Browsing by Subject "BIRDS"

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  • Pearce-Higgins, J. W.; Antão, L. H.; Bates, R. E.; Bowgen, K. M.; Bradshaw, C. D.; Duffield, S. J.; Ffoulkes, C.; Franco, A. M.A.; Geschke, J.; Gregory, R. D.; Harley, M. J.; Hodgson, J. A.; Jenkins, R. L.M.; Kapos, V.; Maltby, K. M.; Watts, O.; Willis, S. G.; Morecroft, M. D. (2022)
    Impacts of climate change on natural and human systems will become increasingly severe as the magnitude of climate change increases. Climate change adaptation interventions to address current and projected impacts are thus paramount. Yet, evidence on their effectiveness remains limited, highlighting the need for appropriate ecological indicators to measure progress of climate change adaptation for the natural environment. We outline conceptual, analytical, and practical challenges in developing such indicators, before proposing a framework with three process-based and two results-based indicator types to track progress in adapting to climate change. We emphasize the importance of dynamic assessment and modification over time, as new adaptation targets are set and/or as intervention actions are monitored and evaluated. Our framework and proposed indicators are flexible and widely applicable across species, habitats, and monitoring programmes, and could be accommodated within existing national or international frameworks to enable the evaluation of both large-scale policy instruments and local management interventions. We conclude by suggesting further work required to develop these indicators fully, and hope this will stimulate the use of ecological indicators to evaluate the effectiveness of policy interventions for the adaptation of the natural environment across the globe.
  • Vesterinen, Eero J.; Kaunisto, Kari M.; Lilley, Thomas M. (2020)
    We report a detection of a surprising similarity in the diet of predators across distant phyla. Though just a first glimpse into the subject, our discovery contradicts traditional aspects of biology, as the earliest notions in ecology have linked the most severe competition of resources with evolutionary relatedness. We argue that our finding deserves more research, and propose a plan to reveal more information on the current biodiversity loss around the world. While doing so, we expand the recently proposed conservation roadmaps into a parallel study of global interaction networks.
  • Zöttl, Markus; Vullioud, Philippe; Goddard, Katy; Torrents-Ticó, Miquel; Gaynor, David; Bennett, Nigel C.; Clutton-Brock, Tim (2018)
    Abstract In Damaraland mole-rats (Fukomys damarensis), non-breeding subordinates contribute to the care of offspring born to the breeding pair in their group by carrying and retrieving young to the nest. In social mole-rats and some cooperative breeders, dominant females show unusually high testosterone levels and it has been suggested that high testosterone levels may increase reproductive and aggressive behavior and reduce investment in allo-parental and parental care, generating age and state-dependent variation in behavior. Here we show that, in Damaraland mole-rats, allo-parental care in males and females is unaffected by experimental increases in testosterone levels. Pup carrying decreases with age of the non-breeding helper while the change in social status from non-breeder to breeder has contrasting effects in the two sexes. Female breeders were more likely than female non-breeders to carry pups but male breeders were less likely to carry pups than male non-breeders, increasing the sex bias in parental care compared to allo-parental care. Our results indicate that testosterone is unlikely to be an important regulator of allo-parental care in mole-rats.
  • Ovaskainen, Otso; de Camargo, Ulisses Moliterno; Somervuo, Panu (2018)
    Automated audio recording offers a powerful tool for acoustic monitoring schemes of bird, bat, frog and other vocal organisms, but the lack of automated species identification methods has made it difficult to fully utilise such data. We developed Animal Sound Identifier (ASI), a MATLAB software that performs probabilistic classification of species occurrences from field recordings. Unlike most previous approaches, ASI locates training data directly from the field recordings and thus avoids the need of pre-defined reference libraries. We apply ASI to a case study on Amazonian birds, in which we classify the vocalisations of 14 species in 194504 one-minute audio segments using in total two weeks of expert time to construct, parameterise, and validate the classification models. We compare the classification performance of ASI (with training templates extracted automatically from field data) to that of monitoR (with training templates extracted manually from the Xeno-Canto database), the results showing ASI to have substantially higher recall and precision rates.
