt to force their partner to work harder as expected under sexual conflict: each member of the

  18. Sexual conflict and consistency of offspring desertion in Eurasian penduline tit Remiz pendulinus

    PubMed Central

    2008-01-01

    Background The trade-off between current and future parental investment is often different between males and females. This difference may lead to sexual conflict between parents over care provisioning in animals that breed with multiple mates. One of the most obvious manifestations of sexual conflict over care is offspring desertion whereby one parent deserts the young to increase its reproductive success at the expense of its mate. Offspring desertion is a wide-spread behavior, and its frequency often varies within populations. We studied the consistency of offspring desertion in a small passerine bird, the Eurasian penduline tit Remiz pendulinus, that has an extremely variable breeding system. Both males and females are sequentially polygamous, and a single parent (either the male or the female) incubates the eggs and rears the young. About 28–40% of offspring are abandoned by both parents, and these offspring perish. Here we investigate whether the variation in offspring desertion in a population emerges either by each individual behaving consistently between different broods, or it is driven by the environment. Results Using a three-year dataset from Southern Hungary we show that offspring desertion by females is consistent between nests. Male desertion, however, depends on ambient environment, because all males desert their nests early in the season and some of them care late in the season. Therefore, within-population variation in parental care emerges by sexually different mechanisms; between-individual variation was responsible for the observed pattern of offspring desertion in females, whereas within-individual variation was responsible for the observed pattern in males. Conclusion To our knowledge, our study is the first that investigates repeatability of offspring desertion behavior in nature. The contrasting strategies of the sexes imply complex evolutionary trajectories in breeding behavior of penduline tits. Our results raise an intriguing question

  19. Sexual conflict predicts morphology and behavior in two species of penduline tits.

    PubMed

    van Dijk, René E; Pogány, Akos; Komdeur, Jan; Lloyd, Penn; Székely, Tamás

    2010-04-23

    The evolutionary interests of males and females rarely coincide (sexual conflict), and these conflicting interests influence morphology, behavior and speciation in various organisms. We examined consequences of variation in sexual conflict in two closely-related passerine birds with contrasting breeding systems: the Eurasian penduline tit Remiz pendulinus (EPT) exhibiting a highly polygamous breeding system with sexually antagonistic interests over parental care, and the socially monogamous Cape penduline tit Anthoscopus minutus (CPT). We derived four a priori predictions from sexual conflict theory and tested these using data collected in Central Europe (EPT) and South Africa (CPT). Firstly, we predicted that EPTs exhibit more sexually dimorphic plumage than CPTs due to more intense sexual selection. Secondly, we expected brighter EPT males to provide less care than duller males. Thirdly, since song is a sexually selected trait in many birds, male EPTs were expected to exhibit more complex songs than CPT males. Finally, intense sexual conflict in EPT was expected to lead to low nest attendance as an indication of sexually antagonistic interests, whereas we expected more cooperation between parents in CPT consistent with their socially monogamous breeding system. Consistent with our predictions EPTs exhibited greater sexual dimorphism in plumage and more complex song than CPTs, and brighter EPT males provided less care than duller ones. EPT parents attended the nest less frequently and less simultaneously than CPT parents. These results are consistent with sexual conflict theory: species in which sexual conflict is more manifested (EPT) exhibited a stronger sexual dimorphism and more elaborated sexually selected traits than species with less intense sexual conflict (CPT). Our results are also consistent with the notion that EPTs attempt to force their partner to work harder as expected under sexual conflict: each member of the breeding pair attempts to shift the

  20. Blue Ocean Thinking

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Orem, Donna

    2016-01-01

    This article describes a concept called the "blue ocean thinking strategy," developed by W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne, professors at INSEAD, an international graduate school of business in France. The "blue ocean" thinking strategy considers opportunities to create new markets for services, rather than focusing solely on…

  1. Introducing the Blues.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sinclair, Bryan

    2000-01-01

    Discusses the history of the blues and presents a list of resources that are designed to introduce the blues, both as a feeling and as an influential part of American music and culture. Includes picture books and nonfiction for young readers, nonfiction for older readers, Web sites, and compact disks. (LRW)

  2. Blue Ocean Thinking

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Orem, Donna

    2016-01-01

    This article describes a concept called the "blue ocean thinking strategy," developed by W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne, professors at INSEAD, an international graduate school of business in France. The "blue ocean" thinking strategy considers opportunities to create new markets for services, rather than focusing solely on…

  3. Templated blue phases.

    PubMed

    Ravnik, Miha; Fukuda, Jun-ichi

    2015-11-21

    Cholesteric blue phases of a chiral liquid crystal are interesting examples of self-organised three-dimensional nanostructures formed by soft matter. Recently it was demonstrated that a polymer matrix introduced by photopolymerization inside a bulk blue phase not only stabilises the host blue phase significantly, but also serves as a template for blue phase ordering. We show with numerical modelling that the transfer of the orientational order of the blue phase to the surfaces of the polymer matrix, together with the resulting surface anchoring, can account for the templating behaviour of the polymer matrix inducing the blue phase ordering of an achiral nematic liquid crystal. Furthermore, tailoring the anchoring conditions of the polymer matrix surfaces can bring about orientational ordering different from those of bulk blue phases, including an intertwined complex of the polymer matrix and topological line defects of orientational order. Optical Kerr response of templated blue phases is explored, finding large Kerr constants in the range of K = 2-10 × 10(-9) m V(-2) and notable dependence on the surface anchoring strength. More generally, the presented numerical approach is aimed to clarify the role and actions of templating polymer matrices in complex chiral nematic fluids, and further to help design novel template-based materials from chiral liquid crystals.

  4. Blue Willow Story Plates

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fontes, Kris

    2009-01-01

    In the December 1997 issue of "SchoolArts" is a lesson titled "Blue Willow Story Plates" by Susan Striker. In this article, the author shares how she used this lesson with her middle-school students many times over the years. Here, she describes a Blue Willow plate painting project that her students made.

  5. Blue Willow Story Plates

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fontes, Kris

    2009-01-01

    In the December 1997 issue of "SchoolArts" is a lesson titled "Blue Willow Story Plates" by Susan Striker. In this article, the author shares how she used this lesson with her middle-school students many times over the years. Here, she describes a Blue Willow plate painting project that her students made.

  6. List 47: blue honeysuckle

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    This summary presents the descriptions of a newly released blue honeysuckle (Lonicera cerulea L.) cultivar for the List of New Fruit and Nut Cultivars. This blue honeysuckle cultivar was released in Canada in 2012 and has pending Plant Breeder’s Rights Certification with Agriculture Canada. The cult...

  7. After Stroke, 'Blue' Light May Help Beat the Blues

    MedlinePlus

    ... Light May Help Beat the Blues Akin to sunlight, it could ward off depression during rehab, study ... facility used "blue" light in its lighting system. Sunlight is humans' largest source of blue-spectrum light, ...

  8. From blue jeans to blue genes.

    PubMed

    Boon, Laurence M; Vikkula, Miikka

    2009-03-01

    Cutaneous venous anomalies are common. They are blue and vary in size, number, and location and account for most consultations at specialized interdisciplinary clinics for vascular anomalies. Venous lesions are clinically important because they cause pain, dysfunction, destruction of adjacent tissues, and esthetic concern. Only resection and sclerotherapy are helpful, although not always curative. Understanding etiopathogenesis could help design animal models and develop novel therapeutic approaches. John B. Mulliken, MD, envisioned a project to uncover the genetic basis of an inherited form of venous malformation in a large New England family. Recruitment of 2 young fellows resulted in a collaborative project that unraveled the searched-for gene and its mutation. This was an opening for a new era in vascular anomalies. Two blue genes' mutations were discovered, which account for most, if not all, of the inherited forms of venous anomalies, but other genes as well, for rheologically diverse lesions. Differential diagnosis and management has improved, and animal models are being made. This was achieved through the help of Dr Mulliken, who inspired 2 young investigators in blue jeans to find 2 blue genes.

  9. FROM BLUE JEANS TO BLUE GENES

    PubMed Central

    Boon, Laurence M.; Vikkula, Miikka

    2010-01-01

    Cutaneous venous anomalies are common. They are blue in color and vary in size, number and location, and account for the majority of consultations at specialized interdisciplinary clinics for vascular anomalies. Venous lesions are clinically important as they cause pain, dysfunction, destruction of adjacent tissues and esthetic concern. Only resection and sclerotherapy are helpful, although not always curative. Understanding etiopathogenesis could help design animal models and develop novel therapeutic approaches. Dr Mulliken envisioned a project to uncover the genetic basis of an inherited form of venous malformation in a large New England family. Recruitment of two young fellows resulted in a collaborative project that unraveled the searched-for-gene and its mutation. This was an opening for a new era in the field of vascular anomalies. Two blue genes’ mutations were discovered, which account for the majority, if not all, of the inherited forms of venous anomalies, but other genes as well, for rheologically diverse lesions. Differential diagnosis and management has improved, and animal models are being made. This was achieved thanks to Dr Mulliken, who inspired two young investigators in blue jeans to find two blue genes. PMID:19190503

  10. Improved sampling at the subspecies level solves a taxonomic dilemma - A case study of two enigmatic Chinese tit species (Aves, Passeriformes, Paridae, Poecile).

    PubMed

    Tritsch, Christian; Martens, Jochen; Sun, Yue-Hua; Heim, Wieland; Strutzenberger, Patrick; Päckert, Martin

    2017-02-01

    A recent full species-level phylogeny of tits, titmice and chickadees (Paridae) has placed the Chinese endemic black-bibbed tit (Poecile hypermelaenus) as the sister to the Palearctic willow tit (P. montanus). Because this sister-group relationship is in striking disagreement with the traditional affiliation of P. hypermelaenus close to the marsh tit (P. palustris) we tested this phylogenetic hypothesis in a multi-locus analysis with an extended taxon sampling including sixteen subspecies of willow tits and marsh tits. As a taxonomic reference we included type specimens in our analysis. The molecular genetic study was complemented with an analysis of biometric data obtained from museum specimens. Our phylogenetic reconstructions, including a comparison of all GenBank data available for our target species, clearly show that the genetic lineage previously identified as P. hypermelaenus actually refers to P. weigoldicus because sequences were identical to that of a syntype of this taxon. The close relationship of P. weigoldicus and P. montanus - despite large genetic distances between the two taxa - is in accordance with current taxonomy and systematics. In disagreement with the previous phylogenetic hypothesis but in accordance with most taxonomic authorities, all our P. hypermelaenus specimens fell in the sister clade of all western and eastern Palearctic P. palustris. Though shared haplotypes among the Chinese populations of the two latter species might indicate mitochondrial introgression in this part of the breeding range, further research is needed here due to the limitations of our own sampling.

  11. Personality predicts spatial responses to food manipulations in free-ranging great tits (Parus major).

    PubMed

    van Overveld, Thijs; Matthysen, Erik

    2010-04-23

    Personality differences measured under standardized lab-conditions are assumed to reflect differences in the way individuals cope with spatio-temporal changes in their natural environment, but few studies have examined how these are expressed in the field. We tested whether exploratory behaviour in a novel environment predicts how free-living individual great tits (Parus major) react to a change in food supply. We temporarily removed food at feeding stations during two summers and recorded the behavioural response of juvenile birds to these food manipulations using radio-tracking. When challenged by an abrupt change in food supply, fast-exploring individuals more rapidly switched to different foraging areas at longer distances from the feeder. This study is the first to show that personality traits predict the spatial response to experimentally induced changes in their natural environment.

  12. The 5 -modular representations of the Tits simple group in the principal block

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gollan, Holger W.

    1991-07-01

    In this paper we show how to construct the 5-modular absolutely irreducible representations of the Tits simple group in the principal block, which is the only block of positive defect. Starting with the smallest nontrivial ones, all the others except one pair are obtained as constituents of tensor products of dimension at most 729. The last two we get from a permutation representation of degree 1600. We give an exact description of the construction of the first one of degree 26 by extending its restrictions to several subgroups, a method first used in the existence proof of the Janko group {J_4} . Using the explicit matrices obtained from the above constructions, we work out the Green correspondents and sources of all the representations and state their socle series.

  13. Ambient temperature effects on photo induced gonadal cycles and hormonal secretion patterns in Great Tits from three different breeding latitudes.

    PubMed

    Silverin, Bengt; Wingfield, John; Stokkan, Karl-Arne; Massa, Renato; Järvinen, Antero; Andersson, Nils-Ake; Lambrechts, Marcel; Sorace, Alberto; Blomqvist, Donald

    2008-06-01

    The present study determines how populations of Great Tits (Parus major) breeding in southern, mid and northern European latitudes have adjusted their reproductive endocrinology to differences in the ambient temperature during the gonadal cycle. A study based on long-term breeding data, using the Colwell predictability model, showed that the start of the breeding season has a high predictability ( approximately 0.8-0.9) at all latitudes, and that the environmental information factor (I(e)) progressively decreased from mid Italy (I(e)>4) to northern Finland (I(e)<1). The results indicate that integration of supplementary information, such as ambient temperature, with photoperiodic initial predictive information (day length), becomes progressively more important in maintaining the predictability of the breeding season with decreasing latitude. This hypothesis was verified by exposing photosensitive Great Tits from northern Norway, southern Sweden and northern Italy to sub-maximal photo-stimulatory day lengths (13L:11D) under two different ambient temperature regimes (+4 degrees C and +20 degrees C). Changes in testicular size, plasma levels of LH and testosterone were measured. The main results were: (1) Initial testicular growth rate, as well as LH secretion, was affected by temperature in the Italian, but not in birds from the two Scandinavian populations. (2) Maximum testicular size, maximum LH and testosterone levels were maintained for a progressively shorter period of time with increasing latitude, regardless of whether the birds were kept on a low or a high ambient temperature. (3) In birds from all latitudes, the development of photorefractoriness, as indicated by testicular regression and a decrease in plasma levels of LH and testosterone, started much earlier (with the exception for LH Great Tits from northern Scandinavia) when kept on +20 degrees C than when kept on +4 degrees C. The prolonging effects of a low temperature was more pronounced in

  14. Characterisation of the transcriptome of a wild great tit Parus major population by next generation sequencing

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background The recent development of next generation sequencing technologies has made it possible to generate very large amounts of sequence data in species with little or no genome information. Combined with the large phenotypic databases available for wild and non-model species, these data will provide an unprecedented opportunity to "genomicise" ecological model organisms and establish the genetic basis of quantitative traits in natural populations. Results This paper describes the sequencing, de novo assembly and analysis from the transcriptome of eight tissues of ten wild great tits. Approximately 4.6 million sequences and 1.4 billion bases of DNA were generated and assembled into 95,979 contigs, one third of which aligned with known Taeniopygia guttata (zebra finch) and Gallus gallus (chicken) transcripts. The majority (78%) of the remaining contigs aligned within or very close to regions of the zebra finch genome containing known genes, suggesting that they represented precursor mRNA rather than untranscribed genomic DNA. More than 35,000 single nucleotide polymorphisms and 10,000 microsatellite repeats were identified. Eleven percent of contigs were expressed in every tissue, while twenty one percent of contigs were expressed in only one tissue. The function of those contigs with strong evidence for tissue specific expression and contigs expressed in every tissue was inferred from the gene ontology (GO) terms associated with these contigs; heart and pancreas had the highest number of highly tissue specific GO terms (21.4% and 28.5% respectively). Conclusions In summary, the transcriptomic data generated in this study will contribute towards efforts to assemble and annotate the great tit genome, as well as providing the markers required to perform gene mapping studies in wild populations. PMID:21635727

  15. Interpopulation Variation in Contour Feather Structure Is Environmentally Determined in Great Tits

    PubMed Central

    Broggi, Juli; Gamero, Anna; Hohtola, Esa; Orell, Markku; Nilsson, Jan-Åke

    2011-01-01

    Background The plumage of birds is important for flying, insulation and social communication. Contour feathers cover most of the avian body and among other functions they provide a critical insulation layer against heat loss. Feather structure and composition are known to vary among individuals, which in turn determines variation in the insulation properties of the feather. However, the extent and the proximate mechanisms underlying this variation remain unexplored. Methodology/Principal Findings We analyzed contour feather structure from two different great tit populations adapted to different winter regimes, one northern population in Oulu (Finland) and one southern population in Lund (Sweden). Great tits from the two populations differed significantly in feather structure. Birds from the northern population had a denser plumage but consisting of shorter feathers with a smaller proportion containing plumulaceous barbs, compared with conspecifics from the southern population. However, differences disappeared when birds originating from the two populations were raised and moulted in identical conditions in a common-garden experiment located in Oulu, under ad libitum nutritional conditions. All birds raised in the aviaries, including adult foster parents moulting in the same captive conditions, developed a similar feather structure. These feathers were different from that of wild birds in Oulu but similar to wild birds in Lund, the latter moulting in more benign conditions than those of Oulu. Conclusions/Significance Wild populations exposed to different conditions develop contour feather differences either due to plastic responses or constraints. Environmental conditions, such as nutrient availability during feather growth play a crucial role in determining such differences in plumage structure among populations. PMID:21949798

  16. Nest desertion is not predicted by cuckoldry in the Eurasian penduline tit

    PubMed Central

    Mészáros, Lidia A.; van der Velde, Marco; Székely, Tamás; Pogány, Ákos; Szabad, János; Komdeur, Jan

    2010-01-01

    Engagement in extra-pair copulations is an example of the abundant conflicting interests between males and females over reproduction. Potential benefits for females and the risk of cuckoldry for males are expected to have important implications on the evolution of parental care. However, whether parents adjust parental care in response to parentage remains unclear. In Eurasian penduline tits Remiz pendulinus, which are small polygamous songbirds, parental care is carried out either by the male or by the female. In addition, one third of clutches is deserted by both male and female. Desertion takes place during the egg-laying phase. Using genotypes of nine microsatellite loci of 443 offspring and 211 adults, we test whether extra-pair paternity predicts parental care. We expect males to be more likely to desert cuckolded broods, whereas we expect females, if they obtain benefits from having multiple sires, to be more likely to care for broods with multiple paternity. Our results suggest that parental care is not adjusted to parentage on an ecological timescale. Furthermore, we found that male attractiveness does not predict cuckoldry, and we found no evidence for indirect benefits for females (i.e., increased growth rates or heterozygosity of extra-pair offspring). We argue that male Eurasian penduline tits may not be able to assess the risk of cuckoldry; thus, a direct association with parental care is unlikely to evolve. However, timing of desertion (i.e., when to desert during the egg-laying phase) may be influenced by the risk of cuckoldry. Future work applying extensive gene sequencing and quantitative genetics is likely to further our understanding of how selection may influence the association between parentage and parental care. PMID:20802790

  17. Past hybridization between two East Asian long-tailed tits (Aegithalos bonvaloti and A. fuliginosus)

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Introduction Incomplete lineage sorting and hybridization are two major nonexclusive causes of haplotype sharing between species. Distinguishing between these two processes is notoriously difficult as they can generate similar genetic signatures. Previous studies revealed that the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) differentiation between two East Asian long-tailed tits (Aegithalos bonvaloti and A. fuliginosus) was extremely low, even lower than intraspecific differentiation in some other long-tailed tits. Using a combination of multilocus and coalescent analyses, we explored the causes of the anomalous lack of mtDNA differentiation between the two species. Results The mtDNA divergence between the two species was shallow, while the nuclear DNA (nuDNA) divergence was considerably deeper. The IMa analyses based on the mtDNA dataset suggested relatively high gene flow from A. fuliginosus to A. bonvaloti, while negligible gene flow in the opposite direction. In contrast to mtDNA, the migration rates at autosomal and Z-linked nuDNA loci were negligible or much lower. The NEWHYBRIDS analysis assigned all individuals except one to pure parental species with high posterior probability. The Bayesian skyline plot showed that both species underwent population expansions during the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM), and the ecological niche modelling suggested that their ranges overlapped more during the LGM than at present. Conclusions We suggest that historical hybridization, in combination with selective sweep and/or genetic drift might be the main causes of the extremely low mtDNA differentiation between the two species. The hybridization probably occurred mainly between A. fuliginosus females and A. bonvaloti males. The LGM distribution expansion might have facilitated hybridization, while the post-LGM distribution contraction could have facilitated some mtDNA sorting. Ongoing hybridization between the two species might be very limited, but further studies with more samples from the

  18. Deimatic Display in the European Swallowtail Butterfly as a Secondary Defence against Attacks from Great Tits

    PubMed Central

    Olofsson, Martin; Eriksson, Stephan; Jakobsson, Sven; Wiklund, Christer

    2012-01-01

    Background Many animals reduce the risk of being attacked by a predator through crypsis, masquerade or, alternatively, by advertising unprofitability by means of aposematic signalling. Behavioural attributes in prey employed after discovery, however, signify the importance of also having an effective secondary defence if a predator uncovers, or is immune to, the prey’s primary defence. In butterflies, as in most animals, secondary defence generally consists of escape flights. However, some butterfly species have evolved other means of secondary defence such as deimatic displays/startle displays. The European swallowtail, Papilio machaon, employs what appears to be a startle display by exposing its brightly coloured dorsal wing surface upon disturbance and, if the disturbance continues, by intermittently protracting and relaxing its wing muscles generating a jerky motion of the wings. This display appears directed towards predators but whether it is effective in intimidating predators so that they refrain from attacks has never been tested experimentally. Methodology/Principal Findings In this study we staged encounters between a passerine predator, the great tit, Parus major, and live and dead swallowtail butterflies in a two-choice experiment. Results showed that the dead butterfly was virtually always attacked before the live butterfly, and that it took four times longer before a bird attacked the live butterfly. When the live butterfly was approached by a bird this generally elicited the butterfly’s startle display, which usually caused the approaching bird to flee. We also performed a palatability test of the butterflies and results show that the great tits seemed to find them palatable. Conclusions/Significance We conclude that the swallowtail’s startle display of conspicuous coloration and jerky movements is an efficient secondary defence against small passerines. We also discuss under what conditions predator-prey systems are likely to aid the

  19. Deimatic display in the European swallowtail butterfly as a secondary defence against attacks from great tits.

    PubMed

    Olofsson, Martin; Eriksson, Stephan; Jakobsson, Sven; Wiklund, Christer

    2012-01-01

    Many animals reduce the risk of being attacked by a predator through crypsis, masquerade or, alternatively, by advertising unprofitability by means of aposematic signalling. Behavioural attributes in prey employed after discovery, however, signify the importance of also having an effective secondary defence if a predator uncovers, or is immune to, the prey's primary defence. In butterflies, as in most animals, secondary defence generally consists of escape flights. However, some butterfly species have evolved other means of secondary defence such as deimatic displays/startle displays. The European swallowtail, Papilio machaon, employs what appears to be a startle display by exposing its brightly coloured dorsal wing surface upon disturbance and, if the disturbance continues, by intermittently protracting and relaxing its wing muscles generating a jerky motion of the wings. This display appears directed towards predators but whether it is effective in intimidating predators so that they refrain from attacks has never been tested experimentally. In this study we staged encounters between a passerine predator, the great tit, Parus major, and live and dead swallowtail butterflies in a two-choice experiment. Results showed that the dead butterfly was virtually always attacked before the live butterfly, and that it took four times longer before a bird attacked the live butterfly. When the live butterfly was approached by a bird this generally elicited the butterfly's startle display, which usually caused the approaching bird to flee. We also performed a palatability test of the butterflies and results show that the great tits seemed to find them palatable. We conclude that the swallowtail's startle display of conspicuous coloration and jerky movements is an efficient secondary defence against small passerines. We also discuss under what conditions predator-prey systems are likely to aid the evolution of deimatic behaviours in harmless and palatable prey.

  20. Fluctuating asymmetry in great tit nestlings in relation to diet quality, calcium availability and pollution exposure.

    PubMed

    Sillanpää, Saila; Salminen, Juha-Pekka; Eeva, Tapio

    2010-07-15

    Stress during development may cause fluctuating asymmetry (FA), i.e. non-directional and random deviations from perfect symmetry in otherwise symmetrical morphological traits. These deviations affect the phenotypic quality of an individual. We manipulated the diet of nestling great tits, Parus major, to investigate how food quality and quantity affect FA in the length and mass of the outermost tail feathers of great tit nestlings in a polluted and an unpolluted area. High carotenoid diet groups and the control group had higher FA in tail feather length compared to a mealworm-supplemented (low carotenoid) group. This suggests that high carotenoid content in the diet may either directly or indirectly induce higher FA in tail feather length. Calcium is an essential element for birds and important component of feathers. The less calcium there was in the diet, the higher was the FA in tail feather length, which suggests that calcium availability may be an important determinant of the developmental stability of tail feather length. In the control group, in which nestlings were fully dependent upon natural food resources provided by their parents, FA in feather mass was higher in polluted than in unpolluted sites. Diet quality and quantity seemed to differentially affect FA in tail feather length and mass between the polluted and the unpolluted areas. FA in tail feather length in the control group was unaltered by pollution, while FA in tail feather mass was lower in the control group in the unpolluted than in the polluted area. Our study also demonstrates for the first time that the developmental stability of tail feather length and mass are affected by different factors. Copyright 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  1. Worms under cover: relationships between performance in learning tasks and personality in great tits (Parus major).

    PubMed

    Amy, Mathieu; van Oers, Kees; Naguib, Marc

    2012-09-01

    In animals, individual differences in learning ability are common and are in part explained by genetic differences, developmental conditions and by general experience. Yet, not all variations in learning are well understood. Individual differences in learning may be associated with elementary individual characteristics that are consistent across situations and over time, commonly referred to as personality or temperament. Here, we tested whether or not male great tits (Parus major) from two selection lines for fast or slow exploratory behaviour, an operational measure for avian personality, vary in their learning performance in two related consecutive tasks. In the first task, birds had to associate a colour with a reward whereas in the second task, they had to associate a new colour with a reward ignoring the previously rewarded colour. Slow explorers had shorter latencies to approach the experimental device compared with fast explorers in both tasks, but birds from the two selection lines did not differ in accomplishing the first task, that is, to associate a colour with a reward. However, in the second task, fast explorers had longer latencies to solve the trials than slow explorers. Moreover, relative to the number of trials needed to reach the learning criteria in the first task, birds from the slow selection line took more trials to associate a new colour with a reward while ignoring the previously learned association compared with birds from the fast selection line. Overall, the experiments suggest that personality in great tits is not strongly related to learning per se in such an association task, but that birds from different selection lines might express different learning strategies as birds from the different selection lines were differently affected by their previous learning performance.

  2. Identifying sources of heterogeneity in capture probabilities: An example using the Great Tit Parus major

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Senar, J.C.; Conroy, M.J.; Carrascal, L.M.; Domenech, J.; Mozetich, I.; Uribe, F.

    1999-01-01

    Heterogeneous capture probabilities are a common problem in many capture-recapture studies. Several methods of detecting the presence of such heterogeneity are currently available, and stratification of data has been suggested as the standard method to avoid its effects. However, few studies have tried to identify sources of heterogeneity, or whether there are interactions among sources. The aim of this paper is to suggest an analytical procedure to identify sources of capture heterogeneity. We use data on the sex and age of Great Tits captured in baited funnel traps, at two localities differing in average temperature. We additionally use 'recapture' data obtained by videotaping at feeder (with no associated trap), where the tits ringed with different colours were recorded. This allowed us to test whether individuals in different classes (age, sex and condition) are not trapped because of trap shyness or because o a reduced use of the bait. We used logistic regression analysis of the capture probabilities to test for the effects of age, sex, condition, location and 'recapture method. The results showed a higher recapture probability in the colder locality. Yearling birds (either males or females) had the highest recapture prob abilities, followed by adult males, while adult females had the lowest recapture probabilities. There was no effect of the method of 'recapture' (trap or video tape), which suggests that adult females are less often captured in traps no because of trap-shyness but because of less dependence on supplementary food. The potential use of this methodological approach in other studies is discussed.

  3. Gender and Personality Differences in Response to Social Stressors in Great Tits (Parus major).

    PubMed

    van der Meer, Esther; van Oers, Kees

    2015-01-01

    In response to stressors, animals can increase the activity of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenocortical axis, resulting in elevated glucocorticoid concentrations. An increase in glucocorticoids results in an increase in heterophils and a decrease in lymphocytes, which ratio (H/L-ratio) is an indicator of stress in birds. The physiological response to a stressor can depend on individual characteristics, like dominance rank, sex and personality. Although the isolated effects of these characteristics on the response to a stressor have been well studied, little is known about the response in relation to a combination of these characteristics. In this study we investigate the relationship between social stress, dominance rank, sex and exploratory behaviour as a validated operational measure of personality in great tits (Parus major). Great tits show consistent individual differences in behaviour and physiology in response to stressors, and exploratory behaviour can be classified as fast or slow exploring. We group-housed four birds, two fast and two slow explorers, of the same sex that were previously singly housed, in an aviary and compared the H/L-ratio, lymphocyte and heterophil count before and after group housing. After experiencing the social context all birds increased their H/L-ratio and heterophil count. Females showed a stronger increase in H/L-ratio and heterophil count than males, which seemed to be related to a higher number of agonistic interactions compared to males. Dominance rank and exploration type did not affect the H/L-ratio or heterophil count. Contrary to our expectations, all birds increased their lymphocyte count. However, this increase was slower for fast than for slow explorers. Our study suggests that personality and sex related differences, but not dominance rank, are associated with changes in an individual's physiological response due to a social context.

  4. Blue ocean strategy.

    PubMed

    Kim, W Chan; Mauborgne, Renée

    2004-10-01

    Despite a long-term decline in the circus industry, Cirque du Soleil profitably increased revenue 22-fold over the last ten years by reinventing the circus. Rather than competing within the confines of the existing industry or trying to steal customers from rivals, Cirque developed uncontested market space that made the competition irrelevant. Cirque created what the authors call a blue ocean, a previously unknown market space. In blue oceans, demand is created rather than fought over. There is ample opportunity for growth that is both profitable and rapid. In red oceans--that is, in all the industries already existing--companies compete by grabbing for a greater share of limited demand. As the market space gets more crowded, prospects for profits and growth decline. Products turn into commodities, and increasing competition turns the water bloody. There are two ways to create blue oceans. One is to launch completely new industries, as eBay did with online auctions. But it's much more common for a blue ocean to be created from within a red ocean when a company expands the boundaries of an existing industry. In studying more than 150 blue ocean creations in over 30 industries, the authors observed that the traditional units of strategic analysis--company and industry--are of limited use in explaining how and why blue oceans are created. The most appropriate unit of analysis is the strategic move, the set of managerial actions and decisions involved in making a major market-creating business offering. Creating blue oceans builds brands. So powerful is blue ocean strategy, in fact, that a blue ocean strategic move can create brand equity that lasts for decades.

  5. Sexual conflict over care: antagonistic effects of clutch desertion on reproductive success of male and female penduline tits.

    PubMed

    Szentirmai, I; Székely, T; Komdeur, J

    2007-09-01

    A fundamental tenet of sexual conflict theory is that one sex may increase its reproductive success (RS) even if this harms the other sex. Several studies supported this principle by showing that males benefit from reduced paternal care whereas females suffer from it. By investigating penduline tits Remiz pendulinus in nature, we show that parental conflict may be symmetric between sexes. In this small passerine a single female (or male) cares for the offspring, whereas about 30% of clutches are deserted by both parents. Deserting parents enhance their RS by obtaining multiple mates, and they reduce the RS of their mates due to increased nest failure. Unlike most other species, however, the antagonistic interests are symmetric in penduline tits, because both sexes enhance their own RS by deserting, whilst harming the RS of their mates. We argue that the strong antagonistic interests of sexes explain the high frequency of biparental desertion.

  6. Mongolian blue spots

    MedlinePlus

    ... bruises. This can raise a question about possible child abuse. It is important to recognize that Mongolian blue ... Elsevier Saunders; 2011:chap 11. Read More Benign Child abuse - physical Rashes Review Date 4/14/2015 Updated ...

  7. Pale Blue Orb

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2006-09-19

    NASA Cassini casts powerful eyes on our home planet, and captures Earth, a pale blue orb, and a faint suggestion of our moon, among the glories of the Saturn system in this image taken Sept. 15, 2006.

  8. Blue Ribbon Panel Report

    Cancer.gov

    An NCI Cancer Currents blog by the NCI acting director thanking the cancer community for contributing to the Cancer Moonshot Blue Ribbon Panel report, which was presented to the National Cancer Advisory Board on September 7.

  9. Blue-green algae

    MedlinePlus

    ... conditions, cancer, fatty liver disease, hepatitis C, and arsenic poisoning. Blue-green algae are applied inside the mouth ... people with insulin resistance due to HIV medication. Arsenic poisoning. Early research shows that taking 250 mg of ...

  10. Village Blue Webinar

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    The Village Blue research project provides real-time water quality monitoring data to the Baltimore community and increase public awareness about local water quality in Baltimore Harbor and the Chesapeake Bay.

  11. Mongolian blue spots (image)

    MedlinePlus

    Mongolian blue spots are flat bluish- to bluish-gray skin markings commonly appearing at birth or shortly ... back and also can appear on the shoulders. Mongolian spots are benign and are not associated with ...

  12. Do great tits (Parus major) suppress basal metabolic rate in response to increased perceived predation danger? A field experiment.

    PubMed

    Mathot, Kimberley J; Abbey-Lee, Robin N; Kempenaers, Bart; Dingemanse, Niels J

    2016-10-01

    Several studies have shown that individuals with higher metabolic rates (MRs) feed at higher rates and are more willing to forage in the presence of predators. This increases the acquisition of resources, which in turn, may help to sustain a higher MR. Elevated predation danger may be expected to result in reduced MRs, either as a means of allowing for reduced feeding and risk-taking, or as a consequence of adaptively reducing intake rates via reduced feeding and/or risk-taking. We tested this prediction in free-living great tits (Parus major) using a playback experiment to manipulate perceived predation danger. There was evidence that changes in body mass and BMR differed as a function of treatment. In predator treatment plots, great tits tended to reduce their body mass, a commonly observed response in birds to increased predation danger. In contrast, birds from control treatment plots showed no overall changes in body mass. There was also evidence that great tits from control treatment plots increased their basal metabolic rate (BMR) over the course of the experiment, presumably due to decreasing ambient temperatures over the study period. However, there was no evidence for changes in BMR for birds from predator treatment plots. Although the directions of these results are consistent with the predicted directions of effects, the effects sizes and confidence intervals yield inconclusive support for the hypothesis that great tits would adaptively suppress BMR in response to increased perceived predation risk. The effect size observed in the present study was small (~1%) and would not be expected to result in substantive reductions in feeding rate and/or risk-taking. Whether or not ecological conditions that generate greater energetic stress (e.g. lower food availability, lower ambient temperatures) could produce an effect that produces biologically meaningful reductions in feeding activity and/or risk-taking remains an open question.

  13. Atypical cellular blue nevus or malignant blue nevus?*

    PubMed Central

    Daltro, Luise Ribeiro; Yaegashi, Lygia Bertalha; Freitas, Rodrigo Abdalah; Fantini, Bruno de Carvalho; Souza, Cacilda da Silva

    2017-01-01

    Blue nevus is a benign melanocytic lesion whose most frequent variants are dendritic (common) blue nevus and cellular blue nevus. Atypical cellular blue nevus presents an intermediate histopathology between the typical and a rare variant of malignant blue nevus/melanoma arising in a cellular blue nevus. An 8-year-old child presented a pigmented lesion in the buttock since birth, but with progressive growth in the last two years. After surgical excision, histopathological examination revealed atypical cellular blue nevus. Presence of mitoses, ulceration, infiltration, cytological atypia or necrosis may occur in atypical cellular blue nevus, making it difficult to differentiate it from melanoma. The growth of blue nevus is unusual and considered of high-risk for malignancy, being an indicator for complete resection and periodic follow-up of these patients. PMID:28225968

  14. Uropygial gland size and composition varies according to experimentally modified microbiome in Great tits

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Parasites exert important selective pressures on host life history traits. In birds, feathers are inhabited by numerous microorganisms, some of them being able to degrade feathers or lead to infections. Preening feathers with secretions of the uropygial gland has been found to act as an antimicrobial defence mechanism, expected to regulate feather microbial communities and thus limit feather abrasion and infections. Here, we used an experimental approach to test whether Great tits (Parus major) modify their investment in the uropygial gland in response to differences in environmental microorganisms. Results We found that males, but not females, modified the size of their gland when exposed to higher bacterial densities on feathers. We also identified 16 wax esters in the uropygial gland secretions. The relative abundance of some of these esters changed in males and females, while the relative abundance of others changed only in females when exposed to greater bacterial loads on feathers. Conclusion Birds live in a bacterial world composed of commensal and pathogenic microorganisms. This study provides the first experimental evidence for modifications of investment in the defensive trait that is the uropygial gland in response to environmental microorganisms in a wild bird. PMID:24938652

  15. Inheritance and variation in eggshell patterning in the great tit Parus major.

    PubMed Central

    Gosler, A G; Barnett, P R; Reynolds, S J

    2000-01-01

    The inheritance of patterns on avian eggshells is central to understanding the evolution of traits such as egg mimicry (e.g. in cuckoos). Yet little is known about the inheritance, or indeed function, of eggshell patterns. It has long been believed that the evolution of eggshell pattern mimicry required that patterns be determined by genes situated on the female-specific W chromosome. However, it has never been demonstrated for any bird that egg pattern traits (rather than ground colour) are female sex linked, or indeed that they are inherited. We studied the inheritance of three measures of egg-pigment patterns in a wild great tit population. Egg patterns were female specific but unrelated to female attributes such as age or condition and showed only weak environmental effects. Eggs of daughters resembled those of both their mothers and maternal grandmothers, but not of their paternal grandmothers. We conclude that this is the first demonstration of female sex-linked inheritance of avian eggshell patterning, so raising the probability that such a system operates in egg mimics and their hosts. PMID:11197121

  16. Metal exposure influences the melanin and carotenoid-based colorations in great tits.

    PubMed

    Giraudeau, M; Mateos-Gonzalez, F; Cotín, J; Pagani-Nuñez, E; Torné-Noguera, A; Senar, J C

    2015-11-01

    Metals are naturally found in the environment but are also emitted through anthropogenic activities, raising some concerns about the potential deleterious effects of these elements on wildlife. The potential effects of metals on bird coloration have been the focus of several recent studies since animal colored-signals often reflect the physiology of their bearers and are thus used by animals to assess the quality of another individual as a mate or competitor. These studies have shown that the melanin pigmentation seems to be positively associated and the carotenoid-based coloration negatively associated with metal exposure in wild birds. Although these studies have been very useful to show the associations between metal exposure and coloration, only few of them have actually quantified the levels of metal exposure at the individual level; always focusing on one or two of them. Here, we measured the concentrations of eight metals in great tits' feathers and then assessed how these levels of metals were associated with the carotenoid and melanin-based colorations. We found that the melanin pigmentation was positively associated with the copper concentration and negatively correlated with the chromium concentration in feathers. In addition, we have shown that the carotenoid-based coloration was negatively associated with the feather's mercury concentration. This study is the first one to identify some metals that might affect positively and negatively the deposition of melanin and carotenoid into the plumage of wild birds.

  17. Individual variation and the resolution of conflict over parental care in penduline tits.

    PubMed

    van Dijk, René E; Székely, Tamás; Komdeur, Jan; Pogány, Akos; Fawcett, Tim W; Weissing, Franz J

    2012-05-22

    Eurasian penduline tits (Remiz pendulinus) have an unusually diverse breeding system consisting of frequent male and female polygamy, and uniparental care by the male or the female. Intriguingly, 30 to 40 per cent of all nests are deserted by both parents. To understand the evolution of this diverse breeding system and frequent clutch desertion, we use 6 years of field data to derive fitness expectations for males and females depending on whether or not they care for their offspring. The resulting payoff matrix corresponds to an asymmetric Snowdrift Game with two alternative evolutionarily stable strategies (ESSs): female-only and male-only care. This, however, does not explain the polymorphism in care strategies and frequent biparental desertion, because theory predicts that one of the two ESSs should have spread to fixation. Using a bootstrapping approach, we demonstrate that taking account of individual variation in payoffs explains the patterns of care better than a model based on the average population payoff matrix. In particular, a model incorporating differences in male attractiveness closely predicts the observed frequencies of male and female desertion. Our work highlights the need for a new generation of individual-based evolutionary game-theoretic models.

