for Journals by Title or ISSN
for Articles by Keywords
help
Followed Journals
Journal you Follow: 0
 
Sign Up to follow journals, search in your chosen journals and, optionally, receive Email Alerts when new issues of your Followed Jurnals are published.
Already have an account? Sign In to see the journals you follow.
Journal Cover Conservation Physiology
   Follow    
  This is an Open Access Journal Open Access journal
     ISSN (Online) 2051-1434
     Published by Oxford University Press (OUP) Homepage  [310 journals]
  • Observable impairments predict mortality of captured and released sockeye
           salmon at various temperatures

    • Authors: Gale, M. K; Hinch, S. G, Cooke, S. J, Donaldson, M. R, Eliason, E. J, Jeffries, K. M, Martins, E. G, Patterson, D. A.
      Pages: cou029 - cou029
      Abstract: Migrating adult sockeye salmon frequently encounter commercial and recreational fishing gear, from which they may be landed, escape or be intentionally released. In this experiment, migratory adult sockeye salmon were exposed to simulated capture–release in fresh water, including 3 min of exhaustive exercise and 60 s of air exposure at three ecologically relevant water temperatures (13, 16 and 19°C) to understand how thermal and capture–release stressors may interact to increase mortality risk. Water temperature and sex were the factors that best predicted 24 and 48 h survival, with females in the warmest temperature group experiencing the greatest mortality. Capture–release treatment including air exposure was associated with equilibrium loss and depressed ventilation rates at release; the probability of fish surviving for 24 h after simulated capture–release was >50% if the duration of equilibrium loss was 1 breath s–1. Higher haematocrit and plasma lactate as well as lower mean cell haemoglobin concentration and plasma sodium and chloride 30 min after simulated capture–release were also significant predictors of 24 h survival. Together, the results demonstrate that simple observations that are consistent with physiological disturbance can be used as predictors for post-release short-term survival for sockeye salmon. The markedly higher post-stressor mortality observed in females demonstrates that managers should consider sex-specific variation in response to different fisheries interactions, particularly in the face of climate change.
      PubDate: 2014-08-14T04:50:47-07:00
      DOI: 10.1093/conphys/cou029|hwp:master-id:conphys;cou029
      Issue No: Vol. 2, No. 1 (2014)
       
  • Baleen hormones: a novel tool for retrospective assessment of stress and
           reproduction in bowhead whales (Balaena mysticetus)

    • Authors: Hunt, K. E; Stimmelmayr, R, George, C, Hanns, C, Suydam, R, Brower, H, Rolland, R. M.
      Pages: cou030 - cou030
      Abstract: Arctic marine mammals are facing increasing levels of many anthropogenic stressors. Novel tools are needed for assessment of stress physiology and potential impacts of these stressors on health, reproduction and survival. We have investigated baleen as a possible novel tissue type for retrospective assessment of stress and reproductive hormones. We found that pulverized baleen powder from bowhead whales (Balaena mysticetus) contained immunoreactive cortisol and progesterone that were detectable with commercially available enzyme immunoassay kits. Both assays passed parallelism and accuracy validations using baleen extracts. We analysed cortisol and progesterone at the base of the baleen plate (most recently grown baleen) from 16 bowhead whales of both sexes. For a subset of 11 whales, we also analysed older baleen from 10, 20 and 30 cm distal to the base of the baleen plate. Immunoreactive cortisol and progesterone were detectable in all baleen samples tested. In base samples, females had significantly higher concentrations of cortisol and progesterone compared with males. Cortisol concentrations in older baleen (10, 20 and 30 cm locations) were significantly lower than at the base and did not exhibit correlations with age-class or sex. Progesterone concentrations were significantly higher in females than in males at all baleen locations tested and were significantly higher in pregnant females than in non-pregnant females. Four of five mature females showed dramatic variation in progesterone concentrations at different locations along the baleen plate that may be indicative of previous pregnancies or luteal phases. In contrast, all males and all immature females had uniformly low progesterone. Baleen hormone analysis is a novel approach that, with further methodological development, may be useful for determining individual longitudinal profiles of reproductive cycles and stress responses.
      PubDate: 2014-08-13T03:40:05-07:00
      DOI: 10.1093/conphys/cou030|hwp:master-id:conphys;cou030
      Issue No: Vol. 2, No. 1 (2014)
       
  • Seasonal blood chemistry response of sub-tropical nearshore fishes to
           climate change