  • Tolvanen, Jere; Pakanen, Veli-Matti; Valkama, Jari; Tornberg, Risto (2017)
    Capsule: Mark-recapture data suggest low apparent survival and sex- and population-specific site fidelity and territory turnover in adult Northern Goshawks Accipiter gentilis breeding in northern Europe.Aims: To understand how species cope with global environmental change requires knowledge of variation in population demographic rates, especially from populations close to the species' northern range limit and from keystone species such as raptors. We analyse apparent survival and breeding dispersal propensity of adult Northern Goshawks breeding in northern Europe.Methods: We used long-term mark-recapture data from two populations in Finland, northern Europe, and Cormack-Jolly-Seber models and binomial generalized linear models to investigate sex- and population-specific variation in apparent survival, territory turnover and site fidelity.Results: We report low apparent survival (53-72%) of breeding adult Goshawks. Breeding dispersal propensity was higher in females than males, especially in northern Finland, contrasting with previous studies that suggest high site fidelity in both sexes.Conclusion: Low apparent survival in females may be mainly due to permanent emigration outside the study areas, whereas in males the survival rate may truly be low. Both demographic aspects may be driven by the combination of sex-specific roles related to breeding and difficult environmental conditions prevailing in northern latitudes during the non-breeding season.
  • Zamorano, Juan Gallego; Hokkanen, Tatu; Lehikoinen, Aleksi (2018)
    Aims Understanding fluctuations in plant reproductive investment can constitute a key challenge in ecology, conservation and management. Masting events of trees (i.e. the intermittent and synchronous production of abundant seeding material) is an extreme example of such fluctuations. Our objective was to establish the degree of spatial and temporal synchrony in common four masting tree species in boreal Finland and account for potential causal drivers of these patterns. Methods We investigated the spatial intraspecific and temporal interspecific fluctuations in annual seed production of four tree species in Finland, silver birch Betula pendula Roth, downy birch Betula pubescens Ehrh., Norway spruce Picea abies (L.) H.Karst. and rowanberry Sorbus aucuparia L. We also tested to see whether variations in seed production were linked to annual weather conditions. Seeding abundance data were derived from tens of stands per species across large spatial scales within Finland during 1979 to 2014 (for rowanberries only 1986 to 2014). Important Findings All species showed spatial synchrony in seed production at scales up to 1000 km. Annual estimates of seed production were strongly correlated between species. Spring and summer temperatures explained most variation in crop sizes of tree species with 0-to 2-year time lags, whereas rainfall had relatively little influence. Warm weather during flowering (May temperature) in the flowering year (Year t) and 2 years before (t-2) were correlated with seed production. However, high May temperatures during the previous year (t-1) adversely affected seed production. Summer temperatures in Year t-1 was positively correlated with seed production, likely because this parameter enhances the development of flower primordials, but the effect was negative with a time lag of 2 years. The negative feedback in temperature coefficients is also likely due to patterns of resource allocation, as abundant flowering and seed production in these species is thought to reduce the subsequent initiation of potential new flower buds. Since the most important weather variables also showed spatial correlation up to 1000 km, weather parameters likely explain much of the spatial and temporal synchrony in seed production of these four studied tree species.
  • Hällfors, Maria H.; Pöyry, Juha; Heliölä, Janne; Kohonen, Ilmari; Kuussaari, Mikko; Leinonen, Reima; Schmucki, Reto; Sihvonen, Pasi; Saastamoinen, Marjo (2021)
    Species can adapt to climate change by adjusting in situ or by dispersing to new areas, and these strategies may complement or enhance each other. Here, we investigate temporal shifts in phenology and spatial shifts in northern range boundaries for 289 Lepidoptera species by using long-term data sampled over two decades. While 40% of the species neither advanced phenology nor moved northward, nearly half (45%) used one of the two strategies. The strongest positive population trends were observed for the minority of species (15%) that both advanced flight phenology and shifted their northern range boundaries northward. We show that, for boreal Lepidoptera, a combination of phenology and range shifts is the most viable strategy under a changing climate. Effectively, this may divide species into winners and losers based on their propensity to capitalize on this combination, with potentially large consequences on future community composition.
  • Byholm, Patrik; Burgas, Daniel; Virtanen, Tarmo; Valkama, Jari (2012)
  • Kullberg, Peter; Toivonen, Tuuli; Pouzols, Federico Montesino; Lehtomäki, Joona; Di Minin, Enrico; Moilanen, Atte (2015)
    Complementarity and cost-efficiency are widely used principles for protected area network design. Despite the wide use and robust theoretical underpinnings, their effects on the performance and patterns of priority areas are rarely studied in detail. Here we compare two approaches for identifying the management priority areas inside the global protected area network: 1) a scoring-based approach, used in recently published analysis and 2) a spatial prioritization method, which accounts for complementarity and area-efficiency. Using the same IUCN species distribution data the complementarity method found an equal-area set of priority areas with double the mean species ranges covered compared to the scoringbased approach. The complementarity set also had 72% more species with full ranges covered, and lacked any coverage only for half of the species compared to the scoring approach. Protected areas in our complementarity-based solution were on average smaller and geographically more scattered. The large difference between the two solutions highlights the need for critical thinking about the selected prioritization method. According to our analysis, accounting for complementarity and area-efficiency can lead to considerable improvements when setting management priorities for the global protected area network.