  18. Individual variation and the resolution of conflict over parental care in penduline tits

    PubMed Central

    van Dijk, René E.; Székely, Tamás; Komdeur, Jan; Pogány, Ákos; Fawcett, Tim W.; Weissing, Franz J.

    2012-01-01

    Eurasian penduline tits (Remiz pendulinus) have an unusually diverse breeding system consisting of frequent male and female polygamy, and uniparental care by the male or the female. Intriguingly, 30 to 40 per cent of all nests are deserted by both parents. To understand the evolution of this diverse breeding system and frequent clutch desertion, we use 6 years of field data to derive fitness expectations for males and females depending on whether or not they care for their offspring. The resulting payoff matrix corresponds to an asymmetric Snowdrift Game with two alternative evolutionarily stable strategies (ESSs): female-only and male-only care. This, however, does not explain the polymorphism in care strategies and frequent biparental desertion, because theory predicts that one of the two ESSs should have spread to fixation. Using a bootstrapping approach, we demonstrate that taking account of individual variation in payoffs explains the patterns of care better than a model based on the average population payoff matrix. In particular, a model incorporating differences in male attractiveness closely predicts the observed frequencies of male and female desertion. Our work highlights the need for a new generation of individual-based evolutionary game-theoretic models. PMID:22189404

  19. Exploration Behaviour Is Not Associated with Chick Provisioning in Great Tits

    PubMed Central

    Patrick, Samantha C.; Browning, Lucy E.

    2011-01-01

    In biparental systems, members of the same pair can vary substantially in the amount of parental care they provide to offspring. The extent of this asymmetry should depend on the relative costs and benefits of care. Individual variation in personality is likely to influence this trade-off, and hence is a promising candidate to explain differences in care. In addition, plasticity in parental care may also be associated with personality differences. Using exploration behaviour (EB) as a measure of personality, we investigated these possibilities using both natural and experimental data from a wild population of great tits (Parus major). Contrary to predictions, we found no association between EB and natural variation in provisioning behaviour. Nor was EB linked to responsiveness to experimentally increased brood demand. These results are initially surprising given substantial data from other studies suggesting personality should influence investment in parental care. However, they are consistent with a recent study showing selection on EB is weak and highly context-specific in the focal population. This emphasises the difficulty faced by personality studies attempting to make predictions based on previous work, given that personalities often vary among populations of the same species. PMID:22028867

  20. Testing Local Adaptation in a Natural Great Tit-Malaria System: An Experimental Approach

    PubMed Central

    Jenkins, Tania; Delhaye, Jessica; Christe, Philippe

    2015-01-01

    Finding out whether Plasmodium spp. are coevolving with their vertebrate hosts is of both theoretical and applied interest and can influence our understanding of the effects and dynamics of malaria infection. In this study, we tested for local adaptation as a signature of coevolution between malaria blood parasites, Plasmodium spp. and its host, the great tit, Parus major. We conducted a reciprocal transplant experiment of birds in the field, where we exposed birds from two populations to Plasmodium parasites. This experimental set-up also provided a unique opportunity to study the natural history of malaria infection in the wild and to assess the effects of primary malaria infection on juvenile birds. We present three main findings: i) there was no support for local adaptation; ii) there was a male-biased infection rate; iii) infection occurred towards the end of the summer and differed between sites. There were also site-specific effects of malaria infection on the hosts. Taken together, we present one of the few experimental studies of parasite-host local adaptation in a natural malaria system, and our results shed light on the effects of avian malaria infection in the wild. PMID:26555892

  1. You mob my owl, I'll mob yours: birds play tit-for-tat game

    PubMed Central

    Krama, Tatjana; Vrublevska, Jolanta; Freeberg, Todd M.; Kullberg, Cecilia; Rantala, Markus J.; Krams, Indrikis

    2012-01-01

    Reciprocity is fundamental to cooperative behaviour and has been verified in theoretical models. However, there is still limited experimental evidence for reciprocity in non-primate species. Our results more decisively clarify that reciprocity with a tit-for-tat enforcement strategy can occur among breeding pied flycatchers Ficedula hypoleuca separate from considerations of byproduct mutualism. Breeding pairs living in close proximity (20–24 m) did exhibit byproduct mutualism and always assisted in mobbing regardless of their neighbours' prior actions. However, breeding pairs with distant neighbours (69–84 m) either assisted or refused to assist in mobbing a predatory owl based on whether or not the distant pair had previously helped them in their own nest defense against the predator. Clearly, these birds are aware of their specific spatial security context, remember their neighbours' prior behaviour, and choose a situation-specific strategic course of action, which could promote their longer-term security, a capacity previously thought unique to primates. PMID:23150772

  2. Uropygial gland size and composition varies according to experimentally modified microbiome in Great tits.

    PubMed

    Jacob, Staffan; Immer, Anika; Leclaire, Sarah; Parthuisot, Nathalie; Ducamp, Christine; Espinasse, Gilles; Heeb, Philipp

    2014-06-17

    Parasites exert important selective pressures on host life history traits. In birds, feathers are inhabited by numerous microorganisms, some of them being able to degrade feathers or lead to infections. Preening feathers with secretions of the uropygial gland has been found to act as an antimicrobial defence mechanism, expected to regulate feather microbial communities and thus limit feather abrasion and infections. Here, we used an experimental approach to test whether Great tits (Parus major) modify their investment in the uropygial gland in response to differences in environmental microorganisms. We found that males, but not females, modified the size of their gland when exposed to higher bacterial densities on feathers. We also identified 16 wax esters in the uropygial gland secretions. The relative abundance of some of these esters changed in males and females, while the relative abundance of others changed only in females when exposed to greater bacterial loads on feathers. Birds live in a bacterial world composed of commensal and pathogenic microorganisms. This study provides the first experimental evidence for modifications of investment in the defensive trait that is the uropygial gland in response to environmental microorganisms in a wild bird.

  3. The effect of social learning on avoidance of aposematic prey in juvenile great tits (Parus major).

    PubMed

    Landová, Eva; Hotová Svádová, Kateřina; Fuchs, Roman; Štys, Pavel; Exnerová, Alice

    2017-06-21

    Social learning plays an important role in acquiring new foraging skills and food preferences in many bird species but its potential role in learning to avoid aposematic prey has never been studied. We tested the effect of social learning on the acquisition of avoidance of aposematic insect prey (firebug Pyrrhocoris apterus; Heteroptera) in juvenile, hand-reared great tits (Parus major). Behaviour towards aposematic prey was compared between two groups of birds: (1) the observers that were, prior to encounter with firebugs, allowed to watch the experienced conspecific demonstrator repeatedly refuse to attack the prey, and (2) the control birds that lacked this opportunity. Observing an experienced demonstrator was not sufficient for learning complete avoidance, because birds from both groups attacked at least the first firebug they had encountered in avoidance training. However, the opportunity to observe the avoidance behaviour of another bird significantly increased the rate of subsequent individual learning of observers in comparison with control birds. Social learning also decreased mortality of firebugs killed by the birds during the avoidance learning. Socially enhanced learning to avoid aposematic prey might be a mechanism important especially for naive juvenile birds learning from their parents, but it could also enhance learning in adults from their more experienced flock mates. Because social learning of avoidance may also lead to decreased mortality of aposematic prey, its effect should be taken into account in scenarios considering evolution and maintenance of prey warning signals.

  4. Individual differences in the use of social information in foraging by captive great tits.

    PubMed

    Marchetti; Drent

    2000-07-01

    We investigated individual differences in copying behaviour of captive great tits, Parus major, by analysing their response to a tutor indicating a new feeding site. We used two groups, each of seven male birds, labelled 'fast' and 'slow' explorers based on previous studies in which consistent individual differences in the speed of exploring were found. The birds were trained to search for food hidden in a number of differently coloured and shaped feeders, and later to search in only one type of feeder. During the tests, food was absent and the birds were observed in two different situations: alone or in the presence of a tutor, a bird that had been trained to feed in a different kind of feeder. When alone, slow birds readily extended their search to other feeders while fast birds did not change their routine of visiting the previously rewarded ones. In the presence of the tutor, the opposite occurred: slow birds did not change their behaviour while fast birds significantly increased their visits to the feeders indicated by the tutor. Fast and slow individuals thus differ in their foraging and copying behaviour, consistent with the producer-scrounger model. Copyright 2000 The Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour.

  5. Helping in cooperatively breeding long-tailed tits: a test of Hamilton's rule

    PubMed Central

    Hatchwell, Ben J.; Gullett, Philippa R.; Adams, Mark J.

    2014-01-01

    Inclusive fitness theory provides the conceptual framework for our current understanding of social evolution, and empirical studies suggest that kin selection is a critical process in the evolution of animal sociality. A key prediction of inclusive fitness theory is that altruistic behaviour evolves when the costs incurred by an altruist (c) are outweighed by the benefit to the recipient (b), weighted by the relatedness of altruist to recipient (r), i.e. Hamilton's rule rb > c. Despite its central importance in social evolution theory, there have been relatively few empirical tests of Hamilton's rule, and hardly any among cooperatively breeding vertebrates, leading some authors to question its utility. Here, we use data from a long-term study of cooperatively breeding long-tailed tits Aegithalos caudatus to examine whether helping behaviour satisfies Hamilton's condition for the evolution of altruism. We show that helpers are altruistic because they incur survival costs through the provision of alloparental care for offspring. However, they also accrue substantial benefits through increased survival of related breeders and offspring, and despite the low average relatedness of helpers to recipients, these benefits of helping outweigh the costs incurred. We conclude that Hamilton's rule for the evolution of altruistic helping behaviour is satisfied in this species. PMID:24686941

  6. Effects of urban noise on song and response behaviour in great tits

    PubMed Central

    Mockford, Emily J.; Marshall, Rupert C.

    2009-01-01

    Acoustic communication is fundamental in avian territory defence and mate attraction. In urban environments where sound transmissions are more likely to be masked by low-frequency anthropogenic noise, acoustic adaptations may be advantageous. However, minor modifications to a signal could affect its efficacy. While recent research has shown that there is divergence between songs from noisy and quiet areas, it is unknown whether these differences affect the response to the signal by its receivers. Here, we show that there is a difference in spectral aspects of rural and urban song in a common passerine, the great tit Parus major, at 20 sites across the UK. We also provide, to our knowledge, the first demonstration that such environmentally induced differences in song influence the response of male territory holders. Males from quiet territories exhibited a significantly stronger response when hearing song from another territory holder with low background noise than from those with high background noise. The opposite distinction in response intensity to homotypic versus heterotypic song was observed in males from noisy territories. This behavioural difference may intensify further signal divergence between urban and rural populations and raises important questions concerning signal evolution. PMID:19493902

  7. Negative impact of urban habitat on immunity in the great tit Parus major.

    PubMed

    Bailly, Juliette; Scheifler, Renaud; Belvalette, Marie; Garnier, Stéphane; Boissier, Elena; Clément-Demange, Valérie-Anne; Gète, Maud; Leblond, Matthieu; Pasteur, Baptiste; Piget, Quentin; Sage, Mickaël; Faivre, Bruno

    2016-12-01

    Urban habitats are described as having an overall negative influence on many fitness-related traits in several bird species, but a vital function such as immunity remains poorly studied. The immune response is strongly linked to individual condition, which partly depends on resource availability and the parasitic context that often differ between urban and natural habitats. A difference between the immunity of populations dwelling in urban areas and populations from more natural habitats can, therefore, be hypothesized. We conducted a 2-year experimental study on great tits (Parus major) in urban and forest areas. We stimulated the constitutive immunity of nestlings and assessed both the inflammatory response by measuring the plasma levels of haptoglobin, an inflammatory marker, and its activation cost through the loss of body mass. In addition, we checked the nestlings for ectoparasites and assessed haemosporidian prevalence in adults. Nestlings from urban sites produced relatively less haptoglobin and lost more body mass than those from forest sites, which suggests that the activation of constitutive immunity is more costly for birds living in urban sites than for those living in the forest. We detected no ectoparasite in birds in both habitats. However, urban adults showed lower haemosporidian prevalence than forest ones, suggesting a reduced exposure to these parasites and their vectors in towns. Overall, our study provides evidence for an immune difference between urban and forest populations. Because immunity is crucial for organism fitness, it is of prime interest to identify causes and processes at the origin of this difference.

  8. Heterozygosity is linked to the costs of immunity in nestling great tits (Parus major).

    PubMed

    Voegeli, Beatrice; Saladin, Verena; Wegmann, Michèle; Richner, Heinz

    2013-11-01

    There is growing evidence that heterozygosity-fitness correlations (HFCs) are more pronounced under harsh conditions. Empirical evidence suggests a mediating effect of parasite infestation on the occurrence of HFCs. Parasites have the potential to mediate HFCs not only by generally causing high stress levels but also by inducing resource allocation tradeoffs between the necessary investments in immunity and other costly functions. To investigate the relative importance of these two mechanisms, we manipulated growth conditions of great tit nestlings by brood size manipulation, which modifies nestling competition, and simultaneously infested broods with ectoparasites. We investigated under which treatment conditions HFCs arise and, second, whether heterozygosity is linked to tradeoff decisions between immunity and growth. We classified microsatellites as neutral or presumed functional and analyzed these effects separately. Neutral heterozygosity was positively related to the immune response to a novel antigen in parasite-free nests, but not in infested nests. For nestlings with lower heterozygosity levels, the investments in immunity under parasite pressure came at the expenses of reduced feather growth, survival, and female body condition. Functional heterozygosity was negatively related to nestling immune response regardless of the growth conditions. These contrasting effects of functional and neutral markers might indicate different underlying mechanisms causing the HFCs. Our results confirm the importance of considering marker functionality in HFC studies and indicate that parasites mediate HFCs by influencing the costs of immune defense rather than by a general increase in environmental harshness levels.

  9. Heterozygosity is linked to the costs of immunity in nestling great tits (Parus major)

    PubMed Central

    Voegeli, Beatrice; Saladin, Verena; Wegmann, Michèle; Richner, Heinz

    2013-01-01

    There is growing evidence that heterozygosity–fitness correlations (HFCs) are more pronounced under harsh conditions. Empirical evidence suggests a mediating effect of parasite infestation on the occurrence of HFCs. Parasites have the potential to mediate HFCs not only by generally causing high stress levels but also by inducing resource allocation tradeoffs between the necessary investments in immunity and other costly functions. To investigate the relative importance of these two mechanisms, we manipulated growth conditions of great tit nestlings by brood size manipulation, which modifies nestling competition, and simultaneously infested broods with ectoparasites. We investigated under which treatment conditions HFCs arise and, second, whether heterozygosity is linked to tradeoff decisions between immunity and growth. We classified microsatellites as neutral or presumed functional and analyzed these effects separately. Neutral heterozygosity was positively related to the immune response to a novel antigen in parasite-free nests, but not in infested nests. For nestlings with lower heterozygosity levels, the investments in immunity under parasite pressure came at the expenses of reduced feather growth, survival, and female body condition. Functional heterozygosity was negatively related to nestling immune response regardless of the growth conditions. These contrasting effects of functional and neutral markers might indicate different underlying mechanisms causing the HFCs. Our results confirm the importance of considering marker functionality in HFC studies and indicate that parasites mediate HFCs by influencing the costs of immune defense rather than by a general increase in environmental harshness levels. PMID:24363906

  10. Environmental and parental influences on offspring health and growth in great tits (Parus major).

    PubMed

    Pickett, Simon R A; Weber, Sam B; McGraw, Kevin J; Norris, Ken J; Evans, Matthew R

    2013-01-01

    Sexual selection requires both that there is heritable variation in traits related to fitness, and that either some of this variation is linked to traits of the parents, and/or that there are direct benefits of choosing particular individuals as mates. This suggests that if direct benefits are important offspring performance should be predicted by traits of the rearing adults. But if indirect benefits are more significant offspring performance should be predicted by traits of the adults at the nest-of-origin. We conducted cross-fostering experiments in great tits (Parus major) over four years, in two of which we manipulated environmental conditions by providing supplemental food. In a third year, some nestlings were directly supplemented with carotenoids. Nestlings in broods whose rearing adults received supplemental food were heavier and had improved immune responses even when controlling for body mass. Nestling immune function was related to measures of the yellow plumage color of both the rearing male and the putative father. Nestling body mass was influenced by the coloration of both the rearing female and the genetic mother. Our results suggest that features of both their social and putative genetic parents influence nestling health and growth. From this it would appear that females could be gaining both direct and indirect benefits through mate choice of male plumage traits and that it would be possible for males to similarly gain through mate choice of female traits.

  11. Helping in cooperatively breeding long-tailed tits: a test of Hamilton's rule.

    PubMed

    Hatchwell, Ben J; Gullett, Philippa R; Adams, Mark J

    2014-05-19

    Inclusive fitness theory provides the conceptual framework for our current understanding of social evolution, and empirical studies suggest that kin selection is a critical process in the evolution of animal sociality. A key prediction of inclusive fitness theory is that altruistic behaviour evolves when the costs incurred by an altruist (c) are outweighed by the benefit to the recipient (b), weighted by the relatedness of altruist to recipient (r), i.e. Hamilton's rule rb > c. Despite its central importance in social evolution theory, there have been relatively few empirical tests of Hamilton's rule, and hardly any among cooperatively breeding vertebrates, leading some authors to question its utility. Here, we use data from a long-term study of cooperatively breeding long-tailed tits Aegithalos caudatus to examine whether helping behaviour satisfies Hamilton's condition for the evolution of altruism. We show that helpers are altruistic because they incur survival costs through the provision of alloparental care for offspring. However, they also accrue substantial benefits through increased survival of related breeders and offspring, and despite the low average relatedness of helpers to recipients, these benefits of helping outweigh the costs incurred. We conclude that Hamilton's rule for the evolution of altruistic helping behaviour is satisfied in this species.

  12. Parasites suppress immune-enhancing effect of methionine in nestling great tits.

    PubMed

    Wegmann, Michèle; Voegeli, Beatrice; Richner, Heinz

    2015-01-01

    After birth, an organism needs to invest both in somatic growth and in the development of efficient immune functions to counter the effects of pathogens, and hence an investment trade-off is predicted. To explore this trade-off, we simultaneously exposed nestling great tits (Parus major) to a common ectoparasite, while stimulating immune function. Using a 2 × 2 experimental design, we first infested half of the nests with hen fleas (Ceratophyllus gallinae) on day 3 post-hatch and later, on day 9-13 post-hatch, and then supplemented half of the nestlings within each nest with an immuno-enhancing amino acid (methionine). We then assessed the non-specific immune response by measuring both the inflammatory response to a lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and assessing the levels of acute phase proteins (APP). In parasite-infested nestlings, methionine had a negative effect on body mass close to fledging. Methionine had an immune-enhancing effect in the absence of ectoparasites only. The inflammatory response to LPS was significantly lower in nestlings infested with fleas and was also lower in nestlings supplemented with methionine. These patterns of immune responses suggest an immunosuppressive effect of ectoparasites that could neutralise the immune-enhancing effect of methionine. Our study thus suggests that the trade-off between investment in life history traits and immune function is only partly dependent on available resources, but shows that parasites may influence this trade-off in a more complex way, by also inhibiting important physiological functions.

  13. Predator-specific effects on incubation behaviour and offspring growth in great tits.

    PubMed

    Basso, Alessandra; Richner, Heinz

    2015-01-01

    In birds, different types of predators may target adults or offspring differentially and at different times of the reproductive cycle. Hence they may also differentially influence incubation behaviour and thus embryonic development and offspring phenotype. This is poorly understood, and we therefore performed a study to assess the effects of the presence of either a nest predator or a predator targeting adults and offspring after fledging on female incubation behaviour in great tits (Parus major), and the subsequent effects on offspring morphological traits. We manipulated perceived predation risk during incubation using taxidermic models of two predators: the short-tailed weasel posing a risk to incubating females and nestlings, and the sparrowhawk posing a risk to adults and offspring after fledging. To disentangle treatment effects induced during incubation from potential carry-over effects of parental behaviour after hatching, we cross-fostered whole broods from manipulated nests with broods from unmanipulated nests. Both predator treatments lead to a reduced on- and off-bout frequency, to a slower decline in on-bout temperature as incubation advanced and showed a negative effect on nestling body mass gain. At the current state of knowledge on predator-induced variation in incubation patterns alternative hypotheses are feasible, and the findings of this study will be useful for guiding future research.

  14. Consistent individual differences in the social phenotypes of wild great tits, Parus major.

    PubMed

    Aplin, L M; Firth, J A; Farine, D R; Voelkl, B; Crates, R A; Culina, A; Garroway, C J; Hinde, C A; Kidd, L R; Psorakis, I; Milligan, N D; Radersma, R; Verhelst, B L; Sheldon, B C

    2015-10-01

    Despite growing interest in animal social networks, surprisingly little is known about whether individuals are consistent in their social network characteristics. Networks are rarely repeatedly sampled; yet an assumption of individual consistency in social behaviour is often made when drawing conclusions about the consequences of social processes and structure. A characterization of such social phenotypes is therefore vital to understanding the significance of social network structure for individual fitness outcomes, and for understanding the evolution and ecology of individual variation in social behaviour more broadly. Here, we measured foraging associations over three winters in a large PIT-tagged population of great tits, and used a range of social network metrics to quantify individual variation in social behaviour. We then examined repeatability in social behaviour over both short (week to week) and long (year to year) timescales, and investigated variation in repeatability across age and sex classes. Social behaviours were significantly repeatable across all timescales, with the highest repeatability observed in group size choice and unweighted degree, a measure of gregariousness. By conducting randomizations to control for the spatial and temporal distribution of individuals, we further show that differences in social phenotypes were not solely explained by within-population variation in local densities, but also reflected fine-scale variation in social decision making. Our results provide rare evidence of stable social phenotypes in a wild population of animals. Such stable social phenotypes can be targets of selection and may have important fitness consequences, both for individuals and for their social-foraging associates.

  15. Physiological responses to increased brood size and ectoparasite infestation: Adult great tits favour self-maintenance.

    PubMed

    Wegmann, Michele; Voegeli, Beatrice; Richner, Heinz

    2015-03-15

    Different types of stressors trigger responses of different physiological systems, and these responses may contribute differentially to the maintenance of homeostasis, to trade-offs and the evolution of life-history traits. To manipulate two common stressors during reproduction, we infested half of the nests in a naturally breeding great tit population with ectoparasites and simultaneously manipulated brood size, using a 2×2 experimental design. Parents in this model species commonly compensate for ectoparasites by an increase in food provisioning. We assessed parental responses to these concurrent stressors by measuring several physiological stress parameters such as changes in metabolic rate, oxidative stress and expression of heat-shock proteins (Hsp), and explored how these stressors affect the trade-off between self-maintenance and reproduction. Neither flea infestation nor brood size manipulation affected adult metabolic rate, oxidative damage or Hsp levels. Furthermore, we found no interactive effect of the two treatments on adults. However, nestlings in infested nests had lower body mass and lower survival. Nestlings in enlarged broods were lighter and had lower survival, although parents of enlarged broods increased food provisioning rate. The findings suggest that adults favour maintenance of cellular homeostasis, and physiological equilibrium over current reproduction, and that the costs induced by both stressors, flea infestation and increased brood size, are carried by the offspring. It emphasizes the importance of self-maintenance over reproduction in life-history decisions, and more generally the need of including physiological traits for understanding the evolution of life-histories.

  16. Multiloop calculations in p-adic string theory and Bruhat-Tits trees

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chekhov, L. O.; Mironov, A. D.; Zabrodin, A. V.

    1989-12-01

    We treat the open p-adic string world sheet as a coset space F= T/Γ, where T is the Bruhat-Tits tree for the p-adic linear group GL(2, ℚ p ) and Γ⊂ PGL(2, ℚ p ) is some Schottky group. The boundary of this world sheet corresponds to a p-adic Mumford curve of finite genus. The string dynamics is governed by the local gaussian action on the coset space F. The tachyon amplitudes expressed in terms of p-adic θ-functions are proposed for the Mumford curve of arbitrary genus. We compare them with the corresponding usual archimedean amplitudes. The sum over moduli space of the algebraic curves is conjectured to be expressed in the arithmetic surface terms. We also give the necessary mathematical background including the Mumford approach to p-adic algebraic curves. The connection of the problem of closed p-adic strings with the considered topics is discussed.

  17. Does baseline innate immunity change with age? A multi-year study in great tits.

    PubMed

    Vermeulen, Anke; Eens, Marcel; Van Dongen, Stefan; Müller, Wendt

    2017-03-16

    Throughout their life animals progressively accumulate mostly detrimental changes in cells, tissues and their functions, causing a decrease in individual performance and ultimately an increased risk of death. The latter may be amplified if it also leads to a deterioration of the immune system which forms the most important protection against the permanent threat of pathogens and infectious diseases. Here, we investigated how four baseline innate immune parameters (natural antibodies, complement activity, concentrations of haptoglobin and concentrations of nitric oxide) changed with age in free-living great tits (Parus major). We applied both cross-sectional and longitudinal approaches as birds were sampled for up to three years of their lives. Three out of the four selected innate immune parameters were affected by age. However, the shape of the response curves differed strongly among the innate immune parameters. Natural antibody levels increased during early life until mid-age to decrease thereafter when birds aged. Complement activity was highest in young birds, while levels slightly decreased with increasing age. Haptoglobin levels on the other hand, showed a linear, but highly variable increase with age, while nitric oxide concentrations were unaffected by age. The observed differences among the four studied innate immune traits not only indicate the importance of considering several immune traits at the same time, but also highlight the complexity of innate immunity. Unraveling the functional significance of the observed changes in innate immunity is thus a challenging next step.

  18. Thec-map, Tits Satake subalgebras and the search for N=2 inflaton potentials

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fré, P.; Sorin, A. S.; Trigiante, M.

    2015-04-01

    In this paper we address the general problem of including inflationary models exhibiting Starobinsky-like potentials into (symmetric) $\\mathcal{N}=2$ supergravities. This is done by gauging suitable abelian isometries of the hypermultiplet sector and then truncating the resulting theory to a single scalar field. By using the characteristic properties of the global symmetry groups of the $\\mathcal{N}=2$ supergravities we are able to make a general statement on the possible $\\alpha$-attractor models which can obtained upon truncation. We find that in symmetric $\\mathcal{N}=2$ models group theoretical constraints restrict the allowed values of the parameter $\\alpha$ to be $\\alpha=1,\\,\\frac{2}{3},\\, \\frac{1}{3}$. This confirms and generalizes results recently obtained in the literature. Our analysis heavily relies on the mathematical structure of symmetric $\\mathcal{N}=2$ supergravities, in particular on the so called $c$-map connection between Quaternionic K\\"ahler manifolds starting from Special K\\"ahler ones. A general statement on the possible consistent truncations of the gauged models, leading to Starobinsky-like potentials, requires the essential help of Tits Satake universality classes. The paper is mathematically self-contained and aims at presenting the involved mathematical structures to a public not only of physicists but also of mathematicians. To this end the main mathematical structures and the general gauging procedure of $\\mathcal{N}=2$ supergravities is reviewed in some detail.

  19. Urban environment shortens telomere length in nestling great tits, Parus major.

    PubMed

    Salmón, P; Nilsson, J F; Nord, A; Bensch, S; Isaksson, C

    2016-06-01

    Urban environments are expanding rapidly, and with urbanization come both challenges and opportunities for wildlife. Challenges include combating the anthropogenic disturbances such as light, noise and air pollution and lower availability of natural food sources. The benefits are many, including the availability of anthropogenic food sources, breeding boxes and warmer temperatures. Thus, depending on the context, urbanization can have both positive and negative effects on fitness related traits. It is well known that early-life conditions can have lifelong implications on fitness; little is however known about development in urban environments. We reciprocally cross-fostered urban and rural nestling great tits (Parus major L.) to study how growing up in an urban versus rural habitat affected telomere length (TL)-a suggested biomarker of longevity. We show, for the first time, that growing up in an urban environment significantly shortens TL, independently of natal origin (i.e. urban or rural). This implies that the urban environment imposes a challenge to developing birds, with potentially irreversible effects on lifespan.

  20. Sources of (co)variation in alternative siring routes available to male great tits (Parus major).

    PubMed

    Araya-Ajoy, Yimen G; Kuhn, Sylvia; Mathot, Kimberley J; Mouchet, Alexia; Mutzel, Ariane; Nicolaus, Marion; Wijmenga, Jan J; Kempenaers, Bart; Dingemanse, Niels J

    2016-10-01

    Males of socially monogamous species can increase their siring success via within-pair and extra-pair fertilizations. In this study, we focused on the different sources of (co)variation between these siring routes, and asked how each contributes to total siring success. We quantified the fertilization routes to siring success, as well as behaviors that have been hypothesized to affect siring success, over a five-year period for a wild population of great tits Parus major. We considered siring success and its fertilization routes as "interactive phenotypes" arising from phenotypic contributions of both members of the social pair. We show that siring success is strongly affected by the fecundity of the social (female) partner. We also demonstrate that a strong positive correlation between extra-pair fertilization success and paternity loss likely constrains the evolution of these two routes. Moreover, we show that more explorative and aggressive males had less extra-pair fertilizations, whereas more explorative females laid larger clutches. This study thus demonstrates that (co)variation in siring routes is caused by multiple factors not necessarily related to characteristics of males. We thereby highlight the importance of acknowledging the multilevel structure of male fertilization routes when studying the evolution of male mating strategies.

  1. Ecological factors that determine Ixodes ricinus tick burdens in the great tit (Parus major), an avian reservoir of Borrelia burgdorferi s.l.

    PubMed

    Heylen, Dieter; Adriaensen, Frank; Van Dongen, Stefan; Sprong, Hein; Matthysen, Erik

    2013-07-01

    Although bird-tick systems affect the human risk of tick-borne diseases, very little is known about the ecological factors that shape the spatio-temporal variation of tick infestations in terrestrial songbirds. We present a risk model that explains the levels of infestation of Ixodes ricinus, the main vector of Borrelia burgdorferi s.l., during the breeding season of the great tit (Parus major), one of Europe's most abundant avian reservoir hosts of B. burgdorferi s.l. Tit tick burden were modelled as a function of variables summarising vegetation, climate, proxies for mammal abundance and characteristics of individual birds and their nests. Tick loads were positively associated with the relative humidity prior to capture of the bird and the cover of bracken inside its territory. The number of cold winter days prior to the bird's breeding season showed a negative association with tick loads. None of the proxies for mammal abundance correlated with tick loads. Tick loads decreased with age in female tits, whereas they increased with age in male tits. Tick burdens in the parental tits were positively associated with their brood size and negatively correlated with the average nestling body weight. Possible mechanisms include: how tit foraging influences tick encounter rates, host tick resistance mechanisms and the environmental conditions that simultaneously affect tick exposure risk and brood characteristics. We believe this study provides the first detailed insights into the ecological factors that shape tick burden in a terrestrial songbird. Copyright © 2013 Australian Society for Parasitology Inc. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. The solution to a conjecture of Tits on the subgroup generated by the squares of the generators of an Artin group

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Crisp, John; Paris, Luis

    2001-07-01

    It was conjectured by Tits that the only relations amongst the squares of the standard generators of an Artin group are the obvious ones, namely that a^2 and b^2 commute if ab=ba appears as one of the Artin relations. In this paper we prove Tits' conjecture for all Artin groups. More generally, we show that, given a number m(s)>1 for each Artin generator s, the only relations amongst the powers s^m(s) of the generators are that a^m(a) and b^m(b) commute if ab=ba appears amongst the Artin relations.

  3. Accumulation of organochlorines and brominated flame retardants in the eggs and nestlings of great tits, Parus major.

    PubMed

    Dauwe, Tom; Jaspers, Veerle L B; Covaci, Adrian; Eens, Marcel

    2006-09-01

    Insectivorous birds may be very useful sentinels for local point-source contamination with persistent pollutants, such as polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) and organochlorine pesticides (OCPs). Eggs have been used extensively to monitor lipophilic contaminants, as females can pass contaminants stored in their body tissues into their eggs. Concentrations and profiles in eggs therefore relate to contamination in the female. Because nestlings are raised on food items collected locally, it is expected that the body burden in nestlings would reflect their diet and local pollution levels better than eggs. In this study we compared the accumulation and the profile of PCBs, PBDEs, and OCPs in great tit (Parus major) eggs, nestlings (5-, 10-, and 15-days old), and their food in two study sites. Our results showed that concentrations in great tit eggs were 4 to 6 times higher than those in nestlings. Concentrations in nestling great tits corresponded with concentrations predicted by a bioenergetics-based model. Most of the persistent organic pollutants in 15-day old nestlings were still from maternal origin. The profile of these persistent pollutants in eggs and nestlings also gradually changed during development. With increasing age, the proportion of the most persistent compounds decreased. This study shows that most of the persistent pollutants in fully grown nestlings may still be from maternal origin. For nestlings to be suitable as indicators of local contamination, most of the POPs they accumulate should originate from dietary sources rather than from maternal transfer via the egg. Nestling birds may therefore not be good sentinels for local contamination with persistent pollutants.

  4. Individual and Population-Level Impacts of an Emerging Poxvirus Disease in a Wild Population of Great Tits

    PubMed Central

    Lachish, Shelly; Bonsall, Michael B.; Lawson, Becki; Cunningham, Andrew A.; Sheldon, Ben C.

    2012-01-01

    Emerging infectious diseases of wildlife can have severe effects on host populations and constitute a pressing problem for biodiversity conservation. Paridae pox is an unusually severe form of avipoxvirus infection that has recently been identified as an emerging infectious disease particularly affecting an abundant songbird, the great tit (Parus major), in Great Britain. In this study, we study the invasion and establishment of Paridae pox in a long-term monitored population of wild great tits to (i) quantify the impact of this novel pathogen on host fitness and (ii) determine the potential threat it poses to population persistence. We show that Paridae pox significantly reduces the reproductive output of great tits by reducing the ability of parents to fledge young successfully and rear those young to independence. Our results also suggested that pathogen transmission from diseased parents to their offspring was possible, and that disease entails severe mortality costs for affected chicks. Application of multistate mark-recapture modelling showed that Paridae pox causes significant reductions to host survival, with particularly large effects observed for juvenile survival. Using an age-structured population model, we demonstrate that Paridae pox has the potential to reduce population growth rate, primarily through negative impacts on host survival rates. However, at currently observed prevalence, significant disease-induced population decline seems unlikely, although pox prevalence may be underestimated if capture probability of diseased individuals is low. Despite this, because pox-affected model populations exhibited lower average growth rates, this emerging infectious disease has the potential to reduce the resilience of populations to other environmental factors that reduce population size. PMID:23185263

  5. Effects of breeding habitat (woodland versus urban) and metal pollution on the egg characteristics of great tits (Parus major).

    PubMed

    Hargitai, Rita; Nagy, Gergely; Nyiri, Zoltán; Bervoets, Lieven; Eke, Zsuzsanna; Eens, Marcel; Török, János

    2016-02-15

    In an urban environment, birds are exposed to metals, which may accumulate in their tissues and cause oxidative stress. Female birds may eliminate these pollutants through depositing them into eggs, thus eggs become suitable bioindicators of pollution. In this study, we aimed to analyse whether eggshell spotting pattern, egg volume, eggshell thickness and egg yolk antioxidant (lutein, tocopherol, retinol and selenium) levels were related to the breeding area (woodland versus urban) and the metal levels in the eggshell of a small passerine species, the great tit (Parus major). In the urban habitat, soil and eggshells contained higher concentrations of metals, and soil calcium level was also higher than that in the woodland. Eggshell spotting intensity and egg volume did not differ between eggs laid in the woodland and the urban park, and these traits were not related to the metal levels of the eggshell, suggesting that these egg characteristics are not sensitive indicators of metal pollution. A more aggregated eggshell spotting distribution indicated a higher Cu concentration of the eggshell. We found that eggshells were thinner in the less polluted woodland habitat, which is likely due to the limited Ca availability of the woodland area. Great tit eggs laid in the urban environment had lower yolk lutein, retinol and selenium concentrations, however, as a possible compensation for these lower antioxidant levels, urban females deposited more tocopherol into the egg yolk. It appears that females from different breeding habitats may provide similar antioxidant protection for their offspring against oxidative damage by depositing different specific dietary antioxidants. Egg yolk lutein and retinol levels showed a negative relationship with lead concentration of the eggshell, which may suggest that lead had a negative impact on the amount of antioxidants available for embryos during development in great tits.

  6. Individual and population-level impacts of an emerging poxvirus disease in a wild population of great tits.

    PubMed

    Lachish, Shelly; Bonsall, Michael B; Lawson, Becki; Cunningham, Andrew A; Sheldon, Ben C

    2012-01-01

    Emerging infectious diseases of wildlife can have severe effects on host populations and constitute a pressing problem for biodiversity conservation. Paridae pox is an unusually severe form of avipoxvirus infection that has recently been identified as an emerging infectious disease particularly affecting an abundant songbird, the great tit (Parus major), in Great Britain. In this study, we study the invasion and establishment of Paridae pox in a long-term monitored population of wild great tits to (i) quantify the impact of this novel pathogen on host fitness and (ii) determine the potential threat it poses to population persistence. We show that Paridae pox significantly reduces the reproductive output of great tits by reducing the ability of parents to fledge young successfully and rear those young to independence. Our results also suggested that pathogen transmission from diseased parents to their offspring was possible, and that disease entails severe mortality costs for affected chicks. Application of multistate mark-recapture modelling showed that Paridae pox causes significant reductions to host survival, with particularly large effects observed for juvenile survival. Using an age-structured population model, we demonstrate that Paridae pox has the potential to reduce population growth rate, primarily through negative impacts on host survival rates. However, at currently observed prevalence, significant disease-induced population decline seems unlikely, although pox prevalence may be underestimated if capture probability of diseased individuals is low. Despite this, because pox-affected model populations exhibited lower average growth rates, this emerging infectious disease has the potential to reduce the resilience of populations to other environmental factors that reduce population size.

  7. Effects of early-life lead exposure on oxidative status and phagocytosis activity in great tits (Parus major).

    PubMed

    Rainio, Miia J; Eeva, Tapio; Lilley, Thomas; Stauffer, Janina; Ruuskanen, Suvi

    2015-01-01

    Lead is a highly poisonous metal with a very long half-life, distributing throughout the body in blood and accumulating primarily in bones and kidney. We studied the short and long-term effects of early-life lead exposure on antioxidant defense and phagocytosis activity in a small passerine bird, the great tit (Parus major) by manipulating dietary lead levels of the nestlings. We had three experimental groups, exposed to environmentally relevant lead concentrations; high (4 μg/g body mass), low (1 μg/g body mass) and control (0 μg/g body mass) group. As a comparison, a great tit population breeding in the vicinity of a metal smelter was included to the experimental set-up. We measured glutathione, the ratio of reduced and oxidized glutathione, and the antioxidant enzymes: glutathione peroxidase, glutathione-S-transferase, catalase and superoxide dismutase together with protein carbonylation and phagocytosis activity to study the effects of lead on the oxidative status and immune function of birds. We found differences in enzyme activities between the study groups, but in most cases the smelter group differed from the other groups. Despite the differences observed in antioxidant enzymes, our results indicate only minor short-term effects of lead exposure on oxidative status, since either glutathione ratio or protein carbonylation were not affected by lead. Phagocytosis activity was not linked to higher lead concentrations either. Interestingly, protein carbonylation was positively associated with enzyme activities and glutathione level. Our results did not show major long-term effects of lead on the oxidative status of great tits.

  8. [Blue light and eye health].

