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Publisher: Oxford University Press   (Total: 406 journals)

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Showing 1 - 200 of 406 Journals sorted alphabetically
ACS Symposium Series     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 1, SJR: 0.189, CiteScore: 0)
Acta Biochimica et Biophysica Sinica     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 5, SJR: 0.79, CiteScore: 2)
Adaptation     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 9, SJR: 0.143, CiteScore: 0)
Advances in Nutrition     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 54, SJR: 2.196, CiteScore: 5)
Aesthetic Surgery J.     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 6, SJR: 1.434, CiteScore: 1)
Aesthetic Surgery J. Open Forum     Open Access  
African Affairs     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 66, SJR: 1.869, CiteScore: 2)
Age and Ageing     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 90, SJR: 1.989, CiteScore: 4)
Alcohol and Alcoholism     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 18, SJR: 1.376, CiteScore: 3)
American Entomologist     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 8)
American Historical Review     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 179, SJR: 0.467, CiteScore: 1)
American J. of Agricultural Economics     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 44, SJR: 2.113, CiteScore: 3)
American J. of Clinical Nutrition     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 187, SJR: 3.438, CiteScore: 6)
American J. of Epidemiology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 195, SJR: 2.713, CiteScore: 3)
American J. of Health-System Pharmacy     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 55, SJR: 0.595, CiteScore: 1)
American J. of Hypertension     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 26, SJR: 1.322, CiteScore: 3)
American J. of Jurisprudence     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 19, SJR: 0.281, CiteScore: 1)
American J. of Legal History     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 9, SJR: 0.116, CiteScore: 0)
American Law and Economics Review     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 28, SJR: 1.053, CiteScore: 1)
American Literary History     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 17, SJR: 0.391, CiteScore: 0)
Analysis     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 23, SJR: 1.038, CiteScore: 1)
Animal Frontiers     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 1)
Annals of Behavioral Medicine     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 16, SJR: 1.423, CiteScore: 3)
Annals of Botany     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 38, SJR: 1.721, CiteScore: 4)
Annals of Oncology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 55, SJR: 5.599, CiteScore: 9)
Annals of the Entomological Society of America     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 11, SJR: 0.722, CiteScore: 1)
Annals of Work Exposures and Health     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 34, SJR: 0.728, CiteScore: 2)
Antibody Therapeutics     Open Access  
AoB Plants     Open Access   (Followers: 4, SJR: 1.28, CiteScore: 3)
Applied Economic Perspectives and Policy     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 17, SJR: 0.858, CiteScore: 2)
Applied Linguistics     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 60, SJR: 2.987, CiteScore: 3)
Applied Mathematics Research eXpress     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 1, SJR: 1.241, CiteScore: 1)
Arbitration Intl.     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 21)
Arbitration Law Reports and Review     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 14)
Archives of Clinical Neuropsychology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 30, SJR: 0.731, CiteScore: 2)
Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 3)
Arthropod Management Tests     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 2)
Astronomy & Geophysics     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 44, SJR: 0.146, CiteScore: 0)
Behavioral Ecology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 53, SJR: 1.871, CiteScore: 3)
Bioinformatics     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 347, SJR: 6.14, CiteScore: 8)
Biology Methods and Protocols     Hybrid Journal  
Biology of Reproduction     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 10, SJR: 1.446, CiteScore: 3)
Biometrika     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 20, SJR: 3.485, CiteScore: 2)
BioScience     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 29, SJR: 2.754, CiteScore: 4)
Bioscience Horizons : The National Undergraduate Research J.     Open Access   (Followers: 2, SJR: 0.146, CiteScore: 0)
Biostatistics     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 17, SJR: 1.553, CiteScore: 2)
BJA : British J. of Anaesthesia     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 188, SJR: 2.115, CiteScore: 3)
BJA Education     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 66)
Brain     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 70, SJR: 5.858, CiteScore: 7)
Briefings in Bioinformatics     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 49, SJR: 2.505, CiteScore: 5)
Briefings in Functional Genomics     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 3, SJR: 2.15, CiteScore: 3)
British J. for the Philosophy of Science     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 38, SJR: 2.161, CiteScore: 2)
British J. of Aesthetics     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 25, SJR: 0.508, CiteScore: 1)
British J. of Criminology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 603, SJR: 1.828, CiteScore: 3)
British J. of Social Work     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 86, SJR: 1.019, CiteScore: 2)
British Medical Bulletin     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 6, SJR: 1.355, CiteScore: 3)
British Yearbook of Intl. Law     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 35)
Bulletin of the London Mathematical Society     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 4, SJR: 1.376, CiteScore: 1)
Cambridge J. of Economics     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 71, SJR: 0.764, CiteScore: 2)
Cambridge J. of Regions, Economy and Society     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 12, SJR: 2.438, CiteScore: 4)
Cambridge Quarterly     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 10, SJR: 0.104, CiteScore: 0)
Capital Markets Law J.     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 2, SJR: 0.222, CiteScore: 0)
Carcinogenesis     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 2, SJR: 2.135, CiteScore: 5)
Cardiovascular Research     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 14, SJR: 3.002, CiteScore: 5)
Cerebral Cortex     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 52, SJR: 3.892, CiteScore: 6)
CESifo Economic Studies     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 23, SJR: 0.483, CiteScore: 1)
Chemical Senses     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 1, SJR: 1.42, CiteScore: 3)
Children and Schools     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 6, SJR: 0.246, CiteScore: 0)
Chinese J. of Comparative Law     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 5, SJR: 0.412, CiteScore: 0)
Chinese J. of Intl. Law     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 23, SJR: 0.329, CiteScore: 0)
Chinese J. of Intl. Politics     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 10, SJR: 1.392, CiteScore: 2)
Christian Bioethics: Non-Ecumenical Studies in Medical Morality     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 10, SJR: 0.183, CiteScore: 0)
Classical Receptions J.     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 27, SJR: 0.123, CiteScore: 0)
Clean Energy     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Clinical Infectious Diseases     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 70, SJR: 5.051, CiteScore: 5)
Communication Theory     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 25, SJR: 2.424, CiteScore: 3)
Communication, Culture & Critique     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 28, SJR: 0.222, CiteScore: 1)
Community Development J.     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 27, SJR: 0.268, CiteScore: 1)
Computer J.     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 9, SJR: 0.319, CiteScore: 1)
Conservation Physiology     Open Access   (Followers: 3, SJR: 1.818, CiteScore: 3)
Contemporary Women's Writing     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 9, SJR: 0.121, CiteScore: 0)
Contributions to Political Economy     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 6, SJR: 0.906, CiteScore: 1)
Critical Values     Full-text available via subscription  
Current Developments in Nutrition     Open Access   (Followers: 3)
Current Legal Problems     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 29)
Current Zoology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 3, SJR: 1.164, CiteScore: 2)
Database : The J. of Biological Databases and Curation     Open Access   (Followers: 9, SJR: 1.791, CiteScore: 3)
Digital Scholarship in the Humanities     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 14, SJR: 0.259, CiteScore: 1)
Diplomatic History     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 21, SJR: 0.45, CiteScore: 1)
DNA Research     Open Access   (Followers: 5, SJR: 2.866, CiteScore: 6)
Dynamics and Statistics of the Climate System     Open Access   (Followers: 4)
Early Music     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 17, SJR: 0.139, CiteScore: 0)
Econometrics J.     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 32, SJR: 2.926, CiteScore: 1)
Economic J.     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 116, SJR: 5.161, CiteScore: 3)
Economic Policy     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 48, SJR: 3.584, CiteScore: 3)
ELT J.     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 24, SJR: 0.942, CiteScore: 1)
English Historical Review     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 56, SJR: 0.612, CiteScore: 1)
English: J. of the English Association     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 18, SJR: 0.1, CiteScore: 0)
Environmental Entomology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 11, SJR: 0.818, CiteScore: 2)
Environmental Epigenetics     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Environmental History     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 26, SJR: 0.408, CiteScore: 1)
EP-Europace     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 3, SJR: 2.748, CiteScore: 4)
Epidemiologic Reviews     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 9, SJR: 4.505, CiteScore: 8)
ESHRE Monographs     Hybrid Journal  
Essays in Criticism     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 20, SJR: 0.113, CiteScore: 0)
European Heart J.     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 66, SJR: 9.315, CiteScore: 9)
European Heart J. - Cardiovascular Imaging     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 10, SJR: 3.625, CiteScore: 3)
European Heart J. - Cardiovascular Pharmacotherapy     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 2)
European Heart J. - Quality of Care and Clinical Outcomes     Hybrid Journal  
European Heart J. : Case Reports     Open Access  
European Heart J. Supplements     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 8, SJR: 0.223, CiteScore: 0)
European J. of Cardio-Thoracic Surgery     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 9, SJR: 1.681, CiteScore: 2)
European J. of Intl. Law     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 205, SJR: 0.694, CiteScore: 1)
European J. of Orthodontics     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 5, SJR: 1.279, CiteScore: 2)
European J. of Public Health     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 19, SJR: 1.36, CiteScore: 2)
European Review of Agricultural Economics     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 10, SJR: 1.172, CiteScore: 2)
European Review of Economic History     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 30, SJR: 0.702, CiteScore: 1)
European Sociological Review     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 43, SJR: 2.728, CiteScore: 3)
Evolution, Medicine, and Public Health     Open Access   (Followers: 12)
Family Practice     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 15, SJR: 1.018, CiteScore: 2)
Fems Microbiology Ecology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 16, SJR: 1.492, CiteScore: 4)
Fems Microbiology Letters     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 28, SJR: 0.79, CiteScore: 2)
Fems Microbiology Reviews     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 33, SJR: 7.063, CiteScore: 13)
Fems Yeast Research     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 14, SJR: 1.308, CiteScore: 3)
Food Quality and Safety     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Foreign Policy Analysis     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 24, SJR: 1.425, CiteScore: 1)
Forest Science     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 8, SJR: 0.89, CiteScore: 2)
Forestry: An Intl. J. of Forest Research     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 16, SJR: 1.133, CiteScore: 3)
Forum for Modern Language Studies     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 6, SJR: 0.104, CiteScore: 0)
French History     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 34, SJR: 0.118, CiteScore: 0)
French Studies     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 21, SJR: 0.148, CiteScore: 0)
French Studies Bulletin     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 10, SJR: 0.152, CiteScore: 0)
Gastroenterology Report     Open Access   (Followers: 3)
Genome Biology and Evolution     Open Access   (Followers: 16, SJR: 2.578, CiteScore: 4)
Geophysical J. Intl.     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 39, SJR: 1.506, CiteScore: 3)
German History     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 23, SJR: 0.161, CiteScore: 0)
GigaScience     Open Access   (Followers: 6, SJR: 5.022, CiteScore: 7)
Global Summitry     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 1)
Glycobiology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 13, SJR: 1.493, CiteScore: 3)
Health and Social Work     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 57, SJR: 0.388, CiteScore: 1)
Health Education Research     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 15, SJR: 0.854, CiteScore: 2)
Health Policy and Planning     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 24, SJR: 1.512, CiteScore: 2)
Health Promotion Intl.     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 22, SJR: 0.812, CiteScore: 2)
History Workshop J.     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 33, SJR: 1.278, CiteScore: 1)
Holocaust and Genocide Studies     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 28, SJR: 0.105, CiteScore: 0)
Human Communication Research     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 15, SJR: 2.146, CiteScore: 3)
Human Molecular Genetics     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 9, SJR: 3.555, CiteScore: 5)
Human Reproduction     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 75, SJR: 2.643, CiteScore: 5)
Human Reproduction Open     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Human Reproduction Update     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 21, SJR: 5.317, CiteScore: 10)
Human Rights Law Review     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 64, SJR: 0.756, CiteScore: 1)
ICES J. of Marine Science: J. du Conseil     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 58, SJR: 1.591, CiteScore: 3)
ICSID Review : Foreign Investment Law J.     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 11)
ILAR J.     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 3, SJR: 1.732, CiteScore: 4)
IMA J. of Applied Mathematics     Hybrid Journal   (SJR: 0.679, CiteScore: 1)
IMA J. of Management Mathematics     Hybrid Journal   (SJR: 0.538, CiteScore: 1)
IMA J. of Mathematical Control and Information     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 2, SJR: 0.496, CiteScore: 1)
IMA J. of Numerical Analysis - advance access     Hybrid Journal   (SJR: 1.987, CiteScore: 2)
Industrial and Corporate Change     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 10, SJR: 1.792, CiteScore: 2)
Industrial Law J.     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 41, SJR: 0.249, CiteScore: 1)
Inflammatory Bowel Diseases     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 47, SJR: 2.511, CiteScore: 4)
Information and Inference     Free  
Innovation in Aging     Open Access  
Integrative and Comparative Biology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 9, SJR: 1.319, CiteScore: 2)
Integrative Biology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 6, SJR: 1.36, CiteScore: 3)
Integrative Organismal Biology     Open Access  
Interacting with Computers     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 11, SJR: 0.292, CiteScore: 1)
Interactive CardioVascular and Thoracic Surgery     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 7, SJR: 0.762, CiteScore: 1)
Intl. Affairs     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 68, SJR: 1.505, CiteScore: 3)
Intl. Data Privacy Law     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 27)
Intl. Health     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 6, SJR: 0.851, CiteScore: 2)
Intl. Immunology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 3, SJR: 2.167, CiteScore: 4)
Intl. J. for Quality in Health Care     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 36, SJR: 1.348, CiteScore: 2)
Intl. J. of Constitutional Law     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 65, SJR: 0.601, CiteScore: 1)
Intl. J. of Epidemiology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 260, SJR: 3.969, CiteScore: 5)
Intl. J. of Law and Information Technology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 5, SJR: 0.202, CiteScore: 1)
Intl. J. of Law, Policy and the Family     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 28, SJR: 0.223, CiteScore: 1)
Intl. J. of Lexicography     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 10, SJR: 0.285, CiteScore: 1)
Intl. J. of Low-Carbon Technologies     Open Access   (Followers: 1, SJR: 0.403, CiteScore: 1)
Intl. J. of Neuropsychopharmacology     Open Access   (Followers: 3, SJR: 1.808, CiteScore: 4)
Intl. J. of Public Opinion Research     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 11, SJR: 1.545, CiteScore: 1)
Intl. J. of Refugee Law     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 39, SJR: 0.389, CiteScore: 1)
Intl. J. of Transitional Justice     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 11, SJR: 0.724, CiteScore: 2)
Intl. Mathematics Research Notices     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 1, SJR: 2.168, CiteScore: 1)
Intl. Political Sociology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 40, SJR: 1.465, CiteScore: 3)
Intl. Relations of the Asia-Pacific     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 24, SJR: 0.401, CiteScore: 1)
Intl. Studies Perspectives     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 9, SJR: 0.983, CiteScore: 1)
Intl. Studies Quarterly     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 50, SJR: 2.581, CiteScore: 2)
Intl. Studies Review     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 25, SJR: 1.201, CiteScore: 1)
ISLE: Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and Environment     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 2, SJR: 0.15, CiteScore: 0)
ITNOW     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 1, SJR: 0.103, CiteScore: 0)
J. of African Economies     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 17, SJR: 0.533, CiteScore: 1)
J. of American History     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 46, SJR: 0.297, CiteScore: 1)
J. of Analytical Toxicology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 14, SJR: 1.065, CiteScore: 2)
J. of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 15, SJR: 2.419, CiteScore: 4)
J. of Antitrust Enforcement     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 1)
J. of Applied Poultry Research     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 5, SJR: 0.585, CiteScore: 1)
J. of Biochemistry     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 41, SJR: 1.226, CiteScore: 2)
J. of Breast Imaging     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 1)
J. of Burn Care & Research     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 11, SJR: 0.768, CiteScore: 2)