  • Jiang, Lichun; Peng, Liqing; Tang, Min; You, Zhangqiang; Zhang, Min; West, Andrea; Ruan, Qiping; Chen, Wei; Merilä, Juha (2019)
    This is the first study to describe the mitochondrial genome of the Himalayan Griffon, Gyps himalayensis, which is an Old World vulture belonging to the family Accipitridae and occurring along the Himalayas and the adjoining Tibetan Plateau. Its mitogenome is a closed circular molecule 17,381 bp in size containing 13 protein-coding genes, 22 tRNA coding genes, two rRNA-coding genes, a control region (CR), and an extra pseudo-control region (CCR) that are conserved in most Accipitridae mitogenomes. The overall base composition of the G. himalayensis mitogenome is 24.55% A, 29.49% T, 31.59% C, and 14.37% G, which is typical for bird mitochondrial genomes. The alignment of the Accipitridae species control regions showed high levels of genetic variation and abundant AT content. At the 5 ' end of the domain I region, a long continuous poly-C sequence was found. Two tandem repeats were found in the pseudo-control regions. Phylogenetic analysis with Bayesian inference and maximum likelihood based on 13 protein-coding genes indicated that the relationships at the family level were (Falconidae + (Cathartidae + (Sagittariidae + (Accipitridae + Pandionidae))). In the Accipitridae clade, G. himalayensis is more closely related to Aegypius monachus than to Spilornis cheela. The complete mitogenome of G. himalayensis provides a potentially useful resource for further exploration of the taxonomic status and phylogenetic history of Gyps species.
  • Schultz, Eduardo D.; Pérez-Emán, Jorge; Aleixo, Alexandre; Miyaki, Cristina Y.; Brumfield, Robb T.; Cracraft, Joel; Ribas, Camila C. (2019)
    Dendrocincla woodcreepers are ant-following birds widespread throughout tropical America. Species in the genus are widely distributed and show little phenotypic variation. Notwithstanding, several subspecies have been described, but the validity of some of these taxa and the boundaries among them have been discussed for decades. Recent genetic evidence based on limited sampling has pointed to the paraphyly of D. fuliginosa, showing that its subspecies constitute a complex that also includes D. anabatina and D. turdina. In this study we sequenced nuclear and mitochondrial markers for over two hundred individuals belonging to the D. fuliginosa complex to recover phylogenetic relationships, describe intraspecific genetic diversity and provide historical biogeographic scenarios of diversification. Our results corroborate the paraphyly of D. fuliginosa, with D. turdina and D. anabatina nested within its recognized subspecies. Recovered genetic lineages roughly match the distributions of described subspecies and congruence among phylogenetic structure, phenotypic diagnosis and distribution limits were used to discuss current systematics and taxonomy within the complex, with special attention to Northern South America. Our data suggest the origin of the complex in western Amazonia, associated with the establishment of upland forests in the area during the early Pliocene. Paleoclimatic cycles and river rearrangements during the Pleistocene could have, at different times, both facilitated dispersal across large Amazonian rivers and the Andes and isolated populations, likely playing an important role in differentiation of extant species. Previously described hybridization in the headwaters of the Tapajós river represents a secondary contact of non-sister lineages that cannot be used to test the role of the river as primary source of diversification. Based on comparisons of D. fuliginosa with closely related understory upland forest taxa, we suggest that differential habitat use could influence diversification processes in a historically changing landscape, and should be considered for proposing general mechanisms of diversification.