    PubMed

    Zou, Leilei; Dai, Jinhui

    2015-01-01

    Blue light, with the wavelength between 400 nm and 500 nm, has caused public concern because of the injury to the retinal cells. Meanwhile, it is important in circadian rhythm regulation, scotopic vision and ocular growth. Is the blue light safe? Should it be eliminated from the daily life? Here we review the effect and safety of the blue light.

  9. Learning the Blues. [Lesson Plan].

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    2001

    This lesson introduces students to the "blues," one of the most distinctive and influential elements of African-American musical tradition. With this lesson plan, students can take a virtual field trip to Memphis, Tennessee, one of the prominent centers of blues activities, and explore the history of the blues in the work of W. C. Handy…

  10. Seasonal changes in colour: a comparison of structural, melanin- and carotenoid-based plumage colours.

    PubMed

    Delhey, Kaspar; Burger, Claudia; Fiedler, Wolfgang; Peters, Anne

    2010-07-14

    Plumage coloration is important for bird communication, most notably in sexual signalling. Colour is often considered a good quality indicator, and the expression of exaggerated colours may depend on individual condition during moult. After moult, plumage coloration has been deemed fixed due to the fact that feathers are dead structures. Still, many plumage colours change after moult, although whether this affects signalling has not been sufficiently assessed. We studied changes in coloration after moult in four passerine birds (robin, Erithacus rubecula; blackbird, Turdus merula; blue tit, Cyanistes caeruleus; and great tit, Parus major) displaying various coloration types (melanin-, carotenoid-based and structural). Birds were caught regularly during three years to measure plumage reflectance. We used models of avian colour vision to derive two variables, one describing chromatic and the other achromatic variation over the year that can be compared in magnitude among different colour types. All studied plumage patches but one (yellow breast of the blue tit) showed significant chromatic changes over the year, although these were smaller than for a typical dynamic trait (bill colour). Overall, structural colours showed a reduction in relative reflectance at shorter wavelengths, carotenoid-based colours the opposite pattern, while no general pattern was found for melanin-based colours. Achromatic changes were also common, but there were no consistent patterns of change for the different types of colours. Changes of plumage coloration independent of moult are probably widespread; they should be perceivable by birds and have the potential to affect colour signalling.

  11. The Blue Emu

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Descalzi, Doug; Gillett, John; Gordon, Carlton; Keener, ED; Novak, Ken; Puente, Laura

    1993-01-01

    The primary goal in designing the Blue Emu was to provide an airline with a cost efficient and profitable means of transporting passengers between the major cities in Aeroworld. The design attacks the market where a demand for inexpensive transportation exists and for this reason the Blue Emu is an attractive investment for any airline. In order to provide a profitable aircraft, special attention was paid to cost and economics. For example, in manufacturing, simplicity was stressed in structural design to reduce construction time and cost. Aerodynamic design employed a tapered wing which reduced the induced drag coefficient while also reducing the weight of the wing. Even the propulsion system was selected with cost effectiveness in mind, yet also to maintain the marketability of the aircraft. Thus, in every aspect of the design, consideration was given to economics and marketability of the final product.

  12. Pluto Blue Sky

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2015-10-08

    Pluto's haze layer shows its blue color in this picture taken by the New Horizons Ralph/Multispectral Visible Imaging Camera (MVIC). The high-altitude haze is thought to be similar in nature to that seen at Saturn's moon Titan. The source of both hazes likely involves sunlight-initiated chemical reactions of nitrogen and methane, leading to relatively small, soot-like particles (called tholins) that grow as they settle toward the surface. This image was generated by software that combines information from blue, red and near-infrared images to replicate the color a human eye would perceive as closely as possible. http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA19964

  13. Consistent individual differences in the social phenotypes of wild great tits, Parus major

    PubMed Central

    Aplin, L.M.; Firth, J.A.; Farine, D.R.; Voelkl, B.; Crates, R.A.; Culina, A.; Garroway, C.J.; Hinde, C.A.; Kidd, L.R.; Psorakis, I.; Milligan, N.D.; Radersma, R.; Verhelst, B.L.; Sheldon, B.C.

    2015-01-01

    Despite growing interest in animal social networks, surprisingly little is known about whether individuals are consistent in their social network characteristics. Networks are rarely repeatedly sampled; yet an assumption of individual consistency in social behaviour is often made when drawing conclusions about the consequences of social processes and structure. A characterization of such social phenotypes is therefore vital to understanding the significance of social network structure for individual fitness outcomes, and for understanding the evolution and ecology of individual variation in social behaviour more broadly. Here, we measured foraging associations over three winters in a large PIT-tagged population of great tits, and used a range of social network metrics to quantify individual variation in social behaviour. We then examined repeatability in social behaviour over both short (week to week) and long (year to year) timescales, and investigated variation in repeatability across age and sex classes. Social behaviours were significantly repeatable across all timescales, with the highest repeatability observed in group size choice and unweighted degree, a measure of gregariousness. By conducting randomizations to control for the spatial and temporal distribution of individuals, we further show that differences in social phenotypes were not solely explained by within-population variation in local densities, but also reflected fine-scale variation in social decision making. Our results provide rare evidence of stable social phenotypes in a wild population of animals. Such stable social phenotypes can be targets of selection and may have important fitness consequences, both for individuals and for their social-foraging associates. PMID:26512142

  14. An improved phylogeny of the Andean tit-tyrants (Aves, Tyrannidae): More characters trump sophisticated analyses

    PubMed Central

    DuBay, Shane G.; Witt, Christopher C.

    2012-01-01

    The phylogeny of the flycatcher genus Anairetes was previously inferred using short fragments of mitochondrial DNA and parsimony and distance-based methods. The resulting topology spurred taxonomic revision and influenced understanding of Andean biogeography. More than a decade later, we revisit the phylogeny of Anairetes tit-tyrants using more mtDNA characters, seven unlinked loci (3 mitochondrial genes, 6 nuclear loci), more closely related outgroup taxa, partitioned Bayesian analyses, and two coalescent species-tree approaches (Bayesian estimation of species trees, BEST; Bayesian evolutionary analysis by sampling trees, *BEAST). Of these improvements in data and analyses, the fourfold increase in mtDNA characters was both necessary and sufficient to incur a major shift in the topology and near-complete resolution. The species-tree analyses, while theoretically preferable to concatenation or single gene approaches, yielded topologies that were compatible with mtDNA but with weaker statistical resolution at nodes. The previous results that had led to taxonomic and biogeographic reappraisal were refuted, and the current results support the resurrection of the genus Uromyias as the sister clade to Anairetes. The sister relationship between these two genera corresponds to an ecological dichotomy between a depauperate humid cloudforest clade and a diverse dry-tolerant clade that has diversified along the latitudinal axis of the Andes. The species-tree results and the concatenation results each reaffirm the primacy of mtDNA to provide phylogenetic signal for avian phylogenies at the species and subspecies level. This is due in part to the abundance of informative characters in mtDNA, and in part to its lower effective population size that causes it to more faithfully track the species tree. PMID:22525942

  15. Effects of dietary lead exposure on vitamin levels in great tit nestlings - An experimental manipulation.

    PubMed

    Ruiz, Sandra; Espín, Silvia; Rainio, Miia; Ruuskanen, Suvi; Salminen, Juha-Pekka; Lilley, Thomas M; Eeva, Tapio

    2016-06-01

    Exposure to metal pollution negatively affects animal physiology, including nutrient metabolism, but in the wild an effect can seldom be attributed to a single metal. Moreover, little is known about how the metabolism of vitamins, essential micronutrients for developing juveniles, is affected by toxic metals. Therefore we experimentally investigated the effects of lead (Pb), a widespread toxic metal, on four fat-soluble vitamins A (total and retinol), D3, E (total and α-tocopherol) and K and carotenoids (lutein, zeaxanthin and unidentified) in great tit (Parus major) nestlings. In addition to a control group where no Pb was provided, two Pb-dosed groups were compared to a metal exposed group in the vicinity of a Ni-Cu smelter. We examined whether Pb treatment affects vitamin homeostasis and how the response of Pb-treated birds relates to that of a population under industrial exposure of Pb and other metals. For this purpose, vitamin and carotenoid levels were quantified with UPLC-MS from plasma of 7 days-old nestlings. All metal exposed groups showed increased vitamin A and retinol levels. However, vitamin levels were not directly associated with fecal Pb levels, with the exception of retinol, which was positively correlated with fecal Pb. Alpha-tocopherol, lutein and zeaxanthin levels were positively associated with body mass and wing growth rate. To conclude, Pb exposure increased plasma vitamin A and retinol levels while the levels of other vitamins and carotenoids rather reflected secondary pollution effects via differences in habitat and diet quality at the smelter site. Our findings suggest Pb exposed nestlings may allocate the vitamins needed for growth and development to fight the physiological stress thus compromising their fitness.

  16. An improved phylogeny of the Andean tit-tyrants (Aves, Tyrannidae): more characters trump sophisticated analyses.

    PubMed

    Dubay, Shane G; Witt, Christopher C

    2012-08-01

    The phylogeny of the flycatcher genus Anairetes was previously inferred using short fragments of mitochondrial DNA and parsimony and distance-based methods. The resulting topology spurred taxonomic revision and influenced understanding of Andean biogeography. More than a decade later, we revisit the phylogeny of Anairetes tit-tyrants using more mtDNA characters, seven unlinked loci (three mitochondrial genes, six nuclear loci), more closely related outgroup taxa, partitioned Bayesian analyses, and two coalescent species-tree approaches (Bayesian estimation of species trees, BEST; Bayesian evolutionary analysis by sampling trees, (*)BEAST). Of these improvements in data and analyses, the fourfold increase in mtDNA characters was both necessary and sufficient to incur a major shift in the topology and near-complete resolution. The species-tree analyses, while theoretically preferable to concatenation or single gene approaches, yielded topologies that were compatible with mtDNA but with weaker statistical resolution at nodes. The previous results that had led to taxonomic and biogeographic reappraisal were refuted, and the current results support the resurrection of the genus Uromyias as the sister clade to Anairetes. The sister relationship between these two genera corresponds to an ecological dichotomy between a depauperate humid cloud forest clade and a diverse dry-tolerant clade that has diversified along the latitudinal axis of the Andes. The species-tree results and the concatenation results each reaffirm the primacy of mtDNA to provide phylogenetic signal for avian phylogenies at the species and subspecies level. This is due in part to the abundance of informative characters in mtDNA, and in part to its lower effective population size that causes it to more faithfully track the species tree. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  17. Antioxidants in eggs of great tits Parus major from Chernobyl and hatching success.

    PubMed

    Møller, Anders Pape; Karadas, Filis; Mousseau, Timothy A

    2008-08-01

    Antioxidants are powerful protectors against the damaging effects of free radicals that constitute the inevitable by-products of aerobic metabolism. Growing embryos are particularly susceptible to the damaging effects of free radicals produced during rapid growth, and mothers of many species provide protection against such damage by allocating antioxidants to their eggs. Birds living in radioactively contaminated areas use dietary antioxidants to cope with the damaging effects of radiation, but females also allocate dietary antioxidants to eggs, potentially enforcing a physiological trade-off between self-maintenance and reproductive investment. Here we tested whether female great tits Parus major breeding in radioactively contaminated study areas near Chernobyl allocated less dietary antioxidants to eggs, and whether such reduced allocation of dietary antioxidants to eggs had fitness consequences. Concentrations of total yolk carotenoids and vitamins A and E were depressed near Chernobyl compared to concentrations in a less contaminated Ukrainian study area and a French control study area, and all antioxidants showed dose-dependent relationships with all three dietary antioxidants decreasing with increasing level of radiation at nest boxes. These effects held even when controlling statistically for potentially confounding habitat variables and covariation among antioxidants. Laying date was advanced and clutch size increased at nest boxes with high dose rates. Hatching success increased with increasing concentration of vitamin E, implying that hatching success decreased at boxes with high levels of radiation, eventually eliminating and even reversing the higher potential reproductive output associated with early reproduction and large clutch size. These findings are consistent with the hypothesis that radioactive contamination reduced levels of dietary antioxidants in yolks, with negative consequences for hatching success and reproductive success.

  18. Brood Reduction via Intra-clutch Variation in Testosterone - An Experimental Test in the Great Tit

    PubMed Central

    Podlas, Katarzyna; Helfenstein, Fabrice; Richner, Heinz

    2013-01-01

    In birds, yolk androgen concentrations in eggs can increase or decrease over the laying sequence and common hypotheses hold that this serves to favour the competitive ability of either first- or last-hatched chicks depending on the prevailing conditions, and thus promote brood reduction or maintenance of original brood size respectively. Intra-clutch variation of testosterone can shift relative competitive ability of siblings and hence competitive dynamics. In a natural population of great tits, we experimentally investigated the effects and function of maternal testosterone on offspring phenotype in relation to the laying position of the egg in a context of hatching asynchrony. To this end, we created three types of clutches where either the first three or the last three eggs of a clutch were injected with testosterone (T) dissolved in sesame oil, and the remaining eggs with sesame oil only, or where all eggs of a clutch were injected with sesame oil. Increased levels of yolk T in the last-laid eggs resulted in the last-hatched chicks being significantly lighter and smaller than their siblings, while increased levels of T in the first-laid eggs had no direct effect on the first-hatched chicks, but an indirect negative effect on their siblings. Our results suggest that females can potentially adjust offspring phenotype by modulating, over the laying sequence, the amounts of T deposited in the eggs. These results are in contradiction, however, with current hypotheses and previous findings, which suggest that under good conditions higher levels of maternally derived T in the last-laid eggs should mitigate the negative effects of hatching asynchrony. PMID:23437207

  19. Edge effects in the great tit: analyses of long-term data with GIS techniques.

    PubMed

    Wilkin, Teddy A; Garant, Dany; Gosler, Andrew G; Sheldon, Ben C

    2007-10-01

    In contemporary fragmented landscapes, edges are commonplace, and understanding the effects of edge environments is thus essential for the conservation of forest communities. The reproductive output of forest passerines is often reduced close to forest edges. Possible explanations include overcrowding by conspecifics, elevated rates of predation, and the occurrence of lower-quality habitat and/or individuals at forest edges. We attempted to separate these processes by examining edge effects in the absence of nest predation and by effectively controlling for differences in breeding density and the quality of habitats and individuals. We used an edge distance index (EDI), which accounts for the number and distribution of edges in close proximity to a breeding location, to help explain variation in breeding density, nesting success, and reproductive traits of 8308 pairs of Great Tits (Parus major) breeding between 1965 and 2005, in Wytham, near Oxford, United Kingdom. Results from linear mixed modeling confirmed higher breeding density and a higher proportion of immigrant individuals at forest edges. Nevertheless, independently of these effects, we also found that birds laying later, with smaller clutches but larger eggs, were typical of edge environments. The number of offspring recruited to the breeding offspring per breeding attempt was also reduced at edges, both directly and mediated through changes in clutch size and laying date. Edge effects on life histories were detectable within individual females and up to 500 m from the woodland edge. Woodland edges are increasingly common in contemporary fragmented landscapes. Therefore these results, which suggest a pervasive effect of edges on reproduction, are of considerable importance to the management and conservation of forest communities.

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

    PubMed

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

    2017-01-01

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

  1. Density dependence in an age-structured population of great tits: identifying the critical age classes.

    PubMed

    Gamelon, Marlène; Grøtan, Vidar; Engen, Steinar; Bjørkvoll, Eirin; Visser, Marcel E; Saether, Bernt-Erik

    2016-09-01

    Classical approaches for the analyses of density dependence assume that all the individuals in a population equally respond and equally contribute to density dependence. However, in age-structured populations, individuals of different ages may differ in their responses to changes in population size and how they contribute to density dependence affecting the growth rate of the whole population. Here we apply the concept of critical age classes, i.e., a specific scalar function that describes how one or a combination of several age classes affect the demographic rates negatively, in order to examine how total density dependence acting on the population growth rate depends on the age-specific population sizes. In a 38-yr dataset of an age-structured great tit (Parus major) population, we find that the age classes, including the youngest breeding females, were the critical age classes for density regulation. These age classes correspond to new breeders that attempt to take a territory and that have the strongest competitive effect on other breeding females. They strongly affected population growth rate and reduced recruitment and survival rates of all breeding females. We also show that depending on their age class, females may differently respond to varying density. In particular, the negative effect of the number of breeding females was stronger on recruitment rate of the youngest breeding females. These findings question the classical assumptions that all the individuals of a population can be treated as having an equal contribution to density regulation and that the effect of the number of individuals is age independent. Our results improve our understanding of density regulation in natural populations.

  2. Voyager 1 'Blue Movie'

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2000-01-01

    This is the original Voyager 'Blue Movie' (so named because it was built from Blue filter images). It records the approach of Voyager 1 during a period of over 60 Jupiter days. Notice the difference in speed and direction of the various zones of the atmosphere. The interaction of the atmospheric clouds and storms shows how dynamic the Jovian atmosphere is.

    As Voyager 1 approached Jupiter in 1979, it took images of the planet at regular intervals. This sequence is made from 66 images taken once every Jupiter rotation period (about 10 hours). This time-lapse movie uses images taken every time Jupiter longitude 68W passed under the spacecraft. These images were acquired in the Blue filter from Jan. 6 to Feb. 3 1979. The spacecraft flew from 58 million kilometers to 31 million kilometers from Jupiter during that time.

    This time-lapse movie was produced at JPL by the Image Processing Laboratory in 1979.

  3. Blue metal-poor stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Preston, George W.; Sneden, Christopher

    2004-12-01

    We review the discovery of blue metal-poor (BMP) stars and the resolution of this population into blue stragglers and intermediate-age Main-Sequence stars by use of binary fractions. We show that the specific frequencies of blue stragglers in the halo field and in globular clusters differ by an order of magnitude. We attribute this difference to the different modes of production of these two populations. We report carbon and s-process enrichment among very metal-poor field blue stragglers and discuss how this result can be used to further resolve field blue stragglers into groups formed during RGB and AGB evolution of their erstwhile primary companions.

  4. Genomic dissection of variation in clutch size and egg mass in a wild great tit (Parus major) population.

    PubMed

    Santure, Anna W; De Cauwer, Isabelle; Robinson, Matthew R; Poissant, Jocelyn; Sheldon, Ben C; Slate, Jon

    2013-08-01

    Clutch size and egg mass are life history traits that have been extensively studied in wild bird populations, as life history theory predicts a negative trade-off between them, either at the phenotypic or at the genetic level. Here, we analyse the genomic architecture of these heritable traits in a wild great tit (Parus major) population, using three marker-based approaches - chromosome partitioning, quantitative trait locus (QTL) mapping and a genome-wide association study (GWAS). The variance explained by each great tit chromosome scales with predicted chromosome size, no location in the genome contains genome-wide significant QTL, and no individual SNPs are associated with a large proportion of phenotypic variation, all of which may suggest that variation in both traits is due to many loci of small effect, located across the genome. There is no evidence that any regions of the genome contribute significantly to both traits, which combined with a small, nonsignificant negative genetic covariance between the traits, suggests the absence of genetic constraints on the independent evolution of these traits. Our findings support the hypothesis that variation in life history traits in natural populations is likely to be determined by many loci of small effect spread throughout the genome, which are subject to continued input of variation by mutation and migration, although we cannot exclude the possibility of an additional input of major effect genes influencing either trait. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  5. Changing climate and the phenological response of great tit and collared flycatcher populations in floodplain forest ecosystems in Central Europe

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bauer, Zdeněk; Trnka, Miroslav; Bauerová, Jana; Možný, Martin; Štěpánek, Petr; Bartošová, Lenka; Žalud, Zdeněk

    2010-01-01

    This study is based on 47 years of observations (1961-2007) on two common bird species, the Great Tit ( Parus major) and the Collared Flycatcher ( Ficedula albicollis), and a dominant tree species in their habitat, the English Oak ( Quercus robur). The study took place at four research sites in the Czech Republic located in full-grown, multi-aged floodplain forests with no forestry management. An increase in air temperature over the evaluated period clearly influenced the length of phenological phases. The full foliage date of English Oak has advanced by 8.7 days during the past 47 years. Great Tit and Collared Flycatcher populations have reacted to the changing climate in the same way, with first laying date and mean laying date advancing by between 6.0 and 9.0 days. In all cases, the trends are highly significant and consistent over all sites. Despite the ongoing shift in phenological stages toward the beginning of the year, the change does not appear to have led to mistiming in the trophic food chain. Overall, this study shows almost identical rates of change in egg laying dates for both bird species in all the floodplain forests studied, and these trends are coherent with those of English Oak and peak herbivorous caterpillar activity.

  6. Maternal steroids in egg yolk as a pathway to translate predation risk to offspring: experiments with great tits.

    PubMed

    Coslovsky, Michael; Groothuis, Ton; de Vries, Bonnie; Richner, Heinz

    2012-04-01

    Exposure of mothers to risk of predation can induce phenotypic changes in offspring as shown in several species. We previously found that cross-fostered great tit (Parus major) chicks of females exposed to increased predation risk were smaller and lighter, but had faster wing growth than control cross-fostered chicks, possibly improving predator-escaping abilities. Here we examined the possible role of maternal steroids deposited in eggs as an underlying mechanism. We collected eggs from female great tits under either experimentally increased predation risk (PRED) or control treatments (CON) and analyzed the concentration of testosterone, androstenedione, and progesterone in the yolks. PRED eggs contained lower levels of testosterone than CON eggs, but levels of androstenedione and progesterone did not differ. The smaller size and mass of chicks found in the previous study may thus be explained by the lower testosterone concentrations, since yolk testosterone is known to boost growth and development. Alternatively, testosterone may act as a modulator of differential investment into morphological traits, rather than a simple growth enhancer, explaining lower body mass in conjunction with the accelerated wing growth. This could possibly occur concurrently with other hormones such as corticosterone.

  7. Yolk testosterone shapes the expression of a melanin-based signal in great tits: an antioxidant-mediated mechanism?

    PubMed

    Galván, Ismael; Alonso-Alvarez, Carlos

    2010-09-15

    Conspicuous traits produced by melanin deposition in integuments are often involved in visual communication. The information content of melanin-based signals is unclear as their expression is tightly controlled by genes and, apparently, is less dependent on individual condition. In birds, high heritabilities have been attributed to melanin-based plumages, often on the basis of egg-swapping manipulations (cross-fostering experiments). However, it is well known that female birds can differentially transfer testosterone to the egg yolk. Furthermore, high testosterone levels have been related to high oxidative stress. As we recently found that oxidative stress experienced during development influences the expression of melanin-based traits, here we manipulated the level of yolk testosterone in great tits (Parus major) to assess the influence of this maternal effect on the expression of the black breast stripe, a well-known melanin-based signal. We predicted that fledglings hatched from eggs with high testosterone levels will not only show larger black stripes but also experience changes in their antioxidant machinery. Indeed, the size of the black stripe of great tits hatched from testosterone-injected eggs was almost double that of controls. Furthermore, the same individuals showed a trend to higher levels of circulating antioxidants, which suggests an adaptive response against some testosterone-induced oxidative challenge.

  8. High Prevalence and Lineage Diversity of Avian Malaria in Wild Populations of Great Tits (Parus major) and Mosquitoes (Culex pipiens)

    PubMed Central

    Glaizot, Olivier; Fumagalli, Luca; Iritano, Katia; Lalubin, Fabrice; Van Rooyen, Juan; Christe, Philippe

    2012-01-01

    Avian malaria studies have taken a prominent place in different aspects of evolutionary ecology. Despite a recent interest in the role of vectors within the complex interaction system of the malaria parasite, they have largely been ignored in most epidemiological studies. Epidemiology of the disease is however strongly related to the vector's ecology and behaviour, and there is a need for basic investigations to obtain a better picture of the natural associations between Plasmodium lineages, vector species and bird hosts. The aim of the present study was to identify the mosquito species involved in the transmission of the haemosporidian parasites Plasmodium spp. in two wild populations of breeding great tits (Parus major) in western Switzerland. Additionally, we compared Plasmodium lineages, based on mitochondrial DNA cytochrome b sequences, between the vertebrate and dipteran hosts, and evaluated the prevalence of the parasite in the mosquito populations. Plasmodium spp. were detected in Culex pipiens only, with an overall 6.6% prevalence. Among the six cytochrome b lineages of Plasmodium identified in the mosquitoes, three were also present in great tits. The results provide evidence for the first time that C. pipiens can act as a natural vector of avian malaria in Europe and yield baseline data for future research on the epidemiology of avian malaria in European countries. PMID:22506060

  9. Changing climate and the phenological response of great tit and collared flycatcher populations in floodplain forest ecosystems in Central Europe.

    PubMed

    Bauer, Zdenek; Trnka, Miroslav; Bauerová, Jana; Mozný, Martin; Stepánek, Petr; Bartosová, Lenka; Zalud, Zdenek

    2010-01-01

    This study is based on 47 years of observations (1961-2007) on two common bird species, the Great Tit (Parus major) and the Collared Flycatcher (Ficedula albicollis), and a dominant tree species in their habitat, the English Oak (Quercus robur). The study took place at four research sites in the Czech Republic located in full-grown, multi-aged floodplain forests with no forestry management. An increase in air temperature over the evaluated period clearly influenced the length of phenological phases. The full foliage date of English Oak has advanced by 8.7 days during the past 47 years. Great Tit and Collared Flycatcher populations have reacted to the changing climate in the same way, with first laying date and mean laying date advancing by between 6.0 and 9.0 days. In all cases, the trends are highly significant and consistent over all sites. Despite the ongoing shift in phenological stages toward the beginning of the year, the change does not appear to have led to mistiming in the trophic food chain. Overall, this study shows almost identical rates of change in egg laying dates for both bird species in all the floodplain forests studied, and these trends are coherent with those of English Oak and peak herbivorous caterpillar activity.

  10. A recipe for postfledging survival in great tits Parus major: be large and be early (but not too much).

    PubMed

    Rodríguez, Samuel; van Noordwijk, Arie J; Álvarez, Elena; Barba, Emilio

    2016-07-01

    Survival of juveniles during the postfledging period can be markedly low, which may have major consequences on avian population dynamics. Knowing which factors operating during the nesting phase affect postfledging survival is crucial to understand avian breeding strategies. We aimed to obtain a robust set of predictors of postfledging local survival using the great tit (Parus major) as a model species. We used mark-recapture models to analyze the effect of hatching date, temperatures experienced during the nestling period, fledging size and body mass on first-year postfledging survival probability of great tit juveniles. We used data from 5192 nestlings of first clutches ringed between 1993 and 2010. Mean first-year postfledging survival probability was 15.2%, and it was lower for smaller individuals, as well as for those born in either very early or late broods. Our results stress the importance of choosing an optimum hatching period, and raising large chicks to increase first-year local survival probability in the studied population.

  11. Diet specialization in a generalist population: the case of breeding great tits Parus major in the Mediterranean area.

    PubMed

    Pagani-Núñez, E; Valls, M; Senar, J C

    2015-11-01

    The analysis of diet specialization provides key information on how different individuals deal with similar food and habitat constraints within populations. Characterizing parental diet specialization at the moment of breeding, and the consistency of these preferences under different levels of effort, may help us to understand why parents exploit alternative resources. We investigated these questions in a species commonly considered a generalist: a breeding population of Mediterranean great tits Parus major. Our aim was to determine whether they are specialists or generalists at the pair level, and the consistency of this behaviour under different levels of effort. Using proportional similarity and mean pairwise overlap indices, we found that parents showed great variability in prey selection between territories. That is, they displayed a small niche overlap. Interestingly, the most specialized breeding pairs showed a tendency to have larger broods. Additionally, we experimentally manipulated brood size and found that parents showed high short-term consistency in their foraging behaviour. They precisely adjusted the number of provisioning trips to the number of nestlings, while they were unable to modify prey proportions or prey size after brood size was changed. We can therefore characterize their foraging strategies as highly consistent. Our results suggest that although the great tit may be considered a generalist at the species or population level, there was a tendency for trophic specialization among breeding pairs. This high inter- and intrapopulation plasticity could account for their great success and wide distribution.

  12. High prevalence and lineage diversity of avian malaria in wild populations of great tits (Parus major) and mosquitoes (Culex pipiens).

    PubMed

    Glaizot, Olivier; Fumagalli, Luca; Iritano, Katia; Lalubin, Fabrice; Van Rooyen, Juan; Christe, Philippe

    2012-01-01

    Avian malaria studies have taken a prominent place in different aspects of evolutionary ecology. Despite a recent interest in the role of vectors within the complex interaction system of the malaria parasite, they have largely been ignored in most epidemiological studies. Epidemiology of the disease is however strongly related to the vector's ecology and behaviour, and there is a need for basic investigations to obtain a better picture of the natural associations between Plasmodium lineages, vector species and bird hosts. The aim of the present study was to identify the mosquito species involved in the transmission of the haemosporidian parasites Plasmodium spp. in two wild populations of breeding great tits (Parus major) in western Switzerland. Additionally, we compared Plasmodium lineages, based on mitochondrial DNA cytochrome b sequences, between the vertebrate and dipteran hosts, and evaluated the prevalence of the parasite in the mosquito populations. Plasmodium spp. were detected in Culex pipiens only, with an overall 6.6% prevalence. Among the six cytochrome b lineages of Plasmodium identified in the mosquitoes, three were also present in great tits. The results provide evidence for the first time that C. pipiens can act as a natural vector of avian malaria in Europe and yield baseline data for future research on the epidemiology of avian malaria in European countries.

  13. The Blue Marble

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2002-01-01

    This spectacular Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) 'blue marble' image is based on the most detailed collection of true-color imagery of the entire Earth to date. Using a collection of satellite-based observations, scientists and visualizers stitched together months of observations of the land surface, oceans, sea ice, and clouds into a seamless, true-color mosaic of every square kilometer (.386 square mile) of our planet. Most of the information contained in this image came from MODIS, illustrating MODIS' outstanding capacity to act as an integrated tool for observing a variety of terrestrial, oceanic, and atmospheric features of the Earth. The land and coastal ocean portions of this image is based on surface observations collected from June through September 2001 and combined, or composited, every eight days to compensate for clouds that might block the satellite's view on any single day. Global ocean color (or chlorophyll) data was used to simulate the ocean surface. MODIS doesn't measure 3-D features of the Earth, so the surface observations were draped over topographic data provided by the U.S. Geological Survey EROS Data Center. MODIS observations of polar sea ice were combined with observations of Antarctica made by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's AVHRR sensor-the Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer. The cloud image is a composite of two days of MODIS imagery collected in visible light wavelengths and a third day of thermal infra-red imagery over the poles. A large collection of imagery based on the blue marble in a variety of sizes and formats, including animations and the full (1 km) resolution imagery, is available at the Blue Marble page. Image by Reto Stockli, Render by Robert Simmon. Based on data from the MODIS Science Team

  14. The Blue Marble

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2002-01-01

    This spectacular Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) 'blue marble' image is based on the most detailed collection of true-color imagery of the entire Earth to date. Using a collection of satellite-based observations, scientists and visualizers stitched together months of observations of the land surface, oceans, sea ice, and clouds into a seamless, true-color mosaic of every square kilometer (.386 square mile) of our planet. Most of the information contained in this image came from MODIS, illustrating MODIS' outstanding capacity to act as an integrated tool for observing a variety of terrestrial, oceanic, and atmospheric features of the Earth. The land and coastal ocean portions of this image is based on surface observations collected from June through September 2001 and combined, or composited, every eight days to compensate for clouds that might block the satellite's view on any single day. Global ocean color (or chlorophyll) data was used to simulate the ocean surface. MODIS doesn't measure 3-D features of the Earth, so the surface observations were draped over topographic data provided by the U.S. Geological Survey EROS Data Center. MODIS observations of polar sea ice were combined with observations of Antarctica made by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's AVHRR sensor-the Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer. The cloud image is a composite of two days of MODIS imagery collected in visible light wavelengths and a third day of thermal infra-red imagery over the poles. A large collection of imagery based on the blue marble in a variety of sizes and formats, including animations and the full (1 km) resolution imagery, is available at the Blue Marble page. Image by Reto Stockli, Render by Robert Simmon. Based on data from the MODIS Science Team

  15. The Spanish Blue Division

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2005-03-18

    the German North Army Group. WORD COUNT=5933 20 ENDNOTES 1 Torres, Francisco. La Divisi6n Azul50 AFos Despu6s. Madrid: Editorial Fuerza Nueva , 1991,31...osDespu6s. Madrid: Editorial Fuerza Nueva , 1991,47. ’ Kleinfield, Gerald R. and Tambs, Lewis A. La Divisi6n espatjola de Hitler. Madrid: Editorial San Martin...1983, 25. ’ Torres, Francisco. La Divisi6n Azu150AiosDespu6s. Madrid: Editorial Fuerza Nueva , 1991,53 6 The Division was popularly known as the Blue

  16. Keratoglobus and blue sclera.

    PubMed

    Biglan, A W; Brown, S I; Johnson, B L

    1977-02-01

    Five patients from two families had similar features including keratoglobus, blue scleras, hyperextensibility of the hand, wrist, and ankle joints, sensorineural conduction hearing alterations, and mottling of the teeth. Keratoglobus had been observed in all patients at, or shortly after, birth. Corneal perforations developed in seven of the ten eyes after minimal trauma. Repair of these perforations was complicated by the extremely thin corneas and six eyes had to be either enucleated or eviscerated. Histopathological examination of two of the enucleated eyes showed the corneal stromas of both eyes to be estremely thin, Bowman's membrane was absent, and Descemet's membrane was unusually thick. This condition has an autosomal-recessive inheritance pattern.

  17. Blue upconversion thulium laser

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nguyen, Dinh C.; Faulkner, George E.; Weber, Michael E.; Dulick, Michael

    1990-04-01

    We report a blue emission upconversion solid-state laser based on Tm3+:YLF. Under double resonance excitation at 780.8 nm (near-ir) and 648.8 nm (red), the Tm3+ ion is sequentially excited from the 3H6 ground state to the 1D2 excited state through the 3H4 intermediate level. The laser output at 450 and 453 nm corresponds to the 1D2 -> 3F4 transitions of Tm3+ ions in YLF.

  18. Scale and state dependence of the relationship between personality and dispersal in a great tit population.

    PubMed

    Quinn, John L; Cole, Ella F; Patrick, Samantha C; Sheldon, Ben C

    2011-09-01

    1. Dispersal is a key process in population biology and ecology. Although the general ecological conditions that lead to dispersal have been well studied, the causes of individual variation in dispersal are less well understood. A number of recent studies suggest that heritable temperament - or personality - traits are correlated with dispersal in the wild but the extent to which these 'personality-dispersal syndromes' are general, how they depend on an individual's state and on spatial scale and whether they are temporally stable, both within and across individuals, remains unclear. 2. Here, we examine the relationship between exploration behaviour - an axis of personality that appears to be important in animals generally - and a variety of dispersal processes over 6 years in a population of the great tit Parus major. 3. Exploration behaviour was higher in immigrant than in locally born juveniles, but the difference was much larger for individuals with a small body mass, though independent of sex, representing one of the first examples of a state-dependent effect in a personality-dispersal syndrome. 4. Despite a temporal trend in exploration behaviour at the population level, the difference between immigrants and locally born birds remained stable over time, both across and within individuals. This suggests that the personality difference between immigrants and locally born birds is established early in development, but that the process of immigration interacts with both personality and state. 5. We found that the number of immigrant parents a locally born bird had did not influence exploration behaviour, suggesting either the difference between immigrants and residents was environmental or that the effect is overridden by local environmental sources of variation. 6. In contrast to previous work, we found no evidence for links between personality and natal dispersal distance within the population, either in terms of an individual's own exploration behaviour or

  19. Avian haemosporidian persistence and co-infection in great tits at the individual level

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Many studies have tracked the distribution and persistence of avian haemosporidian communities across space and time at the population level, but few studies have investigated these aspects of infection at the individual level over time. Important aspects of parasite infection at the individual level can be missed if only trends at the population level are studied. This study aimed to determine how persistent Haemosporida are in great tit individuals recaptured over several years, whether parasitaemia differed by parasite lineage (mitochondrial cytochrome b haplotype) and how co-infection (i.e. concurrent infection with multiple genera of parasites) affects parasitaemia and body mass. Methods Parasite prevalence was determined by polymerase chain reaction (PCR), quantitative PCR were used to assess parasitaemia and sequencing was employed to determine the identity of the lineages using the MalAvi database. Results Haemosporidian prevalence was high over sampled years with 98% of 55 recaptured individuals showing infection in at least one year of capture. Eighty-two percent of all positive individuals suffered co-infection, with an overall haemosporidian lineage diversity of seventeen. Plasmodium and Haemoproteus parasites were found to be highly persistent, with lineages from these genera consistently found in individuals across years and with no differences in individual parasitaemia being recorded at subsequent captures. Conversely, Leucocytozoon parasites showed higher turnover with regard to lineage changes or transitions in infection status (infected vs non-infected) across years. Parasitaemia was found to be lineage specific and there was no relationship between Plasmodium parasitaemia or host body condition and the presence of Leucocytozoon parasites. Conclusions The findings of this study suggest that different genera of haemosporidian parasites interact differently with their host and other co-infecting parasites, influencing parasite

  20. Blue ocean leadership.

    PubMed

    Kim, W Chan; Mauborgne, Renée

    2014-05-01

    Ten years ago, two INSEAD professors broke ground by introducing "blue ocean strategy," a new model for discovering uncontested markets that are ripe for growth. In this article, they apply their concepts and tools to what is perhaps the greatest challenge of leadership: closing the gulf between the potential and the realized talent and energy of employees. Research indicates that this gulf is vast: According to Gallup, 70% of workers are disengaged from their jobs. If companies could find a way to convert them into engaged employees, the results could be transformative. The trouble is, managers lack a clear understanding of what changes they could make to bring out the best in everyone. Here, Kim and Mauborgne offer a solution to that problem: a systematic approach to uncovering, at each level of the organization, which leadership acts and activities will inspire employees to give their all, and a process for getting managers throughout the company to start doing them. Blue ocean leadership works because the managers' "customers"-that is, the people managers oversee and report to-are involved in identifying what's effective and what isn't. Moreover, the approach doesn't require leaders to alter who they are, just to undertake a different set of tasks. And that kind of change is much easier to implement and track than changes to values and mind-sets.

  1. Does food supplementation really enhance productivity of breeding birds?

    PubMed

    Harrison, Timothy J E; Smith, Jennifer A; Martin, Graham R; Chamberlain, Dan E; Bearhop, Stuart; Robb, Gillian N; Reynolds, S James

    2010-10-01

    Food availability influences multiple stages of the breeding cycle of birds, and supplementary feeding has helped in its understanding. Most supplementation studies have reported advancements of laying, whilst others, albeit less numerous, have also demonstrated fitness benefits such as larger clutches, shorter incubation periods, and greater hatching success. Relatively few studies, however, have investigated the effects of supplementary feeding for protracted periods across multiple stages of the breeding cycle. These effects are important to understand since long-term food supplementation of birds is recommended in urban habitats and is used as a tool to increase reproductive output in endangered species. Here, we compare the breeding phenology and productivity of blue tits Cyanistes caeruleus and great tits Parus major breeding in food-supplemented and non-supplemented blocks in a broadleaf woodland in central England over three seasons (2006-2008). Supplementation was provided continuously from several weeks pre-laying until hatching, and had multiple significant effects. Most notably, supplementation reduced brood size significantly in both species, by half a chick or more at hatching (after controlling for year and hatching date). Reduced brood sizes in supplemented pairs were driven by significantly smaller clutches in both species and, in blue tits, significantly lower hatching success. These are novel and concerning findings of food supplementation. As expected, supplementary feeding advanced laying and shortened incubation periods significantly in both species. We discuss the striking parallels between our findings and patterns in blue and great tit reproduction in urban habitats, and conclude that supplementary feeding may not always enhance the breeding productivity of birds.

  2. Three-dimensional modeling of blue jets and blue starters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pasko, V. P.; George, J. J.