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Similar Journals
Journal Cover
Conservation Physiology
Journal Prestige (SJR): 1.818
Citation Impact (citeScore): 3
Number of Followers: 3  

  This is an Open Access Journal Open Access journal
ISSN (Online) 2051-1434
Published by Oxford University Press Homepage  [406 journals]
  • Predicted impacts of climate warming on aerobic performance and upper
           thermal tolerance of six tropical freshwater fishes spanning three

    • Authors: Lapointe D; Cooperman M, Chapman L, et al.
      Abstract: Equatorial fishes, and the critically important fisheries based on them, are thought to be at-risk from climate warming because the fishes have evolved in a relatively aseasonal environment and possess narrow thermal tolerance windows that are close to upper thermal limits. We assessed survival, growth, aerobic performance and critical thermal maxima (CTmax) following acute and 21 d exposures to temperatures up to 4°C higher than current maxima for six species of freshwater fishes indigenous to tropical countries and of importance for human consumption. All six species showed 1.3–1.7°C increases in CTmax with a 4°C rise in acclimation temperature, values which match up well with fishes from other climatic regions, and five species had survival >87% at all temperatures over the treatment period. Specific growth rates varied among and within each species in response to temperature treatments. For all species, the response of resting metabolic rate (RMR) was consistently more dynamic than for maximum metabolic rate, but in general both acute temperature exposure and thermal acclimation had only modest effects on aerobic scope (AS). However, RMR increased after warm acclimation in 5 of 6 species, suggesting incomplete metabolic compensation. Taken in total, our results show that each species had some ability to perform at temperatures up to 4°C above current maxima, yet also displayed certain areas of concern for their long-term welfare. We therefore suggest caution against the overly broad generalization that all tropical freshwater fish species will face severe challenges from warming temperatures in the coming decades and that future vulnerability assessments should integrate multiple performance metrics as opposed to relying on a single response metric. Given the societal significance of inland fisheries in many parts of the tropics, our results clearly demonstrate the need for more species-specific studies of adaptive capacity to climate change-related challenges.
      PubDate: Mon, 15 Oct 2018 00:00:00 GMT
      DOI: 10.1093/conphys/coy056
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 1 (2018)
  • Quantifying corticosterone in feathers: validations for an emerging

    • Authors: Freeman N; Newman A, Cooke S.
      Abstract: Feather corticosterone measurement is becoming a widespread tool for assessing avian physiology. Corticosterone is deposited into feathers during growth and provides integrative and retrospective measures of an individual’s hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal (HPA) axis function. Although researchers across disciplines have been measuring feather corticosterone for the past decade, there are still many issues with the extraction and measurement of corticosterone from feathers. In this paper, we provide several directives for refining the methodology for feather hormone analysis. We compare parallelism between the standard curve and serially diluted feather tissue from wild turkeys, Canada jays, and black-capped chickadees to demonstrate the wide applicability across species. Through a series of validations, we compare methods for feather preparation, sample filtration and extract reconstitution prior to corticosterone quantification using a radioimmunoassay. Higher corticosterone yields were achieved following pulverization of the feather however, more variation between replicates was observed. Removal of the rachis also increased the amount of corticosterone detected per unit mass while glass versus paper filters had no effect, and using ethanol in the reconstution buffer decreased intra-assay variation. With these findings and continued methodological refinement, feather corticosterone has the potential to be a powerful tool for both ecologists and physiologists working with historical and contemporary specimens.
      PubDate: Thu, 11 Oct 2018 00:00:00 GMT
      DOI: 10.1093/conphys/coy051
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 1 (2018)
  • A burning question: what are the risks and benefits of mammalian torpor
           during and after fires'

    • Authors: Geiser F; Stawski C, Doty A, et al.
      Abstract: Although wildfires are increasing globally, available information on how mammals respond behaviourally and physiologically to fires is scant. Despite a large number of ecological studies, often examining animal diversity and abundance before and after fires, the reasons as to why some species perform better than others remain obscure. We examine how especially small mammals, which generally have high rates of energy expenditure and food requirements, deal with fires and post-fire conditions. We evaluate whether mammalian torpor, characterised by substantial reductions in body temperature, metabolic rate and water loss, plays a functional role in survival of mammals impacted by fires. Importantly, torpor permits small mammals to reduce their activity and foraging, and to survive on limited food. Torpid small mammals (marsupials and bats) can respond to smoke and arouse from torpor, which provides them with the possibility to evade direct exposure to fire, although their response is often slowed when ambient temperature is low. Post-fire conditions increase expression of torpor with a concomitant decrease in activity for free-ranging echidnas and small forest-dwelling marsupials, in response to reduced cover and reduced availability of terrestrial insects. Presence of charcoal and ash increases torpor use by captive small marsupials beyond food restriction alone, likely in anticipation of detrimental post-fire conditions. Interestingly, although volant bats use torpor on every day after fires, they respond by decreasing torpor duration, and increasing activity, perhaps because of the decrease in clutter and increase in foraging opportunities due to an increase in aerial insects. Our summary shows that torpor is an important tool for post-fire survival and, although the physiological and behavioural responses of small mammals to fire are complex, they seem to reflect energetic requirements and mode of foraging. We make recommendations on the conditions during management burns that are least likely to impact heterothermic mammals.
      PubDate: Thu, 11 Oct 2018 00:00:00 GMT
      DOI: 10.1093/conphys/coy057
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 1 (2018)
  • Integrating physiological stress into the movement ecology of migratory
           ungulates: a spatial analysis with mule deer

    • Authors: Jachowski D; Kauffman M, Jesmer B, et al.
      Abstract: Rapid climate and human land-use change may limit the ability of long-distance migratory herbivores to optimally track or ‘surf’ high-quality forage during spring green-up. Understanding how anthropogenic and environmental stressors influence migratory movements is of critical importance because of their potential to cause a mismatch between the timing of animal movements and the emergence of high-quality forage. We measured stress hormones (fecal glucocorticoid metabolites; FGMs) to test hypotheses about the effects of high-quality forage tracking, human land-use and use of stopover sites on the physiological state of individuals along a migratory route. We collected and analysed FGM concentrations from 399 mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus) samples obtained along a 241-km migratory route in western Wyoming, USA, during spring 2015 and 2016. In support of a fitness benefit hypothesis, individuals occupying areas closer to peak forage quality had decreased FGM levels. Specifically, for every 10-day interval closer to peak forage quality, we observed a 7% decrease in FGMs. Additionally, we observed support for both an additive anthropogenic stress hypothesis and a hypothesis that stopovers act as physiological refugia, wherein individuals sampled far from stopover sites exhibited 341% higher FGM levels if in areas of low landscape integrity compared to areas of high landscape integrity. Overall, our findings indicate that the physiological state of mule deer during migration is influenced by both anthropogenic disturbances and their ability to track high-quality forage. The availability of stopovers, however, modulates physiological responses to those stressors. Thus, our results support a recent call for the prioritization of stopover locations and connectivity between those locations in conservation planning for migratory large herbivores.
      PubDate: Fri, 28 Sep 2018 00:00:00 GMT
      DOI: 10.1093/conphys/coy054
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 1 (2018)
  • Suppression of LOX activity enhanced seed vigour and longevity of tobacco
           (Nicotiana tabacum L.) seeds during storage

    • Authors: Li Z; Gao Y, Lin C, et al.
      Abstract: The preservation of seed viability and quality in storage is an important trait both for commercial and germplasm usage. To better explore potential mechanisms of tobacco seed deterioration, seed packed in cloth bag (C) and vacuum bag (V) were stored under room temperature (RT) and low temperature (LT, 18°C), and sampled periodically for laboratory testing. Seed stored in low temperature with vacuum bag (LT/V) owned the highest seed vigour after 25 months of storage and in room temperature with cloth bag (RT/C) lost seed vigour and germination ability after 20-month storage. Meanwhile, seed in RT/C notably increased about 5-fold endogenous hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), 4-fold malondialdehyde (MDA) contents, 12-fold Lipoxygenases (LOX) activity and 2-fold the expression of NtLOX3 comparing with LT/V at the end of 15-month storage. In addition, regression analysis indicated that LOX activity was strongly negatively correlated with seed vigour as the R2 value reached 0.970 in RT/C. Furthermore, caffeic acid and catechin, the inhibitors of LOX activity, were applied to tobacco seeds pre-treatment and followed with artificial accelerated aging. Seeds pretreated with inhibitors, especially caffeic acid, reduced LOX activity by 50%, MDA and H2O2 contents by 40% and 20%, respectively, and increased more than 1.2-fold seed vigour and seedling quality comparing with seeds pretreated with H2O after 6-day artificial aging, indicating a better seed storability after artificial accelerated aging. These results suggest that LOX accelerated seed aging, and suppression of LOX activity enhanced seed vigour and viability in accelerated aging tobacco seed, opening new opportunities for effective management of seed germplasm under long-term storage and conservation.
      PubDate: Fri, 28 Sep 2018 00:00:00 GMT
      DOI: 10.1093/conphys/coy047
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 1 (2018)
  • Assay validation and interspecific comparison of salivary glucocorticoids
           in three amphibian species

    • Authors: Hammond T; Au Z, Hartman A, et al.
      Abstract: Amphibians are one of the most threatened groups of species, facing stressors ranging from habitat degradation and pollution to disease and overexploitation. Stress hormones (glucocorticoids, GCs) provide one quantitative metric of stress, and developing non-invasive methods for measuring GCs in amphibians would clarify how diverse environmental stressors impact individual health in this taxonomic group. Saliva is an advantageous matrix for quantifying GCs, as it is sampled less invasively than plasma while still detecting both baseline and acute elevation of GCs within a short timeframe. Little work has employed this method in amphibian species, and it has never been pharmacologically and biologically validated. Here, we conduct analytical, pharmacological and biological validation experiments for measuring salivary corticosterone in three amphibian species: the American bullfrog (Rana catesbeiana), the green frog (Rana clamitans) and the northern leopard frog (Rana pipiens). These species are faced with a broad range of environmental challenges, and in part of its range R. pipiens populations are currently in decline. In addition to demonstrating that this method can be reliably used in multiple amphibian species, we present an examination of intrinsic biological factors (sex, body condition) that may contribute to GC secretion, and a demonstration that saliva can be collected from free-living animals in the field to quantify corticosterone. Our findings suggest that saliva may be useful for less invasively quantifying GCs in many amphibian species.
      PubDate: Thu, 27 Sep 2018 00:00:00 GMT
      DOI: 10.1093/conphys/coy055
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 1 (2018)
  • Multi-year patterns in testosterone, cortisol and corticosterone in baleen
           from adult males of three whale species