  • Gray, Claudia L.; Slade, Eleanor M.; Mann, Darren J.; Lewis, Owen T. (2014)
  • the IAEA DLW database group; Careau, Vincent; Halsey, Lewis G.; Pontzer, Herman; Pietiläinen, Kirsi H. (2021)
    Understanding the impacts of activity on energy balance is crucial. Increasing levels of activity may bring diminishing returns in energy expenditure because of compensatory responses in non-activity energy expenditures.1–3 This suggestion has profound implications for both the evolution of metabolism and human health. It implies that a long-term increase in activity does not directly translate into an increase in total energy expenditure (TEE) because other components of TEE may decrease in response—energy compensation. We used the largest dataset compiled on adult TEE and basal energy expenditure (BEE) (n = 1,754) of people living normal lives to find that energy compensation by a typical human averages 28% due to reduced BEE; this suggests that only 72% of the extra calories we burn from additional activity translates into extra calories burned that day. Moreover, the degree of energy compensation varied considerably between people of different body compositions. This association between compensation and adiposity could be due to among-individual differences in compensation: people who compensate more may be more likely to accumulate body fat. Alternatively, the process might occur within individuals: as we get fatter, our body might compensate more strongly for the calories burned during activity, making losing fat progressively more difficult. Determining the causality of the relationship between energy compensation and adiposity will be key to improving public health strategies regarding obesity.
  • Reside, April E.; VanDerWal, Jeremy; Moilanen, Atte; Graham, Erin M. (2017)
    With the high rate of ecosystem change already occurring and predicted to occur in the coming decades, long-term conservation has to account not only for current biodiversity but also for the biodiversity patterns anticipated for the future. The trade-offs between prioritising future biodiversity at the expense of current priorities must be understood to guide current conservation planning, but have been largely unexplored. To fill this gap, we compared the performance of four conservation planning solutions involving 662 vertebrate species in the Wet Tropics Natural Resource Management Cluster Region in north-eastern Australia. Input species data for the four planning solutions were: 1) current distributions; 2) projected distributions for 2055; 3) projected distributions for 2085; and 4) current, 2055 and 2085 projected distributions, and the connectivity between each of the three time periods for each species. The four planning solutions were remarkably similar (up to 85% overlap), suggesting that modelling for either current or future scenarios is sufficient for conversation planning for this region, with little obvious trade-off. Our analyses also revealed that overall, species with small ranges occurring across steep elevation gradients and at higher elevations were more likely to be better represented in all solutions. Given that species with these characteristics are of high conservation significance, our results provide confidence that conservation planning focused on either current, near-or distant-future biodiversity will account for these species.
  • Ojala, Eeva A.; Kurkilahti, Mika; Hovland, Anne Lene; Palme, Rupert; Mononen, Jaakko (2021)
    Simple Summary The measurement of faecal cortisol metabolites (FCMs) is increasingly used to monitor physiological stress responses in different animal species. Before this method is applied in coming stress- and welfare-related studies of farmed blue foxes (Vulpes lagopus), a species-specific validation is first required. In the current study, a 5 alpha-pregnane-3ss,11ss,21-triol-20-one enzyme immunoassay was found suited to measure FCMs and thus hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis activity in farmed blue foxes. FCMs can therefore serve as a valid indicator of stress in future welfare studies of blue foxes. Welfare studies of blue foxes would benefit from a measurement of faecal cortisol metabolites (FCMs) as a non-invasive, physiological stress parameter reflecting hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis activity. Before implementation, a species-specific validation of such a method is required. Therefore, we conducted a physiological validation of an enzyme immunoassay (EIA) to measure FCMs in blue foxes. Twenty individuals (nine males and eleven females) were injected with synthetic adrenocorticotrophic hormone (ACTH) and faecal samples were collected every third h for two days. The FCM baseline levels were assessed based on the first sampling day (control period, 144 samples), followed by the ACTH injection and the second day of sampling (treatment period, 122 samples). FCMs were analysed with a 5 alpha-pregnane-3ss,11ss,21-triol-20-one EIA. We compared the estimated mean FCM concentrations of the treatment samples to the baseline average. All samples for the two periods were collected at the same time of the day, which enabled to test the data also with an hourly pairwise comparison. With the two statistical approaches, we tested whether a possible diurnal fluctuation in the FCM concentrations affected the interpretation of the results. Compared to the baseline levels, both approaches showed 2.4-3.2 times higher concentrations on time points sampled 8-14 h after the ACTH injection (p < 0.05). The estimated FCM concentrations also fluctuated slightly within the control period (p < 0.01). Inter-individual variations in FCM levels were marked, which highlights the importance of having a sufficient number of animals in experiments utilising FCMs. The sampling intervals of 3 h enabled forming of informative FCM curves. Taken together, this study proves that FCM analysis with a 5 alpha-pregnane-3ss,11ss,21-triol-20-one EIA is a valid measurement of adrenocortical activity in the farmed blue foxes. Therefore, it can be utilised as a non-invasive stress indicator in future animal welfare studies of the species.