    2001-12-01

    Blue jets are narrow cones of blue light propagating upward from the apparent cloud tops at speeds of the order of 100 km/s to a terminal altitude of about 40 km [Wescott et al., GRL, 22, 1209, 1995]. Blue starters are distinguished from blue jets by a much lower terminal altitude. They protrude upward from the cloud top (17-18 km) to a maximum 25.5 km in altitude [Wescott et al., GRL, 23, 2153, 1996]. It has recently been suggested that blue jets correspond qualitatively to the development of the streamer zone of a positive leader and therefore should be filled with a branching structure of streamer channels [Petrov and Petrova, Tech. Phys., 44, 472, 1999]. In our talk we will discuss the physical concept proposed by Petrov and Petrova [1999] as well as will demonstrate a role of blue jets and blue starters in the large-scale atmospheric electric circuit. We will also discuss specific physical reasons and required circumstances for occurrence of blue jets and starters above thundercloud tops and will support our arguments with results from a new three-dimensional model. The model simulates the propagation of branching streamer channels constituting blue jets and starters as a three dimensional growth of fractal trees in a self-consistent electric field created by thundercloud charges. The model is based on a phenomenological probabilistic approach proposed in [Niemeyer et al., IEEE Trans. Electr. Insul., 24, 309, 1989] and is a straightforward expansion of the previously developed two-dimensional version [Pasko et al., GRL, 27, 497, 2000]. The model results indicate that blue jets and starters can be formed by a fast ( ~1 sec) accumulation of 110-150 C of positive thundercloud charge distributed in a volume with effective radius 3 km near the cloud top at 15 km. The obtained results closely resemble characteristics of blue jets and blue starters observed by Wescott et al. [1995; 1996] in terms of their altitude extents, transverse dimensions and conical structure

  3. Do experiments with captive non-domesticated animals make sense without population field studies? A case study with blue tits' breeding time

    PubMed Central

    Lambrechts, M. M.; Perret, P.; Maistre, M.; Blondel, J.

    1999-01-01

    A complete understanding of the spatio-temporal variation in phenotypic traits in natural populations requires a combination long-term field studies with experiments using captive animals. Field studies allow the formulation of realistic hypotheses, but have the disadvantage that they do not allow the complete control of many potential confounding variables. Studies with captive animals allow tests of hypotheses that cannot be examined in the field, but have the disadvantage that artificial environments may provoke abnormal behaviour. Long-term studies that follow simultaneously captive and wild bird populations are rare. In a study lasting several years, we show here the unexpected patterns that two populations with a similar breeding time in the wild have non-overlapping breeding times in outdoor aviaries, and that two wild populations separated by a short geographical distance show differences in the expression of natural behaviour in captivity. The experimental design used is exceptional in the sense that the captive populations were held at similar latitudes and altitudes as the wild populations. Our case study shows that studies with captive animals can lead to wrong conclusions if they are carried out without population field studies, and without knowledge of the natural habits and habitats of the species involved. To examine the reliability of experiments with captive animals, comparisons with findings from population field studies are essential.

  4. Social learning in birds and its role in shaping a foraging niche.

    PubMed

    Slagsvold, Tore; Wiebe, Karen L

    2011-04-12

    We briefly review the literature on social learning in birds, concluding that strong evidence exists mainly for predator recognition, song, mate choice and foraging. The mechanism of local enhancement may be more important than imitation for birds learning to forage, but the former mechanism may be sufficient for faithful transmission depending on the ecological circumstances. To date, most insights have been gained from birds in captivity. We present a study of social learning of foraging in two passerine birds in the wild, where we cross-fostered eggs between nests of blue tits, Cyanistes caeruleus and great tits, Parus major. Early learning causes a shift in the foraging sites used by the tits in the direction of the foster species. The shift in foraging niches was consistent across seasons, as showed by an analysis of prey items, and the effect lasted for life. The fact that young birds learn from their foster parents, and use this experience later when subsequently feeding their own offspring, suggests that foraging behaviour can be culturally transmitted over generations in the wild. It may therefore have both ecological and evolutionary consequences, some of which are discussed.

  5. Pluto’s Blue Haze

    NASA Image and Video Library

    The sky on Pluto is blue! Kind of. This is Pluto in an Minute. So it’s not exactly the case that the sky on Pluto is blue, rather, what the New Horizons science team has found in recent images do...

  6. Blue Origin Facility - Construction Progress

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2017-03-21

    Construction is progressing on Blue Origin's 750,000-square-foot facility being built at Exploration Park on NASA Kennedy Space Center property in Florida. Blue Origin will use the factory to manufacture its two-stage super-heavy-lift New Glenn launch vehicle and launch the vehicles from Space Launch Complex 46 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

  7. Activity patterns during food provisioning are affected by artificial light in free living great tits (Parus major).

    PubMed

    Titulaer, Mieke; Spoelstra, Kamiel; Lange, Cynthia Y M J G; Visser, Marcel E

    2012-01-01

    Artificial light may have severe ecological consequences but there is limited experimental work to assess these consequences. We carried out an experimental study on a wild population of great tits (Parus major) to assess the impact of light pollution on daily activity patterns during the chick provisioning period. Pairs that were provided with a small light outside their nest box did not alter the onset, cessation or duration of their working day. There was however a clear effect of artificial light on the feeding rate in the second half of the nestling period: when provided with artificial light females increased their feeding rate when the nestlings were between 9 and 16 days old. Artificial light is hypothesised to have affected the perceived photoperiod of either the parents or the offspring which in turn led to increased parental care. This may have negative fitness consequences for the parents, and light pollution may thus create an ecological trap for breeding birds.

  8. Plumage coloration and nutritional condition in the great tit Parus major: the roles of carotenoids and melanins differ

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Senar, Juan Carlos; Figuerola, Jordi; Domènech, Jordi

    2003-05-01

    The size and coloration of some body characters seem to influence mate choice in many species. Most animal colours are either structural or based on melanin or carotenoid pigments. It has recently been suggested that carotenoid-based or structural coloration may be a condition-dependent trait, whereas melanin-based coloration is not; a difference that may be highly relevant when studying the evolution of multiple mating preferences. We tested this hypothesis in the great tit ( Parus major). The size of the melanin breast band was not correlated to nutritional condition as estimated by the rate of tail growth (ptilochronology), controlling for locality, age, sex, year and season effects. However, the correlation was significant for the hue of yellow breast (carotenoid-based coloration), and the slopes of the regressions of the two pigments to growth bars differed significantly. These results suggest that the expression of the two traits may be regulated by different mechanisms.

  9. Solar activity affects avian timing of reproduction

    PubMed Central

    Visser, Marcel E.; Sanz, Juan José

    2009-01-01

    Avian timing of reproduction is strongly affected by ambient temperature. Here we show that there is an additional effect of sunspots on laying date, from five long-term population studies of great and blue tits (Parus major and Cyanistes caeruleus), demonstrating for the first time that solar activity not only has an effect on population numbers but that it also affects the timing of animal behaviour. This effect is statistically independent of ambient temperature. In years with few sunspots, birds initiate laying late while they are often early in years with many sunspots. The sunspot effect may be owing to a crucial difference between the method of temperature measurements by meteorological stations (in the shade) and the temperatures experienced by the birds. A better understanding of the impact of all the thermal components of weather on the phenology of ecosystems is essential when predicting their responses to climate change. PMID:19574283

  10. Winter food provisioning reduces future breeding performance in a wild bird.

    PubMed

    Plummer, K E; Bearhop, S; Leech, D I; Chamberlain, D E; Blount, J D

    2013-01-01

    Supplementation of food to wild birds occurs on an enormous scale worldwide, and is often cited as an exemplar of beneficial human-wildlife interaction. Recently it has been speculated that winter feeding could have negative consequences for future reproduction, for example by enabling low quality individuals to recruit into breeding populations. However, evidence that winter feeding has deleterious impacts on reproductive success is lacking. Here, in a landscape-scale study of blue tits (Cyanistes caeruleus) across multiple years, we show that winter food supplementation reduced breeding performance the following spring. Compared to unfed populations, winter-fed birds produced offspring that weighed less, were smaller, and had lower survival. This impairment was observed in parents that had received fat only, or in combination with vitamin E, suggesting some generality in the mechanism by which supplementary feeding affected reproduction. Our results highlight the potential for deleterious population-level consequences of winter food supplementation on wild birds.

  11. Association between DRD4 gene polymorphism and personality variation in great tits: a test across four wild populations.

    PubMed

    Korsten, Peter; Mueller, Jakob C; Hermannstädter, Christine; Bouwman, Karen M; Dingemanse, Niels J; Drent, Piet J; Liedvogel, Miriam; Matthysen, Erik; van Oers, Kees; van Overveld, Thijs; Patrick, Samantha C; Quinn, John L; Sheldon, Ben C; Tinbergen, Joost M; Kempenaers, Bart

    2010-02-01

    Polymorphisms in the dopamine receptor D4 gene (DRD4) have been related to individual variation in novelty-seeking or exploratory behaviour in a variety of animals, including humans. Recently, the human DRD4 orthologue was sequenced in a wild bird, the great tit (Parus major) and a single nucleotide polymorphism in exon 3 of this gene (SNP830) was shown to be associated with variation in exploratory behaviour of lab-raised individuals originating from a single wild population. Here we test the generality of this finding in a large sample of free-living individuals from four European great tit populations, including the originally sampled population. We demonstrate that the association between SNP830 genotype and exploratory behaviour also exists in free-living birds from the original population. However, in the other three populations we found only limited evidence for an association: in two populations the association appeared absent; while in one there was a nonsignificant tendency. We could not confirm a previously demonstrated interaction with another DRD4 polymorphism, a 15 bp indel in the promoter region (ID15). As yet unknown differences in genetic or environmental background could explain why the same genetic polymorphism (SNP830) has a substantial effect on exploratory behaviour in one population, explaining 4.5-5.8% of the total variance-a large effect for a single gene influencing a complex behavioural trait-but not in three others. The confirmation of an association between SNP830 genotype and personality-related behaviour in a wild bird population warrants further research into potential fitness effects of the polymorphism, while also the population differences in the strength of the association deserve further investigation. Another important future challenge is the identification of additional loci influencing avian personality traits in the wild.

  12. Sex-specific responses to territorial intrusions in a communication network: Evidence from radio-tagged great tits.

    PubMed

    Snijders, Lysanne; van Oers, Kees; Naguib, Marc

    2017-02-01

    Signals play a key role in the ecology and evolution of animal populations, influencing processes such as sexual selection and conflict resolution. In many species, sexually selected signals have a dual function: attracting mates and repelling rivals. Yet, to what extent males and females under natural conditions differentially respond to such signals remains poorly understood, due to a lack of field studies that simultaneously track both sexes. Using a novel spatial tracking system, we tested whether or not the spatial behavior of male and female great tits (Parus major) changes in relation to the vocal response of a territorial male neighbor to an intruder. We tracked the spatial behavior of male and female great tits (N = 44), 1 hr before and 1 hr after simulating territory intrusions, employing automatized Encounternet radio-tracking technology. We recorded the spatial and vocal response of the challenged males and quantified attraction and repulsion of neighboring males and females to the intrusion site. We additionally quantified the direct proximity network of the challenged male. The strength of a male's vocal response to an intruder induced sex-dependent movements in the neighborhood, via female attraction and male repulsion. Stronger vocal responders were older and in better body condition. The proximity networks of the male vocal responders, including the number of sex-dependent connections and average time spent with connections, however, did not change directly following the intrusion. The effects on neighbor movements suggest that the strength of a male's vocal response can provide relevant social information to both the males and the females in the neighborhood, resulting in both sexes adjusting their spatial behavior in contrasting ways, while the social proximity network remained stable. This study underlines the importance of "silent" eavesdroppers within communication networks for studying the dual functioning and evolution of sexually

  13. Are colorful males of great tits Parus major better parents? Parental investment is a matter of quality

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pagani-Núñez, Emilio; Senar, Juan Carlos

    2014-02-01

    Given the known influence of parental investment on breeding success of great tits Parus major, females should be expected to use male parental quality as an essential criterion in mate choice. Since parental quality cannot usually be observed directly at the time of pairing, it has been suggested that females rely on male ornaments as indicative of their ability to provide parental care. This hypothesis, called the good parent hypothesis, has been tested repeatedly assessing only parental effort as the number of feedings made by parents. However, in evaluating parental investment, the focus should also be on the quality of prey captured rather than only on its quantity. We analyzed feeding rates and the provisioning of different prey in relation to both male yellow carotenoid-based breast coloration and the size of the black melanin-based stripe in a Mediterranean great tit population. We predicted that more carotenoid ornamented individuals would feed nestlings with a diet consisting of a higher proportion of caterpillars. However, and contrary to predictions, we found that males with higher values of hue in the yellow breast feathers, fed their offspring with a lower proportion of caterpillars and a higher proportion of spiders. In addition, nestlings that received a higher proportion of spiders showed an improved body condition after controlling for tarsus length and other variables. Male feeding rates correlated positively with brood size and tended to correlate negatively with date, although we did not find any effect of male coloration. Our data therefore support the good parent hypothesis, insofar as parental investment is also a matter of quality, and that, at least in the Mediterranean area, caterpillars are not the only key food source.

  14. Blue bubble in Carina

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2016-02-22

    Sparkling at the centre of this beautiful NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope image is a Wolf–Rayet star known as WR 31a, located about 30 000 light-years away in the constellation of Carina (The Keel). The distinctive blue bubble appearing to encircle WR 31a, and its uncatalogued stellar sidekick, is a Wolf–Rayet nebula — an interstellar cloud of dust, hydrogen, helium and other gases. Created when speedy stellar winds interact with the outer layers of hydrogen ejected by Wolf–Rayet stars, these nebulae are frequently ring-shaped or spherical. The bubble — estimated to have formed around 20 000 years ago — is expanding at a rate of around 220 000 kilometres per hour! Unfortunately, the lifecycle of a Wolf–Rayet star is only a few hundred thousand years — the blink of an eye in cosmic terms. Despite beginning life with a mass at least 20 times that of the Sun, Wolf–Rayet stars typically lose half their mass in less than 100 000 years. And WR 31a is no exception to this case. It will, therefore, eventually end its life as a spectacular supernova, and the stellar material expelled from its explosion will later nourish a new generation of stars and planets.

  15. A spattering of blue

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2014-09-08

    Far beyond the stars in the constellation of Leo (The Lion) is irregular galaxy IC 559. IC 559 is not your everyday galaxy. With its irregular shape and bright blue spattering of stars, it is a fascinating galactic anomaly. It may look like sparse cloud, but it is in fact full of gas and dust which is spawning new stars. Discovered in 1893, IC 559 lacks the symmetrical spiral appearance of some of its galactic peers and not does not conform to a regular shape. It is actually classified as a “type Sm” galaxy — an irregular galaxy with some evidence for a spiral structure. Irregular galaxies make up about a quarter of all known galaxies and do not fall into any of the regular classes of the Hubble sequence. Most of these uniquely shaped galaxies were not always so — IC 559 may have once been a conventional spiral galaxy that was then distorted and twisted by the gravity of a nearby cosmic companion. This image, captured by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope’s Wide Field Camera 3, combines a wide range of wavelengths spanning the ultraviolet, optical, and infrared parts of the spectrum.

  16. Blue metal complex pigments involved in blue flower color

    PubMed Central

    Takeda, Kosaku

    2006-01-01

    The blue pigment of cornflower, protocyanin, has been investigated for a long time, but its precise structure was not entirely explained until recently. The molecular structure of the pigment was recently shown to be a metal complex of six molecules each of anthocyanin and flavone glycoside, with one ferric iron, one magnesium and two calcium ions by X-ray crystallographic analysis. The studies provided the answer to the question posed in the early part of the last century, “why is the cornflower blue and rose red when both flowers contain the same anthocyanin?” This work was achieved on the basis of the results of long years of the studies made by many researchers. In this review, the author focuses on the investigations of the blue metal complex pigments involved in the bluing of flowers, commelinin from Commelina commusis, protocyanin from Centaurea cyanus, protodelphin from Salvia patens and hydrangea blue pigment. PMID:25792777

  17. Blue metal complex pigments involved in blue flower color.

    PubMed

    Takeda, Kosaku

    2006-05-01

    The blue pigment of cornflower, protocyanin, has been investigated for a long time, but its precise structure was not entirely explained until recently. The molecular structure of the pigment was recently shown to be a metal complex of six molecules each of anthocyanin and flavone glycoside, with one ferric iron, one magnesium and two calcium ions by X-ray crystallographic analysis. The studies provided the answer to the question posed in the early part of the last century, "why is the cornflower blue and rose red when both flowers contain the same anthocyanin?" This work was achieved on the basis of the results of long years of the studies made by many researchers. In this review, the author focuses on the investigations of the blue metal complex pigments involved in the bluing of flowers, commelinin from Commelina commusis, protocyanin from Centaurea cyanus, protodelphin from Salvia patens and hydrangea blue pigment.

  18. New TIT capacitor with ZrO 2/Al 2O 3/ZrO 2 dielectrics for 60 nm and below DRAMs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cho, Ho Jin; Kim, Young Dae; Park, Dong Su; Lee, Euna; Park, Cheol Hwan; Jang, Jun Soo; Lee, Keum Bum; Kim, Hai Won; Ki, Young Jong; Han, Il Keun; Song, Yong Wook

    2007-11-01

    New ZrO 2/Al 2O 3/ZrO 2 (ZAZ) dielectric film was successfully developed for DRAM capacitor dielectrics of 60 nm and below technologies. ZAZ dielectric film grown by ALD has a mixture structure of crystalline phase ZrO 2 and amorphous phase Al 2O 3 in order to optimize dielectric properties. ZAZ TIT capacitor showed small Tox.eq of 8.5 Å and a low leakage current density of 0.35 fA/cell, which meet leakage current criteria of 0.5 fA/cell for mass production. ZAZ TIT capacitor showed a smaller cap leak fail bit than HAH capacitor and stable leakage current up to 550 °C anneal. TDDB (time dependent dielectric breakdown) behavior reliably satisfied the 10-year lifetime criteria within operation voltage range.

  19. Multilocus phylogeography (mitochondrial, autosomal and Z-chromosomal loci) and genetic consequence of long-distance male dispersal in Black-throated tits (Aegithalos concinnus)

    PubMed Central

    Dai, C; Wang, W; Lei, F

    2013-01-01

    Multilocus data from the different genomes are essential to understand the phylogeographic history of species, particularly when a species has the male-biased dispersal pattern. Although Black-throated tits (Aegithalos concinnus) are socially monogamous and cooperatively breeding birds, limited observational data suggested that males may have the ability of long-distance dispersal. We have previously detected three highly supported mitochondrial populations within two subspecies of Black-throated tits (A. c. concinnus and A. c. talifuensis). Here, we used several genetic markers with different inheritance patterns to gain insights about their phylogeographic history. Phylogenetic and individual-based Bayesian analysis showed weak geographical structure amongst nuclear sequences (autosomal and Z-chromosomal loci). Coalescent analysis revealed high levels of gene flow among mitochondrial populations, even between allopatric populations. These results strongly suggested that male-biased gene flow was responsible for the discordant cytonuclear phylogeographic patterns. Consistent with expectation on the genetic consequence of long-distance male dispersal, mantel tests revealed a significant pattern of isolation by distance for mitochondrial sequences, but failed to provide a similar pattern for nuclear genes within a continuous population; female Black-throated tits showed a stronger but not significantly different relationship of isolation by distance than males when using mitochondrial DNA alone. We discussed the contribution of male juveniles with delayed dispersal to the non-significantly different IBD patterns between sexes. Our results using multilocus genetic data revealed aspects of the complex evolutionary history of Black-throated tits and the important role of long-distance male dispersal in the population structuring. PMID:23299099

  20. Multilocus phylogeography (mitochondrial, autosomal and Z-chromosomal loci) and genetic consequence of long-distance male dispersal in Black-throated tits (Aegithalos concinnus).

    PubMed

    Dai, C; Wang, W; Lei, F

    2013-05-01

    Multilocus data from the different genomes are essential to understand the phylogeographic history of species, particularly when a species has the male-biased dispersal pattern. Although Black-throated tits (Aegithalos concinnus) are socially monogamous and cooperatively breeding birds, limited observational data suggested that males may have the ability of long-distance dispersal. We have previously detected three highly supported mitochondrial populations within two subspecies of Black-throated tits (A. c. concinnus and A. c. talifuensis). Here, we used several genetic markers with different inheritance patterns to gain insights about their phylogeographic history. Phylogenetic and individual-based Bayesian analysis showed weak geographical structure amongst nuclear sequences (autosomal and Z-chromosomal loci). Coalescent analysis revealed high levels of gene flow among mitochondrial populations, even between allopatric populations. These results strongly suggested that male-biased gene flow was responsible for the discordant cytonuclear phylogeographic patterns. Consistent with expectation on the genetic consequence of long-distance male dispersal, mantel tests revealed a significant pattern of isolation by distance for mitochondrial sequences, but failed to provide a similar pattern for nuclear genes within a continuous population; female Black-throated tits showed a stronger but not significantly different relationship of isolation by distance than males when using mitochondrial DNA alone. We discussed the contribution of male juveniles with delayed dispersal to the non-significantly different IBD patterns between sexes. Our results using multilocus genetic data revealed aspects of the complex evolutionary history of Black-throated tits and the important role of long-distance male dispersal in the population structuring.

  1. A single long day triggers follicle growth in captive female great tits (Parus major) in winter but does not affect laying dates in the wild in spring.

    PubMed

    te Marvelde, Luc; Schaper, Sonja V; Visser, Marcel E

    2012-01-01

    In many forest passerine bird species, rapid climate warming has led to a phenological mismatch between the period of maximum nestlings' food requirements and the period of maximum food availability (seasonal caterpillar biomass peak) due to an insufficient advancement of the birds' laying dates. The initiation of laying is preceded by the development of the gonads, which in birds are regressed outside the breeding season. Increasing day length in late winter and early spring triggers a cascade of hormones which induces gonadal development. Since day length is not altered by climate change, one potential restriction to advancing laying date is the seasonal timing of gonadal development. To assess the importance of gonadal growth for timing of reproduction we experimentally manipulated the timing of gonadal development. We show that the growth of the largest follicle of captive female great tits (Parus major) increased after being exposed to just a single long day in winter (20 hours of light followed by 4 hours darkness). We then photostimulated wild female great tits from two study areas in a field experiment in spring for a single day and determined their laying date. These populations differed in the availability of food allowing us to test if food availability in combination with photostimulation affected egg laying dates. Despite an expected difference in the onset of gonadal growth, laying dates of photostimulated females did not differ from control females in both populations. These results suggest that wild great tits are not restricted in the advancement of their laying date by limited gonadal development.

  2. Dawn Blue Glow Artist Concept

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2015-03-02

    This artist concept shows NASA Dawn spacecraft arriving at the dwarf planet Ceres. Dawn travels through space using a technology called ion propulsion, with ions glowing with blue light are accelerated out of an engine, giving the spacecraft thrust.

  3. Hazards of solar blue light

    SciTech Connect

    Okuno, Tsutomu

    2008-06-01

    Short-wavelength visible light (blue light) of the Sun has caused retinal damage in people who have stared fixedly at the Sun without adequate protection. The author quantified the blue-light hazard of the Sun according to the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) guidelines by measuring the spectral radiance of the Sun. The results showed that the exposure limit for blue light can be easily exceeded when people view the Sun and that the solar blue-light hazard generally increases with solar elevation, which is in accordance with a model of the atmospheric extinction of sunlight. Viewing the Sun can be very hazardous and therefore should be avoided except at very low solar elevations.

  4. [Acute blue urticaria following subcutaneous injection of patent blue dye].

    PubMed

    Hamelin, A; Vial-Dupuy, A; Lebrun-Vignes, B; Francès, C; Soria, A; Barete, S

    2015-11-01

    Patent blue (PB) is a lymphatic vessel dye commonly used in France for sentinel lymph node detection in breast cancer, and less frequently in melanoma, and which may induce hypersensitivity reactions. We report a case of acute blue urticaria occurring within minutes of PB injection. Ten minutes after PB injection for sentinel lymph node detection during breast cancer surgery, a 49-year-old woman developed generalised acute blue urticaria and eyelid angioedema without bronchospasm or haemodynamic disturbance, but requiring discontinuation of surgery. Skin testing using PB and the anaesthetics given were run 6 weeks after the episode and confirmed PB allergy. PB was formally contra-indicated. Immediate hypersensitivity reactions to PB have been reported for between 0.24 and 2.2% of procedures. Such reactions are on occasion severe, chiefly involving anaphylactic shock. Two mechanisms are probably associated: non-specific histamine release and/or an IgE-mediated mechanism. Skin tests are helpful in confirming the diagnosis of PB allergy. Blue acute urticaria is one of the clinical manifestations of immediate hypersensitivity reactions to patent blue dye. Skin tests must be performed 6 weeks after the reaction in order to confirm the diagnosis and formally contra-indicate this substance. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.

  5. 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

  6. "Clothed in triple blues": sorting out the Italian blues.

    PubMed

    Bimler, David; Uusküla, Mari

    2014-04-01

    Cross-cultural comparisons of color perception and cognition often feature versions of the "similarity sorting" procedure. By interpreting the assignment of two color samples to different groups as an indication that the dissimilarity between them exceeds some threshold, sorting data can be regarded as low-resolution similarity judgments. Here we analyze sorting data from speakers of Italian, Russian, and English, applying multidimensional scaling to delineate the boundaries between perceptual categories while highlighting differences between the three populations. Stimuli were 55 color swatches, predominantly from the blue region. Results suggest that at least two Italian words for "blue" are basic, a similar situation to Russian, in contrast to English where a single "blue" term is basic.

  7. Molecular alterations in malignant blue nevi and related blue lesions.

    PubMed

    Yilmaz, Ismail; Gamsizkan, Mehmet; Sari, Sule Ozturk; Yaman, Banu; Demirkesen, Cuyan; Heper, Aylin; Calli, Aylin Orgen; Narli, Gizem; Kucukodaci, Zafer; Berber, Ufuk; Demirel, Dilaver; Akalin, Taner; Demiriz, Murat; Buyukbabani, Nesimi

    2015-12-01

    Malignant blue nevi (MBN) are extremely rare dermal melanocytic tumors that arise in association with atypical cellular blue nevi (ACBN), cellular blue nevi (CBN), common blue nevi (BN), or de novo. The frequency of BRAF, NRAS, and KIT mutations in malignant melanoma varies according to histological subtype and localization. These mutations are rarely observed in blue nevi, which have recently been shown to carry activating mutations in GNAQ/GNA11 genes. Only few small molecular studies of MBN have been published. The aim of the present study was to analyze in MBN and related blue lesions such as ACBN, CBN, and BN the prevalence of BRAF, NRAS, KIT, GNAQ, and GNA11 gene mutations and their association with clinicopathological features. We included in our study 12 MBN, 6 ACBN, 29 CBN, and 35 common BN diagnosed between 1996 and 2014. Sanger sequencing method was used for mutation analysis. Overall, GNAQ exon 5 mutation was the most frequent alteration (46 %), in 2 of 12 (17 %) MBN, 1 of 6 (17 %) ACBN, 22 of 29 (76 %) CBN, and 13 of 35 (37 %) common BN. BRAF V600E and GNA11 exon 5 mutations were respectively detected in 3 of 12 (25 %) and in 2 of 12 (17 %) MBN while none in ACBN, CBN, and common BN. None of the cases harbored NRAS exon 2/3, KIT exon 9/11/13/17/18, or GNAQ/GNA11 exon 4 mutations. GNAQ gene exon 5 mutations are rare in MBN and ACBN but frequent in CBN and common BN. Remarkably, BRAF V600E and GNA11 exon 5 mutations were only detected in MBN, whereas none were found in ACBN, CBN, or common BN. Our data contribute new elements to the limited data on molecular alterations in MBN.

  8. Blue-noise multitone dithering.

    PubMed

    Bacca Rodriguez, J; Arce, G R; Lau, D L

    2008-08-01

    The introduction of the blue-noise spectra-high-frequency white noise with minimal energy at low frequencies-has had a profound impact on digital halftoning for binary display devices, such as inkjet printers, because it represents an optimal distribution of black and white pixels producing the illusion of a given shade of gray. The blue-noise model, however, does not directly translate to printing with multiple ink intensities. New multilevel printing and display technologies require the development of corresponding quantization algorithms for continuous tone images, namely multitoning. In order to define an optimal distribution of multitone pixels, this paper develops the theory and design of multitone, blue-noise dithering. Here, arbitrary multitone dot patterns are modeled as a layered superposition of stack-constrained binary patterns. Multitone blue-noise exhibits minimum energy at low frequencies and a staircase-like, ascending, spectral pattern at higher frequencies. The optimum spectral profile is described by a set of principal frequencies and amplitudes whose calculation requires the definition of a spectral coherence structure governing the interaction between patterns of dots of different intensities. Efficient algorithms for the generation of multitone, blue-noise dither patterns are also introduced.

  9. Human Disturbance during Early Life Impairs Nestling Growth in Birds Inhabiting a Nature Recreation Area

    PubMed Central

    Remacha, Carolina; Delgado, Juan Antonio; Bulaic, Mateja; Pérez-Tris, Javier

    2016-01-01

    Nature recreation conflicts with conservation, but its impacts on wildlife are not fully understood. Where recreation is not regulated, visitors to natural areas may gather in large numbers on weekends and holidays. This may increase variance in fitness in wild populations, if individuals whose critical life cycle stages coincide with periods of high human disturbance are at a disadvantage. We studied nestling development of blue tits (Cyanistes caeruleus) in a natural area where recreation activities intensify during weekends and other public holidays at picnic and leisure facilities, but not in the surrounding woods. In nests located near recreation facilities, blue tit nestlings that hatched during holidays developed slowly, and fledged with low body mass and poor body condition. However, nestlings that hatched outside of holidays and weekends in these nest boxes developed normally, eventually attaining similar phenotypes as those hatching in the surrounding woods. Within-brood variance in body mass was also higher in broods that began growing during holidays in disturbed areas. Our results show that early disturbance events may have negative consequences for wild birds if they overlap with critical stages of development, unveiling otherwise cryptic impacts of human activities. These new findings may help managers better regulate nature recreation. PMID:27851816

  10. Nest ectoparasites increase physiological stress in breeding birds: an experiment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Martínez-de La Puente, Josué; Merino, Santiago; Tomás, Gustavo; Moreno, Juan; Morales, Judith; Lobato, Elisa; Martínez, Javier

    2011-02-01

    Parasites are undoubtedly a biotic factor that produces stress. Heat shock proteins (HSPs) are important molecules buffering cellular damage under adverse conditions. During the breeding season, blue tit Cyanistes caeruleus (L.) adults are affected by blood parasites, nest-dwelling parasites and biting flies, potentially affecting their HSP-mediated responses. Here, we treated females with primaquine to reduce blood parasites and fumigated nests with permethrin to reduce nest-dwelling parasites to test whether these treatments affect HSP60 level during the breeding season. Medicated females, but not controls, had a significant reduction of the intensity of infection by Haemoproteus spp. blood parasites. However, final intensity of infection did not differ significantly between groups, and we did not find an effect of medication on change in HSP60 level. Fumigation reduced the abundance of nest-dwelling parasites (mites, fleas and blowfly larvae) and engorged biting midges in nests. Females breeding in non-fumigated nests increased HSP60 levels during the season more than those breeding in fumigated nests. Furthermore, the change in HSP60 level was positively correlated with the abundance of biting midges. These results show how infections by nest ectoparasites during the breeding period can increase the level of HSPs and suggest that biting midges impose physiological costs on breeding female blue tits. Although plausible, the alternative that biting midges prefer to feed on more stressed birds is poorly supported by previous studies.

  11. Is oxidative status influenced by dietary carotenoid and physical activity after moult in the great tit (Parus major)?

    PubMed

    Vaugoyeau, Marie; Decencière, Beatriz; Perret, Samuel; Karadas, Filiz; Meylan, Sandrine; Biard, Clotilde

    2015-07-01

    In the context of sexual and natural selection, an allocation trade-off for carotenoid pigments may exist because of their obligate dietary origin and their role both in the antioxidant and immune systems and in the production of coloured signals in various taxa, particularly birds. When birds have expended large amounts of carotenoids to feather growth such as after autumn moult, bird health and oxidative status might be more constrained. We tested this hypothesis in a bird species with carotenoid-based plumage colour, by manipulating dietary carotenoids and physical activity, which can decrease antioxidant capacity and increase reactive oxygen metabolite (ROM) concentration. Great tits were captured after moult and kept in aviaries, under three treatments: physical handicap and dietary supplementation with carotenoids, physical handicap and control diet, and no handicap and control diet. We measured plasma composition (antioxidant capacity, ROM concentration, and vitamin A, vitamin E and total carotenoid concentrations), immune system activation (blood sedimentation) and stress response (heterophil/lymphocyte ratio) and predicted that handicap treatment should influence these negatively and carotenoid supplementation positively. Coloration of yellow feathers was also measured. Carotenoid supplementation increased total plasma carotenoid concentration, decreased feather carotenoid chroma and marginally increased ROM concentration. Handicap increased blood sedimentation only in males but had no clear influence on oxidative stress, which contradicted previous studies. Further studies are needed to investigate how physical activity and carotenoid availability might interact and influence oxidative stress outside the moult period, and their combined potential influence on attractiveness and reproductive investment later during the breeding season.

  12. Dissecting carotenoid from structural components of carotenoid-based coloration: a field experiment with great tits (Parus major).

    PubMed

    Jacot, Alain; Romero-Diaz, Cristina; Tschirren, Barbara; Richner, Heinz; Fitze, Patrick S

    2010-07-01

    Carotenoid-based yellowish to red plumage colors are widespread visual signals used in sexual and social communication. To understand their ultimate signaling functions, it is important to identify the proximate mechanism promoting variation in coloration. Carotenoid-based colors combine structural and pigmentary components, but the importance of the contribution of structural components to variation in pigment-based colors (i.e., carotenoid-based colors) has been undervalued. In a field experiment with great tits (Parus major), we combined a brood size manipulation with a simultaneous carotenoid supplementation in order to disentangle the effects of carotenoid availability and early growth condition on different components of the yellow breast feathers. By defining independent measures of feather carotenoid content (absolute carotenoid chroma) and background structure (background reflectance), we demonstrate that environmental factors experienced during the nestling period, namely, early growth conditions and carotenoid availability, contribute independently to variation in yellow plumage coloration. While early growth conditions affected the background reflectance of the plumage, the availability of carotenoids affected the absolute carotenoid chroma, the peak of maximum ultraviolet reflectance, and the overall shape, that is, chromatic information of the reflectance curves. These findings demonstrate that environment-induced variation in background structure contributes significantly to intraspecific variation in yellow carotenoid-based plumage coloration.

  13. An experimental test of the causes of small-scale phenotypic differentiation in a population of great tits.

    PubMed

    Shapiro, B J; Garant, D; Wilkin, T A; Sheldon, B C

    2006-01-01

    Phenotypic differentiation between populations is thought to occur mainly at spatial scales where gene-flow is restricted and selection regimes differ. However, if gene flow is nonrandom, dispersal may reinforce, rather than counteract, evolutionary differentiation, meaning that differences occurring over small scales might have a genetic basis. The purpose of this study was to determine the cause of differences in mean phenotype between two parts of a population of great tits Parus major, separated by <3 km. We conducted a partial cross-fostering experiment between two contrasting parts of this population to separate genetic and environmental sources of variation, and to test for gene-environment interaction. We found strong environmental effects on nestling size, mass and condition index, with nestlings reared in a low density part of the population being larger, heavier and in better condition, than those in a high density part, irrespective of their origin. In addition, we found smaller, but significant, differences in nestling condition and shape associated with the areas that birds originated from, suggesting the presence of genetic differences between parts of this population. There was no evidence of gene-environment interaction for any character. This experiment is thus consistent with previous analyses suggesting that differences between parts of this population had evolved recently, apparently due to phenotype-dependent dispersal, and indicates that population differentiation can be maintained over small spatial scales despite extensive dispersal.

  14. Effects of personality on territory defence in communication networks: a playback experiment with radio-tagged great tits

    PubMed Central

    Amy, Mathieu; Sprau, Philipp; de Goede, Piet; Naguib, Marc

    2010-01-01

    Individuals often differ consistently in behaviour across time and contexts, and such consistent behavioural differences are commonly described as personality. Personality can play a central role in social behaviour both in dyadic interactions and in social networks. We investigated whether explorative behaviour, as proxy of personality of territorial male great tits (Parus major), predicts their own and their neighbours' territorial responses towards simulated intruders. Several weeks prior to playback, subjects were taken from the wild to test their exploratory behaviour in a standard context in the laboratory. Exploratory behaviour provides a proxy of personality along a slow–fast explorer continuum. Upon release, males were radio-tracked and subsequently exposed to interactive playback simulating a more or a less aggressive territorial intruder (by either overlapping or alternating broadcast songs with the subjects' songs). At the same time, we radio-tracked a neighbour of the playback subject. Male vocal responses during playback and spatial movements after playback varied according to male explorative behaviour and playback treatment. Males with lower exploration scores approached the loudspeaker less, and sang more songs, shorter songs and songs with slower element rates than did males with higher exploration scores. Moreover, neighbour responses were related to the explorative behaviour of the subject receiving the playback but not to their own explorative behaviour. Our overall findings reveal for the first time how personality traits affect resource defence within a communication network providing new insights on the cause of variation in resource defence behaviour. PMID:20591859

  15. Extreme variation in patterns of tandem repeats in mitochondrial control region of yellow-browed tits (Sylviparus modestus, Paridae)

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Xiaoyang; Liu, Nian; Zhang, Hongli; Yang, Xiao-Jun; Huang, Yuan; Lei, Fumin

    2015-01-01

    To investigate the evolutionary pattern and origins of tandem repeats in the mitochondrial control region of the yellow-browed tit (Sylviparus modestus), the control region and another four mitochondrial loci from fifteen individuals were analyzed. A 117-bp tandem repeat unit that repeated once, twice or three times in different individuals was found, and a rarely reported arrangement for this tandem repeats region that a 5′ imperfect copy at its downstream and a 3′ imperfect copy at its upstream was observed. The haplotype network, phylogenetic trees, and ancestral state reconstruction of the combined dataset of five loci suggested multiple origins of the same repeat number. The turnover model via slipped-strand mispairing was introduced to interpret the results, because mispairing occurred so frequently that multiple origins of certain repeat number were observed. Insertion via recombination should be a better explanation for the origin of this tandem repeat unit, considering characteristics of the combined sequence of the 3′ and 5′ imperfect copy, including identification of its homolog in other passerines and its predicted secondary structure. PMID:26288099

  16. Effects of personality on territory defence in communication networks: a playback experiment with radio-tagged great tits.

    PubMed

    Amy, Mathieu; Sprau, Philipp; de Goede, Piet; Naguib, Marc

    2010-12-07

    Individuals often differ consistently in behaviour across time and contexts, and such consistent behavioural differences are commonly described as personality. Personality can play a central role in social behaviour both in dyadic interactions and in social networks. We investigated whether explorative behaviour, as proxy of personality of territorial male great tits (Parus major), predicts their own and their neighbours' territorial responses towards simulated intruders. Several weeks prior to playback, subjects were taken from the wild to test their exploratory behaviour in a standard context in the laboratory. Exploratory behaviour provides a proxy of personality along a slow-fast explorer continuum. Upon release, males were radio-tracked and subsequently exposed to interactive playback simulating a more or a less aggressive territorial intruder (by either overlapping or alternating broadcast songs with the subjects' songs). At the same time, we radio-tracked a neighbour of the playback subject. Male vocal responses during playback and spatial movements after playback varied according to male explorative behaviour and playback treatment. Males with lower exploration scores approached the loudspeaker less, and sang more songs, shorter songs and songs with slower element rates than did males with higher exploration scores. Moreover, neighbour responses were related to the explorative behaviour of the subject receiving the playback but not to their own explorative behaviour. Our overall findings reveal for the first time how personality traits affect resource defence within a communication network providing new insights on the cause of variation in resource defence behaviour.