    • Authors: Hunt K; Lysiak N, Matthews C, et al.
      Abstract: Male baleen whales have long been suspected to have annual cycles in testosterone, but due to difficulty in collecting endocrine samples, little direct evidence exists to confirm this hypothesis. Potential influences of stress or adrenal stress hormones (cortisol, corticosterone) on male reproduction have also been difficult to study. Baleen has recently been shown to accumulate steroid hormones during growth, such that a single baleen plate contains a continuous, multi-year retrospective record of the whale’s endocrine history. As a preliminary investigation into potential testosterone cyclicity in male whales and influences of stress, we determined patterns in immunoreactive testosterone, two glucocorticoids (cortisol and corticosterone), and stable-isotope (SI) ratios, across the full length of baleen plates from a bowhead whale (Balaena mysticetus), a North Atlantic right whale (Eubalaena glacialis) and a blue whale (Balaenoptera musculus), all adult males. Baleen was subsampled at 2 cm (bowhead, right) or 1 cm (blue) intervals and hormones were extracted from baleen powder with methanol, followed by quantification of all three hormones using enzyme immunoassays validated for baleen extract of these species. Baleen of all three males contained regularly spaced peaks in testosterone content, with number and spacing of testosterone peaks corresponding well to SI data and to species-specific estimates of annual baleen growth rate. Cortisol and corticosterone exhibited some peaks that co-occurred with testosterone peaks, while other glucocorticoid peaks occurred independent of testosterone peaks. The right whale had unusually high glucocorticoids during a period with a known entanglement in fishing gear and a possible disease episode; in the subsequent year, testosterone was unusually low. Further study of baleen testosterone patterns in male whales could help clarify conservation- and management-related questions such as age of sexual maturity, location and season of breeding, and the potential effect of anthropogenic and natural stressors on male testosterone cycles.
      PubDate: Fri, 21 Sep 2018 00:00:00 GMT
      DOI: 10.1093/conphys/coy049
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 1 (2018)
  • Dose and life stage-dependent effects of dietary beta-carotene
           supplementation on the growth and development of the Booroolong frog

    • Authors: Keogh L; Silla A, McFadden M, et al.
      Abstract: Carotenoids are known for their antioxidant capacity and are considered to play an important role in vertebrate growth and development. However, evidence for their beneficial effects remains limited, possibly because very few studies have tested for dose effects across different life stages. The present study investigated the effect of various doses of dietary beta-carotene supplements on the growth and development of larval and post-metamorphic Booroolong frogs (Litoria booroolongensis). Larval and post-metamorphic basal diets (containing 0.015 and 0.005 mg g−1 total carotenoids, respectively) were supplemented with beta-carotene at one of four concentrations: 0 mg g−1, 0.1 mg g−1, 1 mg g−1 and 10 mg g−1. Each treatment included 72 replicate individuals, and individuals remained on the same diet treatment over both life stages (spanning 53 experimental weeks). Our results show that larvae receiving an intermediate (1 mg g−1) beta-carotene supplement dose grew faster than unsupplemented larvae (0 mg g−1), and metamorphosed earlier. After metamorphosis, there was no effect of the lowest supplement dose (0.1 mg g−1) on growth and development. However, juveniles fed the highest supplement dose (10 mg g−1) displayed significantly smaller body mass and lower body condition, compared to all other supplement doses, from 4-months through to sexual maturity (7-months). These findings indicate that beta-carotene supplementation has positive effects on growth and development, but only at intermediate doses, and only in the larval life stage. This knowledge may assist with amphibian conservation by expediting the rate that metamorphs can be generated in captive breeding programmes. More broadly, this is the first study to demonstrate both dose and life stage-dependent effects of dietary beta-carotene supplementation on vertebrate growth and development.
      PubDate: Wed, 19 Sep 2018 00:00:00 GMT
      DOI: 10.1093/conphys/coy052
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 1 (2018)
  • Dead tired: evaluating the physiological status and survival of neonatal
           reef sharks under stress

    • Authors: Bouyoucos I; Weideli O, Planes S, et al.
      Abstract: Marine protected areas (MPAs) can protect shark populations from targeted fisheries, but resident shark populations may remain exposed to stressors like capture as bycatch and environmental change. Populations of young sharks that rely on shallow coastal habitats, e.g. as nursery areas, may be at risk of experiencing these stressors. The purpose of this study was to characterize various components of the physiological stress response of neonatal reef sharks following exposure to an exhaustive challenge under relevant environmental conditions. To accomplish this, we monitored markers of the secondary stress response and measured oxygen uptake rates (ṀO2) to compare to laboratory-derived baseline values in neonatal blacktip reef (Carcharhinus melanopterus) and sicklefin lemon sharks (Negaprion acutidens). Measurements occurred over three hours following exposure to an exhaustive challenge (gill-net capture with air exposure). Blood lactate concentrations and pH deviated from baseline values at the 3-h sample, indicating that both species were still stressed 3 h after capture. Evidence of a temperature effect on physiological status of either species was equivocal over 28–31°C. However, aspects of the physiological response were species-specific; N. acutidens exhibited a larger difference in blood pH relative to baseline values than C. melanopterus, possibly owing to higher minimum ṀO2. Neither species experienced immediate mortality during the exhaustive challenge; although, single instances of delayed mortality were documented for each species. Energetic costs and recovery times could be extrapolated for C. melanopterus via respirometry; sharks were estimated to expend 9.9 kJ kg−1 (15% of energy expended on daily swimming) for a single challenge and could require 8.4 h to recover. These data suggest that neonatal C. melanopterus and N. acutidens are resilient to brief gill-net capture durations, but this was under a narrow temperature range. Defining species’ vulnerability to stressors is important for understanding the efficacy of shark conservation tools, including MPAs.
      PubDate: Tue, 18 Sep 2018 00:00:00 GMT
      DOI: 10.1093/conphys/coy053
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 1 (2018)
  • Impact of Ocean Acidification and Warming on the bioenergetics of
           developing eggs of Atlantic herring Clupea harengus

    • Authors: Leo E; Dahlke F, Storch D, et al.
      Abstract: Atlantic herring (Clupea harengus) is a benthic spawner, therefore its eggs are prone to encounter different water conditions during embryonic development, with bottom waters often depleted of oxygen and enriched in CO2. Some Atlantic herring spawning grounds are predicted to be highly affected by ongoing Ocean Acidification and Warming with water temperature increasing by up to +3°C and CO2 levels reaching ca. 1000 μatm (RCP 8.5). Although many studies investigated the effects of high levels of CO2 on the embryonic development of Atlantic herring, little is known about the combination of temperature and ecologically relevant levels of CO2. In this study, we investigated the effects of Ocean Acidification and Warming on embryonic metabolic and developmental performance such as mitochondrial function, respiration, hatching success (HS) and growth in Atlantic herring from the Oslo Fjord, one of the spawning grounds predicted to be greatly affected by climate change. Fertilized eggs were incubated under combinations of two PCO2 conditions (400 μatm and 1100 μatm) and three temperatures (6, 10 and 14°C), which correspond to current and end-of-the-century conditions. We analysed HS, oxygen consumption (MO2) and mitochondrial function of embryos as well as larval length at hatch. The capacity of the electron transport system (ETS) increased with temperature, reaching a plateau at 14°C, where the contribution of Complex I to the ETS declined in favour of Complex II. This relative shift was coupled with a dramatic increase in MO2 at 14°C. HS was high under ambient spawning conditions (6–10°C), but decreased at 14°C and hatched larvae at this temperature were smaller. Elevated PCO2 increased larval malformations, indicating sub-lethal effects. These results indicate that energetic limitations due to thermally affected mitochondria and higher energy demand for maintenance occur at the expense of embryonic development and growth.
      PubDate: Tue, 18 Sep 2018 00:00:00 GMT
      DOI: 10.1093/conphys/coy050
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 1 (2018)
  • Toads are plastic, it’s fantastic! Or is it'

    • Authors: Birnie-Gauvin K.
      PubDate: Wed, 05 Sep 2018 00:00:00 GMT
      DOI: 10.1093/conphys/coy048
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 1 (2018)
  • Lifetime glucocorticoid profiles in baleen of right whale calves:
           potential relationships to chronic stress of repeated wounding by Kelp

    • Authors: Fernández Ajó A; Hunt K, Uhart M, et al.
      Abstract: Baleen tissue accumulates stress hormones (glucocorticoids, GC) as it grows, along with other adrenal, gonadal and thyroid hormones. The hormones are deposited in a linear fashion such that a single plate of baleen allows retrospective assessment and evaluation of long-term trends in the whales’ physiological condition. In whale calves, a single piece of baleen contains hormones deposited across the lifespan of the animal, with the tip of the baleen representing prenatally grown baleen. This suggests that baleen recovered from stranded carcasses of whale calves could be used to examine lifetime patterns of stress physiology. Here we report lifetime profiles of cortisol and corticosterone in baleen of a North Atlantic right whale (‘NARW’—Eubalaena glacialis) calf that died from a vessel strike, as well as four southern right whale (‘SRW’—Eubalaena australis) calves that were found dead with varying severity of chronic wounding from Kelp Gull (Larus dominicanus) attacks. In all five calves, prenatally grown baleen exhibited a distinctive profile of elevated glucocorticoids that declined shortly before birth, similar to GC profiles reported from baleen of pregnant females. After birth, GC profiles in calf baleen corresponded with the degree of wounding. The NARW calf and two SRW calves with no or few gull wounds had relatively low and constant GC content throughout life, while two SRW calves with high numbers of gull wounds had pronounced elevations in baleen GC content in postnatal baleen followed by a precipitous decline shortly before death, a profile suggestive of prolonged chronic stress. Baleen samples may present a promising and valuable tool for defining the baseline physiology of whale calves and may prove useful for addressing conservation-relevant questions such as distinguishing acute from chronic stress and, potentially, determining cause of death.
      PubDate: Mon, 20 Aug 2018 00:00:00 GMT
      DOI: 10.1093/conphys/coy045
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 1 (2018)
  • Geographical variation in the standard physiology of brushtail possums
           (Trichosurus): implications for conservation translocations

    • Authors: Cooper C; Withers P, Munns S, et al.
      Abstract: Identifying spatial patterns in the variation of physiological traits that occur within and between species is a fundamental goal of comparative physiology. There has been a focus on identifying and explaining this variation at broad taxonomic scales, but more recently attention has shifted to examining patterns of intra-specific physiological variation. Here we examine geographic variation in the physiology of brushtail possums (Trichosurus), widely distributed Australian marsupials, and discuss how pertinent intra-specific variation may be to conservation physiology. We found significant geographical patterns in metabolism, body temperature, evaporative water loss and relative water economy. These patterns suggest that possums from warmer, drier habitats have more frugal energy and water use and increased capacity for heat loss at high ambient temperatures. Our results are consistent with environmental correlates for broad-scale macro-physiological studies, and most intra-generic and intra-specific studies of marsupials and other mammals. Most translocations of brushtail possums occur into Australia’s arid zone, where the distribution and abundance of possums and other native mammals have declined since European settlement, leading to reintroduction programmes aiming to re-establish functional mammal communities. We suggest that the sub-species T. vulpecula hypoleucus from Western Australia would be the most physiologically appropriate for translocation to these arid habitats, having physiological traits most favourable for the extreme Ta, low and variable water availability and low productivity that characterize arid environments. Our findings demonstrate that geographically widespread populations can differ physiologically, and as a consequence some populations are more suitable for translocation to particular habitats than others. Consideration of these differences will likely improve the success and welfare outcomes of translocation, reintroduction and management programmes.
      PubDate: Fri, 17 Aug 2018 00:00:00 GMT
      DOI: 10.1093/conphys/coy042
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 1 (2018)
  • Haematology and biochemistry of the San Cristóbal Lava Lizard
           (Microlophus bivittatus)

    • Authors: Arguedas R; Steinberg D, Lewbart G, et al.
      Abstract: The San Cristóbal lava lizard, Microlophus bivittatus, is one of nine species of lava lizards endemic to the Galápagos Islands of Ecuador. No information presently exists about baseline health parameters for any of these species. We analysed blood samples drawn from 47 lizards (25 males and 22 females) captured at two locations on San Cristóbal Island. A portable blood analyser (iSTAT) was used to obtain near-immediate field results for total CO2, lactate, sodium, potassium, ionized calcium, glucose and haemoglobin. Standard laboratory haematology techniques were employed for differential white blood cell counts and haematocrit determination. Body temperature, heart rate and body measurements were also recorded. We found significant differences in haematocrit values between males and females. The values reported in this study provide baseline data that may be useful in detecting changes in health status among lava lizards affected by natural disturbances or anthropogenic threats. Our findings might also be helpful in future efforts to demonstrate associations between specific biochemical or haematological parameters and disease. Because there are several related species on different islands in the Galápagos archipelago, comparisons between populations and species will be of interest.Lay Summary:Haematology and biochemistry values of the San Cristóbal lava lizard Microlophus bivittatus, along with several other health parameters (morphometrics and temperature), are reported for the first time.
      PubDate: Fri, 17 Aug 2018 00:00:00 GMT
      DOI: 10.1093/conphys/coy046
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 1 (2018)
  • Visual detection thresholds in two trophically distinct fishes are
           compromised in algal compared to sedimentary turbidity

    • Authors: Nieman C; Oppliger A, McElwain C, et al.
      Abstract: Increasing anthropogenic turbidity is among the most prevalent disturbances in freshwater ecosystems, through increases in sedimentary deposition as well as the rise of nutrient-induced algal blooms. Changes to the amount and color of light underwater as a result of elevated turbidity are likely to disrupt the visual ecology of fishes that rely on vision to survive and reproduce; however, our knowledge of the mechanisms underlying visual responses to turbidity is lacking. First, we aimed to determine the visual detection threshold, a measure of visual sensitivity, of two ecologically and economically important Lake Erie fishes, the planktivorous forage fish, emerald shiner (Notropis atherinoides), and a primary predator, the piscivorous walleye (Sander vitreus), under sedimentary and algal turbidity. Secondly, we aimed to determine if these trophically distinct species are differentially impacted by increased turbidity. We used the innate optomotor response to determine the turbidity levels at which individual fish could no longer detect a difference between a stimulus and the background (i.e. visual detection threshold). Detection thresholds were significantly higher in sedimentary compared to algal turbidity for both emerald shiner (meansediment ± SE = 79.66 ± 5.51 NTU, meanalgal ± SE = 34.41 ± 3.19 NTU) and walleye (meansediment ± SE = 99.98 ± 5.31 NTU, meanalgal ± SE = 40.35 ± 2.44 NTU). Our results suggest that across trophic levels, the visual response of fishes will be compromised under algal compared to sedimentary turbidity. The influence of altered visual environments on the ability of fish to find food and detect predators could potentially be large, leading to population- and community-level changes within the Lake Erie ecosystem.
      PubDate: Fri, 17 Aug 2018 00:00:00 GMT
      DOI: 10.1093/conphys/coy044
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 1 (2018)
  • Generation of a sexually mature individual of the Eastern dwarf tree frog,
           Litoria fallax, from cryopreserved testicular macerates: proof of capacity
           of cryopreserved sperm derived offspring to complete development

