Journal Cover Conservation Physiology
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  This is an Open Access Journal Open Access journal
   ISSN (Online) 2051-1434
   Published by Oxford University Press Homepage  [370 journals]
  • Urbanization, environment and pharmaceuticals: advancing comparative
           physiology, pharmacology and toxicology

    • Authors: Brooks B.
      Abstract: AbstractPharmaceuticals 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
  • 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: AbstractFisheries 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
  • Dietary changes during weaning shape the gut microbiota of red pandas
           (Ailurus fulgens)

    • Authors: Williams C; Dill-McFarland K, Sparks D, et al.
      Abstract: AbstractMammalian 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
  • 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: AbstractEarly 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
  • Reproductive gene expression in a coral reef fish exposed to increasing
           temperature across generations

    • Authors: Veilleux H; Donelson J, Munday P, et al.
      Abstract: AbstractReproduction 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
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