  17. Antioxidant protection and plasma carotenoids of incubating great tits (Parus major L.) in relation to health state and breeding conditions.

    PubMed

    Tummeleht, Lea; Mägi, Marko; Kilgas, Priit; Mänd, Raivo; Hõrak, Peeter

    2006-10-01

    Carotenoids are biologically active pigments, which are important for animals due to their dual role in health maintenance and ornamental signalling. In adult birds, immunostimulatory properties of carotenoids have been repeatedly demonstrated while much less is known about the importance of carotenoids as antioxidants. We studied the relationships between plasma carotenoid levels, as well as total antioxidant protection, and various hemato-serological health state indices in female great tits (Parus major L.), incubating their second clutches in two contrasting (coniferous and deciduous) habitats in southwest Estonia. To manipulate reproductive effort, four eggs were removed from half of the clutches during laying to stimulate females to lay additional eggs. However, egg removal had no effect on the final number of eggs laid. Plasma carotenoid levels increased seasonally in parallel with caterpillar food availability. However, no between-habitat differences in carotenoid levels, total antioxidant capacity, or indices of health state could be found despite the apparently better feeding conditions in the coniferous habitat. No correlation was detected between plasma carotenoid levels and measures of total antioxidant capacity, which suggests that at least for the adult birds feeding on naturally carotenoid-rich diet, antioxidant function of carotenoids is not of primary importance. A strong non-linear association between the measures of antioxidant protection and leukocytic markers of inflammation was found, which suggests that measures of total antioxidant capacity deserve further attention in ecophysiological studies as potential indicators of immunopathology.

  18. No evidence for MHC class I-based disassortative mating in a wild population of great tits.

    PubMed

    Sepil, I; Radersma, R; Santure, A W; De Cauwer, I; Slate, J; Sheldon, B C

    2015-03-01

    Genes of the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) are regarded as a potentially important target of mate choice due to the fitness benefits that may be conferred to the offspring. According to the complementary genes hypothesis, females mate with MHC dissimilar males to enhance the immunocompetence of their offspring or to avoid inbreeding depression. Here, we investigate whether selection favours a preference for maximally dissimilar or optimally dissimilar MHC class I types, based on MHC genotypes, average amino acid distances and the functional properties of the antigen-binding sites (MHC supertypes); and whether MHC type dissimilarity predicts relatedness between mates in a wild great tit population. In particular, we explore the role that MHC class I plays in female mate choice decisions while controlling for relatedness and spatial population structure, and examine the reproductive fitness consequences of MHC compatibility between mates. We find no evidence for the hypotheses that females select mates on the basis of either maximal or optimal MHC class I dissimilarity. A weak correlation between MHC supertype sharing and relatedness suggests that MHC dissimilarity at functional variants may not provide an effective index of relatedness. Moreover, the reproductive success of pairs did not vary with MHC dissimilarity. Our results provide no support for the suggestion that selection favours, or that mate choice realizes, a preference for complimentary MHC types.

  19. No delayed behavioral and phenotypic responses to experimental early-life lead exposure in great tits (Parus major).

    PubMed

    Ruuskanen, Suvi; Eeva, Tapio; Kotitalo, Päivi; Stauffer, Janina; Rainio, Miia

    2015-02-01

    Early-life exposure to pollutants, such as lead, may have long-lasting consequences on health, behavior, and cognition. However, experiments on delayed effects of specific pollutants are very rare in wild animals. We experimentally exposed wild nestling great tits (Parus major) to dietary lead (high, low, or control group) in levels relevant to exposure levels of wild populations in Europe and studied delayed effects on phenotypic and behavioral traits in captivity. We also included a group of birds from a vicinity of a copper smelter, exposed to a mixture of toxic metals and altered food supply during development. This experimental setup allowed us to compare the strength of direct (exposure to lead per se) and indirect (pollution-related changes in diet) effects of pollutants. Our experimental lead treatment significantly increased lead levels in bone and feces compared with controls. However, we found no carry-over effect of early-life dietary lead on morphology, plumage coloration, or heat shock proteins. Treatment did not affect activity, exploration, neophobia, or success in learning and spatial memory task. We conclude that with the exposure levels and relatively short exposure period used, delayed effects on the measured traits were not found. However, it is important to further study other types of behavioral traits and ultimately fitness effects.

  20. Extreme variation in patterns of tandem repeats in mitochondrial control region of yellow-browed tits (Sylviparus modestus, Paridae).

    PubMed

    Wang, Xiaoyang; Liu, Nian; Zhang, Hongli; Yang, Xiao-Jun; Huang, Yuan; Lei, Fumin

    2015-08-19

    To investigate the evolutionary pattern and origins of tandem repeats in the mitochondrial control region of the yellow-browed tit (Sylviparus modestus), the control region and another four mitochondrial loci from fifteen individuals were analyzed. A 117-bp tandem repeat unit that repeated once, twice or three times in different individuals was found, and a rarely reported arrangement for this tandem repeats region that a 5' imperfect copy at its downstream and a 3' imperfect copy at its upstream was observed. The haplotype network, phylogenetic trees, and ancestral state reconstruction of the combined dataset of five loci suggested multiple origins of the same repeat number. The turnover model via slipped-strand mispairing was introduced to interpret the results, because mispairing occurred so frequently that multiple origins of certain repeat number were observed. Insertion via recombination should be a better explanation for the origin of this tandem repeat unit, considering characteristics of the combined sequence of the 3' and 5' imperfect copy, including identification of its homolog in other passerines and its predicted secondary structure.

  1. An evaluation of memory accuracy in food hoarding marsh tits Poecile palustris--how accurate are they compared to humans?

    PubMed

    Brodin, Anders; Urhan, A Utku

    2013-07-01

    Laboratory studies of scatter hoarding birds have become a model system for spatial memory studies. Considering that such birds are known to have a good spatial memory, recovery success in lab studies seems low. In parids (titmice and chickadees) typically ranging between 25 and 60% if five seeds are cached in 50-128 available caching sites. Since these birds store many thousands of food items in nature in one autumn one might expect that they should easily retrieve five seeds in a laboratory where they know the environment with its caching sites in detail. We designed a laboratory set up to be as similar as possible with previous studies and trained wild caught marsh tits Poecile palustris to store and retrieve in this set up. Our results agree closely with earlier studies, of the first ten looks around 40% were correct when the birds had stored five seeds in 100 available sites both 5 and 24h after storing. The cumulative success curve suggests high success during the first 15 looks where after it declines. Humans performed much better, in the first five looks most subjects were 100% correct. We discuss possible reasons for why the birds were not doing better.

  2. Initial reactivity and magnitude of the acute stress response associated with personality in wild great tits (Parus major).

    PubMed

    Baugh, Alexander T; van Oers, Kees; Naguib, Marc; Hau, Michaela

    2013-08-01

    Phenotypic correlations, such as those between functionally distinct behavioral traits, can emerge through the action of selection on individual traits, on trait combinations, and through pleiotropic mechanisms. Steroid hormones are known to have pleiotropic effects on a suite of behavioral and physiological traits, including stable individual differences in coping with stress. Characterizing the stress axis in relation to personality, however, has typically focused on estimating baseline and peak levels of glucocorticoids, principally in captive animals. In contrast, the reactivity of the stress response-how quickly it turns on and persists-may better indicate the ability of an individual to cope with challenges, particularly in free-living animals. Using wild great tits (Parus major) we tested the hypothesis that cautious individuals respond to a standardized stressor with a more reactive stress response compared to bolder individuals. Wild birds were captured and tested for exploration behavior in a novel environment-an operational measure of personality in this species-and assessed separately for their glucocorticoid response to a standardized stressor. Slower explorers exhibited a greater elevation in glucocorticoid levels within the first three minutes after capture. Further, slower explorers reached a higher maximum CORT concentration and had higher total exposure to glucocorticoids during the stressor period. These data provide evidence that the temporal reactivity of the endocrine stress response, specifically its speed and magnitude, is associated with stable behavioral traits in free-living animals.

  3. Infinite-dimensional p-adic groups, semigroups of double cosets, and inner functions on Bruhat-Tits buildings

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Neretin, Yu A.

    2015-06-01

    We construct p-adic analogues of operator colligations and their characteristic functions. Consider a p-adic group \\mathbf G={GL}(α+k∞, Q_p), a subgroup L= O(k∞, Z_p) of \\mathbf G and a subgroup \\mathbf K= O(∞, Z_p) which is diagonally embedded in L. We show that the space Γ=\\mathbf K\\setminus\\mathbf G/\\mathbf K of double cosets admits the structure of a semigroup and acts naturally on the space of \\mathbf K-fixed vectors of any unitary representation of \\mathbf G. With each double coset we associate a `characteristic function' that sends a certain Bruhat-Tits building to another building (the buildings are finite-dimensional) in such a way that the image of the distinguished boundary lies in the distinguished boundary. The second building admits the structure of a (Nazarov) semigroup, and the product in Γ corresponds to the pointwise product of characteristic functions.

  4. Agminated blue nevus - Case report*

    PubMed Central

    Lisboa, Alice Paixão; Silvestre, Keline Jácome; Pedreira, Renata Leite; Alves, Natália Ribeiro de Magalhães; Obadia, Daniel Lago; Azulay-Abulafia, Luna

    2016-01-01

    Blue nevi are benign melanocytic lesions located in the deeper reticular dermis, consequence of failure of melanocytic migration into the dermal-epidermal junction from the neural crest. Lesions are usually asymptomatic and solitary, but may present in a multiple or agminated (grouped) pattern. The agminated subtype is formed when bluish-pigmented lesions cluster together in a well-defined area. Lesions can be flat or raised. We report the case of a patient who presented multiple bluish macules (1-3 mm in diameter) grouped on the left upper back. Dermoscopy and anatomic pathological examination were consistent with blue nevus. PMID:27828645

  5. Blue-green upconversion laser

    DOEpatents

    Nguyen, D.C.; Faulkner, G.E.

    1990-08-14

    A blue-green laser (450--550 nm) uses a host crystal doped with Tm[sup 3+]. The Tm[sup 3+] is excited through upconversion by a red pumping laser and an IR pumping laser to a state which transitions to a relatively lower energy level through emissions in the blue-green band, e.g., 450.20 nm at 75 K. The exciting laser may be tunable dye lasers or may be solid-state semiconductor laser, e.g., GaAlAs and InGaAlP. 3 figs.

  6. Blue-green upconversion laser

    SciTech Connect

    Nguyen, Dinh C.; Faulkner, George E.

    1990-01-01

    A blue-green laser (450-550 nm) uses a host crystal doped with Tm.sup.3+. The Tm.sup.+ is excited through upconversion by a red pumping laser and an IR pumping laser to a state which transitions to a relatively lower energy level through emissions in the blue-green band, e.g., 450.20 nm at 75 K. The exciting laser may be tunable dye lasers or may be solid-state semiconductor laser, e.g., GaAlAs and InGaAlP.

  7. Blue light emitting thiogallate phosphor

    DOEpatents

    Dye, Robert C.; Smith, David C.; King, Christopher N.; Tuenge, Richard T.

    1998-01-01

    A crystalline blue emitting thiogallate phosphor of the formula RGa.sub.2 S.sub.4 :Ce.sub.x where R is selected from the group consisting of calcium, strontium, barium and zinc, and x is from about 1 to 10 atomic percent, the phosphor characterized as having a crystalline microstructure on the size order of from about 100 .ANG. to about 10,000 .ANG. is provided together with a process of preparing a crystalline blue emitting thiogallate phosphor by depositing on a substrate by CVD and resultant thin film electroluminescent devices including a layer of such deposited phosphor on an ordinary glass substrate.

  8. The Blue-Collar Brain

    PubMed Central

    Van Orden, Guy; Hollis, Geoff; Wallot, Sebastian

    2012-01-01

    Much effort has gone into elucidating control of the body by the brain, less so the role of the body in controlling the brain. This essay develops the idea that the brain does a great deal of work in the service of behavior that is controlled by the body, a blue-collar role compared to the white-collar control exercised by the body. The argument that supports a blue-collar role for the brain is also consistent with recent discoveries clarifying the white-collar role of synergies across the body’s tensegrity structure, and the evidence of critical phenomena in brain and behavior. PMID:22719730

  9. Singing' the Black and Blues

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fisher, Diane

    2004-01-01

    It is so obvious that the sky is blue in the daytime and black at night, but it took the smartest humans thousands of years of observation, thought, discussion, conjecture, and analysis to finally come up with answers that make scientific sense as to why the sky is these colors. This article discusses light and the scientific research…

  10. The Taos Blue Lake Ceremony.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bodine, John J.

    1988-01-01

    Describes the Blue Lake Ceremony of the Taos Pueblo Indians of New Mexico. Reproduces the 1906 account of the ceremony by anthropologist Matilda Coxe Stevenson and notes modern verification and change. Discusses the importance of this annual August pilgrimage and initiation rite to the preservation of Taos culture. (SV)

  11. Singing' the Black and Blues

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fisher, Diane

    2004-01-01

    It is so obvious that the sky is blue in the daytime and black at night, but it took the smartest humans thousands of years of observation, thought, discussion, conjecture, and analysis to finally come up with answers that make scientific sense as to why the sky is these colors. This article discusses light and the scientific research…

  12. Nobel Prize for blue LEDs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kraftmakher, Yaakov

    2015-05-01

    A brief review of lighting technologies is presented. Unavoidable restrictions for incandescent light bulbs caused by the Planck distribution and properties of the human eye are illustrated. The efficiency and luminous efficacy of thermal radiation are calculated for various temperatures; the results clearly show the limitations for thermal radiators. The only way to overcome these limitations is using non-thermal radiators, such as fluorescent lamps and light-emitting diodes (LEDs). Unique advantages of LEDs undoubtedly made a revolution in this field. A crucial element of this progress is the blue LEDs (Nobel Prize 2014). Some experiments with a blue and a green LED are described: (i) the luminescence triggered in a green-yellow phosphor inside a white LED by the blue LED; (ii) radiant spectra and ‘efficiency droop’ in the LEDs; (iii) modulation of the blue LED up to 4 MHz; and (iv) the h/e ratio from the turn-on voltage of the green LED. The experiments are suitable for undergraduate laboratories and usable as classroom demonstrations.

  13. Blue dextran-mediated hemagglutination.

    PubMed

    Imanishi, K; Suzuki, I

    1982-01-01

    Blue dextran at low concentrations (0.1-1 ng/ml) agglutinated human, mouse, rabbit and rat erythrocytes. This agglutination was inhibited by 10% calf serum, 0.5 mg/ml bovine albumin and 0.2 M sodium thiocyanate, and less effectively by 1.5 M potassium chloride, but not by 30-50 mM magnesium sulfate.

  14. Teaching Sherman Alexie's "Reservation Blues."

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    McFarland, Ronald E.

    2001-01-01

    A college teacher discusses his experiences of departing from the established literary canon to teach Sherman Alexie's "Reservation Blues" as part of an upper-level American literature survey class. Students reacted to the novel and its characters, evaluated Alexie's writing techniques, and discussed their personal experiences with Native…

  15. Methyl blue and aniline blue versus patent blue and trypan blue as vital dyes in cataract surgery: capsule staining properties and cytotoxicity to human cultured corneal endothelial cells.

    PubMed

    Thaler, Sebastian; Hofmann, Johanna; Bartz-Schmidt, Karl-Ulrich; Schuettauf, Frank; Haritoglou, Christos; Yoeruek, Efdal

    2011-06-01

    To evaluate capsule-staining properties and biocompatibility of the triarylmethane dyes methyl blue and aniline blue compared with patent blue and trypan blue on cultured human corneal endothelial cells. Centre for Ophthalmology, University of Tuebingen, Tuebingen, Germany. Experimental study. Human corneal endothelial cell cultures were harvested from human donor cells and exposed to various concentrations (0.025 to 5.0 mg/mL) of methyl blue, aniline blue, patent blue, and trypan blue. Cytotoxicity was assessed by the 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyl tetrazolium bromide test after 24 hours of incubation. Calcein live cell staining was performed at the same time point. The dyes were also used to stain pig lens capsules in vitro by incubating the lenses for 1 minute with 3 concentrations (0.5, 1.5, and 2.5 mg/mL) of dye, after which the staining properties were evaluated. No significant cytotoxicity was detected for patent blue and methyl blue at any tested concentration. However, aniline blue exerted significant cytotoxicity at concentrations of 1.5 mg/mL or higher and trypan blue at 2.5 mg/mL or higher. Capsule staining of the tested triarylmethane dyes was suitable for performing capsulorhexis, but only at higher concentrations than with trypan blue. High concentrations and long incubation times of trypan blue and aniline blue showed significant cytotoxicity to human cultured endothelial cells in contrast to patent blue and methyl blue. All tested dyes were able to stain lens capsules sufficiently for capsulorhexis creation. No author has a financial or proprietary interest in any material or method mentioned. Copyright © 2011 ASCRS and ESCRS. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  16. Predicting bird phenology from space: satellite-derived vegetation green-up signal uncovers spatial variation in phenological synchrony between birds and their environment.

    PubMed

    Cole, Ella F; Long, Peter R; Zelazowski, Przemyslaw; Szulkin, Marta; Sheldon, Ben C

    2015-11-01

    Population-level studies of how tit species (Parus spp.) track the changing phenology of their caterpillar food source have provided a model system allowing inference into how populations can adjust to changing climates, but are often limited because they implicitly assume all individuals experience similar environments. Ecologists are increasingly using satellite-derived data to quantify aspects of animals' environments, but so far studies examining phenology have generally done so at large spatial scales. Considering the scale at which individuals experience their environment is likely to be key if we are to understand the ecological and evolutionary processes acting on reproductive phenology within populations. Here, we use time series of satellite images, with a resolution of 240 m, to quantify spatial variation in vegetation green-up for a 385-ha mixed-deciduous woodland. Using data spanning 13 years, we demonstrate that annual population-level measures of the timing of peak abundance of winter moth larvae (Operophtera brumata) and the timing of egg laying in great tits (Parus major) and blue tits (Cyanistes caeruleus) is related to satellite-derived spring vegetation phenology. We go on to show that timing of local vegetation green-up significantly explained individual differences in tit reproductive phenology within the population, and that the degree of synchrony between bird and vegetation phenology showed marked spatial variation across the woodland. Areas of high oak tree (Quercus robur) and hazel (Corylus avellana) density showed the strongest match between remote-sensed vegetation phenology and reproductive phenology in both species. Marked within-population variation in the extent to which phenology of different trophic levels match suggests that more attention should be given to small-scale processes when exploring the causes and consequences of phenological matching. We discuss how use of remotely sensed data to study within-population variation

  17. Difficulties when assessing birdsong learning programmes under field conditions: a re-evaluation of song repertoire flexibility in the great tit.

    PubMed

    Rivera-Gutierrez, Hector F; Pinxten, Rianne; Eens, Marcel

    2011-01-17

    There is a remarkable diversity of song-learning strategies in songbirds. Establishing whether a species is closed- or open-ended is important to be able to interpret functional and evolutionary consequences of variation in repertoire size. Most of our knowledge regarding the timing of vocal learning is based on laboratory studies, despite the fact that these may not always replicate the complex ecological and social interactions experienced by birds in the wild. Given that field studies cannot provide the experimental control of laboratory studies, it may not be surprising that species such as the great tit that were initially assumed to be closed-ended learners have later been suggested to be open-ended learners. By using an established colour-ringed population, by following a standardized recording protocol, and by taking into account the species' song ecology (using only recordings obtained during peak of singing at dawn), we replicated two previous studies to assess song repertoire learning and flexibility in adult wild great tits elicited by social interactions. First, we performed a playback experiment to test repertoire plasticity elicited by novel versus own songs. Additionally, in a longitudinal study, we followed 30 males in two consecutive years and analysed whether new neighbours influenced any change in the repertoire. Contrary to the previous studies, song repertoire size and composition were found to be highly repeatable both between years and after confrontation with a novel song. Our results suggest that great tits are closed-ended learners and that their song repertoire probably does not change during adulthood. Methodological differences that may have led to an underestimation of the repertoires or population differences may explain the discrepancy in results with previous studies. We argue that a rigorous and standardized assessment of the repertoire is essential when studying age- or playback-induced changes in repertoire size and composition

  18. A Single Long Day Triggers Follicle Growth in Captive Female Great Tits (Parus major) in Winter but Does Not Affect Laying Dates in the Wild in Spring

    PubMed Central

    te Marvelde, Luc; Schaper, Sonja V.; Visser, Marcel E.

    2012-01-01

    In many forest passerine bird species, rapid climate warming has led to a phenological mismatch between the period of maximum nestlings' food requirements and the period of maximum food availability (seasonal caterpillar biomass peak) due to an insufficient advancement of the birds' laying dates. The initiation of laying is preceded by the development of the gonads, which in birds are regressed outside the breeding season. Increasing day length in late winter and early spring triggers a cascade of hormones which induces gonadal development. Since day length is not altered by climate change, one potential restriction to advancing laying date is the seasonal timing of gonadal development. To assess the importance of gonadal growth for timing of reproduction we experimentally manipulated the timing of gonadal development. We show that the growth of the largest follicle of captive female great tits (Parus major) increased after being exposed to just a single long day in winter (20 hours of light followed by 4 hours darkness). We then photostimulated wild female great tits from two study areas in a field experiment in spring for a single day and determined their laying date. These populations differed in the availability of food allowing us to test if food availability in combination with photostimulation affected egg laying dates. Despite an expected difference in the onset of gonadal growth, laying dates of photostimulated females did not differ from control females in both populations. These results suggest that wild great tits are not restricted in the advancement of their laying date by limited gonadal development. PMID:22545123

  19. 21 CFR 133.106 - Blue cheese.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-04-01

    ... methods described in § 133.5. The dairy ingredients used may be pasteurized. Blue cheese is at least 60... ingredients. (i) Blue or green color in an amount to neutralize the natural yellow color of the curd....

  20. The Blues Poetry of Langston Hughes

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Waldron, Edward E.

    1971-01-01

    The author discusses the criteria of the blues as an American art form. He then shows how Langston Hughes captures the mood, the feeling, the rhythm and the impact of the blues in his poetry. (Author/LF)

  1. 21 CFR 73.50 - Ultramarine blue.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-04-01

    ... ultramarine blue is a blue pigment obtained by calcining a mixture of kaolin, sulfur, sodium carbonate, and... order to vary the shade. The pigment is a complex sodium aluminum sulfo-silicate having the...

  2. 21 CFR 73.50 - Ultramarine blue.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-04-01

    ... ultramarine blue is a blue pigment obtained by calcining a mixture of kaolin, sulfur, sodium carbonate, and... order to vary the shade. The pigment is a complex sodium aluminum sulfo-silicate having the...

  3. 21 CFR 73.50 - Ultramarine blue.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-04-01

    ... ultramarine blue is a blue pigment obtained by calcining a mixture of kaolin, sulfur, sodium carbonate, and... order to vary the shade. The pigment is a complex sodium aluminum sulfo-silicate having the...

  4. 21 CFR 73.50 - Ultramarine blue.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-04-01

    ... ultramarine blue is a blue pigment obtained by calcining a mixture of kaolin, sulfur, sodium carbonate, and... order to vary the shade. The pigment is a complex sodium aluminum sulfo-silicate having the...

  5. 21 CFR 73.50 - Ultramarine blue.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-04-01

    ... ultramarine blue is a blue pigment obtained by calcining a mixture of kaolin, sulfur, sodium carbonate, and... order to vary the shade. The pigment is a complex sodium aluminum sulfo-silicate having the...

  6. Practical utility of the blue spectral region

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ross, D. S.

    1972-01-01

    Some aspects of multispectral photography in the blue region are discussed briefly, and sample images are submitted to demonstrate the potential utility of the blue multispectral record for oceanography.

  7. [Sense organs on palps and fore tarsi of gamasid mites (Parasitiformes, Rhinonyssidae), parasites of the nasal cavity of the great tit, the rock dove, and the Eurasian coot].

    PubMed

    Leonovich, S A; Dimov, I

    2012-01-01

    The main sensory organs (the palpal organ and the tarsal sensory complex) were examined by scanning electron microscopy method in parasites of the nasal cavity of the great tit Parus major (Ptilonyssus sairae, Ptilonyssus pari), the rock dove Columba livia (Mesonyssus melloi), and the Eurasian coot Fulica atra (Rallinyssus caudistigmus). It was shown that differences in the topography of sensilla within the tarsal complex correspond to the taxonomic relations between species and genera, whereas differences in the structure of the palpal organ are not associated with the taxonomy and, probably, reflect ecological peculiarities of parasitism.

  8. [Postpartum blues - a Czech adaptation of the Maternity Blues Questionnaire].

    PubMed

    Takács, L; Smolík, F; Mlíková Seidlerová, J; Čepický, P; Hoskovcová, S

    To validate the Kennerley and Gaths Maternity Blues Questionnaire (MBQ) for the Czech postpartum population, to present the psychometric properties of the Czech version of that screening method, and to assess its predictive power for the risk of postpartum depression. Original study. Department of Psychology, Faculty of Arts and Philosophy, Charles University, Prague. The Czech version of the MBQ was validated on a sample of 1093 women. The data were collected from October 2013 to September 2014 at all maternity hospitals in Vysočina region. The MBQ was administered on a one-time basis during womens postpartal stay at maternity hospital. After six weeks post partum, a screening for postpartum depression was performed using the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS). The cut-off point was set at 10/11 for MBQ and 12/13 for EPDS as such were the respective levels achieved by the 90th percentile in the MBQ and EPDS scores. The sociodemografic data were collected at the time of completing the MBQ. A logistic regression was performed to identify the predictors of severe blues. Cronbachs alpha was calculated to assess the internal consistency of the MBQ as a whole and its component scales. In order to assess the validity of the MBQ, a logistic regression was used to analyze the association between the MBQ and EPDS scores. The norms for the Czech version of MBQ are presented as percentiles. The MBQ scores showed a gradual rise over the days following the delivery (day 0 to day 4). The percentage of women with severe blues (MBQ score > 10) increased from 7.3% to 14.55% between day 0 and day 4. The most frequent feelings and mood states experienced by women in the first postpartum days included tiredness (61%), decreased self-confidence (30%), over-sensitivity (26%) and tension (19%), while 6,5% of women felt low spirited and 7% felt depressed. The women suffering from severe blues reported most frequently the same states of mood as did the women in the whole sample

  9. On Seeing Reddish Green and Yellowish Blue.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Crane, Hewitt D.; Piantanida, Thomas P.

    1983-01-01

    Stabilization of the retinal image of the boundary between a pair of red/green or yellow/blue stripes, but not their outer edges, results in the entire region being perceived simultaneously as both red/green or yellow/blue. This suggests that the percepts of reddish-green/yellowish-blue apparently are possible in corticocortical color vision…

  10. A new rhythm for the Blues.

    PubMed

    Tokarski, C

    1995-03-05

    If 1994 was the year the nation's Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans surpassed their managed care competitors in enrollment, 1995 is shaping up to be the year the Blues lead the stampede to form integrated delivery systems. Plus, a look at the new BC/BS chief, Patrick Hays.

  11. On Seeing Reddish Green and Yellowish Blue.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Crane, Hewitt D.; Piantanida, Thomas P.

    1983-01-01

    Stabilization of the retinal image of the boundary between a pair of red/green or yellow/blue stripes, but not their outer edges, results in the entire region being perceived simultaneously as both red/green or yellow/blue. This suggests that the percepts of reddish-green/yellowish-blue apparently are possible in corticocortical color vision…

  12. Perfluoroalkylated acids in the eggs of great tits (Parus major) near a fluorochemical plant in Flanders, Belgium.

    PubMed

    Groffen, Thimo; Lopez-Antia, Ana; D'Hollander, Wendy; Prinsen, Els; Eens, Marcel; Bervoets, Lieven

    2017-09-01

    Perfluoroalkyl acids (PFAAs) are highly persistent substances which have been detected in wildlife around the world, including birds. Although bird eggs have often been used to determine and monitor PFAAs levels in the marine environment, this has rarely been done in the terrestrial environment. In the present study we examined the concentrations and composition profile of 12 PFAAs (4 perfluoroalkyl sulfonic acids (PFSAs) and 8 perfluoroalkyl carboxylic acids (PFCAs) in the eggs of great tits (Parus major) collected at a fluorochemical plant and in three other areas, representing a gradient in distance from the pollution source (from 1 to 70 km), in Antwerp, Belgium. The PFSA concentrations measured at the site of the fluorochemical plant were among the highest ever reported in eggs with median concentrations of 10380 ng/g (extrapolated), 99.3 ng/g and 47.7 ng/g for PFOS, PFHxS and PFDS respectively. Furthermore, the median concentration of 19.8 ng/g for PFOA was also among the highest ever reported in bird eggs. Although these concentrations decreased sharply with distance from the fluorochemical plant, levels found in the adjacent sites were still high compared to what has been reported in literature. Moreover, based on what is known in literature, it is likely that these concentrations may cause toxicological effects. PFOS was the dominant contributor to the PFSA and PFAAs (63.4-97.6%) profile at each site, whereas for PFCAs this was PFOA at the plant site and the nearest locations (41.0-52.8%) but PFDoA (37.7%) at the farthest location. Although there is some evidence that PFAAs concentrations close to the plant site are decreasing in comparison with earlier measurements, which may be due to the phase out of PFOS, more research is necessary to understand the extent of the toxicological effects in the vicinity of this PFAAs hotspot. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. Parental food provisioning is related to nestling stress response in wild great tit nestlings: implications for the development of personality.

    PubMed

    Oers, Kees van; Kohn, Gregory M; Hinde, Camilla A; Naguib, Marc

    2015-01-01

    Variation in early nutrition is known to play an important role in shaping the behavioural development of individuals. Parental prey selection may have long-lasting behavioural influences. In birds foraging on arthropods, for instance, the specific prey types, e.g. spiders and caterpillars, matter as they have different levels of taurine which may have an effect on personality development. Here we investigated how naturally occurring variation in the amounts of spiders and caterpillars, provisioned to nestlings at day 4 and 8 after hatching, is related to the response to handling stress in a wild passerine, the great tit (Parus major). Broods were cross-fostered in a split-brood design allowing us to separate maternal and genetic effects from early rearing effects. Adult provisioning behaviour was monitored on day four and day eight after hatching using video recordings. Individual nestlings were subjected to a handling stress test at an age of 14 days, which is a validated proxy for exploratory behaviour as an adult. Variation in handling stress was mainly determined by the rearing environment. We show that, contrary to our predictions, not the amount of spider biomass, but the amount of caterpillar biomass delivered per nestling significantly affected individual performance in the stress test. Chicks provisioned with lower amounts of caterpillars exhibited a stronger stress response, reflecting faster exploratory behaviour later on in life, than individuals who received larger amounts of caterpillars. These results suggest that natural variation in parental behaviour in wild birds modulates the developmental trajectories of their offspring's personality via food provisioning. Since parental provisioning behaviour might also reflect the local environmental conditions, provisioning behaviour may influence how nestlings respond to these local environmental conditions.

  14. Variation between the oral and faecal microbiota in a free-living passerine bird, the great tit (Parus major).

    PubMed

    Kropáčková, Lucie; Pechmanová, Hana; Vinkler, Michal; Svobodová, Jana; Velová, Hana; Těšičký, Martin; Martin, Jean-François; Kreisinger, Jakub

    2017-01-01

    The gastrointestinal tract of vertebrates is inhabited by diverse bacterial communities that induce marked effects on the host physiology and health status. The composition of the gastrointestinal microbiota is characterized by pronounced taxonomic and functional variability among different regions of the vertebrate gastrointestinal tract. Despite the relatively solid knowledge on the among-region variations of the gastrointestinal microbiota in model mammalian species, there are only a few studies concerning among-region variations of the gastrointestinal microbiota in free-living non-mammalian vertebrate taxa. We used Illumina MiSeq sequencing of bacterial 16S rRNA amplicons to compare the diversity as well as taxonomic composition of bacterial communities in proximal vs. distal parts of the gastrointestinal tract (represented by oral swabs and faecal samples, respectively) in a wild passerine bird, the great tit (Parus major). The diversity of the oral microbiota was significantly higher compared to the faecal microbiota, whereas interindividual variation was higher in faecal than in oral samples. We also observed a pronounced difference in taxonomic content between the oral and faecal microbiota. Bacteria belonging to the phyla Proteobacteria, Firmicutes and Actinobacteria typically dominated in both oral and faecal samples. A high abundance of bacteria belonging to Tenericutes was observed only in faecal samples. Surprisingly, we found only a slight correlation between the faecal and oral microbiota at the within-individual level, suggesting that the microbial composition in these body sites is shaped by independent regulatory processes. Given the independence of these two communities at the individual level, we propose that simultaneous sampling of the faecal and oral microbiota will extend our understanding of host vs. microbiota interactions in wild populations.

  15. Parental food provisioning is related to nestling stress response in wild great tit nestlings: implications for the development of personality

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    Background Variation in early nutrition is known to play an important role in shaping the behavioural development of individuals. Parental prey selection may have long-lasting behavioural influences. In birds foraging on arthropods, for instance, the specific prey types, e.g. spiders and caterpillars, matter as they have different levels of taurine which may have an effect on personality development. Here we investigated how naturally occurring variation in the amounts of spiders and caterpillars, provisioned to nestlings at day 4 and 8 after hatching, is related to the response to handling stress in a wild passerine, the great tit (Parus major). Broods were cross-fostered in a split-brood design allowing us to separate maternal and genetic effects from early rearing effects. Adult provisioning behaviour was monitored on day four and day eight after hatching using video recordings. Individual nestlings were subjected to a handling stress test at an age of 14 days, which is a validated proxy for exploratory behaviour as an adult. Results Variation in handling stress was mainly determined by the rearing environment. We show that, contrary to our predictions, not the amount of spider biomass, but the amount of caterpillar biomass delivered per nestling significantly affected individual performance in the stress test. Chicks provisioned with lower amounts of caterpillars exhibited a stronger stress response, reflecting faster exploratory behaviour later on in life, than individuals who received larger amounts of caterpillars. Conclusions These results suggest that natural variation in parental behaviour in wild birds modulates the developmental trajectories of their offspring's personality via food provisioning. Since parental provisioning behaviour might also reflect the local environmental conditions, provisioning behaviour may influence how nestlings respond to these local environmental conditions. PMID:26913051

  16. Experimental manipulation of dietary lead levels in great tit nestlings: limited effects on growth, physiology and survival.

    PubMed

    Eeva, Tapio; Rainio, Miia; Berglund, Åsa; Kanerva, Mirella; Stauffer, Janina; Stöwe, Mareike; Ruuskanen, Suvi

    2014-07-01

    We manipulated dietary lead (Pb) levels of nestlings in wild populations of the great tit (Parus major L) to find out if environmentally relevant Pb levels would affect some physiological biomarkers (haematocrit [HT], fecal corticosterone metabolites [CORT], heat shock proteins [HSPs], erythrocyte delta-aminolevulinic acid dehydratase activity [ALAd]), growth (body mass, wing length), phenotype (plumage coloration) or survival of nestlings. The responses to three experimental manipulation (control, low and high: 0, 1 and 4 μg/g body mass/day) are compared with those in a P. major population breeding in the vicinity of a heavy metal source, a copper smelter. Our Pb supplementation was successful in raising the fecal concentrations to the levels found in polluted environments (high: 8.0 μg/g d.w.). Despite relatively high range of exposure levels we found only few effects on growth rates or physiology. The lack of blood ALAd inhibition suggests that the circulating Pb levels were generally below the toxic level despite that marked accumulation of Pb in femur (high: 27.8 μg/g d.w.) was observed. Instead, birds in the metal polluted environment around the smelter showed decreased growth rates, lower HT, higher CORT, less colorful plumage and lower survival probabilities than any of the Pb treated groups. These effects are likely related to decreased food quality/quantity for these insectivorous birds at the smelter site. In general, the responses of nestlings to metal exposure and/or associated resource limitation were not gender specific. One of the stress proteins (HSP60), however, was more strongly induced in Pb exposed males and further studies are needed to explore if this was due to higher accumulation of Pb or higher sensitivity of males. In all, our results emphasize the importance of secondary pollution effects (e.g. via food chain disruption) on reproductive output of birds.

  17. Status of Blue Ridge Reservoir

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1990-09-01

    This is one in a series of reports prepared by the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) for those interested in the conditions of TVA reservoirs. This overview of Blue Ridge Reservoir summarizes reservoir and watershed characteristics, reservoir uses and use impairments, water quality and aquatic biological conditions, and activities of reservoir management agencies. This information was extracted from the most current reports and data available, as well as interview with water resource professionals in various federal, state, and local agencies. Blue Ridge Reservoir is a single-purpose hydropower generating project. When consistent with this primary objective, the reservoir is also operated to benefit secondary objectives including water quality, recreation, fish and aquatic habitat, development of shoreline, aesthetic quality, and other public and private uses that support overall regional economic growth and development. 8 refs., 1 fig.

  18. Blue phases of cholesteryl nonanoate

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Meiboom, S.; Sammon, M.

    1981-07-01

    The transformation on heating of an ordinary (helical) cholesteric liquid crystal (CHOL) into the isotropic phase (ISO) often occurs via a number of intermediate "blue" phases. We find the following scheme of phase transitions in cholesteryl nonanoate: CHOL-->91.35BPI-->91.76BPII-->91.84BPIII-->91.95ISO. Here BPI, BPII, and BPIII indicate three distinct, thermodynamically stable phases; transition temperatures are in °C. From observations of supercooling and coexistence, we conclude that all these transformations are first order, except possibly the BPIII-->ISO, the character of which remains in doubt. A similar behavior is found in cholesteryl myristate and in a mixture of cholesteryl nonanoate and cholesteryl chloride. A few observations having a bearing on the structure of the blue phases are reported.

  19. Food habits of blue grouse

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Stewart, R.E.

    1944-01-01

    The food habits of Blue Grouse vary from a simple winter diet that is made up predominantly of coniferous needles to a complex diet during the summer months, characterized by great variety of foods including green leaves, fruits and seeds, flowers, animal matter and coniferous needles. The spring and fall, which represent the transition periods between these two, are characterized by feeding habits that are generally intermediate. The diets of the two species of Blue Grouse, Dendrugapus obscurus and Dendragapus juliginosus, are quite similar as far as major types of food are concerned, but they differ considerably in the species that are taken. Such differences reflect differences in the vegetation within the ecologic and geographic ranges occupied by the two species.

  20. The Physics of the Blues

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gibson, J. Murray

    2009-03-01

    In looking at the commonalities between music and science, one sees that the musician's palette is based on the principles of physics. The pitch of a musical note is determined by the frequency of the sound wave. The scales that musicians use to create and play music can be viewed as a set of rules. What makes music interesting is how musicians develop those rules and create ambiguity with them. I will discuss the evolution of western musical scales in this context. As a particular example, ``Blue'' notes are very harmonic notes that are missing from the equal temperament scale. The techniques of piano blues and jazz represent the melding of African and Western music into something totally new and exciting. Live keyboard demonstrations will be used. Beyond any redeeming entertainment value the talk will emphasize the serious connections between science and art in music. Nevertheless tips will be accepted.