    • Authors: Upton R; Clulow S, Mahony M, et al.
      Abstract: Amphibians are the most threatened vertebrate class globally based on recent rates of decline and extinction. Sperm cryopreservation and other assisted reproductive technologies have the potential to help manage small and threatened populations and prevent extinctions. There are a growing number of reports of recovery of amphibian sperm after cryopreservation, but relatively few published reports of amphibian embryos generated from frozen sperm developing beyond metamorphosis to the adult stage and achieving sexual maturation. In this study on the Eastern dwarf tree frog (Litoria fallax), a temperate amphibian species from eastern Australia, a small number of viable metamorphs and one sexually mature male frog (itself producing sperm) were produced from cryopreserved sperm, demonstrating the capacity of embryos generated from cryopreserved sperm to complete the life cycle to sexual maturity. Low progression rates between developmental stages were not deemed to be due to effects of cryopreservation, since control embryos from unfrozen sperm had a similarly low progression rate through development.
      PubDate: Wed, 15 Aug 2018 00:00:00 GMT
      DOI: 10.1093/conphys/coy043
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 1 (2018)
  • Venous blood gas in free-living eastern box turtles (Terrapene carolina
           carolina) and effects of physiologic, demographic and environmental

    • Authors: Adamovicz L; Leister K, Byrd J, et al.
      Abstract: Sustainable wildlife populations depend on healthy individuals, and the approach to determine wellness of individuals is multifaceted. Blood gas analysis serves as a useful adjunctive diagnostic test for health assessment, but it is uncommonly applied to terrestrial reptiles. This study established reference intervals for venous blood gas panels in free-living eastern box turtles (Terrapene carolina carolina, N = 102) from Illinois and Tennessee, and modeled the effects of environmental and physiologic parameters on each blood gas analyte. Blood gas panels included pH, partial pressure of oxygen (pO2), partial pressure of carbon dioxide (pCO2), total carbon dioxide (TCO2), bicarbonate (HCO3−), base excess (BE) and lactate. Candidate sets of general linear models were constructed for each blood gas analyte and ranked using an information-theoretic approach (AIC). Season, packed cell volume (PCV) and activity level were the most important predictors for all blood gas analytes (P < 0.05). Elevations in PCV were associated with increases in pCO2 and lactate, and decreases in pH, pO2, HCO3−, TCO2 and BE. Turtles with quiet activity levels had lower pH and pO2 and higher pCO2 than bright individuals. pH, HCO3−, TCO2 and BE were lowest in the summer, while pCO2 and lactate were highest. Overall, blood pH was most acidic in quiet turtles with elevated PCVs during summer. Trends in the respiratory and metabolic components of the blood gas panel tended to be synergistic rather than antagonistic, demonstrating that either (1) mixed acid–base disturbances are common or (2) chelonian blood pH can reach extreme values prior to activation of compensatory mechanisms. This study shows that box turtle blood gas analytes depend on several physiologic and environmental parameters and the results serve as a baseline for future evaluation.
      PubDate: Wed, 25 Jul 2018 00:00:00 GMT
      DOI: 10.1093/conphys/coy041
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 1 (2018)
  • Seasonal changes of faecal cortisol metabolite levels in Gracilinanus
           agilis (Didelphimorphia: Didelphidae) and its association to life
           histories variables and parasite loads

    • Authors: Hernandez S; Strona A, Leiner N, et al.
      Abstract: The aim of this study was to evaluate the role of environmental (dry versus wet season) and individual (sex, body mass and reproductive status) factors in the levels of faecal cortisol metabolites (FGCs) in Gracilinanus agilis faecal samples as an index of stress levels in this species; as well as its association with abundance of Eimeria spp, as an indicator of immunocompetence against parasites. Our study found that FGCFGCs are a reliable indicator of adrenal activity in G. agilis. We found that FGCFGCs increase considerably by environmental stressors like the dry season. Moreover, the observed positive association between FGCs and body mass is the result of the effect of season and reproduction in both variables. We also demonstrated that an increase in FGC levels among G. agilis during the dry season is associated with a rise in the probability of being infected by Eimeria spp. Hence, our finding supports the corticosteroid-fitness hypothesis, which predicts that increased glucocorticoids as a response to stressors usually results in decreased fitness of individuals, translated into low future survival and reproductive success, and higher parasite infection. To our knowledge, this is the first study that integrates environmental changes, hormone responses and parasite loads in a US marsupial in both empirical and experimental approaches.
      PubDate: Wed, 18 Jul 2018 00:00:00 GMT
      DOI: 10.1093/conphys/coy021
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 1 (2018)
  • Repeated adrenocorticotropic hormone administration alters adrenal and
           thyroid hormones in free-ranging elephant seals

    • Authors: McCormley M; Champagne C, Deyarmin J, et al.
      Abstract: Understanding the physiological response of marine mammals to anthropogenic stressors can inform marine ecosystem conservation strategies. Stress stimulates the activation of the hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal (HPA) axis and synthesis of glucocorticoid (GC) hormones, which increase energy substrate availability while suppressing energy-intensive processes. Exposure to repeated stressors can potentially affect an animal’s ability to respond to and recover from subsequent challenges. To mimic repeated activation of the HPA axis by environmental stressors (or challenges), we administered adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) to free-ranging juvenile northern elephant seals (Mirounga angustirostris; n = 7) once daily for 4 days. ACTH administration induced significant elevation in circulating cortisol and aldosterone levels. The cortisol responses did not vary in magnitude between the first ACTH administration on Day 1 and the last administration on Day 4. In contrast, aldosterone levels remained elevated above baseline for at least 24 h after each ACTH injection, and responses were greater on Day 4 than Day 1. Total triiodothyronine (tT3) levels were decreased on Day 4 relative to Day 1, while reverse triiodothyronine (rT3) concentrations increased relative to baseline on Days 1 and 4 in response to ACTH, indicating a suppression of thyroid hormone production. There was no effect of ACTH on the sex steroid dehydroepiandrosterone. These data suggest that elephant seals are able to mount adrenal responses to multiple ACTH administrations. However, repeated ACTH administration resulted in facilitation of aldosterone secretion and suppression of tT3, which may impact osmoregulation and metabolism, respectively. We propose that aldosterone and tT3 are informative additional indicators of repeated stress in marine mammals.
      PubDate: Tue, 17 Jul 2018 00:00:00 GMT
      DOI: 10.1093/conphys/coy040
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 1 (2018)
  • An assessment of the US endangered species act recovery plans: using
           physiology to support conservation

    • Authors: Mahoney J; Klug P, Reed W.
      Abstract: Applying physiology to help solve conservation problems has become increasingly prominent. It is unclear, however, if the increased integration into the scientific community has translated into the application of physiological tools in conservation planning. We completed a review of the use of animal physiology in the US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) Endangered Species Act (ESA) recovery plans released between 2005 and 2016. Over those 11 years, 135 of the 146 recovery plans mentioned physiology, with 56% including it as background information on the natural history of the species and not as part of the recovery process. Fish and bird species had the lowest proportion of recovery plans to include physiology beyond the description of the natural history. When considering multiple sub-disciplines of physiology, immunology and epidemiology were incorporated as part of the recovery process most often. Our review suggests a disconnect between available physiological tools and the potential role of physiology in developing conservation plans. We provide three suggestions to further guide conservation scientists, managers and physiologists to work synergistically to solve conservation problems: (1) the breadth of knowledge within a recovery plan writing team should be increased, for example, through increased training of federal scientists in new physiology methodologies and tools or the inclusion of authors in academia that have a background in physiology; (2) physiologists should make their research more available to conservation scientists and federal agencies by clearly linking their research to conservation and (3) communication should be enhanced between government conservation scientists and physiologists.
      PubDate: Mon, 16 Jul 2018 00:00:00 GMT
      DOI: 10.1093/conphys/coy036
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 1 (2018)
  • Juvenile rockfish show resilience to CO2-acidification and hypoxia across
           multiple biological scales

    • Authors: Davis B; Komoroske L, Hansen M, et al.
      Abstract: California’s coastal ecosystems are forecasted to undergo shifting ocean conditions due to climate change, some of which may negatively impact recreational and commercial fish populations. To understand if fish populations have the capacity to respond to multiple stressors, it is critical to examine interactive effects across multiple biological scales, from cellular metabolism to species interactions. This study examined the effects of CO2-acidification and hypoxia on two naturally co-occurring species, juvenile rockfish (genus Sebastes) and a known predator, cabezon (Scorpaenichthys marmoratus). Fishes were exposed to two PCO2 levels at two dissolved oxygen (DO) levels: ~600 (ambient) and ~1600 (high) μatm PCO2 and 8.0 (normoxic) and 4.5 mg l−1 DO (hypoxic) and assessments of cellular metabolism, prey behavior and predation mortality rates were quantified after 1 and 3 weeks. Physiologically, rockfish showed acute alterations in cellular metabolic enzyme activity after 1 week of acclimation to elevated PCO2 and hypoxia that were not evident in cabezon. Alterations in rockfish energy metabolism were driven by increases in anaerobic LDH activity, and adjustments in enzyme activity ratios of cytochrome c oxidase and citrate synthase and LDH:CS. Correlated changes in rockfish behavior were also apparent after 1 week of acclimation to elevated PCO2 and hypoxia. Exploration behavior increased in rockfish exposed to elevated PCO2 and spatial analysis of activity indicated short-term interference with anti-predator responses. Predation rate after 1 week increased with elevated PCO2; however, no mortality was observed under the multiple-stressor treatment suggesting negative effects on cabezon predators. Most noteworthy, metabolic and behavioral changes were moderately compensated after 3 weeks of acclimation, and predation mortality rates also decreased suggesting that these rockfish may be resilient to changes in environmental stressors predicted by climate models. Linking physiological and behavioral responses to multiple stressors is vital to understand impacts on populations and community dynamics.
      PubDate: Tue, 10 Jul 2018 00:00:00 GMT
      DOI: 10.1093/conphys/coy038
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 1 (2018)
  • The effects of body region, season and external arsenic application on
           hair cortisol concentration

    • Authors: Acker M; Mastromonaco G, Schulte-Hostedde A.
      Abstract: Hair cortisol analysis has been used to quantify hormone levels in circulation in several mammal species. Hair remains stable for decades or centuries, allowing researchers to use archived hair samples to investigate hormone levels that span long time periods. However, several studies have found that intra-individual variability, driven by the body region from which a sample is derived, confounds measurements of systemic glucocorticoid hormone concentrations. In addition, the external application of chemical agents to hair can remove or concentrate molecules of interest. These may preclude the use of samples that have been collected opportunistically and/or those that have been housed in museum collections. Using a captive population of Vancouver Island marmots (Marmota vancouverensis), we found a strong effect of body region on the concentration of cortisol within hair, as well as an effect of season. Using a collection of American mink (Neovison vison) pelts, we found that application of the preservative arsenic in the form of a soap does not cause a significant decrease in cortisol. The marmot results suggest that intra-individual variability is not stable through time. The reason for these seasonal effects is not clear and further study is necessary. Researchers using samples from an unknown body region should exercise caution in interpreting their results. The mink results suggest that samples held in museum collections can be used to quantify cortisol, even when arsenic preservation is suspected.
      PubDate: Tue, 10 Jul 2018 00:00:00 GMT
      DOI: 10.1093/conphys/coy037
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 1 (2018)
  • Domestic dilemma: when cultivated plants lose their wild side

    • Authors: Haynes A.
      PubDate: Mon, 09 Jul 2018 00:00:00 GMT
      DOI: 10.1093/conphys/coy039
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 1 (2018)
  • Health Status of Great Frigatebirds (Fregata minor) Determined by
           Haematology, Biochemistry, Blood Gases, and Physical Examination

    • Authors: Valle C; Ulloa C, Deresienski D, et al.
      Abstract: The great frigatebird, Fregata minor, is a widely distributed seabird native to the Galápagos archipelago. Haematology and blood chemistry parameters have been published for this species but not from the San Cristóbal and North Seymour great frigatebird breeding colonies. Analyses were run on blood samples drawn from 25 great frigatebirds captured by hand at their nests at Punta Pitt on San Cristóbal Island and 30 birds on North Seymour Island, Galápagos Islands. A portable blood analyser (iSTAT) was used to obtain near immediate field results for pH, pO2, pCO2, TCO2, HCO3−, haematocrit (Hct), haemoglobin (Hb), sodium (Na), potassium (K), chloride (Cl), ionized calcium (iCa), creatinine, urea nitrogen, anion gap and glucose. Blood lactate was measured using a portable Lactate Plus™ analyser. Average heart rate, respiratory rate, body weight, body temperature, biochemistry and haematology parameters were comparable to healthy individuals of other Fregatidae. The reported results provide baseline data that can be used for comparisons among populations and in detecting changes in health status among Galápagos great frigatebirds.
      PubDate: Mon, 02 Jul 2018 00:00:00 GMT
      DOI: 10.1093/conphys/coy034
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 1 (2018)
  • Exploring the link between ultraviolet B radiation and immune function in
           amphibians: implications for emerging infectious diseases