  • Duckworth, James; O'Brien, Susan; Väisänen, Roni; Lehikoinen, Petteri; Petersen, I. B. Krag; Daunt, Francis; Green, Jonathan A. (2020)
    Recently, Red-throated Loons Gavia stellata (RTL) have been the subject of increased interest due to their negative interactions with shipping, offshore wind farms, and other marine industry activities. This has driven a desire to quantify the behaviour and ecology of this understudied species, particularly during the non-breeding season. To achieve this, Time Depth Recorder (TDR) and Global Location Sensor (GLS) tags were deployed on individuals from several European locations. Due to an incidental mortality, one set of tags was retrieved early. The single set of tags recorded activity from June to August 2018. The TDR collected records for 14 d, providing the first ever biologging data on RTL foraging in Europe. The bird was tagged 90 km from the coast; therefore, it only used freshwater lakes and was never recorded entering saltwater. The individual mostly undertook shallow dives, with maximum and mean depths of 20 m and 5.4 m, respectively. Foraging constituted 22.9% of total activity during the sampling period. The RTL had diel foraging patterns. with dives being shallower and more frequent at times of "twilight" compared to "daylight." These results provide novel information on an RTL's diurnal patterns of water depth usage and foraging effort during the summer, demonstrating the potential of data loggers to provide key insights into the foraging ecology of this species
  • Shevtsov, Vladislav; Kairzhanova, Alma; Shevtsov, A; Shustov, Alexandr; Kalendar, Ruslan; Abdrakhmanov, Sarsenbay; Lukhnova, Larissa; Izbanova, Uinkul; Ramankulov, Yerlan; Vergnaud, Gilles (2021)
    Tularemia is a highly dangerous zoonotic infection due to the bacteria Francisella tularensis. Low genetic diversity promoted the use of polymorphic tandem repeats (MLVA) as first-line assay for genetic description. Whole genome sequencing (WGS) is becoming increasingly accessible, opening the perspective of a time when WGS might become the universal genotyping assay. The main goal of this study was to describe F. tularensis strains circulating in Kazakhstan based on WGS data and develop a MLVA assay compatible with in vitro and in silico analysis. In vitro MLVA genotyping and WGS were performed for the vaccine strain and for 38 strains isolated in Kazakhstan from natural water bodies, ticks, rodents, carnivores, and from one migratory bird, an Isabellina wheatear captured in a rodent burrow. The two genotyping approaches were congruent and allowed to attribute all strains to two F. tularensis holarctica lineages, B.4 and B.12. The seven tandem repeats polymorphic in the investigated strain collection could be typed in a single multiplex PCR assay. Identical MLVA genotypes were produced by in vitro and in silico analysis, demonstrating full compatibility between the two approaches. The strains from Kazakhstan were compared to all publicly available WGS data of worldwide origin by whole genome SNP (wgSNP) analysis. Genotypes differing at a single SNP position were collected within a time interval of more than fifty years, from locations separated from each other by more than one thousand kilometers, supporting a role for migratory birds in the worldwide spread of the bacteria.
  • Lehikoinen, Petteri; Tiusanen, Maria; Santangeli, Andrea; Rajasärkkä, Ari; Jaatinen, Kim; Valkama, Jari; Virkkala, Raimo; Lehikoinen, Aleksi (2021)
    Climate change has ubiquitous impacts on ecosystems and threatens biodiversity globally. One of the most recognized impacts are redistributions of species, a process which can be hindered by habitat degradation. Protected areas (PAs) have been shown to be beneficial for preserving and reallocating species occurrences under climate change. Yet, studies investigating effects of PA networks on species' range shifts under climate change remain scarce. In theory, a well-connected network of PAs should promote population persistence under climate change and habitat degradation. To study this, we evaluated the effects of PA coverage on avian communities in Finland between two study periods of 1980-1999 and 2000-2015. Climate-driven community impacts were investigated by using community temperature index (CTI). We used linear models to study the association of PA coverage and the CTI changes in southern, central and northern Finland. In northern and central Finland, higher PA coverage was associated with lower changes in CTI and 45% PA coverage in northern and 13% in central Finland corresponded with complete mitigation of CTI increase. These results indicate that higher PA coverage strongly increases community resilience to warming climate. However a similar association between PA coverage and changes in CTI was not apparent in southern Finland. The PA coverage in southern Finland was much lower than in the two other sections and thus, may be too sparse to favour community resilience against climate change. The results provide empirical evidence for the international need to rapidly expand PA networks and halt biodiversity loss.