  1. Ol' Blue Eyes, in Focus

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nelson, Michael

    2009-01-01

    Scholarly books with "identity" and "culture" in the title have loomed large on academic publishing lists for several years. Scholarly books with "Sinatra" in the title are a more recent phenomenon. Despite his six-decade career as the Voice (the 1940s), the Chairman of the Board (the 50s and 60s), and Ol' Blue Eyes (the 70s through his death, in…

  2. Blue Orb on the Horizon

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2014-05-01

    This view from NASA's Cassini spacecraft features a blue planet, imaged by Cassini for the first time. Uranus is a pale blue in this natural color image because its visible atmosphere contains methane gas and few aerosols or clouds. Methane on Uranus -- and its sapphire-colored sibling, Neptune -- absorbs red wavelengths of incoming sunlight, but allows blue wavelengths to escape back into space, resulting in the predominantly bluish color seen here. Cassini imaging scientists combined red, green and blue spectral filter images to create a final image that represents what human eyes might see from the vantage point of the spacecraft. Uranus has been brightened by a factor of 4.5 to make it more easily visible. The outer portion of Saturn's A ring, seen at bottom right, has been brightened by a factor of two. The bright ring cutting across the image center is Saturn's narrow F ring. Uranus was approximately 28.6 astronomical units from Cassini and Saturn when this view was obtained. An astronomical unit is the average distance from Earth to the sun, equal to 93,000,000 miles (150,000,000 kilometers). This view was acquired by the Cassini narrow-angle camera at a distance of approximately 614,300 miles (988,600 kilometers) from Saturn on April 11, 2014. Image scale at Uranus is approximately 16,000 miles (25,700 kilometers) per pixel. Image scale at Saturn's rings is approximately 4 miles (6 kilometers) per pixel. In the image, the disk of Uranus is just barely resolved. The solar phase angle at Uranus, seen from Cassini, is 11.9 degrees. http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA17178

  3. Ferns of the Blue Ridge

    Treesearch

    Arnold Krochmal; Connie Krochmal

    1979-01-01

    The forests and open fields of the Blue Ridge provide ideal growing conditions for a number of ferns. Since some of these are evergreen, ferns can be seen in the area during every month of the year. Ferns are old members of the plant kingdom, and fossil ancestors are common in slate, shale, and coal. All ferns belong to the Pteridophytes, a group that also includes...

  4. The Cryptochrome Blue Light Receptors.

    PubMed

    Yu, Xuhong; Liu, Hongtao; Klejnot, John; Lin, Chentao

    2010-09-23

    Cryptochromes are photolyase-like blue light receptors originally discovered in Arabidopsis but later found in other plants, microbes, and animals. Arabidopsis has two cryptochromes, CRY1 and CRY2, which mediate primarily blue light inhibition of hypocotyl elongation and photoperiodic control of floral initiation, respectively. In addition, cryptochromes also regulate over a dozen other light responses, including circadian rhythms, tropic growth, stomata opening, guard cell development, root development, bacterial and viral pathogen responses, abiotic stress responses, cell cycles, programmed cell death, apical dominance, fruit and ovule development, seed dormancy, and magnetoreception. Cryptochromes have two domains, the N-terminal PHR (Photolyase-Homologous Region) domain that bind the chromophore FAD (flavin adenine dinucleotide), and the CCE (CRY C-terminal Extension) domain that appears intrinsically unstructured but critical to the function and regulation of cryptochromes. Most cryptochromes accumulate in the nucleus, and they undergo blue light-dependent phosphorylation or ubiquitination. It is hypothesized that photons excite electrons of the flavin molecule, resulting in redox reaction or circular electron shuttle and conformational changes of the photoreceptors. The photoexcited cryptochrome are phosphorylated to adopt an open conformation, which interacts with signaling partner proteins to alter gene expression at both transcriptional and posttranslational levels and consequently the metabolic and developmental programs of plants.

  5. The Cryptochrome Blue Light Receptors

    PubMed Central

    Yu, Xuhong; Liu, Hongtao; Klejnot, John; Lin, Chentao

    2010-01-01

    Cryptochromes are photolyase-like blue light receptors originally discovered in Arabidopsis but later found in other plants, microbes, and animals. Arabidopsis has two cryptochromes, CRY1 and CRY2, which mediate primarily blue light inhibition of hypocotyl elongation and photoperiodic control of floral initiation, respectively. In addition, cryptochromes also regulate over a dozen other light responses, including circadian rhythms, tropic growth, stomata opening, guard cell development, root development, bacterial and viral pathogen responses, abiotic stress responses, cell cycles, programmed cell death, apical dominance, fruit and ovule development, seed dormancy, and magnetoreception. Cryptochromes have two domains, the N-terminal PHR (Photolyase-Homologous Region) domain that bind the chromophore FAD (flavin adenine dinucleotide), and the CCE (CRY C-terminal Extension) domain that appears intrinsically unstructured but critical to the function and regulation of cryptochromes. Most cryptochromes accumulate in the nucleus, and they undergo blue light-dependent phosphorylation or ubiquitination. It is hypothesized that photons excite electrons of the flavin molecule, resulting in redox reaction or circular electron shuttle and conformational changes of the photoreceptors. The photoexcited cryptochrome are phosphorylated to adopt an open conformation, which interacts with signaling partner proteins to alter gene expression at both transcriptional and posttranslational levels and consequently the metabolic and developmental programs of plants. PMID:21841916

  6. Models of Individual Blue Stragglers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sills, Alison

    This chapter describes the current state of models of individual blue stragglers. Stellar collisions, binary mergers (or coalescence), and partial or ongoing mass transfer have all been studied in some detail. The products of stellar collisions retain memory of their parent stars and are not fully mixed. Very high initial rotation rates must be reduced by an unknown process to allow the stars to collapse to the main sequence. The more massive collision products have shorter lifetimes than normal stars of the same mass, while products between low mass stars are long-lived and look very much like normal stars of their mass. Mass transfer can result in a merger, or can produce another binary system with a blue straggler and the remnant of the original primary. The products of binary mass transfer cover a larger portion of the colour-magnitude diagram than collision products for two reasons: there are more possible configurations which produce blue stragglers, and there are differing contributions to the blended light of the system. The effects of rotation may be substantial in both collision and merger products, and could result in significant mixing unless angular momentum is lost shortly after the formation event. Surface abundances may provide ways to distinguish between the formation mechanisms, but care must be taken to model the various mixing mechanisms properly before drawing strong conclusions. Avenues for future work are outlined.

  7. Localized Eruptive Blue Nevi after Herpes Zoster

    PubMed Central

    Colson, Fany; Arrese, Jorge E.; Nikkels, Arjen F.

    2016-01-01

    A 52-year-old White man presented with a dozen small, well-restricted, punctiform, asymptomatic, blue-gray macules on the left shoulder. A few months earlier, he had been treated with oral acyclovir for herpes zoster (HZ) affecting the left C7–C8 dermatomes. All the blue macules appeared over a short period of time and then remained stable. The patient had not experienced any previous trauma or had tattooing in this anatomical region. The clinical diagnosis suggested blue nevi. Dermatoscopy revealed small, well-limited, dark-blue, compact, homogeneous areas evoking dermal blue nevi. An excisional biopsy was performed and the histological examination confirmed a blue nevus. As far as we are aware of, this is the first report of eruptive blue nevi following HZ, and it should be included in the differential diagnosis of zosteriform dermatoses responding to an isotopic pathway. In addition, a brief review concerning eruptive nevi is presented. PMID:27462219

  8. Blue straggler stars: lessons from open clusters.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Geller, Aaron M.

    Open clusters enable a deep dive into blue straggler characteristics. Recent work shows that the binary properties (frequency, orbital elements and companion masses and evolutionary states) of the blue stragglers are the most important diagnostic for determining their origins. To date the multi-epoch radial-velocity observations necessary for characterizing these blue straggler binaries have only been carried out in open clusters. In this paper, I highlight recent results in the open clusters NGC 188, NGC 2682 (M67) and NGC 6819. The characteristics of many of the blue stragglers in these open clusters point directly to origins through mass transfer from an evolved donor star. Additionally, a handful of blue stragglers show clear signatures of past dynamical encounters. These comprehensive, diverse and detailed observations also reveal important challenges for blue straggler formation models (and particularly the mass-transfer channel), which we must overcome to fully understand the origins of blue straggler stars and other mass-transfer products.

  9. Clutch size and egg volume in great tits (Parus major) increase under low intensity electromagnetic fields: a long-term field study.

    PubMed

    Tomás, Gustavo; Barba, Emilio; Merino, Santiago; Martínez, Javier

    2012-10-01

    Exposure to electromagnetic fields (EMFs) can affect a wide range of biological processes, including reproduction, growth and development. Experiments aimed at investigating the biological effects of EMFs, focused on potential harmful effects on humans, have been mostly carried out in vitro or with animal models in laboratory conditions. By contrast, studies performed on wild animals are scarce. The effects of EMFs created by an electric power line on reproductive traits of a wild great tit (Parus major) population were explored by analysing data gathered during nine breeding seasons. EMF exposure significantly increased clutch size (7%) and egg volume (3%), implying a 10% increase in clutch volume. This indicates an increase in reproductive investment from parent birds exposed to EMFs as compared to the adjacent reference area. These results cannot be attributed to habitat or adult quality differences between the exposed and reference group. Nevertheless, no differences in hatching success or final productivity (fledging and reproductive success or nestling body mass) could be detected. Our study clearly shows that EMFs created by power lines can have biological consequences in wild organisms that live intimately with them. To our knowledge, this is the first study showing an increase in clutch size, and one of the few reporting an increase in egg size, associated with EMF exposure. The possible mechanisms by which great tits invest more under EMF exposure are discussed, and future research directions to evaluate the effect of EMFs on avian reproduction in the wild are suggested.

  10. Polish Terms for "Blue" in the Perspective of Vantage Theory

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stanulewicz, Danuta

    2010-01-01

    The Polish set of terms for blue includes, inter alia, the following adjectives: "niebieski" "blue", "blekitny" "(sky) blue", "granatowy" "navy blue", "lazurowy" "azure", "modry" "(intense) blue" and "siny" "(grey) violet-blue". The adjective "niebieski" is the basic term; however, it shares some of its functions with "blekitny", which is…

  11. Polish Terms for "Blue" in the Perspective of Vantage Theory

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stanulewicz, Danuta

    2010-01-01

    The Polish set of terms for blue includes, inter alia, the following adjectives: "niebieski" "blue", "blekitny" "(sky) blue", "granatowy" "navy blue", "lazurowy" "azure", "modry" "(intense) blue" and "siny" "(grey) violet-blue". The adjective "niebieski" is the basic term; however, it shares some of its functions with "blekitny", which is…

  12. Properties of Open Clusters Containing Blue Stragglers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, Hyun-Uk; Chang, Heon-Young

    2017-06-01

    The presence of blue stragglers pose challenges to standard stellar evolution theory, in the sense that explaining their presence demands a complex interplay between stellar evolution and cluster dynamics. In the meantime, mass transfer in binary systems and stellar collisions are widely studied as a blue straggler formation channel. We explore properties of the Galactic open clusters where blue stragglers are found, in attempting to estimate the relative importance of these two favored processes, by comparing them with those resulting from open clusters in which blue stragglers are absent as of now. Unlike previous studies which require a sophisticated process in understanding the implication of the results, this approach is straightforward and has resulted in a supplementary supporting evidence for the current view on the blue straggler formation mechanism. Our main findings are as follows: (1) Open clusters in which blue stragglers are present have a broader distribution with respect to the Z-axis pointing towards the North Galactic Pole than those in which blue stragglers are absent. The probability that two distributions with respect to the Z-axis are drawn from the same distribution is 0.2%. (2) Average values of log_{10}(t) of the clusters with blue stragglers and those without blue stragglers are 8.58 ± 0.232 and 7.52 ± 0.285, respectively. (3) The clusters with blue stragglers tend to be relatively redder than the others, and are distributed broader in colors. (4) The clusters with blue stragglers are likely brighter than those without blue stragglers. (5) Finally, blue stragglers seem to form in condensed clusters rather than simply dense clusters. Hence, we conclude that mass transfer in binaries seems to be a relatively important physical mechanism of the generation of blue stragglers in open clusters, provided they are sufficiently old.

  13. Adsorption of Methylene Blue, Bromophenol Blue, and Coomassie Brilliant Blue by α-chitin nanoparticles

    PubMed Central

    Dhananasekaran, Solairaj; Palanivel, Rameshthangam; Pappu, Srinivasan

    2015-01-01

    Expelling of dyestuff into water resource system causes major thread to the environment. Adsorption is the cost effective and potential method to remove the dyes from the effluents. Therefore, an attempt was made to study the adsorption of dyestuff (Methylene Blue (MB), Bromophenol Blue (BPB) and Coomassie Brilliant Blue (CBB)) by α-chitin nanoparticles (CNP) prepared from Penaeus monodon (Fabricius, 1798) shell waste. On contrary to the most recognizable adsorption studies using chitin, this is the first study using unique nanoparticles of ⩽50 nm used for the dye adsorption process. The results showed that the adsorption process increased with increase in the concentration of CNP, contact time and temperature with the dyestuff, whereas the adsorption process decreased with increase in the initial dye concentration and strong acidic pH. The results from Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy confirmed that the interaction between dyestuff and CNP involved physical adsorption. The adsorption process obeys Langmuir isotherm (R2 values were 0.992, 0.999 and 0.992 for MB, BPB and CBB, and RL value lies between 0 and 1 for all the three dyes) and pseudo second order kinetics (R2 values were 0.996, 0.999 and 0.996 for MB, BPB and CBB) more effectively. The isotherm and kinetic models confirmed that CNP can be used as a suitable adsorbent material for the removal of dyestuff from effluents. PMID:26843977

  14. Adsorption of Methylene Blue, Bromophenol Blue, and Coomassie Brilliant Blue by α-chitin nanoparticles.

    PubMed

    Dhananasekaran, Solairaj; Palanivel, Rameshthangam; Pappu, Srinivasan

    2016-01-01

    Expelling of dyestuff into water resource system causes major thread to the environment. Adsorption is the cost effective and potential method to remove the dyes from the effluents. Therefore, an attempt was made to study the adsorption of dyestuff (Methylene Blue (MB), Bromophenol Blue (BPB) and Coomassie Brilliant Blue (CBB)) by α-chitin nanoparticles (CNP) prepared from Penaeus monodon (Fabricius, 1798) shell waste. On contrary to the most recognizable adsorption studies using chitin, this is the first study using unique nanoparticles of ⩽50 nm used for the dye adsorption process. The results showed that the adsorption process increased with increase in the concentration of CNP, contact time and temperature with the dyestuff, whereas the adsorption process decreased with increase in the initial dye concentration and strong acidic pH. The results from Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy confirmed that the interaction between dyestuff and CNP involved physical adsorption. The adsorption process obeys Langmuir isotherm (R (2) values were 0.992, 0.999 and 0.992 for MB, BPB and CBB, and RL value lies between 0 and 1 for all the three dyes) and pseudo second order kinetics (R (2) values were 0.996, 0.999 and 0.996 for MB, BPB and CBB) more effectively. The isotherm and kinetic models confirmed that CNP can be used as a suitable adsorbent material for the removal of dyestuff from effluents.

  15. Seasonal Changes in Colour: A Comparison of Structural, Melanin- and Carotenoid-Based Plumage Colours

    PubMed Central

    Delhey, Kaspar; Burger, Claudia; Fiedler, Wolfgang; Peters, Anne

    2010-01-01

    Background Plumage coloration is important for bird communication, most notably in sexual signalling. Colour is often considered a good quality indicator, and the expression of exaggerated colours may depend on individual condition during moult. After moult, plumage coloration has been deemed fixed due to the fact that feathers are dead structures. Still, many plumage colours change after moult, although whether this affects signalling has not been sufficiently assessed. Methodology/Principal Findings We studied changes in coloration after moult in four passerine birds (robin, Erithacus rubecula; blackbird, Turdus merula; blue tit, Cyanistes caeruleus; and great tit, Parus major) displaying various coloration types (melanin-, carotenoid-based and structural). Birds were caught regularly during three years to measure plumage reflectance. We used models of avian colour vision to derive two variables, one describing chromatic and the other achromatic variation over the year that can be compared in magnitude among different colour types. All studied plumage patches but one (yellow breast of the blue tit) showed significant chromatic changes over the year, although these were smaller than for a typical dynamic trait (bill colour). Overall, structural colours showed a reduction in relative reflectance at shorter wavelengths, carotenoid-based colours the opposite pattern, while no general pattern was found for melanin-based colours. Achromatic changes were also common, but there were no consistent patterns of change for the different types of colours. Conclusions/Significance Changes of plumage coloration independent of moult are probably widespread; they should be perceivable by birds and have the potential to affect colour signalling. PMID:20644723

  16. Population genetic structure of the tree-hole tick Ixodes arboricola (Acari: Ixodidae) at different spatial scales

    PubMed Central

    Van Oosten, A R; Heylen, D J A; Jordaens, K; Backeljau, T; Matthysen, E

    2014-01-01

    The endophilic tick Ixodes arboricola infests cavity-nesting birds, and its dispersal strongly depends on the movements of its host. Population genetic structure of I. arboricola was studied with seven polymorphic microsatellite markers. We collected 268 ticks from 76 nest boxes in four woodlots near Antwerp, Belgium. These nest boxes are mainly used by the principal hosts of I. arboricola, the great tit Parus major and the blue tit Cyanistes caeruleus. As these birds typically return to the same cavity for roosting or breeding, ticks within nest boxes were expected to be highly related, and tick populations were expected to be spatially structured among woodlots and among nest boxes within woodlots. In line with the expectations, genetic population structure was found among woodlots and among nest boxes within woodlots. Surprisingly, there was considerable genetic variation among ticks within nest boxes. This could be explained by continuous gene flow from ticks from nearby tree holes, yet this remains to be tested. A pairwise relatedness analysis conducted for all pairs of ticks within nest boxes showed that relatedness among larvae was much higher than among later instars, which suggests that larvae are the most important instar for tick dispersal. Overall, tick populations at the studied spatial scale are not as differentiated as predicted, which may influence the scale at which host–parasite evolution occurs. PMID:24781806

  17. Fire Whirls, Vortex Breakdown(?), and Blue Whirls

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Oran, Elaine; Xiao, Huahua; Gollner, Michael

    2016-11-01

    As we were investigating the efficiency of fire-whirl burning on water, we observed the usual transformation of a pool fire to a fire whirl, and then suddenly, we saw the fire undergo a third transition. A blue cup appeared around the base of the fire whirl, surrounding the yellow flame, the yellow flame receded into the cup and finally disappeared. What remained was a small, rapidly spinning blue flame that burned until the fuel on the water was consumed. The blue whirl was shaped like a spinning cup, closed at the bottom near the water surface, and spreading in radius moving upwards towards the rim. Above the blue cup lip, there was a purple cone-shaped mist. The fuel was usually n-heptane, but at one point it was crude oil, and still the blue whirl formed naturally. The height of the fire whirl on the laboratory pan was larger than a half meter, and this evolved into a blue whirl about 4-8 cm high. Occasionally the blue whirl would become "unstable" and revert to a transitional state of blue cup holding a yellow flame. When the blue whirl formed, turbulence seemed to disappear, and the flame became quiet. We will show videos of how this happened and discuss the evolution of the fire whirl to the blue whirl in vortex-breakdown concepts. This work was supported by and EAGER award from NSF and Minta Martin Endowment Funds in the Department of Aerospace Engineering at the University of Maryland.

  18. BLUE STRAGGLERS IN GLOBULAR CLUSTER 47 TUCANAE

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2002-01-01

    The core of globular cluster 47 Tucanae is home to many blue stragglers, rejuvenated stars that glow with the blue light of young stars. A ground-based telescope image (on the left) shows the entire crowded core of 47 Tucanae, located 15,000 light-years away in the constellation Tucana. Peering into the heart of the globular cluster's bright core, the Hubble Space Telescope's Wide Field and Planetary Camera 2 separated the dense clump of stars into many individual stars (image on right). Some of these stars shine with the light of old stars; others with the blue light of blue stragglers. The yellow circles in the Hubble telescope image highlight several of the cluster's blue stragglers. Analysis for this observation centered on one massive blue straggler. Astronomers theorize that blue stragglers are formed either by the slow merger of stars in a double-star system or by the collision of two unrelated stars. For the blue straggler in 47 Tucanae, astronomers favor the slow merger scenario. This image is a 3-color composite of archival Hubble Wide Field and Planetary Camera 2 images in the ultraviolet (blue), blue (green), and violet (red) filters. Color tables were assigned and scaled so that the red giant stars appear orange, main-sequence stars are white/green, and blue stragglers are appropriately blue. The ultraviolet images were taken on Oct. 25, 1995, and the blue and violet images were taken on Sept. 1, 1995. Credit: Rex Saffer (Villanova University) and Dave Zurek (STScI), and NASA

  19. BLUE STRAGGLERS IN GLOBULAR CLUSTER 47 TUCANAE

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2002-01-01

    The core of globular cluster 47 Tucanae is home to many blue stragglers, rejuvenated stars that glow with the blue light of young stars. A ground-based telescope image (on the left) shows the entire crowded core of 47 Tucanae, located 15,000 light-years away in the constellation Tucana. Peering into the heart of the globular cluster's bright core, the Hubble Space Telescope's Wide Field and Planetary Camera 2 separated the dense clump of stars into many individual stars (image on right). Some of these stars shine with the light of old stars; others with the blue light of blue stragglers. The yellow circles in the Hubble telescope image highlight several of the cluster's blue stragglers. Analysis for this observation centered on one massive blue straggler. Astronomers theorize that blue stragglers are formed either by the slow merger of stars in a double-star system or by the collision of two unrelated stars. For the blue straggler in 47 Tucanae, astronomers favor the slow merger scenario. This image is a 3-color composite of archival Hubble Wide Field and Planetary Camera 2 images in the ultraviolet (blue), blue (green), and violet (red) filters. Color tables were assigned and scaled so that the red giant stars appear orange, main-sequence stars are white/green, and blue stragglers are appropriately blue. The ultraviolet images were taken on Oct. 25, 1995, and the blue and violet images were taken on Sept. 1, 1995. Credit: Rex Saffer (Villanova University) and Dave Zurek (STScI), and NASA

  20. Uncovering blue diffuse dwarf galaxies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    James, Bethan L.; Koposov, Sergey; Stark, Daniel P.; Belokurov, Vasily; Pettini, Max; Olszewski, Edward W.

    2015-04-01

    Extremely metal poor (XMP) galaxies are known to be very rare, despite the large numbers of low-mass galaxies predicted by the local galaxy luminosity function. This paper presents a subsample of galaxies that were selected via a morphology-based search on Sloan Digital Sky Survey images with the aim of finding these elusive XMP galaxies. By using the recently discovered XMP galaxy, Leo P, as a guide, we obtained a collection of faint, blue systems, each with isolated H II regions embedded in a diffuse continuum, that have remained optically undetected until now. Here we show the first results from optical spectroscopic follow-up observations of 12 of ˜100 of these blue diffuse dwarf (BDD) galaxies yielded by our search algorithm. Oxygen abundances were obtained via the direct method for eight galaxies, and found to be in the range 7.45 < 12 + log (O/H) < 8.0, with two galaxies being classified as XMPs. All BDDs were found to currently have a young star-forming population (<10 Myr) and relatively high ionization parameters of their H II regions. Despite their low luminosities (-11 ≲ MB ≲ -18) and low surface brightnesses (˜23-25 mag arcsec-2), the galaxies were found to be actively star forming, with current star formation rates between 0.0003 and 0.078 M⊙ yr-1. From our current subsample, BDD galaxies appear to be a population of non-quiescent dwarf irregular galaxies, or the diffuse counterparts to blue compact galaxies and as such may bridge the gap between these two populations. Our search algorithm demonstrates that morphology-based searches are successful in uncovering more diffuse metal-poor star-forming galaxies, which traditional emission-line-based searches overlook.

  1. Baseline and stress-induced glucocorticoid concentrations are not repeatable but covary within individual great tits (Parus major).

    PubMed

    Baugh, Alexander T; van Oers, Kees; Dingemanse, Niels J; Hau, Michaela

    2014-11-01

    In evolutionary endocrinology, there is a growing interest in the extent and basis of individual variation in endocrine traits, especially circulating concentrations of hormones. This is important because if targeted by selection, such individual differences present the opportunity for an evolutionary response to selection. It is therefore necessary to examine whether hormone traits are repeatable in natural populations. However, research in this area is complicated by the fact that different hormone traits can be correlated. The nature of these trait correlations (i.e., phenotypic, within-, or among-individual) is critically relevant in terms of the evolutionary implications, and these in turn, depend on the repeatability of each hormone trait. By decomposing phenotypic correlations between hormone traits into their within- and among-individual components it is possible to describe the multivariate nature of endocrine traits and generate inferences about their evolution. In the present study, we repeatedly captured individual great tits (Parus major) from a wild population and measured plasma concentrations of corticosterone. Using a mixed-modeling approach, we estimated repeatabilities in both initial (cf. baseline; CORT0) and stress-induced concentrations (CORT30) and the correlations between those traits among- and within-individuals. We found a lack of repeatability in both CORT0 and CORT30. Moreover, we found a strong phenotypic correlation between CORT0 and CORT30, and due to the lack of repeatability for both traits, there was no among-individual correlation between these two traits-i.e., an individual's average concentration of CORT0 was not correlated with its average concentration of CORT30. Instead, the phenotypic correlation was the result of a strong within-individual correlation, which implies that an underlying environmental factor co-modulates changes in initial and stress-induced concentrations within the same individual over time. These results

  2. Hydrophobic blue pigment formation from phosphatidylgenipin.

    PubMed

    Takami, M; Suzuki, Y

    1994-10-01

    Phosphatidylgenipin, synthesized via the transphosphatidylation reaction of 1,2-dipalmitoyl-3-sn-phosphatidylcholine to genipin by phospholipase D, was found to react with L-phenylalanine in chloroform and gave a clear blue solution. This blue solution was also formed in following organic solvents: ethanol, ethyl acetate, diethyl ether, benzene, and hexane. However, genipin and L-phenylalanine did not give any colored product under the same conditions. The blue pigment resulted from phosphatidylgenipin and L-phenylalanine showed lambda max at 615 nm in chloroform, and had a similar blue color to an aqueous solution of the natural blue pigment "gardenia blue." This is an example for the preparation of a hydrophobic pigment from a phosphatidyl derivative of a water-soluble compound.

  3. Electronic properties of blue phosphorene/graphene and blue phosphorene/graphene-like gallium nitride heterostructures.

    PubMed

    Sun, Minglei; Chou, Jyh-Pin; Yu, Jin; Tang, Wencheng

    2017-07-05

    Blue phosphorene (BlueP) is a graphene-like phosphorus nanosheet which was synthesized very recently for the first time [Nano Lett., 2016, 16, 4903-4908]. The combination of electronic properties of two different two-dimensional materials in an ultrathin van der Waals (vdW) vertical heterostructure has been proved to be an effective approach to the design of novel electronic and optoelectronic devices. Therefore, we used density functional theory to investigate the structural and electronic properties of two BlueP-based heterostructures - BlueP/graphene (BlueP/G) and BlueP/graphene-like gallium nitride (BlueP/g-GaN). Our results showed that the semiconducting nature of BlueP and the Dirac cone of G are well preserved in the BlueP/G vdW heterostructure. Moreover, by applying a perpendicular electric field, it is possible to tune the position of the Dirac cone of G with respect to the band edge of BlueP, resulting in the ability to control the Schottky barrier height. For the BlueP/g-GaN vdW heterostructure, BlueP forms an interface with g-GaN with a type-II band alignment, which is a promising feature for unipolar electronic device applications. Furthermore, we discovered that both G and g-GaN can be used as an active layer for BlueP to facilitate charge injection and enhance the device performance.

  4. Blue Photoluminescence From Silacyclobutene Compounds

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pernisz, Udo

    1999-04-01

    Organosilicon compounds in which the Si atom is bound to an aromatic moiety such as a phenyl group, exhibit strong blue photoluminescence when excited with UV light (for example at a wavelength of 337 nm). This phenomenon was investigated quantitatively at room temperature and at the temperature of liquid nitrogen (78 K) by measuring the emission and excitation spectra of the total luminescence, and of the phosphorescence, for a silacyclobutene compound in which two phenyl groups are joined across the C=C double bond of the ring. The effect of a series of organic substituents on the Si atom was investigated as well as the time dependence of the phosphorescence intensity decay for this class of materials. A tentative model of the energy levels in this compound is proposed. The observation of visible blue emission -- in contrast to photoluminescence in the UV from the aromatic groups -- is explained by the Si-C bond lowering the energy of the molecular orbitals, an effect that is currently under study for a range of Si-containing compounds. Synthesis of the silacyclobutene compounds was performed at the laboratory of Prof. N. Auner, now at J.W. Goethe Universität, Frankfurt, Germany. His contributions, and those of his collaborators, to the work reported here are gratefully acknowledged.

  5. Geothermal Technologies Program Blue Ribbon Panel Recommendations

    SciTech Connect

    none,

    2011-06-17

    The Geothermal Technologies Program assembled a geothermal Blue Ribbon Panel on March 22-23, 2011 in Albuquerque, New Mexico for a guided discussion on the future of geothermal energy in the United States and the role of the DOE Program. The Geothermal Blue Ribbon Panel Report captures the discussions and recommendations of the experts. An addendum is available here: http://www.eere.energy.gov/geothermal/pdfs/gtp_blue_ribbon_panel_report_addendum10-2011.pdf

  6. NASA Blue Marble 2007 East

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2017-09-27

    Meteorological Satellite Program mission between 1994–1995. The topography layer is based on radar data collected by the Space Shuttle Endeavour during an 11-day mission in February of 2000. Topography over Antarctica comes from the Radarsat Antarctic Mapping Project, version 2. Most of the data layers in this visualization are available as monthly composites as part of NASA’s Blue Marble Next Generation image collection. The images in the collection appear in cylindrical projection (rectangular maps), and they are available at 500-meter resolution. The large images provided above are the full-size versions of these globes. In their hope that these images will inspire people to appreciate the beauty of our home planet and to learn about the Earth system, the developers of these images encourage readers to re-use and re-publish the images freely. NASA images by Reto Stöckli, based on data from NASA and NOAA. To learn the history of the Blue Marble go here: earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Features/BlueMarble/BlueMarble_... To learn more about the Blue Marble go here: earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=8108 To learn more about NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center go here: www.nasa.gov/centers/goddard/home/index.html NASA Goddard Space Flight Center is home to the nation's largest organization of combined scientists, engineers and technologists that build spacecraft, instruments and new technology to study the Earth, the sun, our solar system, and the universe. NASA Goddard Space Flight Center is home to the nation's largest organization of combined scientists, engineers and technologists that build spacecraft, instruments and new technology to study the Earth, the sun, our solar system, and the universe. Follow us on Twitter Join us on Facebook

  7. NASA Blue Marble 2007 West

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2017-09-27

    Meteorological Satellite Program mission between 1994–1995. The topography layer is based on radar data collected by the Space Shuttle Endeavour during an 11-day mission in February of 2000. Topography over Antarctica comes from the Radarsat Antarctic Mapping Project, version 2. Most of the data layers in this visualization are available as monthly composites as part of NASA’s Blue Marble Next Generation image collection. The images in the collection appear in cylindrical projection (rectangular maps), and they are available at 500-meter resolution. The large images provided above are the full-size versions of these globes. In their hope that these images will inspire people to appreciate the beauty of our home planet and to learn about the Earth system, the developers of these images encourage readers to re-use and re-publish the images freely. NASA images by Reto Stöckli, based on data from NASA and NOAA. To learn the history of the Blue Marble go here: earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Features/BlueMarble/BlueMarble_... To learn more about the Blue Marble go here: earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=8108 NASA Goddard Space Flight Center is home to the nation's largest organization of combined scientists, engineers and technologists that build spacecraft, instruments and new technology to study the Earth, the sun, our solar system, and the universe. Follow us on Twitter Join us on Facebook

  8. Optically tuneable blue phase photonic band gaps

    SciTech Connect

    Liu, H.-Y.; Wang, C.-T.; Hsu, C.-Y.; Lin, T.-H.; Liu, J.-H.

    2010-03-22

    This study investigates an optically switchable band gap of photonic crystal that is based on an azobenzene-doped liquid crystal blue phase. The trans-cis photoisomerization of azobenzene deforms the cubic unit cell of the blue phase and shifts the photonic band gap. The fast back-isomerization of azobenzene was induced by irradiation with different wavelengths light. The crystal structure is verified using Kossel diffraction diagram. An optically addressable blue phase display, based on Bragg reflection from the photonic band gap, is also demonstrated. The tunable ranges are around red, green, and blue wavelengths and exhibit a bright saturated color.

  9. Morphological responses of wheat to blue light

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Barnes, C.; Bugbee, B.

    1992-01-01

    Blue light significantly increased tillering in wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) plants grown at the same photosynthetic photon flux (PPF). Plants were grown under two levels of blue light (400-500 nm) in a controlled environment with continuous irradiation. Plants received either 50 micromoles m-2 s-1 of blue light or 2 micromoles m-2 s-1 blue light from filtered metal halide lamps at a total irradiance of 200 micromoles m-2 s-1 PPF (400-700 nm). Plants tillered an average of 25% more under the higher level of blue light. Blue light also caused a small, but consistent, increase in main culm development, measured as Haun stage. Leaf length was reduced by higher levels of blue light, while plant dry-mass was not significantly affected by blue light. Applying the principle of equivalent light action, the results suggest that tillering and leaf elongation are mediated by the blue-UV light receptor(s) because phytochrome photoequilibrium for each treatment were nearly identical.

  10. Morphological responses of wheat to blue light

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Barnes, C.; Bugbee, B.

    1992-01-01

    Blue light significantly increased tillering in wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) plants grown at the same photosynthetic photon flux (PPF). Plants were grown under two levels of blue light (400-500 nm) in a controlled environment with continuous irradiation. Plants received either 50 micromoles m-2 s-1 of blue light or 2 micromoles m-2 s-1 blue light from filtered metal halide lamps at a total irradiance of 200 micromoles m-2 s-1 PPF (400-700 nm). Plants tillered an average of 25% more under the higher level of blue light. Blue light also caused a small, but consistent, increase in main culm development, measured as Haun stage. Leaf length was reduced by higher levels of blue light, while plant dry-mass was not significantly affected by blue light. Applying the principle of equivalent light action, the results suggest that tillering and leaf elongation are mediated by the blue-UV light receptor(s) because phytochrome photoequilibrium for each treatment were nearly identical.

  11. Characterization and 454 pyrosequencing of Major Histocompatibility Complex class I genes in the great tit reveal complexity in a passerine system

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background The critical role of Major Histocompatibility Complex (Mhc) genes in disease resistance and their highly polymorphic nature make them exceptional candidates for studies investigating genetic effects on survival, mate choice and conservation. Species that harbor many Mhc loci and high allelic diversity are particularly intriguing as they are potentially under strong selection and studies of such species provide valuable information as to the mechanisms maintaining Mhc diversity. However comprehensive genotyping of complex multilocus systems has been a major challenge to date with the result that little is known about the consequences of this complexity in terms of fitness effects and disease resistance. Results In this study, we genotyped the Mhc class I exon 3 of the great tit (Parus major) from two nest-box breeding populations near Oxford, UK that have been monitored for decades. Characterization of Mhc class I exon 3 was adopted and bidirectional sequencing was carried using the 454 sequencing platform. Full analysis of sequences through a stepwise variant validation procedure allowed reliable typing of more than 800 great tits based on 214,357 reads; from duplicates we estimated the repeatability of typing as 0.94. A total of 862 alleles were detected, and the presence of at least 16 functional loci was shown - the highest number characterized in a wild bird species. Finally, the functional alleles were grouped into 17 supertypes based on their antigen binding affinities. Conclusions We found extreme complexity at the Mhc class I of the great tit both in terms of allelic diversity and gene number. The presence of many functional loci was shown, together with a pseudogene family and putatively non-functional alleles; there was clear evidence that functional alleles were under strong balancing selection. This study is the first step towards an in-depth analysis of this gene complex in this species, which will help understanding how parasite

  12. Climate change and the response of phenology of Great Tit, Summer Oak and herbivorous caterpillars on flood plain forest ecosystem during 1961-2007

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bartosova, L.; Trnka, M.; Bauer, Z.; Bauerova, J.; Stepanek, P.; Mozny, M.; Zalud, Z.

    2009-04-01

    In this study are presented the phenophases of three animal and plant species, which were observed on research plot Vranovice during 1961 - 2007 (47 years). The observation took place at typical flood plain forest of southern Moravia. These are one common bird Great Tit (Parus major), tree Summer Oak (Quercus robur) and caterpillars Tortrix moth (Tortrix viridana) and Winter Moth (Operophthera brumata). These species are dependent on each other during their development and together create trophic chain. In case of Summer Oak the phenophases were observed since the bud break to full foliage on the same specimen during the whole 47 years. During the same period were observed nesting of 843 nesting pairs of Great Tit. We determined the first laying date (FLD), which was defined as the date when the first clutch in a given year was initiated and mean laying date (MLD), which was defined as the mean initiation date of the all first clutches in the population. The activity of caterpillars was observed indirectly using data on the intensity of caterpillars' frass fall-down that was systematically recorded throughout the study period. As the beginning of peak of excrement fall-down was taken the first day when this event was first observable. The conclusion phase was accompanied by migration of Winter Moth (Operophthera brumata) caterpillars to lower levels of the forest before the cocooning. Tortrix Moth (Tortrix viridana) caterpillars are cocooning (encapsulated) in folds of leaves. The phenophases of all three species has shifted to the earlier time during whole period of observation. The date of full foliage has advanced by 1.9 days per decade. FLD of Great Tit has shifted to the earlier time by 1.6 days and MLD has advanced by 1.5 days per decade. In both cases, the trends are statistically significant at α = 0.01. The dates of activity of caterpillars has shifted at the beginning by 2.02 and at the end by 2.06 days per decade. This trend is statictically highly

  13. US EPA, Pesticide Product Label, BLUE WHITE GROUND ...

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    2011-04-14

    ... I 1';11 ... ; ~l'J'~' r.ll 1: d' I : lqil il i ,; I ',' I tit! • t , ! ~ :. t ! • I ' • , llJr u ..... v"ll'P ;"'Iilil i II I .... f' \\tllldl.l'nd. d f"r tll·d,·(·,dt· dt· ... 'gllt·.{ ,I ;',,1.111,/1, ! .. di· ... ...

  14. A blue dive: from 'blue fingers' to 'blue silver'. A comparative overview of staining methods for in-gel proteomics.

    PubMed

    Panfoli, Isabella; Calzia, Daniela; Santucci, Laura; Ravera, Silvia; Bruschi, Maurizio; Candiano, Giovanni

    2012-12-01

    Gel-based proteomics are the most useful method for protein separation, even when compared with gel-free proteomics. Proteomic analysis by 2D gel electrophoresis (2-DE) with immobilized pH gradients is in turn the best approach to large-scale protein-expression screening. Spots visualization is pivotal for protein identification by mass spectrometry. Commonly used staining methods with excellent mass spectrometry compatibility are coomassie brilliant blue (CBB) or fluorescent dyes. In this study, an implementation of 'blue silver' colloidal CBB staining, characterized by high sensitivity and immediate low background, is discussed. The sensitivity of classical, colloidal and 'blue silver' CBB staining methods was compared on monodimensional and 2-DE gels. The implementation of the 'blue silver' method performs better, provided the physical state of the micelles is respected. An example of a 2-DE of human urine treated with combinatorial peptide ligand libraries demonstrates that implemented 'blue silver' can evidence the complexity of the sample.

  15. Wispy Blue Clouds Over Mars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1997-01-01

    These are more wispy blue clouds from Sol 39 as seen by the Imager for Mars Pathfinder (IMP). The bright clouds near the bottom are about 10 degrees above the horizon. The clouds are believed to be at an altitude of 10 to 15 km, and are thought to be made of small water ice particles. The picture was taken about 40 minutes before sunrise.

    Mars Pathfinder is the second in NASA's Discovery program of low-cost spacecraft with highly focused science goals. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA, developed and manages the Mars Pathfinder mission for NASA's Office of Space Science, Washington, D.C. JPL is a division of the California Institute of Technology (Caltech). The Imager for Mars Pathfinder (IMP) was developed by the University of Arizona Lunar and Planetary Laboratory under contract to JPL. Peter Smith is the Principal Investigator.