    • Authors: Cramp R; Franklin C.
      Abstract: Amphibian populations the world over are under threat of extinction, with as many as 40% of assessed species listed as threatened under IUCN Red List criteria (a significantly higher proportion than other vertebrate group). Amongst the key threats to amphibian species is the emergence of novel infectious diseases, which have been implicated in the catastrophic amphibian population declines and extinctions seen in many parts of the world. The recent emergence of these diseases coincides with increased ambient levels of ultraviolet B radiation (UVBR) due to anthropogenic thinning of the Earth’s protective ozone layer, raising questions about potential interactions between UVBR exposure and disease in amphibians. While reasonably well documented in other vertebrate groups (particularly mammals), the immunosuppressive capacity of UVBR and the potential for it to influence disease outcomes has been largely overlooked in amphibians. Herein, we review the evidence for UVBR-associated immune system disruption in amphibians and identify a number of direct and indirect pathways through which UVBR may influence immune function and disease susceptibility in amphibians. By exploring the physiological mechanisms through which UVBR may affect host immune function, we demonstrate how ambient UVBR could increase amphibian susceptibility to disease. We conclude by discussing the potential implications of elevated UVBR for inter and intraspecific differences in disease dynamics and discuss how future research in this field may be directed to improve our understanding of the role that UVBR plays in amphibian immune function.
      PubDate: Thu, 28 Jun 2018 00:00:00 GMT
      DOI: 10.1093/conphys/coy035
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 1 (2018)
  • Behavioural guidance of Chinook salmon smolts: the variable effects of LED
           spectral wavelength and strobing frequency

    • Authors: Hansen M; Cocherell D, Cooke S, et al.
      Abstract: Exploiting species-specific behavioural responses of fish to light is an increasingly promising technique to reduce the entrainment or impingement of fish that results from the diversion of water for human activities, such as hydropower or irrigation. Whilst there is some evidence that white light can be an effective deterrent for Chinook salmon smolts, the results have been mixed. There is a need to test the response of fish to different spectra and strobing frequencies to improve deterrent performance. We tested the movement and spatial response of groups of four fish to combinations of light-emitting diode (LED) spectra (red, green, blue and white light) during the day and night, and strobing frequencies (constant and 2Hz) during the day, using innovative LED technology intended as a behavioural guidance device for use in the field. Whilst strobing did not alter fish behaviour when compared to constant light, the red light had a repulsive effect during the day, with fish under this treatment spending significantly less time in the half of the arena closest to the behavioural guidance device compared to both the control and blue light. Importantly, this effect disappeared at night, where there were no differences in movement and space use found between spectra. There was some evidence of a potential attractive response of fish to the blue and green light during the day. Under these light treatments, fish spent the highest amount of time closest to the behavioural guidance device. Further tests manipulating the light intensity in the different spectra are needed to verify the mechanistic determinants of the observed behaviours. Results are discussed in reference to the known spectral sensitivities of the cone and rod photopigments in these fish, and further experiments are suggested to better relate the work to mitigating the effects on fish of infrastructure used for hydropower and irrigation.
      PubDate: Mon, 25 Jun 2018 00:00:00 GMT
      DOI: 10.1093/conphys/coy032
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 1 (2018)
  • Rapid loss of seed viability in ex situ conserved wheat and barley at 4°C
           as compared to −20°C storage

    • Authors: van Treuren R; Bas N, Kodde J, et al.
      Abstract: Genebanks aim to optimize their storage conditions in order to postpone seed ageing as long as possible. As most genebanks have a relatively short life history, empirical data about seed longevity during ex situ storage are almost absent. Based on seed characteristics, theoretical predictions indicate that cereal seeds can be stored without substantial loss of viability for time periods exceeding 100 years, even under temperatures of a few degrees above zero. Here we present the results of a germination study in wheat and barley, comparing genebank seed samples maintained at different temperatures for 23–33 years. Wheat and barley seed samples stored at −20°C showed a mean germination of 94% and 90%, respectively, indicating no loss of the initial viability determined for the accessions prior to introduction in the collection. Seed samples maintained at 4°C showed a mean germination of 62% for wheat and 75% for barley. In addition to the observed loss of viability, the 4°C samples also showed a loss in vigour as the time period to reach their final germination was about twice as long compared to the −20°C samples. A subset of the wheat accessions tested in 2011 were retested in 2017, showing further reduction in mean germination to 35% for the 4°C samples, while the −20°C samples remained stable at 95%. Several 4°C samples were even close to a complete loss of viability. Considering that wheat and barley are generally regarded as good maintainers, the rapid loss of seed viability observed in the present study indicates that the ex situ seed storage of genetic resources at 4°C should be treated with caution by genebanks, particularly when used for long-term conservation.
      PubDate: Mon, 25 Jun 2018 00:00:00 GMT
      DOI: 10.1093/conphys/coy033
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 1 (2018)
  • Validation of a blubber-based endocrine pregnancy test for humpback whales

    • Authors: Pallin L; Robbins J, Kellar N, et al.
      Abstract: Baleen whales have few identifiable external indicators of pregnancy state, making it challenging to study essential aspects of their biology and population dynamics. Pregnancy status in other marine mammals has been determined by measuring progesterone concentrations from a variety of sample matrices, but logistical constraints have limited such studies in free-swimming baleen whales. We use an extensive blubber sample archive and associated calving history data to retrospectively identify samples that correspond to pregnant females and develop a progesterone-based pregnancy test for humpback whales. The lowest pregnant blubber progesterone concentration was 54.97 ng g−1, and the mean for the known-pregnant group was 198.74 ± 180.65 ng g−1. Conversely, females known to be below the minimum age of sexual maturity (juvenile females) had an overall low mean progesterone concentration (0.59 ± 0.25 ng g−1), well below the known-pregnant range. Of the mature females that did not return with a calf (n = 11), three fell within the known-pregnant range (320.79 ± 209.34 ng g−1), while the levels for the remaining eight were two orders of magnitude below the lowest known-pregnant level (1.63 ± 1.15 ng g−1). The proportion of females that did not return with a calf but had values similar to known-pregnant females are consistent with rates of calf mortality, but other potential explanations were considered. Our findings support a validated blubber endocrine assignment of pregnancy corroborated with field life history information, a first for any baleen whale species. The progesterone values we measured were similar to those found in different pregnancy states of other cetaceans and support using blubber biopsy samples for assigning pregnancy in humpback whales. This method can be applied to existing archives or new samples to better study life history and population demography broadly across species and populations.
      PubDate: Wed, 20 Jun 2018 00:00:00 GMT
      DOI: 10.1093/conphys/coy031
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 1 (2018)
  • The conservation physiology toolbox: status and opportunities

    • Authors: Madliger C; Love O, Hultine K, et al.
      Abstract: For over a century, physiological tools and techniques have been allowing researchers to characterize how organisms respond to changes in their natural environment and how they interact with human activities or infrastructure. Over time, many of these techniques have become part of the conservation physiology toolbox, which is used to monitor, predict, conserve, and restore plant and animal populations under threat. Here, we provide a summary of the tools that currently comprise the conservation physiology toolbox. By assessing patterns in articles that have been published in ‘Conservation Physiology’ over the past 5 years that focus on introducing, refining and validating tools, we provide an overview of where researchers are placing emphasis in terms of taxa and physiological sub-disciplines. Although there is certainly diversity across the toolbox, metrics of stress physiology (particularly glucocorticoids) and studies focusing on mammals have garnered the greatest attention, with both comprising the majority of publications (>45%). We also summarize the types of validations that are actively being completed, including those related to logistics (sample collection, storage and processing), interpretation of variation in physiological traits and relevance for conservation science. Finally, we provide recommendations for future tool refinement, with suggestions for: (i) improving our understanding of the applicability of glucocorticoid physiology; (ii) linking multiple physiological and non-physiological tools; (iii) establishing a framework for plant conservation physiology; (iv) assessing links between environmental disturbance, physiology and fitness; (v) appreciating opportunities for validations in under-represented taxa; and (vi) emphasizing tool validation as a core component of research programmes. Overall, we are confident that conservation physiology will continue to increase its applicability to more taxa, develop more non-invasive techniques, delineate where limitations exist, and identify the contexts necessary for interpretation in captivity and the wild.
      PubDate: Tue, 19 Jun 2018 00:00:00 GMT
      DOI: 10.1093/conphys/coy029
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 1 (2018)
  • Evolution of plasticity in the city: urban acorn ants can better tolerate
           more rapid increases in environmental temperature

    • Authors: Diamond S; Chick L, Perez A, et al.
      Abstract: Because cities contain high levels of impervious surfaces and diminished buffering effects of vegetation cover, urbanized environments can warm faster over the day and exhibit more rapid warming over space due to greater thermal heterogeneity in these environments. Whether organismal physiologies can adapt to these more rapid spatio-temporal changes in temperature rise within cities is unknown, and exploring these responses can inform not only how plastic and evolutionary mechanisms shape organismal physiologies, but also the potential for organisms to cope with urban development. Here, we examined how plasticity in thermal tolerance under faster and slower rates of temperature change might evolve in response to the more rapid spatio-temporal temperature rise in cities. We focused on acorn ants, a temperature-sensitive, ground-dwelling ant species that makes its home inside hollowed out acorns. We reared acorn ant colonies from urban and rural populations under a common garden design in the laboratory and assessed the thermal tolerances of F1 offspring workers using both fast (1°C min−1) and slow (0.2°C min−1) rates of temperature change. Relative to the rural population, the urban population exhibited higher heat tolerance when the temperature was increased quickly, providing evidence that temperature ramp-rate plasticity evolved in the urban population. This result was correlated with both faster rates of diurnal warming in urban acorn ant nest sites and greater spatial heterogeneity in environmental temperature across urban foraging areas. By contrast, rates of diurnal cooling in acorn ant nest sites were similar across urban and rural habitats, and correspondingly, we found that urban and rural populations responded similarly to variation in the rate of temperature decrease when we assessed cold tolerance. Our study highlights the importance of considering not only evolutionary differentiation in trait means across urbanization gradients, but also how trait plasticity might or might not evolve.
      PubDate: Thu, 14 Jun 2018 00:00:00 GMT
      DOI: 10.1093/conphys/coy030
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 1 (2018)
  • Enhanced access to anthropogenic food waste is related to hyperglycemia in
           raccoons (Procyon lotor)

    • Authors: Schulte-Hostedde A; Mazal Z, Jardine C, et al.
      Abstract: Urban landscapes have well-known effects on wildlife populations. Many species of urban wildlife feed on anthropogenic food wastes, and little is known regarding the sub-lethal physiological consequences of this novel diet. We use samples from three populations of raccoons to test the hypothesis that access to anthropogenic food waste will lead to elevated body mass, blood glucose and serum leptin. Each population varied in their presumed access to food waste. We found that raccoons from the site with the highest presumed access to food waste were significantly heavier and had significantly higher levels of glycated serum protein (GSP, a marker of elevated blood glucose). In addition, GSP concentration was positively related to body mass. No significant differences in serum leptin were detected, nor was serum leptin related to body mass. Urban diets may have significant physiological consequences for urban wildlife related to glucose metabolism. Further research will be needed to determine the evolutionary consequences of the novel urban diet, and whether adaptation is occurring.
      PubDate: Wed, 13 Jun 2018 00:00:00 GMT
      DOI: 10.1093/conphys/coy026
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 1 (2018)
  • Corrigendum to: Condition index monitoring supports conservation
           priorities for the protection of threatened grass-finch populations

    • Authors: Maute K; French K, Legge S, et al.
      PubDate: Fri, 08 Jun 2018 00:00:00 GMT
      DOI: 10.1093/conphys/coy028
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 1 (2018)
  • Sea turtles with “the bends” breathe easy again after oxygen

    • Authors: Madliger C; Rummer J.
      PubDate: Fri, 08 Jun 2018 00:00:00 GMT
      DOI: 10.1093/conphys/coy027
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 1 (2018)
  • Interacting with wildlife tourism increases activity of white sharks

    • Authors: Huveneers C; Watanabe Y, Payne N, et al.
      Abstract: Anthropogenic activities are dramatically changing marine ecosystems. Wildlife tourism is one of the fastest growing sectors of the tourism industry and has the potential to modify the natural environment and behaviour of the species it targets. Here, we used a novel method to assess the effects of wildlife tourism on the activity of white sharks (Carcharodon carcharias). High frequency three-axis acceleration loggers were deployed on ten white sharks for a total of ~9 days. A combination of multivariate and univariate analysis revealed that the increased number of strong accelerations and vertical movements when sharks are interacting with cage-diving operators result in an overall dynamic body acceleration (ODBA) ~61% higher compared with other times when sharks are present in the area where cage-diving occurs. Since ODBA is considered a proxy of metabolic rate, interacting with cage-divers is probably more costly than are normal behaviours of white sharks at the Neptune Islands. However, the overall impact of cage-diving might be small if interactions with individual sharks are infrequent. This study suggests wildlife tourism changes the instantaneous activity levels of white sharks, and calls for an understanding of the frequency of shark-tourism interactions to appreciate the net impact of ecotourism on this species’ fitness.
      PubDate: Wed, 06 Jun 2018 00:00:00 GMT
      DOI: 10.1093/conphys/coy019
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 1 (2018)
  • Nothing in modern biology makes sense except in the light of ecology and
           biodiversity conservation

    • Authors: Costantini D.
      PubDate: Wed, 23 May 2018 00:00:00 GMT
      DOI: 10.1093/conphys/coy025
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 1 (2018)
  • Conserving diggers: from gold miners to aardvarks