    • Authors: Shultz, A. D; Zuckerman, Z. C, Stewart, H. A, Suski, C. D.
      Pages: cou028 - cou028
      Abstract: Climate change due to anthropogenic activity will continue to alter the chemistry of the oceans. Future climate scenarios indicate that sub-tropical oceans will become more acidic, and the temperature and salinity will increase relative to current conditions. A large portion of previous work has focused on how future climate scenarios may impact shell-forming organisms and coral reef fish, with little attention given to fish that inhabit nearshore habitats; few studies have examined multiple challenges concurrently. The purpose of this study was to quantify the blood-based physiological response of nearshore fishes to a suite of seawater conditions associated with future climate change. Fish were exposed to an acute (30 min) increase in salinity (50 ppt), acidity (decrease in pH by 0.5 units) or temperature (7–10°C), or temperature and acidity combined, and held in these conditions for 6 h. Their physiological responses were compared across seasons (i.e. summer vs. winter). Bonefish (Albula vulpes) exposed to environmental challenges in the summer experienced a suite of blood-based osmotic and ionic disturbances relative to fish held in ambient conditions, with thermal challenges (particularly in the summer) being the most challenging. Conversely, no significant treatment effects were observed for yellowfin mojarra (Gerres cinereus) or checkered puffer (Sphoeroides testudineus) in either season. Together, results from this study demonstrate that acute climate-induced changes to thermal habitat will be the most challenging for sub-tropical fishes (particularly in the summer) relative to salinity and pH stressors, but significant variation across species exists.
      PubDate: 2014-07-29T23:42:02-07:00
      DOI: 10.1093/conphys/cou028|hwp:master-id:conphys;cou028
      Issue No: Vol. 2, No. 1 (2014)
       
  • A review of factors influencing the stress response in Australian
           marsupials

    • Authors: Hing, S; Narayan, E, Thompson, R. C. A, Godfrey, S.
      Pages: cou027 - cou027
      Abstract: Many Australian marsupials are threatened species. In order to manage in situ and ex situ populations effectively, it is important to understand how marsupials respond to threats. Stress physiology (the study of the response of animals to challenging stimuli), a key approach in conservation physiology, can be used to characterize the physiological response of wildlife to threats. We reviewed the literature on the measurement of glucocorticoids (GCs), endocrine indicators of stress, in order to understand the stress response to conservation-relevant stressors in Australian marsupials and identified 29 studies. These studies employed a range of methods to measure GCs, with faecal glucocorticoid metabolite enzyme immunoassay being the most common method. The main stressors considered in studies of marsupials were capture and handling. To date, the benefits of stress physiology have yet to be harnessed fully in marsupial conservation. Despite a theoretical base dating back to the 1960s, GCs have only been used to understand how 21 of the 142 extant species of Australian marsupial respond to stressors. These studies include merely six of the 60 marsupial species of conservation concern (IUCN Near Threatened to Critically Endangered). Furthermore, the fitness consequences of stress for Australian marsupials are rarely examined. Individual and species differences in the physiological stress response also require further investigation, because significant species-specific variations in GC levels in response to stressors can shed light on why some individuals or species are more vulnerable to stress factors while others appear more resilient. This review summarizes trends, knowledge gaps and future research directions for stress physiology research in Australian marsupial conservation.
      PubDate: 2014-07-23T22:57:03-07:00
      DOI: 10.1093/conphys/cou027|hwp:master-id:conphys;cou027
      Issue No: Vol. 2, No. 1 (2014)
       
  • Quantifying long-term stress in brown bears with the hair cortisol
           concentration: a biomarker that may be confounded by rapid changes in
           response to capture and handling

    • Authors: Cattet, M; Macbeth, B. J, Janz, D. M, Zedrosser, A, Swenson, J. E, Dumond, M, Stenhouse, G. B.
      Pages: cou026 - cou026
      Abstract: The measurement of cortisol in hair is becoming important in studying the role of stress in the life history, health and ecology of wild mammals. The hair cortisol concentration (HCC) is generally believed to be a reliable indicator of long-term stress that can reflect frequent or prolonged activation of the hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal axis over weeks to months through passive diffusion from the blood supply to the follicular cells that produce the hair. Diffusion of cortisol from tissues surrounding the follicle and glandular secretions (sebum and sweat) that coat the growing hair may also affect the HCC, but the extent of these effects is thought to be minimal. In this study, we report on a range of factors that are associated with, and possibly influence, cortisol concentrations in the hair of free-ranging brown bears (Ursus arctos). Through two levels of analyses that differed in sample sizes and availability of predictor variables, we identified the presence or absence of capture, restraint and handling, as well as different methods of capture, as significant factors that appeared to influence HCC in a time frame that was too short (minutes to hours) to be explained by passive diffusion from the blood supply alone. Furthermore, our results suggest that HCC was altered after hair growth had ceased and blood supply to the hair follicle was terminated. However, we also confirmed that HCC was inversely associated with brown bear body condition and was, therefore, responsive to diminished food availability/quality and possibly other long-term stressors that affect body condition. Collectively, our findings emphasize the importance of further elucidating the mechanisms of cortisol accumulation in hair and the influence of long- and short-term stressors on these mechanisms.
      PubDate: 2014-07-16T22:23:07-07:00
      DOI: 10.1093/conphys/cou026|hwp:master-id:conphys;cou026
      Issue No: Vol. 2, No. 1 (2014)
       