  16. Long-persistence blue phosphors

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Yen, William M. (Inventor); Jia, Weiyi (Inventor); Lu, Lizhu (Inventor); Yuan, Huabiao (Inventor)

    2000-01-01

    This invention relates to phosphors including long-persistence blue phosphors. Phosphors of the invention are represented by the general formula: MO . mAl.sub.2 O.sub.3 :Eu.sup.2+,R.sup.3+ wherein m is a number ranging from about 1.6 to about 2.2, M is Sr or a combination of Sr with Ca and Ba or both, R.sup.3+ is a trivalent metal ion or trivalent Bi or a mixture of these trivalent ions, Eu.sup.2+ is present at a level up to about 5 mol % of M, and R.sup.3+ is present at a level up to about 5 mol % of M. Phosphors of this invention include powders, ceramics, single crystals and single crystal fibers. A method of manufacturing improved phosphors and a method of manufacturing single crystal phosphors are also provided.

  17. Biparental incubation in the chestnut-vented tit-babbler Parisoma subcaeruleum: Mates devote equal time, but males keep eggs warmer

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Auer, S.K.; Bassar, R.D.; Martin, T.E.

    2007-01-01

    Biparental care in birds is less common during incubation than in other nesting stages. Males share in incubating eggs in a minority of bird species, and male effort is generally thought to be lower than females when sharing does occur. However, male assistance and incubation efficacy is poorly studied in such species. We examined sex differences in incubation effort in 12 pairs of a species with biparental incubation, the chestnut-vented tit-babbler Parisoma subcaeruleum. Males and females did not differ in the amount of time spent incubating during the day, time of day spent incubating, nor in their ability to rewarm eggs. Yet, males consistently maintained eggs at higher temperatures than their female partners, despite the absence of a brood patch. ?? Journal of Avian Biology.

  18. Combined epigenetic and intraspecific variation of the DRD4 and SERT genes influence novelty seeking behavior in great tit Parus major

    PubMed Central

    Riyahi, Sepand; Sánchez-Delgado, Marta; Calafell, Francesc; Monk, David; Senar, Juan Carlos

    2015-01-01

    DNA methylation is one of the main epigenetic mechanisms that can regulate gene expression and is an important means for creating phenotypic variation. In the present study, we performed methylation profiling of 2 candidate genes for personality traits, namely DRD4 and SERT, in the great tit Parus major to ascertain whether personality traits and behavior within different habitats have evolved with the aid of epigenetic variation. We applied bisulphite PCR and strand-specific sequencing to determine the methylation profile of the CpG dinucleotides in the DRD4 and SERT promoters and also in the CpG island overlapping DRD4 exon 3. Furthermore, we performed pyrosequencing to quantify the total methylation levels at each CpG location. Our results indicated that methylation was ∼1–4% higher in urban than in forest birds, for all loci and tissues analyzed, suggesting that this epigenetic modification is influenced by environmental conditions. Screening of genomic DNA sequence revealed that the SERT promoter is CpG poor region. The methylation at a single CpG dinucleotide located 288 bp from the transcription start site was related to exploration score in urban birds. In addition, the genotypes of the SERT polymorphism SNP234 located within the minimal promoter were significantly correlated with novelty seeking behavior in captivity, with the allele increasing this behavior being more frequent in urban birds. As a conclusion, it seems that both genetic and methylation variability of the SERT gene have an important role in shaping personality traits in great tits, whereas genetic and methylation variation at the DRD4 gene is not strongly involved in behavior and personality traits. PMID:25933062

  19. Profound Climatic Effects on Two East Asian Black-Throated Tits (Ave: Aegithalidae), Revealed by Ecological Niche Models and Phylogeographic Analysis

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Wenjuan; Lin, Congtian; Gao, Bin; Yang, Xiaojun; Zhang, Zhengwang; Lei, Fumin

    2011-01-01

    Although a number of studies have assessed the effects of geological and climatic changes on species distributions in East Asian, we still have limited knowledge of how these changes have impacted avian species in south-western and southern China. Here, we aim to study paleo-climatic effects on an East Asian bird, two subspecies of black-throated tit (A. c. talifuensis–concinnus) with the combined analysis of phylogeography and Ecological Niche Models (ENMs). We sequenced three mitochondrial DNA markers from 32 populations (203 individuals) and used phylogenetic inferences to reconstruct the intra-specific relationships among haplotypes. Population genetic analyses were undertaken to gain insight into the demographic history of these populations. We used ENMs to predict the distribution of target species during three periods; last inter-glacial (LIG), last glacial maximum (LGM) and present. We found three highly supported, monophyletic MtDNA lineages and different historical demography among lineages in A. c. talifuensis–concinnus. These lineages formed a narrowly circumscribed intra-specific contact zone. The estimated times of lineage divergences were about 2.4 Ma and 0.32 Ma respectively. ENMs predictions were similar between present and LGM but substantially reduced during LIG. ENMs reconstructions and molecular dating suggest that Pleistocene climate changes had triggered and shaped the genetic structure of black-throated tit. Interestingly, in contrast to profound impacts of other glacial cycles, ENMs and phylogeographic analysis suggest that LGM had limited effect on these two subspecies. ENMs also suggest that Pleistocene climatic oscillations enabled the formation of the contact zone and thus support the refuge theory. PMID:22195047

  20. Effects of laying order and experimentally increased egg production on organic pollutants in eggs of a terrestrial songbird species, the great tit (Parus major).

    PubMed

    Van den Steen, Evi; Eens, Marcel; Jaspers, Veerle L B; Covaci, Adrian; Pinxten, Rianne

    2009-08-01

    In this study, concentrations and profiles of organic pollutants were investigated in a passerine species with a large clutch size, the great tit (Parus major). In the first clutches, mean egg concentrations decreased significantly in relation to the laying order from 3025+/-416 ng/g lw to 2267+/-386 ng/g lw for sum PCBs and from 989+/-339 ng/g lw to 695+/-320 ng/g lw for sum DDTs. Sum PBDE concentrations also decreased in relation to the laying order from 68+/-10 ng/g lw to 53+/-11 ng/g lw, but not significantly. Although laying order effects were found, variation in concentrations within clutches was smaller than among clutches. To further investigate the impact of laying large numbers of eggs on levels and profiles of organic pollutants, initiation of replacement clutches was experimentally induced. Mean sum PCB and sum PBDE concentrations were significantly lower in eggs of replacement clutches compared to first clutches. In addition, first clutches had a higher contribution of the higher chlorinated and more persistent PCB congeners, CB 170, 180 and 183, and a lower contribution of CB 52, 95 and 149 compared to replacement clutches. Because of the differences in concentrations and profiles between the first and replacement clutches, the combined use of eggs from both the first and replacement clutches for monitoring purposes is not recommended. In conclusion, we suggest that, due to the larger variation among clutches compared to the variation within clutches, one randomly collected great tit egg from a first clutch is useful as a biomonitoring tool for organic pollutants. To our knowledge, this is the first study in which the impact of an experimentally increased clutch size on the levels and profiles of contaminants in eggs has been investigated.

  1. Differences in culturable microbial communities in bird nestboxes according to orientation and influences on offspring quality in great tits (Parus major).

    PubMed

    Goodenough, Anne E; Stallwood, Bethan

    2012-05-01

    Although bird-microbial interactions have become a topic of increasing research, the influence of nest-site characteristics, such as cavity orientation, on nest microbial communities in free-living passerines has not, to our knowledge, been investigated. This is despite the possibility of microbial differences explaining non-random patterns in nest-site selection and offspring quality, such as those exhibited by great tits (Parus major). We swabbed great tit nestboxes that faced either south-southwest (180-269°) or north-northeast (0-89°). Overall, 28 bacterial species and 11 fungal species were isolated, but the culturable microbial community differed substantially between different orientations-indeed nestboxes could be classified to their orientation group with high accuracy using microbial data. Nestboxes facing south-southwest had a significantly higher fungal load (typically double) than those facing north-northeast due to a higher abundance of two species, Epicoccum purpurascens and Cladosporium cladosporioides. There was no relationship between total bacterial load and orientation, although the abundance of one species, Pseudomonas veronii, was significantly lower in south-southwest boxes. The abundance of the allergen E. purpurascens explained almost 20% of the variation in offspring quality, being significantly and inversely related to chick size (high loads associated with small, poor quality, chicks). Our results provide empirical evidence for a correlation between nestbox orientation and culturable microbial load and a further correlation between abundance of one species, E. purpurascens, and offspring quality. Thus, microbial load, which is itself influenced by nest cavity parameters, could be the proximate factor that influences nest-site choice through its effect on offspring quality (and thus, overall fecundity).

  2. Combined epigenetic and intraspecific variation of the DRD4 and SERT genes influence novelty seeking behavior in great tit Parus major.

    PubMed

    Riyahi, Sepand; Sánchez-Delgado, Marta; Calafell, Francesc; Monk, David; Senar, Juan Carlos

    2015-01-01

    DNA methylation is one of the main epigenetic mechanisms that can regulate gene expression and is an important means for creating phenotypic variation. In the present study, we performed methylation profiling of 2 candidate genes for personality traits, namely DRD4 and SERT, in the great tit Parus major to ascertain whether personality traits and behavior within different habitats have evolved with the aid of epigenetic variation. We applied bisulphite PCR and strand-specific sequencing to determine the methylation profile of the CpG dinucleotides in the DRD4 and SERT promoters and also in the CpG island overlapping DRD4 exon 3. Furthermore, we performed pyrosequencing to quantify the total methylation levels at each CpG location. Our results indicated that methylation was ∼1-4% higher in urban than in forest birds, for all loci and tissues analyzed, suggesting that this epigenetic modification is influenced by environmental conditions. Screening of genomic DNA sequence revealed that the SERT promoter is CpG poor region. The methylation at a single CpG dinucleotide located 288 bp from the transcription start site was related to exploration score in urban birds. In addition, the genotypes of the SERT polymorphism SNP234 located within the minimal promoter were significantly correlated with novelty seeking behavior in captivity, with the allele increasing this behavior being more frequent in urban birds. As a conclusion, it seems that both genetic and methylation variability of the SERT gene have an important role in shaping personality traits in great tits, whereas genetic and methylation variation at the DRD4 gene is not strongly involved in behavior and personality traits.

  3. Genetic characterization of Toxoplasma gondii from Qinghai vole, Plateau pika and Tibetan ground-tit on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, China.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Xiao-Xuan; Lou, Zhong-Zi; Huang, Si-Yang; Zhou, Dong-Hui; Jia, Wan-Zhong; Su, Chunlei; Zhu, Xing-Quan

    2013-10-09

    The distribution of genetic diversity of Toxoplasma gondii in wildlife is of interest to understand the transmission of this parasite in the environment. Limited information on T. gondii genotypes has been reported in wildlife in China. The objective of this study was to carry out the genetic characterization of T. gondii isolates from wild animals on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. Using PCR and multilocous polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism (PCR-RFLP) technology, we detected genetic diversity of T. gondii isolates from Qinghai vole, Plateau pika and Tibetan ground-tit in these regions. In total, 183 brain tissues of different wild animals, including 48 Qinghai vole (Microtus fuscus), 101 Plateau pika (Ochotona curzoniae) and 34 Tibetan ground-tit (Pseudopodoces humilis), were tested for T. gondii infection. 11 of these were found to be positive for the T. gondii B1 gene by PCR amplification. These positive DNA samples were typed at 10 genetic markers, including 9 nuclear loci (SAG1, 5'-and 3'-SAG2, alternative SAG2, BTUB, GRA6, L358, PK1, c22-8, c29-2), and an apicoplast locus Apico. Six were successfully genotyped at eight or more genetic loci, and were grouped to three distinct genotypes. Four samples belonged to ToxoDB Genotype #10 and the other two samples were identified as two new genotypes (http://toxodb.org/toxo/). To our knowledge, this is the first report of genetic typing of T. gondii isolates in wildlife on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, China. The results show that there is a potential risk for the transmission of this parasite through the wildlife in this region.

  4. Genetic characterization of Toxoplasma gondii from Qinghai vole, Plateau pika and Tibetan ground-tit on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, China

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background The distribution of genetic diversity of Toxoplasma gondii in wildlife is of interest to understand the transmission of this parasite in the environment. Limited information on T. gondii genotypes has been reported in wildlife in China. The objective of this study was to carry out the genetic characterization of T. gondii isolates from wild animals on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. Methods Using PCR and multilocous polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism (PCR-RFLP) technology, we detected genetic diversity of T. gondii isolates from Qinghai vole, Plateau pika and Tibetan ground-tit in these regions. Results In total, 183 brain tissues of different wild animals, including 48 Qinghai vole (Microtus fuscus), 101 Plateau pika (Ochotona curzoniae) and 34 Tibetan ground-tit (Pseudopodoces humilis), were tested for T. gondii infection. 11 of these were found to be positive for the T. gondii B1 gene by PCR amplification. These positive DNA samples were typed at 10 genetic markers, including 9 nuclear loci (SAG1, 5’-and 3’-SAG2, alternative SAG2, BTUB, GRA6, L358, PK1, c22-8, c29-2), and an apicoplast locus Apico. Six were successfully genotyped at eight or more genetic loci, and were grouped to three distinct genotypes. Four samples belonged to ToxoDB Genotype #10 and the other two samples were identified as two new genotypes (http://toxodb.org/toxo/). Conclusions To our knowledge, this is the first report of genetic typing of T. gondii isolates in wildlife on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, China. The results show that there is a potential risk for the transmission of this parasite through the wildlife in this region. PMID:24192458

  5. Blue jay attacks and consumes cedar waxwing

    Treesearch

    Daniel Saenz; Joshua B. Pierce

    2009-01-01

    Blue Jays (Cyanocitta cristata) are known to be common predators on bird nests (Wilcove 1985, Picman and Schriml 1994). In addition to predation on eggs and nestlings, Blue Jays occasionally prey on fledgling and adult birds (Johnson and Johnson 1976, Dubowy 1985). A majority of reports involve predation on House Sparrows (Passer domesticus) and other small birds (...

  6. Blue Skies, Coffee Creamer, and Rayleigh Scattering

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Liebl, Michael

    2010-01-01

    The first physical explanation of Earths blue sky was fashioned in 1871 by Lord Rayleigh. Many discussions of Rayleigh scattering and approaches to studying it both in and out of the classroom are available. Rayleigh scattering accounts for the blue color of the sky and the orange/red color of the Sun near sunset and sunrise, and a number of…

  7. Blue Skies, Coffee Creamer, and Rayleigh Scattering

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Liebl, Michael

    2010-01-01

    The first physical explanation of Earths blue sky was fashioned in 1871 by Lord Rayleigh. Many discussions of Rayleigh scattering and approaches to studying it both in and out of the classroom are available. Rayleigh scattering accounts for the blue color of the sky and the orange/red color of the Sun near sunset and sunrise, and a number of…

  8. Quirks of dye nomenclature. 1. Evans blue.

    PubMed

    Cooksey, C J

    2014-02-01

    The history, origin, identity, chemistry and use of Evans blue dye are described along with the first application to staining by Herbert McLean Evans in 1914. In the 1930s, the dye was marketed under the name, Evans blue dye, which was profoundly more acceptable than the ponderous chemical name.

  9. The secret of the blue fog

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Henrich, Oliver; Marenduzzo, Davide

    2017-04-01

    Why certain liquids turn blue when cooled was a mystery that stumped scientists for more than a century. As Oliver Henrich and Davide Marenduzzo explain, solving the secret of the “blue fog” proved to be an intellectual tour de force - and one that could lead to new types of display devices

  10. Blue collection bag after ileal diversion.

    PubMed

    Hildreth, T A; Cass, A S

    1978-02-01

    Five children with ileal diversions have shown asymptomatic blue staining of the urine collection bags. A tryptophan derivative (indican) in the urine that oxidizes to indigo blue on exposure to air is thought to be the cause of this benign transient phenomenon.

  11. Elementary theorems regarding blue isocurvature perturbations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chung, Daniel J. H.; Yoo, Hojin

    2015-04-01

    Blue CDM-photon isocurvature perturbations are attractive in terms of observability and may be typical from the perspective of generic mass relations in supergravity. We present and apply three theorems useful for blue isocurvature perturbations arising from linear spectator scalar fields. In the process, we give a more precise formula for the blue spectrum associated with the axion model of Kasuya and Kawasaki [Axion Isocurvature Fluctuations with Extremely Blue Spectrum, Phys. Rev. D 80, 023516 (2009).], which can in a parametric corner give a factor of O (10 ) correction. We explain how a conserved current associated with Peccei-Quinn symmetry plays a crucial role and explicitly plot several example spectra including the breaks in the spectra. We also resolve a little puzzle arising from a naive multiplication of isocurvature expression that sheds light on the gravitational imprint of the adiabatic perturbations on the fields responsible for blue isocurvature fluctuations.

  12. Featured Molecules: Ascorbic Acid and Methylene Blue

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Coleman, William F.; Wildman, Randall J.

    2003-05-01

    The WebWare molecules of the month for May are featured in several articles in this issue. "Arsenic: Not So Evil After All?" discusses the pharmaceutical uses of methylene blue and its development as the first synthetic drug used against a specific disease. The JCE Classroom Activity "Out of the Blue" and the article "Greening the Blue Bottle" feature methylene blue and ascorbic acid as two key ingredients in the formulation of the blue bottle. You can also see a colorful example of these two molecules in action on the cover. "Sailing on the 'C': A Vitamin Titration with a Twist" describes an experiment to determine the vitamin C (ascorbic acid) content of citrus fruits and challenges students, as eighteenth-century sea captains, to decide the best fruit to take on a long voyage. Fully manipulable (Chime) versions of these and other molecules are available at Only@JCE Online.

  13. 1. GENERAL VIEW OF ENTRANCE TO BLUE RIDGE TUNNEL (LEFT) ...

    Library of Congress Historic Buildings Survey, Historic Engineering Record, Historic Landscapes Survey

    1. GENERAL VIEW OF ENTRANCE TO BLUE RIDGE TUNNEL (LEFT) FROM SOUTHEAST. ORIGINAL BLUE RIDGE R.R. (CROZET) TUNNEL IS VISIBLE AT RIGHT. - Chesapeake & Ohio Railroad, Blue Ridge Tunnel, Highway 250 at Rockfish Gap, Afton, Nelson County, VA

  14. Chicago`s new blue period

    SciTech Connect

    Petrush, L.; White, K.M.

    1996-05-01

    After about six years of testing in a handful of various-sized cities, the jury is apparently still out on blue-bag recycling programs. Out of six major trial programs tracked since 1990, three are still in existence, two have been phased out, and the other will be phased out this year--blue bags 3, rigid bins 3. Several smaller pilot programs have also come and gone with equally mixed results. Chicago, the nation`s third-largest city, launched a multi-million-dollar blue-bag program for all single-family residents last fall, after five years of disagreement and delay. After a full year of collecting commercial and multi-family residential recyclables with blue bags--reaching a 27% recycling rate for the commercial waste stream--the program was spread to 750,000 households in Chicago. Even before it began, however, the Chicago program ignited long-smoldering arguments over blue bags. Program critics began questioning the veracity of the city`s recycling figures, and complained of high levels of contamination and high costs associated with the program. At the same time, blue-bag supporters promoted the long-term cost savings over providing rigid bins, and noted that commingling materials in one blue bag would be easier for residents than separating recyclables in bins, thus potentially increasing participation.

  15. Can greening of aquaculture sequester blue carbon?

    PubMed

    Ahmed, Nesar; Bunting, Stuart W; Glaser, Marion; Flaherty, Mark S; Diana, James S

    2016-11-15

    Globally, blue carbon (i.e., carbon in coastal and marine ecosystems) emissions have been seriously augmented due to the devastating effects of anthropogenic pressures on coastal ecosystems including mangrove swamps, salt marshes, and seagrass meadows. The greening of aquaculture, however, including an ecosystem approach to Integrated Aquaculture-Agriculture (IAA) and Integrated Multi-Trophic Aquaculture (IMTA) could play a significant role in reversing this trend, enhancing coastal ecosystems, and sequestering blue carbon. Ponds within IAA farming systems sequester more carbon per unit area than conventional fish ponds, natural lakes, and inland seas. The translocation of shrimp culture from mangrove swamps to offshore IMTA could reduce mangrove loss, reverse blue carbon emissions, and in turn increase storage of blue carbon through restoration of mangroves. Moreover, offshore IMTA may create a barrier to trawl fishing which in turn could help restore seagrasses and further enhance blue carbon sequestration. Seaweed and shellfish culture within IMTA could also help to sequester more blue carbon. The greening of aquaculture could face several challenges that need to be addressed in order to realize substantial benefits from enhanced blue carbon sequestration and eventually contribute to global climate change mitigation.

  16. Skin discoloration with blue food coloring.

    PubMed

    Zillich, A J; Kuhn, R J; Petersen, T J

    2000-01-01

    To describe a pediatric patient who developed a clinical cyanotic appearance after receiving an excessive amount of blue food coloring. An 11-year-old white girl with cerebral palsy was admitted for unresolving aspiration pneumonia and dehydration. Antibiotics and intravenous fluids were administered. During the hospital course, enteral nutrition containing blue food coloring was also administered. Twelve hours after the start of enteral nutrition, the patient appeared cyanotic despite a regular respiratory rate and normal oxygen saturation. The pediatric code response team was called. Enteral nutrition was stopped and then restarted without blue food coloring. Over the next 24 hours, the cyanotic appearance resolved and no further complications developed. At our institution, blue food coloring is used with enteral nutrition for detecting aspiration of stomach contents. The dietary department supplies food coloring to each nursing unit in pint-sized medicine bottles. Nurses place an unstandardized amount of blue food coloring into each enteral nutrition bag. This child received an unspecified amount of FD&C Blue No. 1 food coloring. No toxicity studies exist for acute or human ingestion, but the National Academy of Sciences lists 363 mg/d of FD&C Blue No. 1 as a safe level for humans. We estimated this child ingested 780-3,940 mg of dye over a 12-hour period. This is the first known report of an adverse effect from blue food coloring. To prevent similar occurrences within our institution, the blue food coloring for tube feedings will be dispensed by the pharmacy department in standardized units.

  17. Neptune Blue-green Atmosphere

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2000-02-16

    Neptune's blue-green atmosphere is shown in greater detail than ever before by the Voyager 2 spacecraft as it rapidly approaches its encounter with the giant planet. This color image, produced from a distance of about 16 million kilometers, shows several complex and puzzling atmospheric features. The Great Dark Spot (GDS) seen at the center is about 13,000 km by 6,600 km in size -- as large along its longer dimension as the Earth. The bright, wispy "cirrus-type" clouds seen hovering in the vicinity of the GDS are higher in altitude than the dark material of unknown origin which defines its boundaries. A thin veil often fills part of the GDS interior, as seen on the image. The bright cloud at the southern (lower) edge of the GDS measures about 1,000 km in its north-south extent. The small, bright cloud below the GDS, dubbed the "scooter," rotates faster than the GDS, gaining about 30 degrees eastward (toward the right) in longitude every rotation. Bright streaks of cloud at the latitude of the GDS, the small clouds overlying it, and a dimly visible dark protrusion at its western end are examples of dynamic weather patterns on Neptune, which can change significantly on time scales of one rotation (about 18 hours). https://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA02245

  18. [Biodegradation of reactive turquoise blue].

    PubMed

    Fu, L; Wen, X; Xu, L; Qian, Y

    2001-07-01

    In this study, the anaerobic degradation and the aerobic degradation of a kind of reactive dye--Reactive Turquoise Blue(RTB) were compared. The results proved that anaerobic sludge could only decompose RTB in the presence of glucose while aerobic sludge decomposed RTB with or without the presence of glucose (RTB of 20 mg/L was reduced by 37.4% through 24 hours' aerobic treatment with RTB as sole carbon source). The enhancement of glucose concentration was beneficial for both anaerobic and aerobic degradation of RTB: the anaerobic and the aerobic removal efficiencies were respectively 81.5% and 73.6% with RTB of 20 mg/L and glucose of 1200 mg/L. In the influent RTB concentration also had influence on the activity of anaerobic and aerobic microorganisms. When glucose concentration was 800 mg/L or 1200 mg/L and RTB concentration was 20 mg/L to 100 mg/L, anaerobic removal efficiency of RTB was higher than aerobic removal efficiency by 4.9%-27.2%, which meant that anaerobic bacteria is more powerful than aerobic bacteria in terms of RTB removal.

  19. Blue jays nest in an unusual structure

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Muths, Erin L.; Lyons, Curtis P.; Sedgwick, James A.

    2007-01-01

    We describe a successful Blue Jay (Cyanocitta cristata) nest in an unusual structure on the side of a building.  The nest was located near the edge of the species' range along the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains in Colorado.  The nest was completely obvious, suggesting that the structure itself provided adequate cover and sercurity for the jays.  Blue Jays appear to be declining in some areas of the United States such as the Southeast.  Structures such as the one we describe may be more useful in attracting Blue Jays than the nesting platforms available commercially.

  20. Benign blue naevus of the lungs.

    PubMed

    Pigac, Biserka; Marić, Svjetlana; Mašić, Silvija

    2012-02-01

    Blue naevus is a dark blue, gray or black lesion consisted of dermal melanocytes and usually found on face, scalp, or on the dorsum of hands and feet. Two well defined histologic and clinical variants, designated as "common" and "cellular", have been recognised. An unusual case of accidentally detected common blue naevus of the lungs has been reported. The specimen of lung tissue was taken during autopsy of a 62-year old woman who died of myocardial infarction. Microscopic analysis revealed the area containing melanocytes filled with melanin pigment.

  1. Sleep deprivation and the postnatal blues.

    PubMed

    Wilkie, G; Shapiro, C M

    1992-05-01

    This prospective study of 63 women was designed to investigate the relationship between sleep disruption prior to the birth, during labour and in the early postpartum period and the subsequent development of the postnatal blues. The results from this preliminary study suggest that two factors: (a) a night-time labour; and (b) a history of sleep disruption in the latter stages of pregnancy, may have aetiological importance in the development of postnatal blues. There was little evidence from this study to suggest that sleep disruption on the nights following the birth, the third sleep factor investigated, had any impact on the expression of the blues.

  2. High-Luminosity Blue and Blue-Green Gallium Nitride Light-Emitting Diodes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Morkoc, H.; Mohammad, S. N.

    1995-01-01

    Compact and efficient sources of blue light for full color display applications and lighting eluded and tantalized researchers for many years. Semiconductor light sources are attractive owing to their reliability and amenability to mass manufacture. However, large band gaps are required to achieve blue color. A class of compound semiconductors formed by metal nitrides, GaN and its allied compounds AlGaN and InGaN, exhibits properties well suited for not only blue and blue-green emitters, but also for ultraviolet emitters and detectors. What thwarted engineers and scientists from fabricating useful devices from these materials in the past was the poor quality of material and lack of p-type doping. Both of these obstacles have recently been overcome to the point where high-luminosity blue and blue-green light-emitting diodes are now available in the marketplace.

  3. Photomorphogenesis: Plants Feel Blue in the Shade.

    PubMed

    Franklin, Keara A

    2016-12-19

    Plants integrate multiple environmental signals to detect and avoid shading from neighbouring vegetation. Two new studies highlight the importance of blue light in the regulation of stem elongation and bending during shade escape.

  4. Blue Ribbon Panel 2016 Video Playlist

    Cancer.gov

    Blue Ribbon Panel members discuss recommendations from the panel report that was presented to the National Cancer Advisory Board. The playlist includes an overview video and 10 videos on the specific recommendations.

  5. Blue Ribbon Commission Tour of Hanford Site

    SciTech Connect

    Paul Saueressig

    2010-07-14

    The Blue Ribbon Commission on America's Nuclear Future toured the Department of Energy's Hanford Site on July 14, 2010. Commission members, invited guests, and members of the public visited facilities that store high-level, radioactive waste.

  6. Blue Ribbon Commission Tour of Hanford Site

    ScienceCinema

    Paul Saueressig

    2016-07-12

    The Blue Ribbon Commission on America's Nuclear Future toured the Department of Energy's Hanford Site on July 14, 2010. Commission members, invited guests, and members of the public visited facilities that store high-level, radioactive waste.

  7. Blue Ribbon Panel Report Cover Letter

    Cancer.gov

    The letter from NCI Acting Director Douglas R. Lowy, M.D., to Vice President Biden that accompanied the Blue Ribbon Panel final report, thanking the Vice President for his commitment to and leadership of the Cancer Moonshot.

  8. Blue Origin Tests BE-3 Engine

    NASA Image and Video Library

    Blue Origin successfully fires the thrust chamber assembly for its new 100,000 pound thrust BE-3 liquid oxygen, liquid hydrogen rocket engine. As part of the company's Reusable Booster System (RBS)...

  9. Pulmonary involvement in sea-blue histiocytosis.

    PubMed

    Günay, Ersin; Fırat Güven, Selma; Aktaş, Zafer; Sipit, Tuğrul; Ağaçkıran, Yetkin; Ertürk, Hakan

    2012-01-01

    Sea-blue histiocytosis is one of the six types of Niemann-Pick disease. It is characterized by childhood onset of hepatosplenomegaly, lack of neurological involvement and diminished sphingomyelinase activity. Pulmonary system is rarely involved sea-blue histiocytosis. In this paper, we present a 39-years-old male who had previously diagnosed as sea-blue histiocytosis at the age of 15. He was admitted to our clinic due to productive cough, hemoptysis, fever and weight loss. His symptoms did not resolve with the antibiotic treatment and further investigations revealed pulmonary involvement of sea-blue histiocytosis. After diagnostic bronchoalveolar lavage, his symptoms were improved, interestingly. This rare entity was discussed with literature survey.

  10. Phototherapy with turquoise versus blue light

    PubMed Central

    Ebbesen, F; Agati, G; Pratesi, R

    2003-01-01

    Preterm jaundiced infants were treated by phototherapy with a new turquoise fluorescent lamp. This was more effective in reducing plasma total bilirubin in relation to light irradiance than the ubiquitously used blue fluorescent lamp. PMID:12937051

  11. Blue Origin Conducts Pad Escape Test

    NASA Image and Video Library

    Blue Origin conducted a successful pad escape test Oct. 19 at the company's West Texas launch site, firing its pusher escape motor and launching a full-scale suborbital crew capsule from a simulate...

  12. Phototherapy with turquoise versus blue light.

    PubMed

    Ebbesen, F; Agati, G; Pratesi, R

    2003-09-01

    Preterm jaundiced infants were treated by phototherapy with a new turquoise fluorescent lamp. This was more effective in reducing plasma total bilirubin in relation to light irradiance than the ubiquitously used blue fluorescent lamp.

  13. STRIATAL NEUROPROTECTION WITH METHYLENE BLUE

    PubMed Central

    Rojas, Julio C.; Simola, Nicola; Kermath, Bailey A.; Kane, Jacqueline R.; Schallert, Timothy; Gonzalez-Lima, F.

    2009-01-01

    Recent literature indicates that low-dose methylene blue (MB), an autoxidizable dye with powerful antioxidant and metabolic enhancing properties, might prevent neurotoxin-induced neural damage and associated functional deficits. This study evaluated whether local MB may counteract the anatomical and functional effects of the intrastriatal infusion of the neurotoxin rotenone in the rat. To this end, stereological analyses of striatal lesion volumes were performed and changes in oxidative energy metabolism in the striatum and related motor regions were mapped using cytochrome oxidase histochemistry. The influence of MB on striatal levels of oxidative stress induced by rotenone was determined, and behavioral tests were used to investigate the effect of unilateral MB co-administration on motor asymmetry. Rotenone induced large anatomical lesions resembling “metabolic strokes”, whose size was greatly reduced in MB-treated rats. Moreover, MB prevented the decrease in cytochrome oxidase activity and the perilesional increase in oxidative stress associated with rotenone infusion in the striatum. MB also prevented the indirect effects of the rotenone-induced lesion on cytochrome oxidase activity in related motor regions, such as the striatal regions rostral and caudal to the lesion, the substantia nigra compacta and reticulata, and the pedunculopontine nucleus. At a network level, MB maintained a global strengthening of functional connectivity in basal ganglia-thalamocortical motor circuits, as opposed to the functional decoupling observed in rotenone-alone subjects. Finally, MB partially prevented the behavioral sensorimotor asymmetries elicited by rotenone. These results are consistent with protective effects of MB against neurotoxic damage in the brain parenchyma. This study provides the first demonstration of the anatomical, metabolic and behavioral neuroprotective effects of MB in the striatum in vivo, and supports the notion that MB could be a valuable

  14. Orange Is the New Blue

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2015-04-16

    Measurements from NASA MESSENGER MLA instrument during the spacecraft greater than four-year orbital mission have mapped the topography of Mercury northern hemisphere in great detail. This enhanced color mosaic shows (from left to right) Munch (61 km/38 mi.), Sander (52 km/32 mi.), and Poe (81 km/50 mi.) craters, which lie in the northwest portion of the Caloris basin. The smooth volcanic plains that fill the Caloris basin appear orange in this image. All three craters are superposed on these volcanic plains and have excavated low-reflectance material, which appears blue in this image, from the subsurface. Hollows, typically associated with low-reflectance material, dot the rims of Munch and Poe and cover the floor of Sander. These images were acquired as high-resolution targeted color observations. Targeted color observations are images of a small area on Mercury's surface at resolutions higher than the 1-kilometer/pixel 8-color base map. During MESSENGER's one-year primary mission, hundreds of targeted color observations were obtained. During MESSENGER's extended mission, high-resolution targeted color observations are more rare, as the 3-color base map is covering Mercury's northern hemisphere with the highest-resolution color images that are possible. Date acquired: July 03, 2011, July 04, 2011 Image Mission Elapsed Time (MET): 218204186, 218204190, 218204194, 218246487, 218246491, 218246495 Image ID: 458397, 458398, 458399, 460433, 460434, 460435 Instrument: Wide Angle Camera (WAC) of the Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS) Center Latitude: 42° N Center Longitude: 154° E Projection: Equirectangular Resolution: 239 meters/pixel Scale: Munch crater is approximately 61 km (38 mi.) in diameter Incidence Angle: 43°, 42° Emission Angle: 35°, 13° Phase Angle: 79°, 55° http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA19421

  15. Syphilis presenting as the 'blue toe syndrome'.

    PubMed

    Federman, D G; Valdivia, M; Kirsner, R S

    1994-05-09

    The abrupt development of cyanotic and painful toes, "the blue toe syndrome," has been attributed to a number of medical conditions. We describe a patient in which the workup for this condition failed to elucidate a typical cause. Skin biopsy, serologic findings, and response to treatment led to the diagnosis of secondary syphilis. Our experience indicates that secondary syphilis should be included in the differential diagnosis of patients presenting with the blue toe syndrome.

  16. Si-based blue light emitting diode

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Namavar, Fereydoon

    1994-05-01

    Phase 1 results demonstrated for the first time a strong, stable blue-green emission from C-implanted red-emitting porous silicon. The objective of Phase 1 was to obtain blue-green emission from porous Si structure either by increasing the bandgap of the substrate by growth of Si-C random alloys prior to forming nanostructures with quantum confined properties, or by increasing the confinement energy of red-emitting Si nanostructures. Porous structures fabricated from group 4 alloys epitaxially grown by chemical vapor deposition (CVD) resulted in an enhancement in light emission of about one order of magnitude after incorporation of a very small amount of carbon in the epitaxial grown films. Strong blue-green light emission was observed by the naked eye from C-implanted and annealed porous Si. Using AlGaAs as a reference, we observed that the intensity of blue-green emission was one order of magnitude higher than that of the original red-emitting porous Si. Catholuminescence measurements of our samples performed at the University of Colorado show blue emission at 1.80 eV and 2.80 eV. Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectra of a blue-green emitting porous structure shows an IR absorption line identical to that of SiC and electron diffraction studies clearly show reflections corresponding to beta-SiC. Phase 1 results indicate that blue-green light is from SiC nanostructures with quantum confined properties. This material may be used to fabricate blue light-emitting Si-based devices which can be easily integrated into Si technology.

  17. Phytochemistry: structure of the blue cornflower pigment.

    PubMed

    Shiono, Masaaki; Matsugaki, Naohiro; Takeda, Kosaku

    2005-08-11

    The same anthocyanin pigment makes roses red but cornflowers blue, a phenomenon that has so far not been entirely explained. Here we describe the X-ray crystal structure of the cornflower pigment, which reveals that its blue colour arises from a complex of six molecules each of anthocyanin and flavone, with one ferric iron, one magnesium and two calcium ions. We believe that this tetrametal complex may represent a previously undiscovered type of supermolecular pigment.

  18. Blue-white screening liquid can eliminate false positives in blue-white colony screening.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Y S

    2016-06-10

    Although blue-white screening based on α-complementation has been widely used in the screening of genetically modified bacteria, only a single blue-white screening is typically not enough to eliminate false positives. Sometimes, a secondary blue-white screening for the target colonies is required. In this study, two methods were used to investigate the feasibility of secondary blue-white screening for target colonies on lysogeny broth (LB)-ampicillin agar plates. The first method consisted of covering the target colonies grown on LB-ampicillin plate medium with a sterilized filter paper soaked in a solution of 60 μL 20 mg/mL X-gal and 8 μL 20% IPTG. The second method was that blue and white colonies were randomly selected from the blue-white screening plate medium and then re-streaked onto the blue-white screening medium. The colonies were then treated by two methods and incubated at 37°C for 12 h. The results showed that some of the white colonies treated by the two methods showed results similar to the colonies grown on the blue-white screening medium. These results indicate that the target colonies grown on blue-white screening medium can still be used to carry out a secondary blue-white screening. Thus, a blue-white screening liquid was successfully developed. Using the blue-white screening liquid, false positives can be eliminated directly based on the color of the target colonies. This will greatly improve the screening efficiency of positive clones and has important practical implications.

  19. Eye damage control by reduced blue illumination.

    PubMed

    Ueda, Toshihiko; Nakanishi-Ueda, Takako; Yasuhara, Hajime; Koide, Ryohei; Dawson, William W

    2009-12-01

    The aim of this study was to demonstrate that a blue light and ultraviolet cut-off filter (blue filter) could reduce short-wavelength retina/RPE damage threshold by a continuous spectrum source. Sixteen normal eyes of two rhesus monkeys and six cynomolgus monkeys were subjected to macular irradiation of 20, 24, 27.4, 30, 35, 45, 50 and 60 J/cm(2) energy densities. The values of energy density were measured before the blue filter. Lesions were measured before and at 2 and 30 days after irradiation of a 2.8 mm diameter region within the macular arcade. Measures were fundoscopy, fluorescein angiography and long wavelength scanning by the Heidelberg Retinal Tomograph (HRT) unit. The lesions, which were produced, were scored and compared to irradiant energy density of the blue LED (NSPB500S, Nichia, Tokushima, Japan). The exposure at the 20 J/cm(2) produced no detectable result at 2 or 30 days. Exposure at 35 J/cm(2) showed definite lesion production without blue filter. With the filter added there was one indication of minor change. At 60 J/cm(2) there was extensive heavy, enduring damage without the filter and with the filter damage was present but was significantly attenuated. These results strongly support the conclusion that the blue filter attenuation reduces the frequency of damage by exposure. This experimental system is a useful model for normal human eye aging and continuous spectrum environment irradiance.