    • Authors: Mitchell D.
      PubDate: Tue, 08 May 2018 00:00:00 GMT
      DOI: 10.1093/conphys/coy024
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 1 (2018)
  • Impacts of environmental matching on the routine metabolic rate and mass
           of native and mixed-ancestry brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis) fry

    • Authors: Cook C; Wilson C, Burness G.
      Abstract: The environment an organism experiences during early development can impact its physiology and survival later in life. The objective of this study was to determine if temperatures experienced at embryonic life stages of brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis) affected mass and routine metabolic rate (RMR) of a subsequent life stage (free-swimming fry). As part of this, we assessed the contributions and importance of hierarchical levels of biological organization [ancestral type (native vs. hatchery-introgressed), population, and family] to variability in mass and RMR of fry. As embryos and alevin, individuals were reared at either natural environmental (5°C) or elevated (9°C) temperatures and then acclimated to either matched or mismatched temperature treatments once yolk sacs were resorbed. Mass differences among fry were strongly influenced by population of origin as well as initial rearing and final acclimation temperatures. Variation in mass-adjusted RMR of fry was also strongly accounted for by source population, acclimation temperature, and individual mass. A significant interaction between population RMR and final acclimation temperature indicated that not all brook trout populations responded the same way to temperature changes. In contrast to expectations, the highest ancestry category (native vs. introgressed) did not significantly influence mass or mass-adjusted RMR.
      PubDate: Tue, 08 May 2018 00:00:00 GMT
      DOI: 10.1093/conphys/coy023
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 1 (2018)
  • CSI shark edition: revealing illegal trade with DNA

    • Authors: Laubenstein T.
      PubDate: Thu, 03 May 2018 00:00:00 GMT
      DOI: 10.1093/conphys/coy022
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 1 (2018)
  • Ultrasound imaging improves hormone therapy strategies for induction of
           ovulation and in vitro fertilization in the endangered dusky gopher frog
           (Lithobates sevosa)

    • Authors: Graham K; Langhorne C, Vance C, et al.
      Abstract: Establishing captive breeding populations of amphibians is an important conservation strategy to safeguard against ongoing declines of wild populations and provide broodstock for reintroduction programs. The endangered dusky gopher frog (DGF) has never naturally reproduced in captivity and requires breeding intervention to sustain the population. Methods for inducing ovulation in female DGFs using hormone therapies have not been evaluated. To address this need, we tested four exogenous hormone treatments to induce ovulation in DGFs (n = 11/treatment), including: treatment (A) gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonist (GnRHa); (B) GnRHa with dopamine antagonist metoclopramide hydrochloride; (C) GnRHa and human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) and (D) GnRHa with hCG following two low hCG priming doses. Treatments B, C and D resulted in a significantly greater (P < 0.0125) number of ovulating females compared to the control (no hormone); Treatment A was not different from control. For ovulating females, the number of eggs, relative fecundity and cleavage rates of eggs were compared between the four hormone treatments and initial ultrasound grade. Between treatments, there was no difference in number of eggs or relative fecundity; however, Treatments A and D resulted in higher (P < 0.05) cleavage rates than Treatment C, but were not different from Treatment B. Ultrasound imaging was used to assess the ovarian state of DGF females prior to and following hormone therapy. A grading scale (Grades 1–5) was developed to characterize ovarian states. Ultrasound grade was found to be a significant (P = 0.002) predictor for ovulation following hormone treatment, with only high-grade females (Grades 3–4) ovulating in response to hormones. Ultrasound grade did not influence egg numbers or cleavage rate (P > 0.05). Results demonstrate multiple hormone therapies are available for stimulating ovulation in female DGFs and ultrasonography is a valuable tool to inform hormone therapy. Ultimately, these reproductive technologies are critical to enhance breeding and reintroduction efforts for the DGF.
      PubDate: Sat, 28 Apr 2018 00:00:00 GMT
      DOI: 10.1093/conphys/coy020
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 1 (2018)
  • Some seriously fishy research puts holes in movement barriers

    • Authors: Tomlinson S.
      PubDate: Wed, 18 Apr 2018 00:00:00 GMT
      DOI: 10.1093/conphys/coy017
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 1 (2018)
  • Using the shuttlebox experimental design to determine temperature
           preference for juvenile Westslope Cutthroat Trout (Oncorhynchus clarkii

    • Authors: Macnaughton C; Kovachik C, Charles C, et al.
      Abstract: Temperature preference for various fishes has often been used as a proxy of optimal temperature for growth and metabolism due to the ease of obtaining preferred temperature zones in laboratory experiments. Several laboratory designs and methods have been proposed to examine preferred temperature zones, however, differences between them (i.e. thermal gradients vs. static temperatures in chambers and duration of acclimation/experimental periods) have led to varying measurements, precluding comparisons between experiments, species and/or life-stages. Juvenile Westslope Cutthroat Trout (Oncorhynchus clarkii lewisi), a species listed as threatened in Alberta and of special concern in British Columbia, were tested in an automated shuttlebox experimental design (Loligo® Systems) to determine average and ranges of temperature preference (Tpref) and occupied temperatures. Previous lab studies suggested that Westslope Cutthroat Trout (WCT) prefer temperatures around 15°C, however, we found that average daytime Tpref for lab-reared juvenile WCT was substantially higher at 18.6°C, with occupied temperatures ranging between 11.9°C and 26.0°C throughout the duration of trials. This seems to indicate that despite constant lab-rearing conditions of 12°C, juvenile WCT may tolerate and even prefer warmer water temperatures. The duration of the acclimation period (1h, 12 h and 24 h) did not have an effect on Tpref, however, Tpref differed significantly for variable trial durations (12 h, 24 h and 36 h). A closer look at thermal trends throughout trials revealed that photoperiod significantly influenced Tpref, as nighttime temperature preference reached consistently 26°C. Collectively, these results suggest that shuttlebox experiments on WCT need to take into account the photoperiod, as behaviour may drive Tpref more so than the duration of acclimation periods.
      PubDate: Wed, 18 Apr 2018 00:00:00 GMT
      DOI: 10.1093/conphys/coy018
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 1 (2018)
  • Influence of artificially induced light pollution on the hormone system of
           two common fish species, perch and roach, in a rural habitat

    • Authors: Brüning A; Kloas W, Preuer T, et al.
      Abstract: Almost all life on earth has adapted to natural cycles of light and dark by evolving circadian and circannual rhythms to synchronize behavioural and physiological processes with the environment. Artificial light at night (ALAN) is suspected to interfere with these rhythms. In this study we examined the influence of ALAN on nocturnal melatonin and sex steroid blood concentrations and mRNA expression of gonadotropins in the pituitary of European perch (Perca fluviatilis) and roach (Rutilus rutilus). In a rural experimental setting, fish were held in net cages in drainage channels experiencing either additional ALAN of ~15 lx at the water surface or natural light conditions at half-moon. No differences in melatonin concentrations between ALAN and natural conditions were detected. However, blood concentration of sex steroids (17β-estradiol; 11-ketotestosterone) as well as mRNA expression of gonadotropins (luteinizing hormone, follicle stimulating hormone) was reduced in both fish species. We conclude that ALAN can disturb biological rhythms in fish in urban waters. However, impacts on melatonin rhythm might have been blurred by individual differences, sampling methods and moonlight. The effect of ALAN on biomarkers of reproduction suggests a photo-labile period around the onset of gonadogenesis, including the experimental period (August). Light pollution therefore has a great potential to influence crucial life history traits with unpredictable outcome for fish population dynamics.
      PubDate: Fri, 13 Apr 2018 00:00:00 GMT
      DOI: 10.1093/conphys/coy016
  • An ecophysiologically informed model of seed dispersal by orangutans:
           linking animal movement with gut passage across time and space

    • Authors: Tarszisz E; Tomlinson S, Harrison M, et al.
      Abstract: Fauna-mediated ecosystem service provision (e.g. seed dispersal) can be difficult to quantify and predict because it is underpinned by the shifting niches of multiple interacting organisms. Such interactions are especially complex in tropical ecosystems, including endangered peat forests of Central Borneo, a biodiversity hot spot and home to the critically endangered orangutan (Pongo pygmaeus wurmbii). We combined studies of the digestive physiology of captive orangutans in Australia with detailed field studies of wild orangutans in the Natural Laboratory of Peat-Swamp Forest of Sabangau, Central Kalimantan, Indonesia. By measuring the gut transit time (TT) of indigestible seed mimics (beads) in captivity and applying this as a temporal constraint to movement data of wild orangutans, we developed a mechanistic, time-explicit spatial model to project the seed dispersal patterns by these large-bodied, arboreal frugivores. We followed seven orangutans and established home range kernels using Time Local Convex Hull (T-LoCoH) modelling. This allowed us to model individual orangutan movements and to adjust these models according to gut transit times to estimate seed dispersal kernels. Female movements were conservative (core ranges of 55 and 52 ha in the wet and dry seasons, respectively) and revisitation rates to the same location of n = 4 in each 24-h block. Male movements were more unpredictable, yielding fragmented core ranges and revisitation rates to the same location of only 1.2 times each 24 h; males also demonstrated large disjunctions where they moved rapidly over long distances and were frequently lost from view. Seed dispersal kernels were nested predictably within the core ranges of females, but not males. We used the T-LoCoH approach to analyse movement ecology, which offered a powerful tool to predict the primary deposition of seeds by orangutans, thereby providing a reliable method for making a priori predictions of seed dispersal dynamics by other frugivores in novel ecosystems.
      PubDate: Wed, 28 Mar 2018 00:00:00 GMT
      DOI: 10.1093/conphys/coy013
  • Crossing boundaries in conservation physiology

    • Authors: Tomlinson S; Rummer J, Hultine K, et al.
      PubDate: Fri, 23 Mar 2018 00:00:00 GMT
      DOI: 10.1093/conphys/coy015
  • Biomonitors of atmospheric nitrogen deposition: potential uses and

    • Authors: Díaz-Álvarez E; Lindig-Cisneros R, de la Barrera E.
      Abstract: Atmospheric nitrogen deposition is the third largest cause of global biodiversity loss, with rates that have more than doubled over the past century. This is especially threatening for tropical regions where the deposition may soon exceed 25 kg of N ha−1 year−1, well above the threshold for physiological damage of 12–20 kg of N ha−1 year−1, depending on plant species and nitrogenous compound. It is thus urgent to monitor these regions where the most diverse biotas occur. However, most studies have been conducted in Europe, the USA and recently in China. This review presents the case for the potential use of biological organisms to monitor nitrogen deposition, with emphasis on tropical plants. We first present an overview of atmospheric chemistry and the nitrogen metabolism of potential biomonitors, followed by a framework for monitoring nitrogen deposition based on the simultaneous use of various functional groups. In particular, the tissue nitrogen content responds to the rate of deposition, especially for mosses, whose nitrogen content increases by 1‰ per kilogram of N ha−1 year−1. The isotopic signature, δ15N, is a useful indicator of the nitrogen source, as the slightly negative values (e.g. 5‰) of plants from natural environments can become very negative (−11.2‰) in sites with agricultural and husbandry activities, but very positive (13.3‰) in urban environments with high vehicular activity. Mosses are good biomonitors for wet deposition and atmospheric epiphytes for dry deposition. In turn, the nitrogen saturation of ecosystems can be monitored with trees whose isotopic values increase with saturation. Although given ecophysiological limitations of different organisms, particular studies should be conducted in each area of interest to determine the most suitable biomonitors. Overall, biomonitors can provide an integrative approach for characterizing nitrogen deposition in regions where the deployment of automated instruments or passive monitoring is not feasible or can be complementary.
      PubDate: Tue, 13 Mar 2018 00:00:00 GMT
      DOI: 10.1093/conphys/coy011
  • Defence mechanisms: the role of physiology in current and future
           environmental protection paradigms

    • Authors: Glover C.
      Abstract: Ecological risk assessments principally rely on simplified metrics of organismal sensitivity that do not consider mechanism or biological traits. As such, they are unable to adequately extrapolate from standard laboratory tests to real-world settings, and largely fail to account for the diversity of organisms and environmental variables that occur in natural environments. However, an understanding of how stressors influence organism health can compensate for these limitations. Mechanistic knowledge can be used to account for species differences in basal biological function and variability in environmental factors, including spatial and temporal changes in the chemical, physical and biological milieu. Consequently, physiological understanding of biological function, and how this is altered by stressor exposure, can facilitate proactive, predictive risk assessment. In this perspective article, existing frameworks that utilize physiological knowledge (e.g. biotic ligand models, adverse outcomes pathways and mechanistic effect models), are outlined, and specific examples of how mechanistic understanding has been used to predict risk are highlighted. Future research approaches and data needs for extending the incorporation of physiological information into ecological risk assessments are discussed. Although the review focuses on chemical toxicants in aquatic systems, physical and biological stressors and terrestrial environments are also briefly considered.
      PubDate: Tue, 13 Mar 2018 00:00:00 GMT
      DOI: 10.1093/conphys/coy012
  • Impact of motorboats on fish embryos depends on engine type

    • Authors: Jain-Schlaepfer S; Fakan E, Rummer J, et al.
      Abstract: Human generated noise is changing the natural underwater soundscapes worldwide. The most pervasive sources of underwater anthropogenic noise are motorboats, which have been found to negatively affect several aspects of fish biology. However, few studies have examined the effects of noise on early life stages, especially the embryonic stage, despite embryo health being critical to larval survival and recruitment. Here, we used a novel setup to monitor heart rates of embryos from the staghorn damselfish (Amblyglyphidodon curacao) in shallow reef conditions, allowing us to examine the effects of in situ boat noise in context with real-world exposure. We found that the heart rate of embryos increased in the presence of boat noise, which can be associated with the stress response. Additionally, we found 2-stroke outboard-powered boats had more than twice the effect on embryo heart rates than did 4-stroke powered boats, showing an increase in mean individual heart rate of 1.9% and 4.6%, respectively. To our knowledge this is the first evidence suggesting boat noise elicits a stress response in fish embryo and highlights the need to explore the ecological ramifications of boat noise stress during the embryo stage. Also, knowing the response of marine organisms caused by the sound emissions of particular engine types provides an important tool for reef managers to mitigate noise pollution.
      PubDate: Tue, 13 Mar 2018 00:00:00 GMT
      DOI: 10.1093/conphys/coy014
  • Elevated temperatures are associated with stress in rooftop-nesting Common
           Nighthawk (Chordeiles minor) chicks