  20. Vibrio azureus emits blue-shifted light via an accessory blue fluorescent protein.

    PubMed

    Yoshizawa, Susumu; Karatani, Hajime; Wada, Minoru; Kogure, Kazuhiro

    2012-04-01

    Luminous marine bacteria usually emit bluish-green light with a peak emission wavelength (λ(max) ) at about 490 nm. Some species belonging to the genus Photobacterium are exceptions, producing an accessory blue fluorescent protein (lumazine protein: LumP) that causes a blue shift, from λ(max)  ≈ 490 to λ(max)  ≈ 476 nm. However, the incidence of blue-shifted light emission or the presence of accessory fluorescent proteins in bacteria of the genus Vibrio has never been reported. From our spectral analysis of light emitted by 16 luminous strains of the genus Vibrio, it was revealed that most strains of Vibrio azureus emit a blue-shifted light with a peak at approximately 472 nm, whereas other Vibrio strains emit light with a peak at around 482 nm. Therefore, we investigated the mechanism underlying this blue shift in V. azureus NBRC 104587(T) . Here, we describe the blue-shifted light emission spectra and the isolation of a blue fluorescent protein. Intracellular protein analyses showed that this strain had a blue fluorescent protein (that we termed VA-BFP), the fluorescent spectrum of which was almost identical to that of the in vivo light emission spectrum of the strain. This result strongly suggested that VA-BFP was responsible for the blue-shifted light emission of V. azureus.

  1. A model approach to project the start of egg laying of Great Tit ( Parus major L.) in response to climate change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chmielewski, Frank-M.; Blümel, Klaus; Scherbaum-Heberer, Carina; Koppmann-Rumpf, Bettina; Schmidt, Karl-Heinz

    2013-03-01

    The aim of this study was to select a phenological model that is able to calculate the beginning of egg laying of Great Tit ( Parus major) for both current and future climate conditions. Four models (M1-M4) were optimised on long-term phenological observations from the Ecological Research Centre Schlüchtern (Hessen/Germany). Model M1 was a common thermal time model that accumulates growing degree days (GDD) on an optimised starting date t 1. Since egg laying of Great Tit is influenced not only by air temperature but also by photoperiod, model M1 was extended by a daylength term to give M2. The other two models, M3 and M4, correspond to M1 and M2, but t 1 was intentionally set to 1 January, in order to consider already rising temperatures at the beginning of the year. A comparison of the four models led to following results: model M1 had a relatively high root mean square error at verification (RMSEver) of more than 4 days and can be used only to calculate the start of egg laying for current climate conditions because of the relatively late starting date for GDD calculation. The model failed completely if the starting date was set to 1 January (M3). Consideration of a daylength term in models M2 and M4 improved the performance of both models strongly (RMSEver of only 3 days or less), increased the credibility of parameter estimation, and was a precondition to calculate reliable projections in the timing of egg laying in birds for the future. These results confirm that the start of egg laying of Great Tit is influenced not only by air temperature, but also by photoperiod. Although models M2 and M4 both provide comparably good results for current climate conditions, we recommend model M4-with a starting date of temperature accumulation on 1 January-for calculating possible future shifts in the commencement of egg laying. Our regional projections in the start of egg laying, based on five regional climate models (RCMs: REMO-UBA, ECHAM5-CLM, HadCM3-CLM, WETTREG-0

  2. A model approach to project the start of egg laying of Great Tit (Parus major L.) in response to climate change.

    PubMed

    Chmielewski, Frank-M; Blümel, Klaus; Scherbaum-Heberer, Carina; Koppmann-Rumpf, Bettina; Schmidt, Karl-Heinz

    2013-03-01

    The aim of this study was to select a phenological model that is able to calculate the beginning of egg laying of Great Tit (Parus major) for both current and future climate conditions. Four models (M1-M4) were optimised on long-term phenological observations from the Ecological Research Centre Schlüchtern (Hessen/Germany). Model M1 was a common thermal time model that accumulates growing degree days (GDD) on an optimised starting date t (1). Since egg laying of Great Tit is influenced not only by air temperature but also by photoperiod, model M1 was extended by a daylength term to give M2. The other two models, M3 and M4, correspond to M1 and M2, but t (1) was intentionally set to 1 January, in order to consider already rising temperatures at the beginning of the year. A comparison of the four models led to following results: model M1 had a relatively high root mean square error at verification (RMSE(ver)) of more than 4 days and can be used only to calculate the start of egg laying for current climate conditions because of the relatively late starting date for GDD calculation. The model failed completely if the starting date was set to 1 January (M3). Consideration of a daylength term in models M2 and M4 improved the performance of both models strongly (RMSE(ver) of only 3 days or less), increased the credibility of parameter estimation, and was a precondition to calculate reliable projections in the timing of egg laying in birds for the future. These results confirm that the start of egg laying of Great Tit is influenced not only by air temperature, but also by photoperiod. Although models M2 and M4 both provide comparably good results for current climate conditions, we recommend model M4-with a starting date of temperature accumulation on 1 January-for calculating possible future shifts in the commencement of egg laying. Our regional projections in the start of egg laying, based on five regional climate models (RCMs: REMO-UBA, ECHAM5-CLM, HadCM3-CLM, WETTREG-0

  3. Opposing effects on glutathione and reactive oxygen metabolites of sex, habitat, and spring date, but no effect of increased breeding density in great tits (Parus major).

    PubMed

    Isaksson, Caroline

    2013-08-01

    Oxidative stress (i.e., more oxidants than antioxidants) has been proposed as a proximate currency in life-history trade-offs, which if studied in an ecological setting allow a more realistic perspective on the origin and evolution of trade-offs. Therefore, the aim here was to investigate the impact of ecological and individual factors for variation in markers of oxidative stress using both experimental and correlational data. Total glutathione (tGSH), oxidized glutathione (GSSG), plasma antioxidant capacity (OXY), and plasma-reactive oxygen metabolites (ROM) were measured in more than 700 breeding great tits (Parus major). The main results revealed a pronounced sex difference, with females having lower ROM and OXY, but higher tGSH compared with males. In addition, birds breeding in the evergreen areas had higher tGSH compared with those in the deciduous habitat, but the experimentally manipulated breeding density had no significant effect on any of the redox markers. Independent of the sex differences, the larger the reproductive investment the lower the ROM of both males and females. Taken together, the extracellular markers - ROM and OXY - revealed similar results and were highly correlated. Interestingly, the direction of their effects was in the opposite direction to the endogenously synthesized tGSH and GSSG. This highlights the need to combine extracellular markers with endogenously synthesized antioxidants to understand its implications for the origin and evolution of trade-offs in an ecological setting. Oxidative stress has been proposed as a proximate currency in life-history trade-offs, which if studied in an ecological setting allow a more realistic perspective on the origin and evolution of trade-offs. Here multiple markers of oxidative stress were analysed in wild great tits. The results reveal that the endogenously synthesized antioxidant glutathione and markers of plasma oxidative stress are affected in opposing directions with regard to sex

  4. Comparison of Alcian Blue, Trypan Blue, and Toluidine Blue for Visualization of the Primo Vascular System Floating in Lymph Ducts

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Da-Un; Han, Jae Won; Jung, Sharon Jiyoon; Lee, Seung Hwan; Cha, Richard; Chang, Byung-Soo

    2015-01-01

    The primo vascular system (PVS), floating in lymph ducts, was too transparent to be observed by using a stereomicroscope. It was only detectable with the aid of staining dyes, for instance, Alcian blue, which was injected into the lymph nodes. Some dyes were absorbed preferentially by the PVS than the lymph wall. It remains a standing problem to know what dyes are absorbed better by the PVS than the lymph walls. Such information would be useful to unravel the biochemical properties of the PVS that are badly in need for obtaining large amount of PVS specimens. In the current work we tried two other familiar dyes which were used in PVS research before. We found that Trypan blue and toluidine blue did not visualize the PVS. Trypan blue was cleared by the natural washing. Toluidine blue did not stain the PVS, but it did leave stained spots in the lymph wall and its surrounding tissues, and it leaked out of the lymph wall to stain surrounding connective tissues. These completely different behaviors of the three dyes were found for the first time in the current work and provide valuable information to elucidate the mechanism through which some special dyes stained the PVS preferentially compared to the lymphatic wall. PMID:26379749

  5. Comparison of Alcian Blue, Trypan Blue, and Toluidine Blue for Visualization of the Primo Vascular System Floating in Lymph Ducts.

    PubMed

    Kim, Da-Un; Han, Jae Won; Jung, Sharon Jiyoon; Lee, Seung Hwan; Cha, Richard; Chang, Byung-Soo; Soh, Kwang-Sup

    2015-01-01

    The primo vascular system (PVS), floating in lymph ducts, was too transparent to be observed by using a stereomicroscope. It was only detectable with the aid of staining dyes, for instance, Alcian blue, which was injected into the lymph nodes. Some dyes were absorbed preferentially by the PVS than the lymph wall. It remains a standing problem to know what dyes are absorbed better by the PVS than the lymph walls. Such information would be useful to unravel the biochemical properties of the PVS that are badly in need for obtaining large amount of PVS specimens. In the current work we tried two other familiar dyes which were used in PVS research before. We found that Trypan blue and toluidine blue did not visualize the PVS. Trypan blue was cleared by the natural washing. Toluidine blue did not stain the PVS, but it did leave stained spots in the lymph wall and its surrounding tissues, and it leaked out of the lymph wall to stain surrounding connective tissues. These completely different behaviors of the three dyes were found for the first time in the current work and provide valuable information to elucidate the mechanism through which some special dyes stained the PVS preferentially compared to the lymphatic wall.

  6. Allergic contact dermatitis caused by the blue pigment VINAMON® Blue BX FW - a phthalocyanine blue in a vinyl glove.

    PubMed

    Weimann, Stefanie; Skudlik, Christoph; John, Swen Malte

    2010-10-01

    A 44-year-old metalworker suffered from severe hand eczema in spite of treatment with corticosteroid ointments. He had been using protective cotton gloves with blue PVC anti-slip dots on the finger tips. On clinical examination, the backs of both hands were erythematous and thickened while the finger tips showed vesicles. There was a positive patch test reaction to the blue PVC dots of an unworn cotton glove at 72, 96, 120 hours. To identify the causative chemicals, we carried out further patch tests using ingredients of the glove and cupric sulfate. The patient reacted to the blue dye VYNAMON(®) Blue BX FW (PB 15) at two concentrations - 10% at 72 and 96 hours, and 50% at 48 and 72 hours. This dye is a very strong and brilliant blue with red-copper tones and resistant to fire and weathering. The cupric-phthalocyanine complexes are used as pigments in cosmetics (e. g. CI 74160, 74180, 74260). To the best of our knowledge, no allergic reactions to this dye have been described, particularly not in gloves.

  7. Variations on the "Blue-Bottle" Demonstration Using Food Items That Contain FD&C Blue #1

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Staiger, Felicia A.; Peterson, Joshua P.; Campbell, Dean J.

    2015-01-01

    Erioglaucine dye (FD&C Blue #1) can be used instead of methylene blue in the classic "blue-bottle" demonstration. Food items containing FD&C Blue #1 and reducing species such as sugars can therefore be used at the heart of this demonstration, which simply requires the addition of strong base such as sodium hydroxide lye.

  8. 21 CFR 133.184 - Roquefort cheese, sheep's milk blue-mold, and blue-mold cheese from sheep's milk.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-04-01

    ... 21 Food and Drugs 2 2013-04-01 2013-04-01 false Roquefort cheese, sheep's milk blue-mold, and blue-mold cheese from sheep's milk. 133.184 Section 133.184 Food and Drugs FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION..., sheep's milk blue-mold, and blue-mold cheese from sheep's milk. (a) Description. (1) Roquefort...

  9. 21 CFR 133.184 - Roquefort cheese, sheep's milk blue-mold, and blue-mold cheese from sheep's milk.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-04-01

    ... 21 Food and Drugs 2 2010-04-01 2010-04-01 false Roquefort cheese, sheep's milk blue-mold, and blue-mold cheese from sheep's milk. 133.184 Section 133.184 Food and Drugs FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION..., sheep's milk blue-mold, and blue-mold cheese from sheep's milk. (a) Description. (1) Roquefort...

  10. 21 CFR 133.184 - Roquefort cheese, sheep's milk blue-mold, and blue-mold cheese from sheep's milk.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-04-01

    ... 21 Food and Drugs 2 2011-04-01 2011-04-01 false Roquefort cheese, sheep's milk blue-mold, and blue-mold cheese from sheep's milk. 133.184 Section 133.184 Food and Drugs FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION..., sheep's milk blue-mold, and blue-mold cheese from sheep's milk. (a) Description. (1) Roquefort...

  11. 21 CFR 133.184 - Roquefort cheese, sheep's milk blue-mold, and blue-mold cheese from sheep's milk.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-04-01

    ... 21 Food and Drugs 2 2012-04-01 2012-04-01 false Roquefort cheese, sheep's milk blue-mold, and blue-mold cheese from sheep's milk. 133.184 Section 133.184 Food and Drugs FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION..., sheep's milk blue-mold, and blue-mold cheese from sheep's milk. (a) Description. (1) Roquefort...

  12. Variations on the "Blue-Bottle" Demonstration Using Food Items That Contain FD&C Blue #1

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Staiger, Felicia A.; Peterson, Joshua P.; Campbell, Dean J.

    2015-01-01

    Erioglaucine dye (FD&C Blue #1) can be used instead of methylene blue in the classic "blue-bottle" demonstration. Food items containing FD&C Blue #1 and reducing species such as sugars can therefore be used at the heart of this demonstration, which simply requires the addition of strong base such as sodium hydroxide lye.

  13. Identifying blues: an interview with lesbian blues musician and lyricist Gaye Adegbalola. Interview by Carmen Phelps.

    PubMed

    Adegbalola, Gaye

    2011-01-01

    In this interview, blues lyricist and musician Gaye Adegbalola shares with audiences how various political, social, and artistic influences have inspired her work since her activist years during the Black Arts Movement leading up to the present day. As a lesbian blues artist, Adegbalola's personal and artistic development implicates the often inextricable and intimate relationships between artistic production, political involvement, and individual fulfillment.

  14. Structure of anthocyanin from the blue petals of Phacelia campanularia and its blue flower color development.

    PubMed

    Mori, Mihoko; Kondo, Tadao; Toki, Kenjiro; Yoshida, Kumi

    2006-03-01

    The dicaffeoyl anthocyanin, phacelianin, was isolated from blue petals of Phacelia campanularia. Its structure was determined to be 3-O-(6-O-(4'-O-(6-O-(4'-O-beta-d-glucopyranosyl-(E)-caffeoyl)-beta-d-glucopyranosyl)-(E)-caffeoyl)-beta-d-glucopyranosyl)-5-O-(6-O-malonyl-beta-d-glucopyranosyl)delphinidin. The CD of the blue petals of the phacelia showed a strong negative Cotton effect and that of the suspension of the colored protoplasts was the same, indicating that the chromophores of phacelianin may stack intermolecularly in an anti-clockwise stacking manner in the blue-colored vacuoles. In a weakly acidic aqueous solution, phacelianin displayed the same blue color and negative Cotton effect in CD as those of the petals. However, blue-black colored precipitates gradually formed without metal ions. A very small amount of Al(3+) or Fe(3+) may be required to stabilize the blue solution. Phacelianin may take both an inter- and intramolecular stacking form and shows the blue petal color by molecular association and the co-existence of a small amount of metal ions. We also isolated a major anthocyanin from the blue petals of Evolvulus pilosus and revised the structure identical to phacelianin.

  15. Use of big data by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina.

    PubMed

    Helm-Murtagh, Susan C

    2014-01-01

    The health care industry is grappling with the challenges of working with and analyzing large, complex, diverse data sets. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina provides several promising examples of how big data can be used to reduce the cost of care, to predict and manage health risks, and to improve clinical outcomes.

  16. 75 FR 65525 - Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield, Claim Management Services, Inc. Operations, a Division of...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-10-25

    ... Management Services, Inc. Operations, a Division of Wellpoint, Inc., Green Bay, Wisconsin (the subject firm... Employment and Training Administration Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield, Claim Management Services, Inc. Operations, a Division of Wellpoint, Inc., Green Bay, WI; Notice of Negative Determination...

  17. Blue cotton, Blue Rayon and Blue Chitin in the analysis of heterocyclic aromatic amines--a review.

    PubMed

    Skog, Kerstin

    2004-03-25

    Heterocyclic amines (HCAs) are a group of compounds formed when protein-rich foods, such as meat or fish, are prepared under normal cooking conditions, such as frying, grilling, or broiling. To evaluate and estimate the risks associated with HCAs contained in the diet, it is important to determine the levels in cooked foods, and the levels of HCAs and metabolites in the body. HCAs are normally found at low amounts in a complex matrix, which necessitates a good purification method and a sensitive detection system. The objective of this review was to briefly present the current knowledge on the use of Blue Cotton, Blue Rayon and Blue Chitin in the analysis of HCAs.

  18. Triboelectric Nanogenerators for Blue Energy Harvesting.

    PubMed

    Khan, Usman; Kim, Sang-Woo

    2016-07-26

    Blue energy in the form of ocean waves offers an enormous energy resource. However, it has yet to be fully exploited in order to make it available for the use of mankind. Blue energy harvesting is a challenging task as the kinetic energy from ocean waves is irregular in amplitude and is at low frequencies. Though electromagnetic generators (EMGs) are well-known for harvesting mechanical kinetic energies, they have a crucial limitation for blue energy conversion. Indeed, the output voltage of EMGs can be impractically low at the low frequencies of ocean waves. In contrast, triboelectric nanogenerators (TENGs) are highly suitable for blue energy harvesting as they can effectively harvest mechanical energies from low frequencies (<1 Hz) to relatively high frequencies (∼kHz) and are also low-cost, lightweight, and easy to fabricate. Several important steps have been taken by Wang's group to develop TENG technology for blue energy harvesting. In this Perspective, we describe some of the recent progress and also address concerns related to durable packaging of TENGs in consideration of harsh marine environments and power management for an efficient power transfer and distribution for commercial applications.

  19. An electron transporting blue emitter for OLED

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Qi, Boyuan; Luo, Jiaxiu; Li, Suyue; Xiao, Lixin; Sun, Wenfang; Chen, Zhijian; Qu, Bo; Gong, Qihuang

    2010-11-01

    After the premier commercialization of OLED in 1997, OLED has been considered as the candidate for the next generation of flat panel display. In comparison to liquid crystal display (LCD) and plasma display panel (PDP), OLED exhibits promising merits for display, e.g., flexible, printable, micro-buildable and multiple designable. Although many efforts have been made on electroluminescent (EL) materials and devices, obtaining highly efficient and pure blue light is still a great challenge. In order to improve the emission efficiency and purity of the blue emission, a new bipolar blue light emitter, 2,7-di(2,2':6',2"-terpyridine)- 2,7-diethynyl-9,9-dioctyl-9H-fluorene (TPEF), was designed and synthesized. A blue OLED was obtained with the configuration of ITO/PEDOT/PVK:CBP:TPEF/LiF/Al. The device exhibits a turn-on voltage of 9 V and a maximum brightness of 12 cd/m2 at 15 V. The device gives a deep blue emission located at 420 nm with the Commission Internationale de l'Eclairage (CIE) coordinates of (0.17, 0.10). We also use TPEF as electron transporting material in the device of ITO/PPV/TPEF/LiF/Al, the turn-on voltage is 3 V. It is proved the current in the device was enhanced indeed by using the new material.

  20. Fatty acid profiles of great tit (Parus major) eggs differ between urban and rural habitats, but not between coniferous and deciduous forests.

    PubMed

    Toledo, Alejandra; Andersson, Martin N; Wang, Hong-Lei; Salmón, Pablo; Watson, Hannah; Burdge, Graham C; Isaksson, Caroline

    2016-08-01

    Early-life nutrition is an important determinant of both short- and long-term performance and fitness. The avian embryo develops within an enclosed package of nutrients, of which fatty acids (FA) are essential for many aspects of development. The FA composition of yolk depends on maternal nutrition and condition prior to egg formation, which may be affected by the external environment. To test if maternal environment affects yolk FA composition, we investigated whether the FA composition of great tit (Parus major) egg yolks differed between urban and rural habitats, and between deciduous and coniferous habitats. The results reveal differences in FA composition between eggs laid in urban and rural habitats, but not between eggs from the coniferous and deciduous habitats. To a large extent, this difference likely reflects dietary differences associated with urban habitats rather than dominating vegetation type. Specifically, urban yolks contained lower proportions of both ω-3 and ω-6 polyunsaturated FAs (PUFA), which are important for chick development. We also found a positive association between the proportion of saturated fatty acids and laying date, and a negative association between the proportion of ω-6 PUFA and clutch size. Given that urbanization is expanding rapidly, future studies should investigate whether factors such as anthropogenic food in the urban environment underlie these differences and whether they impair chick development.

  1. Lifespan, lifetime reproductive performance and paternity loss of within-pair and extra-pair offspring in the coal tit Periparus ater

    PubMed Central

    Schmoll, Tim; Schurr, Frank M.; Winkel, Wolfgang; Epplen, Joerg T.; Lubjuhn, Thomas

    2008-01-01

    The hypothesis that females of socially monogamous species obtain indirect benefits (good or compatible genes) from extra-pair mating behaviour has received enormous attention but much less generally accepted support. Here we ask whether selection for adult survival and fecundity or sexual selection contribute to indirect selection of the extra-pair mating behaviour in socially monogamous coal tits (Periparus ater). We tracked locally recruited individuals with known paternity status through their lives predicting that the extra-pair offspring (EPO) would outperform the within-pair offspring (WPO). No differences between the WPO and EPO recruits were detected in lifespan or age of first reproduction. However, the male WPO had a higher lifetime number of broods and higher lifetime number of social offspring compared with male EPO recruits, while no such differences were evident for female recruits. Male EPO recruits did not compensate for their lower social reproductive success by higher fertilization success within their social pair bonds. Thus, our results do not support the idea that enhanced adult survival, fecundity or within-pair fertilization success are manifestations of the genetic benefits of extra-pair matings. But we emphasize that a crucial fitness component, the extra-pair fertilization success of male recruits, has yet to be taken into account to fully appreciate the fitness consequences of extra-pair matings. PMID:18812289

  2. More ornamented females produce higher-quality offspring in a socially monogamous bird: an experimental study in the great tit (Parus major).

    PubMed

    Remeš, Vladimír; Matysioková, Beata

    2013-03-25

    Animals are often conspicuously colored and explanations range from aposematism and mimicry to sexual selection. Although sexual selection explains vivid coloration in males, functional significance of vivid coloration in females of socially monogamous species remains unclear. The hypothesis of mutual mate choice predicts that more ornamented females produce offspring of higher quality. We tested this prediction in the great tit (Parus major), a small, insectivorous, socially monogamous passerine. In both females and males we quantified three ornaments that have been hypothesized to have signaling role in this species (size of black breast stripe, carotenoid chroma of yellow breast feathers, immaculateness of the white cheek). We swapped broods between nests soon after hatching, thus separating genetic plus pre-hatching vs. post-hatching effects on offspring performance. Body mass of offspring at 14 days of age was positively related to the area of black breast stripe of genetic mothers. Immune response to a novel antigen (phytohaemagglutinin) at 14 days of age was positively related to the immaculateness of the white cheek patch of both genetic and foster mothers. We showed that females with more elaborate ornaments produced higher-quality offspring and we discuss potential proximate mechanisms of these relationships. We conclude that as more elaborate ornaments were reliable signals of offspring quality, direct selection by male mate choice might have been responsible for the evolution and/or maintenance of these signaling traits in females.

  3. No evidence for self-recognition in a small passerine, the great tit (Parus major) judged from the mark/mirror test.

    PubMed

    Kraft, Fanny-Linn; Forštová, Tereza; Utku Urhan, A; Exnerová, Alice; Brodin, Anders

    2017-07-31

    Self-recognition is a trait presumed to be associated with high levels of cognition and something previously considered to be exclusive to humans and possibly apes. The most common test of self-recognition is the mark/mirror test of whether an animal can understand that it sees its own reflection in a mirror. The usual design is that an animal is marked with a colour spot somewhere on the body where the spot can only be seen by the animal by using a mirror. Very few species have passed this test, and among birds, only magpies have been affirmatively demonstrated to pass it. In this study, we tested great tits (Parus major), small passerines, that are known for their innovative foraging skills and good problem-solving abilities, in the mirror self-recognition test. We found no indication that they have any ability of this kind and believe that they are unlikely to be capable of this type of self-recognition.

  4. Fatty acid profiles of great tit ( Parus major) eggs differ between urban and rural habitats, but not between coniferous and deciduous forests

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Toledo, Alejandra; Andersson, Martin N.; Wang, Hong-Lei; Salmón, Pablo; Watson, Hannah; Burdge, Graham C.; Isaksson, Caroline

    2016-08-01

    Early-life nutrition is an important determinant of both short- and long-term performance and fitness. The avian embryo develops within an enclosed package of nutrients, of which fatty acids (FA) are essential for many aspects of development. The FA composition of yolk depends on maternal nutrition and condition prior to egg formation, which may be affected by the external environment. To test if maternal environment affects yolk FA composition, we investigated whether the FA composition of great tit ( Parus major) egg yolks differed between urban and rural habitats, and between deciduous and coniferous habitats. The results reveal differences in FA composition between eggs laid in urban and rural habitats, but not between eggs from the coniferous and deciduous habitats. To a large extent, this difference likely reflects dietary differences associated with urban habitats rather than dominating vegetation type. Specifically, urban yolks contained lower proportions of both ω-3 and ω-6 polyunsaturated FAs (PUFA), which are important for chick development. We also found a positive association between the proportion of saturated fatty acids and laying date, and a negative association between the proportion of ω-6 PUFA and clutch size. Given that urbanization is expanding rapidly, future studies should investigate whether factors such as anthropogenic food in the urban environment underlie these differences and whether they impair chick development.

  5. More ornamented females produce higher-quality offspring in a socially monogamous bird: an experimental study in the great tit (Parus major)

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Introduction Animals are often conspicuously colored and explanations range from aposematism and mimicry to sexual selection. Although sexual selection explains vivid coloration in males, functional significance of vivid coloration in females of socially monogamous species remains unclear. The hypothesis of mutual mate choice predicts that more ornamented females produce offspring of higher quality. We tested this prediction in the great tit (Parus major), a small, insectivorous, socially monogamous passerine. Results In both females and males we quantified three ornaments that have been hypothesized to have signaling role in this species (size of black breast stripe, carotenoid chroma of yellow breast feathers, immaculateness of the white cheek). We swapped broods between nests soon after hatching, thus separating genetic plus pre-hatching vs. post-hatching effects on offspring performance. Body mass of offspring at 14 days of age was positively related to the area of black breast stripe of genetic mothers. Immune response to a novel antigen (phytohaemagglutinin) at 14 days of age was positively related to the immaculateness of the white cheek patch of both genetic and foster mothers. Conclusions We showed that females with more elaborate ornaments produced higher-quality offspring and we discuss potential proximate mechanisms of these relationships. We conclude that as more elaborate ornaments were reliable signals of offspring quality, direct selection by male mate choice might have been responsible for the evolution and/or maintenance of these signaling traits in females. PMID:23521836

  6. Is microevolution the only emergency exit in a warming world? Temperature influences egg laying but not its underlying mechanisms in great tits.

    PubMed

    Caro, Samuel P; Schaper, Sonja V; Dawson, Alistair; Sharp, Peter J; Gienapp, Phillip; Visser, Marcel E

    2013-09-01

    Many bird species have advanced their seasonal timing in response to global warming, but we still know little about the causal effect of temperature. We carried out experiments in climate-controlled aviaries to investigate how temperature affects luteinizing hormone, prolactin, gonadal development, timing of egg laying and onset of moult in male and female great tits. We used both natural and artificial temperature patterns to identify the temperature characteristics that matter for birds. Our results show that temperature has a direct, causal effect on onset of egg-laying, and in particular, that it is the pattern of increase rather than the absolute temperature that birds use. Surprisingly, the pre-breeding increases in plasma LH, prolactin and in gonadal size are not affected by increasing temperature, nor do they correlate with the onset of laying. This suggests that the decision to start breeding and its regulatory mechanisms are fine-tuned by different factors. We also found similarities between siblings in the timing of both the onset of reproduction and associated changes in plasma LH, prolactin and gonadal development. In conclusion, while temperature affects the timing of egg laying, the neuroendocrine system does not seem to be regulated by moderate temperature changes. This lack of responsiveness may restrain the advance in the timing of breeding in response to climate change. But as there is heritable genetic variation on which natural selection can act, microevolution can take place, and may represent the only way to adapt to a warming world.

  7. Do feather-degrading bacteria actually degrade feather colour? No significant effects of plumage microbiome modifications on feather colouration in wild great tits.

    PubMed

    Jacob, Staffan; Colmas, Léa; Parthuisot, Nathalie; Heeb, Philipp

    2014-11-01

    Parasites are known to exert selective pressures on host life history traits since the energy and nutrients needed to mount an immune response are no longer available to invest in other functions. Bird feathers harbour numerous microorganisms, some of which are able to degrade feather keratin (keratinolytic microorganisms) and affect feather integrity and colouration in vitro. Although named "feather-degrading" microorganisms, experimental evidence for their effects on feathers of free-living birds is still lacking. Here, we tested whether (i) keratinolytic microorganisms can degrade feathers in vivo and thus modify the colour of feathers during the nesting period and (ii) whether feather microorganisms have a long-term effect on the investment in colouration of newly moulted feathers. We designed treatments to either favour or inhibit bacterial growth, thus experimentally modifying plumage bacterial communities, in a wild breeding population of great tits (Parus major). Our analyses revealed no significant effects of the treatments on feather colours. Moreover, we found that differences in bacterial exposure during nesting did not significantly affect the colouration of newly moulted feathers. Our results suggest that significant feather degradation obtained during in vitro studies could have led to an overestimation of the potential of keratinolytic microorganisms to shape feather colouration in free-living birds.

  8. Effect of an anti-malaria drug on behavioural performance on a problem-solving task: an experiment in wild great tits.

    PubMed

    Cauchard, Laure; Angers, Bernard; Boogert, Neeltje J; Doligez, Blandine

    2016-10-29

    Malaria parasites have been shown to decrease host fitness in several species in the wild and their detrimental effects on host cognitive ability are well established in humans. However, experimental demonstrations of detrimental effects on non-human host behaviour are currently limited. In this study, we experimentally tested whether injections of an anti-malaria drug affected short-term behavioural responses to a problem-solving task during breeding in a wild population of great tits (Parus major) naturally infected with malaria. Adult females treated against malaria were more active than control females, even though they were not more likely to solve the task or learn how to do so, suggesting that energetic constraints could shape differences in some behaviours while changes in cognitive performances might require more time for the neural system to recover or may depend mainly on infection at the developmental stage. Alternatively, parasite load might be a consequence, rather than a cause, of inter-individual variation in cognitive performance. These results also suggest that inter-individual as well as inter-population differences in some behavioural traits may be linked to blood parasite load.

  9. Postpartum blues: salivary cortisol and psychological factors.

    PubMed

    Ehlert, U; Patalla, U; Kirschbaum, C; Piedmont, E; Hellhammer, D H

    1990-01-01

    The relationships between several psychological variables and salivary cortisol levels were investigated in 70 young mothers throughout the first five days following the delivery of a healthy baby. We hypothesized that postpartum blues is associated with ineffective coping strategies, high anxiety levels, and elevated salivary cortisol concentrations. Data analysis revealed that symptoms of postpartum blues occurred more frequently in women who reported high levels of trait-anxiety, passive coping strategies, marital dissatisfaction, or acceptance of their role as a mother. These women had elevated morning levels of cortisol on those days on which the symptoms appeared in contrast to those days without symptoms as well as in contrast to those women who did not experience postpartum blues.

  10. Bump in the blue axion isocurvature spectrum

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chung, Daniel J. H.; Upadhye, Amol

    2017-01-01

    Blue axion isocurvature perturbations are both theoretically well motivated and interesting from a detectability perspective. These power spectra generically have a break from the blue region to a flat region. Previous investigations of the power spectra were analytic, which left a gap in the predicted spectrum in the break region due to the nonapplicability of the used analytic techniques. We therefore compute the isocurvature spectrum numerically for an explicit supersymmetric axion model. We find a bump that enhances the isocurvature signal for this class of scenarios. A fitting function of three parameters is constructed that fits the spectrum well for the particular axion model we study. This fitting function should be useful for blue isocurvature signal hunting in data and making experimental sensitivity forecasts.

  11. Singing from North to South: Latitudinal variation in timing of dawn singing under natural and artificial light conditions.

    PubMed

    Da Silva, Arnaud; Kempenaers, Bart

    2017-08-10

    Animals breeding at northern latitudes experience drastic changes in daily light conditions during the breeding season with decreasing periods of darkness, whereas those living at lower latitudes are exposed to naturally dark nights throughout the year. Nowadays, many animals are also exposed to artificial night lighting (often referred to as light pollution). Animals strongly rely on variation in light levels to time their daily and seasonal behaviour. Previous work on passerine birds showed that artificial night lighting leads to earlier onset of dawn song. However, these studies were carried out at intermediate latitudes with more limited seasonal changes in daylength, and we still lack an understanding of the impact of artificial night lighting in relation to variation in natural light conditions. We investigated the influence of natural and artificial light conditions on the timing of dawn singing in five common songbird species in each of three regions in Europe that differed in natural variation in daylength (northern Finland, 65°N; southern Germany, 48°N; southern Spain, 37°N). In each region, we selected five peri-urban forest sites with and five without street lighting, and we recorded dawn singing at the beginning of the local breeding season. Our results show that the earliest natural singers, that is, European robins (Erithacus rubecula) and common blackbirds (Turdus merula), started dawn singing earlier along with the natural increase in night brightness in Finland, with no additional effects of artificial night lighting. In contrast, the later singers, such as, great tits (Parus major), blue tits (Cyanistes caeruleus) and chaffinches (Fringilla coelebs), showed similar onsets of dawn song relative to sunrise across the season and similar effects of artificial night lighting at all latitudes. Artificial night lighting affected great tits, blue tits and chaffinches even in northern Finland where nights became very bright. Proximate factors such as

  12. Blue light inhibits proliferation of melanoma cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Becker, Anja; Distler, Elisabeth; Klapczynski, Anna; Arpino, Fabiola; Kuch, Natalia; Simon-Keller, Katja; Sticht, Carsten; van Abeelen, Frank A.; Gretz, Norbert; Oversluizen, Gerrit

    2016-03-01

    Photobiomodulation with blue light is used for several treatment paradigms such as neonatal jaundice, psoriasis and back pain. However, little is known about possible side effects concerning melanoma cells in the skin. The aim of this study was to assess the safety of blue LED irradiation with respect to proliferation of melanoma cells. For that purpose we used the human malignant melanoma cell line SK-MEL28. Cell proliferation was decreased in blue light irradiated cells where the effect size depended on light irradiation dosage. Furthermore, with a repeated irradiation of the melanoma cells on two consecutive days the effect could be intensified. Fluorescence-activated cell sorting with Annexin V and Propidium iodide labeling did not show a higher number of dead cells after blue light irradiation compared to non-irradiated cells. Gene expression analysis revealed down-regulated genes in pathways connected to anti-inflammatory response, like B cell signaling and phagosome. Most prominent pathways with up-regulation of genes were cytochrome P450, steroid hormone biosynthesis. Furthermore, even though cells showed a decrease in proliferation, genes connected to the cell cycle were up-regulated after 24h. This result is concordant with XTT test 48h after irradiation, where irradiated cells showed the same proliferation as the no light negative control. In summary, proliferation of melanoma cells can be decreased using blue light irradiation. Nevertheless, the gene expression analysis has to be further evaluated and more studies, such as in-vivo experiments, are warranted to further assess the safety of blue light treatment.

  13. Parental prey selection affects risk-taking behaviour and spatial learning in avian offspring

    PubMed Central

    Arnold, Kathryn E; Ramsay, Scot L; Donaldson, Christine; Adam, Aileen

    2007-01-01

    Early nutrition shapes life history. Parents should, therefore, provide a diet that will optimize the nutrient intake of their offspring. In a number of passerines, there is an often observed, but unexplained, peak in spider provisioning during chick development. We show that the proportion of spiders in the diet of nestling blue tits, Cyanistes caeruleus, varies significantly with the age of chicks but is unrelated to the timing of breeding or spider availability. Moreover, this parental prey selection supplies nestlings with high levels of taurine particularly at younger ages. This amino acid is known to be both vital and limiting for mammalian development and consequently found in high concentrations in placenta and milk. Based on the known roles of taurine in mammalian brain development and function, we then asked whether by supplying taurine-rich spiders, avian parents influence the stress responsiveness and cognitive function of their offspring. To test this, we provided wild blue tit nestlings with either a taurine supplement or control treatment once daily from the ages of 2–14 days. Then pairs of size- and sex-matched siblings were brought into captivity for behavioural testing. We found that juveniles that had received additional taurine as neonates took significantly greater risks when investigating novel objects than controls. Taurine birds were also more successful at a spatial learning task than controls. Additionally, those individuals that succeeded at a spatial learning task had shown intermediate levels of risk taking. Non-learners were generally very risk-averse controls. Early diet therefore has downstream impacts on behavioural characteristics that could affect fitness via foraging and competitive performance. Fine-scale prey selection is a mechanism by which parents can manipulate the behavioural phenotype of offspring. PMID:17698490

  14. Maternal Condition but Not Corticosterone Is Linked to Offspring Sex Ratio in a Passerine Bird

    PubMed Central

    Henderson, Lindsay J.; Evans, Neil P.; Heidinger, Britt J.; Adams, Aileen; Arnold, Kathryn E.

    2014-01-01

    There is evidence of offspring sex ratio adjustment in a range of species, but the potential mechanisms remain largely unknown. Elevated maternal corticosterone (CORT) is associated with factors that can favour brood sex ratio adjustment, such as reduced maternal condition, food availability and partner attractiveness. Therefore, the steroid hormone has been suggested to play a key role in sex ratio manipulation. However, despite correlative and causal evidence CORT is linked to sex ratio manipulation in some avian species, the timing of adjustment varies between studies. Consequently, whether CORT is consistently involved in sex-ratio adjustment, and how the hormone acts as a mechanism for this adjustment remains unclear. Here we measured maternal baseline CORT and body condition in free-living blue tits (Cyanistes caeruleus) over three years and related these factors to brood sex ratio and nestling quality. In addition, a non-invasive technique was employed to experimentally elevate maternal CORT during egg laying, and its effects upon sex ratio and nestling quality were measured. We found that maternal CORT was not correlated with brood sex ratio, but mothers with elevated CORT fledged lighter offspring. Also, experimental elevation of maternal CORT did not influence brood sex ratio or nestling quality. In one year, mothers in superior body condition produced male biased broods, and maternal condition was positively correlated with both nestling mass and growth rate in all years. Unlike previous studies maternal condition was not correlated with maternal CORT. This study provides evidence that maternal condition is linked to brood sex ratio manipulation in blue tits. However, maternal baseline CORT may not be the mechanistic link between the maternal condition and sex ratio adjustment. Overall, this study serves to highlight the complexity of sex ratio adjustment in birds and the difficulties associated with identifying sex biasing mechanisms. PMID:25347532

  15. Parental prey selection affects risk-taking behaviour and spatial learning in avian offspring.

    PubMed

    Arnold, Kathryn E; Ramsay, Scot L; Donaldson, Christine; Adam, Aileen

    2007-10-22

    Early nutrition shapes life history. Parents should, therefore, provide a diet that will optimize the nutrient intake of their offspring. In a number of passerines, there is an often observed, but unexplained, peak in spider provisioning during chick development. We show that the proportion of spiders in the diet of nestling blue tits, Cyanistes caeruleus, varies significantly with the age of chicks but is unrelated to the timing of breeding or spider availability. Moreover, this parental prey selection supplies nestlings with high levels of taurine particularly at younger ages. This amino acid is known to be both vital and limiting for mammalian development and consequently found in high concentrations in placenta and milk. Based on the known roles of taurine in mammalian brain development and function, we then asked whether by supplying taurine-rich spiders, avian parents influence the stress responsiveness and cognitive function of their offspring. To test this, we provided wild blue tit nestlings with either a taurine supplement or control treatment once daily from the ages of 2-14 days. Then pairs of size- and sex-matched siblings w