    • Authors: Newberry G; Swanson D.
      Abstract: Grasslands and riparian forests in southeastern South Dakota have been greatly reduced since historical times, primarily due to conversion to row-crop agriculture. Common Nighthawk (Chordeiles minor) nesting habitat includes grasslands, open woodlands and urban rooftops, but nesting sites in southeastern South Dakota are confined to rooftops, as natural nesting habitat is limited. Nighthawks nesting on exposed rooftop habitats may encounter thermal conditions that increase operative temperatures relative to vegetated land cover types. Mean humidity has increased and mean wind speed and cloud cover have decreased during the nighthawk breeding season from 1948 to 2016 in southeastern South Dakota. These changes might contribute to increasing operative temperatures at exposed rooftop nest sites and this could influence chick condition. We studied nest micro-climate and the plasma stress response for 24 rooftop-nesting nighthawk chicks from 17 nests during 2015 and 2016. High humidity prior to blood collection reduced both baseline and stress-induced plasma corticosterone (CORT). In contrast, high maximum temperatures during the day before sampling increased stress-induced CORT. The magnitude of the chick stress response was significantly negatively related to maximum wind speed for the week prior to CORT measurement. Other weather and micro-climate variables were not significant effectors of CORT metrics. Most chicks had low baseline CORT and were able to mount a stress response, but a subset of chicks (n = 4) showed elevated baseline CORT and a negative association between the magnitude of stress response and ambient temperature. For this subset, mean ambient temperature for the day before sampling was significantly higher (2.3°C) than for chicks with typical baseline CORT levels. These data suggest that regional climate change trends could affect the ability of nighthawk chicks to mount a stress response, which, in turn, might influence the susceptibility of nighthawk chicks to climate change in the Northern Prairie region.
      PubDate: Thu, 01 Mar 2018 00:00:00 GMT
      DOI: 10.1093/conphys/coy010
  • The future is female. Is that a problem for sea turtle conservation'

    • Authors: Komoroske L.
      PubDate: Thu, 01 Mar 2018 00:00:00 GMT
      DOI: 10.1093/conphys/coy009
  • A novel method for the measurement of glucocorticoids in dermal secretions
           of amphibians

    • Authors: Santymire R; Manjerovic M, Sacerdote-Velat A.
      Abstract: Amphibians have been declining in both diversity and abundance due in large part to habitat degradation and the prevalence of emerging diseases. Although stressors can suppress the immune system, affecting an individual’s health and susceptibility to pathogens, established methods for directly collecting stress hormones are not suitable for rapid field use or for use on threatened and endangered species. To overcome these challenges, we are developing an innovative method to collect and measure amphibian glucocorticoid secretions using non-invasive dermal swabs. We tested this methodology using multiple terrestrial, semi-aquatic and fully aquatic species. We swabbed the dorsal side of each animal six times and then induced a stressor of either hand-restraint, ACTH injection, or saline as a control. We then repeated swab collection immediately after the stressor and at 15, 30, 45, 60, 90 and 120 min intervals. Cortisol enzyme immunoassay detected changes in cortisol post-stressor. We also tested this methodology in the field and were successfully able to detect glucocorticoids from multiple species at varying life stages. When using in the field, capture technique should be considered since it may impact stress levels in certain species. Upon further testing, this novel method may be used to greatly increase our understanding of amphibian health especially as disease and environmental changes continue to impact fragile populations.
      PubDate: Fri, 16 Feb 2018 00:00:00 GMT
      DOI: 10.1093/conphys/coy008
  • Artificial light at night causes an unexpected increase in oxalate in
           developing male songbirds

    • Authors: Raap T; Pinxten R, Eens M.
      Abstract: Artificial light at night (ALAN) is a widespread and increasing environmental pollutant with known negative impacts on animal physiology and development. Physiological effects could occur through sleep disruption and deprivation, but this is difficult to quantify, especially in small developing birds. Sleep loss can potentially be quantified by using oxalate, a biomarker for sleep debt in adult humans and rats. We examined the effect of ALAN on oxalate in free-living developing great tits (Parus major) as effects during early-life could have long-lasting and irreversible consequences. Nestlings’ physiology was quantified at baseline (= 13 days after hatching) and again after two nights of continued darkness (control) or exposure to ALAN (treatment). We found that ALAN increased oxalate levels but only in male nestlings, rather than decreasing it as was found in sleep-deprived humans and rats. Our results using developing birds differ strongly from those obtained with adult mammals. However, we used ALAN to reduce sleep while in rats forced movement was used. Finally, we used free-living opposed to laboratory animals. Whether oxalate is a reliable marker of sleep loss in developing great tits remains to be examined. Potentially the increase of oxalate in male nestlings was unrelated to sleep debt. Nonetheless, our results substantiate physiological effects of ALAN in developing animals and may provide a foundation for future work with free-living animals.
      PubDate: Fri, 16 Feb 2018 00:00:00 GMT
      DOI: 10.1093/conphys/coy005
  • Biochemistry and hematology parameters of the San Cristóbal Galápagos
           tortoise (Chelonoidis chathamensis)

    • Authors: Lewbart G; Griffioen J, Savo A, et al.
      Abstract: As part of a planned introduction of captive Galapagos tortoises (Chelonoidis chathamensis) to the San Cristóbal highland farms, our veterinary team performed thorough physical examinations and health assessments of 32 tortoises. Blood samples were collected for packed cell volume (PCV), total solids (TS), white blood cell count (WBC) differential, estimated WBC and a biochemistry panel including lactate. In some cases not all of the values were obtainable but most of the tortoises have full complements of results. Despite a small number of minor abnormalities this was a healthy group of mixed age and sex tortoises that had been maintained with appropriate husbandry. This work establishes part of a scientific and technical database to provide qualitative and quantitative information when establishing sustainable development strategies aimed at the conservation of Galapagos tortoises.
      PubDate: Fri, 16 Feb 2018 00:00:00 GMT
      DOI: 10.1093/conphys/coy004
  • Blood analytes of oceanic-juvenile loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta
           caretta) from Azorean waters: reference intervals, size-relevant
           correlations and comparisons to neritic loggerheads from western Atlantic
           coastal waters

    • Authors: Stacy N; Bjorndal K, Perrault J, et al.
      Abstract: Blood analyte reference intervals are scarce for immature life stages of the loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta). The objectives of this study were to (1) document reference intervals of packed cell volume (PCV) and 20 plasma chemistry analytes from wild oceanic-juvenile stage loggerhead turtles from Azorean waters, (2) investigate correlations with body size (minimum straight carapace length: SCLmin) and (3) compare plasma chemistry data to those from older, larger neritic juveniles (<80 cm SCLmin) and adult loggerheads (≥80 cm SCLmin) that have recruited to the West Atlantic in waters around Cape Canaveral, Florida. Twenty-eight Azorean loggerhead turtles with SCLmin of 17.6–60.0 cm (mean 34.9 ± 12.1 cm) were captured, sampled and immediately released. Reference intervals are reported. There were several biologically relevant correlations of blood analytes with SCLmin: positive correlations of PCV, proteins and triglycerides with SCLmin indicated somatic growth, increasing diving activity and/or diet; negative correlations of tissue enzymes with SCLmin suggested faster growth at smaller turtle size, while negative correlations of electrolytes with SCLmin indicated differences in diet, environmental conditions and/or osmoregulation unique to the geographic location. Comparisons of loggerhead turtles from the Azores (i.e. oceanic) and Cape Canaveral (i.e. neritic) identified significant differences regarding diet, somatic growth, and/or environment: in Azorean turtles, albumin, triglycerides and bilirubin increased with SCLmin, while alkaline phosphatase, lactate dehydrogenase and sodium decreased. In larger neritic Cape Canaveral turtles, aspartate aminotransferase increased with SCLmin, while the albumin:globulin ratio, phosphorus and cholesterol decreased. These differences suggest unique physiological disparities between life stage development and migration, reflecting biological and habitat differences between the two populations. This information presents biologically important data that is applicable to stranded individual turtles and to the population level, a tool for the development of conservation strategies, and a baseline for future temporal and spatial investigations of the Azorean loggerhead sea turtle population.
      PubDate: Fri, 16 Feb 2018 00:00:00 GMT
      DOI: 10.1093/conphys/coy006
  • Not just fat: investigating the proteome of cetacean blubber tissue

    • Authors: Kershaw J; Botting C, Brownlow A, et al.
      Abstract: Mammalian adipose tissue is increasingly being recognized as an endocrine organ involved in the regulation of a number of metabolic processes and pathways. It responds to signals from different hormone systems and the central nervous system, and expresses a variety of protein factors with important paracrine and endocrine functions. This study presents a first step towards the systematic analysis of the protein content of cetacean adipose tissue, the blubber, in order to investigate the kinds of proteins present and their relative abundance. Full depth blubber subsamples were collected from dead-stranded harbour porpoises (Phocoena phocoena) (n = 21). Three total protein extraction methods were trialled, and the highest total protein yields with the lowest extraction variability were achieved using a RIPA cell lysis and extraction buffer based protocol. Extracted proteins were separated using 1D Sodium Dodecyl Sulphate Polyacrylamide Gel Electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE), and identified using nanoflow Liquid Chromatography Electrospray Ionization in tandem with Mass Spectrometry (nLC-ESI–MS/MS). A range of proteins were identified (n = 295) and classed into eight functional groups, the most abundant of which were involved in cell function and metabolism (45%), immune response and inflammation (15%) and lipid metabolism (11%). These proteins likely originate both from the various cell types within the blubber tissue itself, and from the circulation. They therefore have the potential to capture information on the cellular and physiological stresses experienced by individuals at the time of sampling. The importance of this proteomic approach is two-fold: Firstly, it could help to assign novel functions to marine mammal blubber in keeping with current understanding of the multi-functional role of adipose tissue in other mammals. Secondly, it could lead to the development of a suite of biomarkers to better monitor the physiological state and health of live individuals though remote blubber biopsy sampling.
      PubDate: Fri, 16 Feb 2018 00:00:00 GMT
      DOI: 10.1093/conphys/coy003
  • Life’s not a cinch for a stressed finch, or is it'

    • Authors: Jain-Schlaepfer S.
      PubDate: Fri, 09 Feb 2018 00:00:00 GMT
      DOI: 10.1093/conphys/coy007
  • Can concentrations of steroid hormones in brown bear hair reveal age

    • Authors: Cattet M; Stenhouse G, Boulanger J, et al.
      Abstract: Although combining genetic and endocrine data from non-invasively collected hair samples has potential to improve the conservation of threatened mammals, few studies have evaluated this opportunity. In this study, we determined if steroid hormone (testosterone, progesterone, estradiol and cortisol) concentration profiles in 169 hair samples collected from free-ranging brown bears (Ursus arctos) could be used to accurately discriminate between immature and adult bears within each sex. Because hair samples were acquired opportunistically, we also needed to establish if interactions between hormones and several non-hormone factors (ordinal day, year, contact method, study area) were associated with age class. For each sex, we first compared a suite of candidate models by Akaike Information Criteria model selection, using different adult-age thresholds (3, 4 and 5 years), to determine the most supported adult age. Because hair hormone levels better reflect the endocrine state at an earlier time, possibly during the previous year, then at the time of sampling, we re-analysed the data, excluding the records for bears at the adult-age threshold, to establish if classification accuracy improved. For both sexes, candidate models were most supported based on a 3-year-old adult-age threshold. Classification accuracy did not improve with the 3-year-old bear data excluded. Male age class was predicted with a high degree of accuracy (88.4%) based on the concomitant concentrations of all four hormones. Female age class was predicted with less accuracy (77.1%) based only on testosterone and cortisol. Accuracy was reduced for females, primarily because we had poor success in correctly classifying immature bears (60%) whereas classification success for adult females was similar to that for males (84.5%). Given the small and unbalanced sample used in this study, our findings should be viewed as preliminary, but they should also provide a basis for more comprehensive future studies.
      PubDate: Mon, 29 Jan 2018 00:00:00 GMT
      DOI: 10.1093/conphys/coy001
  • Conservation choice on the rare endangered plants Glehnia littoralis

    • Authors: Pan Y; Chu J, Yang H.
      Abstract: The coastal herbs Glehnia littoralis have been domesticated as traditional medicines for many centuries. The domestication may have caused changes or declines of cultivated G. littoralis (CGL) relative to wild G. littoralis (WGL). By comparing fruit properties of CGL and WGL, we tested the hypothesis that domesticated G. littoralis have suffered major declines, and human cultivation cannot be sufficient to conserve this species. We collected fruits of CGL and WGL in the Shandong peninsula, China, and compared their buoyancy in seawater, germination potential after seawater immersion, and thousand-grain weights. Float rates of the WGL and CGL fruits were 95.6 (mean) ± 2.6% (standard deviation) and 30.0 ± 7.1%, respectively. The germination potential of CGL was significantly reduced, although the thousand-grain weights of CGL (21.85 ± 0.17 g) were higher than those of the WGL fruits (14.73 ± 0.21 g). These results suggest that the CGL have experienced significant declines relative to the WGL, presumably due to the loss of seawater inundation, selection and dispersal. These declines disfavour the persistence of CGL, and human domestication and cultivation are believed to be insufficient for conserving G. littoralis. Sand coasts where WGL still persists should be designated timely as nature reserves to conserve this species.
      PubDate: Mon, 29 Jan 2018 00:00:00 GMT
      DOI: 10.1093/conphys/coy002
  • Being stressed outside the park—conservation of African elephants
           (Loxodonta africana) in Namibia

    • Authors: Hunninck L; Ringstad I, Jackson C, et al.
      PubDate: Thu, 25 Jan 2018 00:00:00 GMT
      DOI: 10.1093/conphys/cox080
  • Elevated seawater temperature, not pCO2, negatively affects post-spawning
           adult mussels (Mytilus edulis) under food limitation

    • Authors: Clements J; Hicks C, Tremblay R, et al.
      Abstract: Pre-spawning blue mussels (Mytilus edulis) appear sensitive to elevated temperature and robust to elevated pCO2; however, the effects of these stressors soon after investing energy into spawning remain unknown. Furthermore, while studies suggest that elevated pCO2 affects the byssal attachment strength of Mytilus trossulus from southern latitudes, pCO2 and temperature impacts on the byssus strength of other species at higher latitudes remain undocumented. In a 90 day laboratory experiment, we exposed post-spawning adult blue mussels (M. edulis) from Atlantic Canada to three pCO2 levels (pCO2 ~625, 1295 and 2440 μatm) at two different temperatures (16°C and 22°C) and assessed energetic reserves on Day 90, byssal attachment strength on Days 30 and 60, and condition index and mortality on Days 30, 60 and 90. Results indicated that glycogen content was negatively affected under elevated temperature, but protein, lipid, and overall energy content were unaffected. Reduced glycogen content under elevated temperature was associated with reduced condition index, reduced byssal thread attachment strength, and increased mortality; elevated pCO2 had no effects. Overall, these results suggest that the glycogen reserves of post-spawning adult M. edulis are sensitive to elevated temperature, and can result in reduced health and byssal attachment strength, leading to increased mortality. These results are similar to those reported for pre-spawning mussels and suggest that post-spawning blue mussels are tolerant to elevated pCO2 and sensitive to elevated temperature. In contrast to previous studies, however, elevated pCO2 did not affect byssus strength, suggesting that negative effects of elevated pCO2 on byssus strength are not universal.
      PubDate: Thu, 25 Jan 2018 00:00:00 GMT
      DOI: 10.1093/conphys/cox078
  • Monitoring ovarian cycles, pregnancy and post-partum in captive marsh deer
           (Blastocerus dichotomus) by measuring fecal steroids

    • Authors: Polegato B; Zanetti E, Duarte J.
      Abstract: The marsh deer is an endangered species from the marshlands of central South America. This study aimed to characterize certain aspects of the reproductive physiology of marsh deer hinds, including the duration and fecal progestins profile of the estrous cycle, pregnancy and post-partum periods, and evaluate the effect of cloprostenol administration on this species. The experimental group consisted of six females and one fertile male marsh deer. During monitoring of the estrous cycle, the fresh fecal samples were collected daily and, during pregnancy, they were collected twice weekly. The hormonal profile obtained from daily fecal samples indicated that the mean duration of the estrous cycle was 21.3 ± 1.3 days (6.4 days inter-luteal phase and 14.8 days luteal phase; n = 16 estrous cycles). The mean concentration of fecal progestins in the inter-luteal phase was 834 ± 311 ng g−1, in the luteal phase was 3979 ± 1611 ng g−1, value between them was 1457 ng g−1. No significant difference in fecal estrogen concentrations was determined during the estrous cycle. The corpora luteum was not responsive to cloprostenol until Day 6 of the estrous cycle, the period previously described as the inter-luteal phase. Half the females became pregnant following treatment with cloprostenol and two others were fertilized in their natural estrous cycle. Four females delivered fawns, and the mean duration of pregnancy was 253 ± 4 days. Fecal progestin concentrations were similar to those of the estrous cycle during the first 11 weeks of pregnancy and increased significantly ( > 15250 ng g−1) thereafter, providing a presumptive diagnosis guideline. Within 60 days of post-partum analyses, 75% of the deer exhibited behavioural estrus and/or ovarian activity. This study generated a broader understanding of the marsh deer species concerning the production of consistent data related to its reproduction. This knowledge can be used to assist the reproductive management of this species and, consequently, to promote its conservation.
      PubDate: Thu, 25 Jan 2018 00:00:00 GMT
      DOI: 10.1093/conphys/cox073
  • Physiological plasticity in a successful invader: rapid acclimation to
           cold occurs only in cool-climate populations of cane toads (Rhinella

    • Authors: McCann S; Kosmala G, Greenlees M, et al.
      Abstract: Physiological plasticity may facilitate invasion of novel habitats; but is such plasticity present in all populations of the invader or is it elicited only by specific climatic challenges' In cold-climate areas of Australia, invasive cane toads (Rhinella marina) can rapidly acclimate to cool conditions. To investigate whether this physiological plasticity is found in all invasive cane toads or is only seen in cool climates, we measured the acclimation ability of toads from across Australia and the island of Hawai’i. We collected toads from the field and placed them at either 12 or 24°C for 12 h before measuring their righting response as a proxy for critical thermal minimum (CTmin). Toads from the coolest Australian region (New South Wales) demonstrated plasticity (as previously reported), with exposure to 12°C (vs. 24°C) decreasing CTmin by 2°C. In toads from other Australian populations, CTmins were unaffected by our thermal treatments. Hawai’ian toads from a cool, wet site also rapidly acclimated to cool conditions, whereas those from warmer and drier Hawai’ian sites did not. Thermal plasticity has diverged among populations of invasive cane toads, with rapid acclimation manifested only in two cool-climate populations from widely separated sites. Predictions about the potential range of invasive species thus must consider the possibility of geographic (intraspecific) heterogeneity in thermal plasticity; data from other parts of the species’ range may fail to predict levels of plasticity elicited by thermal challenges.
      PubDate: Tue, 23 Jan 2018 00:00:00 GMT
      DOI: 10.1093/conphys/cox072
  • Urbanization, environment and pharmaceuticals: advancing comparative
           physiology, pharmacology and toxicology

    • Authors: Brooks B.
      Abstract: Pharmaceuticals are routinely reported in the environment, which indicates an increasingly urban water cycle and highlights a global megatrend. Physicochemical properties and intrinsic biological activity of medicines routinely differ from conventional organic contaminants; thus, diverging applicability domains often challenge environmental chemistry and toxicology computational tools and biological assays originally developed to address historical chemical stressors. Because pharmacology and toxicology information is more readily available for these contaminants of emerging concern than other chemicals in the environment, and many drug targets are conserved across species, leveraging mammalian drug discovery, safety testing and clinical pharmacology information appears useful to define environmental risks and to design less hazardous industrial chemicals. Research is needed to advance biological read across, which promises to reduce uncertainties during chemical assessment aimed at protecting public health and the environment. Whereas such comparative information has been critical to advance an understanding of pharmaceutical hazards and risks in urban ecosystems, studies of medicines with fish and other ecotoxicological models are reciprocally benefiting basic and translational efforts, advancing comparative mechanistic toxicology, and providing robust comparative bridges for integrating conservation and toxicology.
      PubDate: Wed, 17 Jan 2018 00:00:00 GMT
      DOI: 10.1093/conphys/cox079
  • Impact of gas emboli and hyperbaric treatment on respiratory function of
           loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta)

    • Authors: Portugues C; Crespo-Picazo J, García-Párraga D, et al.
      Abstract: Fisheries interactions are the most serious threats for sea turtle populations. Despite the existence of some rescue centres providing post-traumatic care and rehabilitation, adequate treatment is hampered by the lack of understanding of the problems incurred while turtles remain entrapped in fishing gears. Recently it was shown that bycaught loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) could experience formation of gas emboli (GE) and develop decompression sickness (DCS) after trawl and gillnet interaction. This condition could be reversed by hyperbaric O2 treatment (HBOT). The goal of this study was to assess how GE alters respiratory function in bycaught turtles before recompression therapy and measure the improvement after this treatment. Specifically, we assessed the effect of DCS on breath duration, expiratory and inspiratory flow and tidal volume (VT), and the effectiveness of HBOT to improve these parameters. HBOT significantly increased respiratory flows by 32–45% while VT increased by 33–35% immediately after HBOT. Repeated lung function testing indicated a temporal increase in both respiratory flow and VT for all bycaught turtles, but the changes were smaller than those seen immediately following HBOT. The current study suggests that respiratory function is significantly compromised in bycaught turtles with GE and that HBOT effectively restores lung function. Lung function testing may provide a novel means to help diagnose the presence of GE, be used to assess treatment efficacy, and contribute to sea turtle conservation efforts.
      PubDate: Fri, 12 Jan 2018 00:00:00 GMT
      DOI: 10.1093/conphys/cox074
  • Dietary changes during weaning shape the gut microbiota of red pandas
           (Ailurus fulgens)

    • Authors: Williams C; Dill-McFarland K, Sparks D, et al.
      Abstract: Mammalian herbivores have developed numerous adaptations to utilize their plant-based diets including a modified gastrointestinal tract (GIT) and symbiosis with a GIT microbiota that plays a major role in digestion and the maintenance of host health. The red panda (Ailurus fulgens) is a herbivorous carnivore that lacks the specialized GIT common to other herbivores but still relies on microorganisms for survival on its almost entirely bamboo diet. The GIT microbiota is of further importance in young red pandas, as high cub mortality is problematic and has been attributed to failure to meet nutritional requirements. To gain insight into the establishment of the GIT microbiota of red pandas, we examined microbial communities in two individuals following dietary changes associated with weaning using next-generation 16S rRNA Illumina MiSeq paired-end sequencing of faecal samples. Across all four stages (pre-weaning, during weaning, post-weaning and adult), the GIT microbial community displayed low diversity and was dominated by bacteria in the phylum Firmicutes with lesser contributions from the Proteobacteria. A core community was found consistently across all weaning stages and included species within the taxa Escherichia-Shigella, Streptococcus, Clostridium and an unclassified Clostridiaceae. Analysis of the overall community composition and structure showed that although the GIT microbiota is established early in red pandas, dietary changes during weaning further shape the community and are correlated with the presence of new bacterial species. This work is the first analysis of the GIT microbiota for red panda cubs during weaning and provides a framework for understanding how diet and host microbiota impact the development of these threatened animals.
      PubDate: Sat, 06 Jan 2018 00:00:00 GMT
      DOI: 10.1093/conphys/cox075
  • Metabolic rates of embryos and alevin from a cold-adapted salmonid differ
           with temperature, population and family of origin: implications for coping
           with climate change

    • Authors: Cook C; Burness G, Wilson C, et al.
      Abstract: Early developmental stages of cold-adapted ectotherms such as brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis) are at higher risk of mortality with increasing water temperatures. To determine the amount of variation present in early life, which may allow for potential adaptation to increasing temperature, we examined the routine metabolic rates (RMR) of wild-origin brook trout embryos and alevins reared at normal (5°C) and elevated (9°C) temperatures. The experiment was structured to examine variation in RMR within and among several levels of biological organization (family, population and ancestral type (native vs. mixed ancestry)). As expected, family and temperature variables were most important for predicting RMR and body mass, although population-level differences also existed when family was excluded for more detailed analysis. Additionally, body mass strongly influenced RMR at all life stages except for eyed embryos. When family identity was removed from the analysis, population became the most significant variable. Variation in RMR and mass within and among populations may indicate existing adaptive potential within and among brook trout populations to respond to predicted warming under climate change scenarios.
      PubDate: Sat, 06 Jan 2018 00:00:00 GMT
      DOI: 10.1093/conphys/cox076
  • Reproductive gene expression in a coral reef fish exposed to increasing
           temperature across generations

    • Authors: Veilleux H; Donelson J, Munday P, et al.
      Abstract: Reproduction in marine fish is generally tightly linked with water temperature. Consequently, when adults are exposed to projected future ocean temperatures, reproductive output of many species declines precipitously. Recent research has shown that in the common reef fish, Acanthochromis polyacanthus, step-wise exposure to higher temperatures over two generations (parents: +1.5°C, offspring: +3.0°C) can improve reproductive output in the F2 generation compared to F2 fish that have experienced the same high temperatures over two generations (F1 parents: +3.0°C, F2 offspring: +3.0°C). To investigate how a step-wise increase in temperature between generations improved reproductive capacity, we tested the expression of well-known teleost reproductive genes in the brain and gonads of F2 fish using quantitative reverse transcription PCR and compared it among control (+0.0°C for two generations), developmental (+3.0°C in second generation only), step (+1.5°C in first generation and +3.0°C in second generation), and transgenerational (+3.0°C for two generations) treatments. We found that levels of gonadotropin receptor gene expression (Fshr and Lhcgr) in the testes were reduced in developmental and transgenerational temperature treatments, but were similar to control levels in the step treatment. This suggests Fshr and Lhcgr may be involved in regulating male reproductive capacity in A. polyacanthus. In addition, lower Fshb expression in the brain of females in all temperature treatments compared to control, suggests that Fshb expression, which is involved in vitellogenesis, is sensitive to high temperatures. Our results help elucidate key genes that facilitate successful reproduction in reef fishes when they experience a gradual increase in temperature across generations consistent with the trajectory of climate change.
      PubDate: Sat, 06 Jan 2018 00:00:00 GMT
      DOI: 10.1093/conphys/cox077
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