  • Ice age fish in a warming world: minimal variation in thermal acclimation
           capacity among lake trout (Salvelinus namaycush) populations

    • Authors: Kelly, N. I; Burness, G, McDermid, J. L, Wilson, C. C.
      Pages: cou025 - cou025
      Abstract: In the face of climate change, the persistence of cold-adapted species will depend on their adaptive capacity for physiological traits within and among populations. The lake trout (Salvelinus namaycush) is a cold-adapted salmonid and a relict from the last ice age that is well suited as a model species for studying the predicted effects of climate change on coldwater fishes. We investigated the thermal acclimation capacity of upper temperature resistance and metabolism of lake trout from four populations across four acclimation temperatures. Individuals were reared from egg fertilization onward in a common environment and, at 2 years of age, were acclimated to 8, 11, 15 or 19°C. Although one population had a slightly higher maximal metabolic rate (MMR), higher metabolic scope for activity and faster metabolic recovery across all temperatures, there was no interpopulation variation for critical thermal maximum (CTM) or routine metabolic rate (RMR) or for the thermal acclimation capacity of CTM, RMR, MMR or metabolic scope. Across the four acclimation temperatures, there was a 3°C maximal increase in CTM and 3-fold increase in RMR for all populations. Above 15°C, a decline in MMR and increase in RMR resulted in sharply reduced metabolic scope for all populations acclimated at 19°C. Together, these data suggest there is limited variation among lake trout populations in thermal physiology or capacity for thermal acclimatization, and that climate change may impact lake trout populations in a similar manner across a wide geographical range. Understanding the effect of elevated temperatures on the thermal physiology of this economically and ecologically important cold-adapted species will help inform management and conservation strategies for the long-term sustainability of lake trout populations.
      PubDate: 2014-07-16T22:23:07-07:00
      DOI: 10.1093/conphys/cou025|hwp:master-id:conphys;cou025
      Issue No: Vol. 2, No. 1 (2014)
       
  • Conservation physiology across scales: insights from the marine realm

    • Authors: Cooke, S. J; Killen, S. S, Metcalfe, J. D, McKenzie, D. J, Mouillot, D, Jorgensen, C, Peck, M. A.
      Pages: cou024 - cou024
      Abstract: As the field of conservation physiology develops and becomes increasingly integrated with ecology and conservation science, the fundamental concept of scale is being recognized as important, particularly for ensuring that physiological knowledge is contextualized in a manner most relevant to policy makers, conservation practitioners and stakeholders. Failure to consider the importance of scale in conservation physiology—both the challenges and the opportunities that it creates—will impede the ability of this discipline to generate the scientific understanding needed to contribute to meaningful conservation outcomes. Here, we have focused on five aspects of scale: biological, spatial, temporal, allometric and phylogenetic. We also considered the scale of policy and policy application relevant to those five types of scale as well as the merits of upscaling and downscaling to explore and address conservation problems. Although relevant to all systems (e.g. freshwater, terrestrial) we have used examples from the marine realm, with a particular emphasis on fishes, given the fact that there is existing discourse regarding scale and its relevance for marine conservation and management. Our synthesis revealed that all five aspects of scale are relevant to conservation physiology, with many aspects inherently linked. It is apparent that there are both opportunities and challenges afforded by working across scales but, to understand mechanisms underlying conservation problems, it is essential to consider scale of all sorts and to work across scales to the greatest extent possible. Moreover, given that the scales in biological processes will often not match policy and management scales, conservation physiology needs to show how it is relevant to aspects at different policy/management scales, change the scales at which policy/management intervention is applied or be prepared to be ignored.
      PubDate: 2014-07-08T22:15:43-07:00
      DOI: 10.1093/conphys/cou024|hwp:master-id:conphys;cou024
      Issue No: Vol. 2, No. 1 (2014)
       
  • Measures of physiological stress: a transparent or opaque window into the
           status, management and conservation of species?

    • Authors: Dantzer, B; Fletcher, Q. E, Boonstra, R, Sheriff, M. J.
      Pages: cou023 - cou023
      Abstract: Conservation physiology proposes that measures of physiological stress (glucocorticoid levels) can be used to assess the status and future fate of natural populations. Increases in glucocorticoids may reflect a more challenging environment, suggesting that the influence of human activities on free-living animals could be quantified by measuring glucocorticoids. Biomedical studies suggest that chronic increases in glucocorticoids can have detrimental effects on survival and reproduction, which could influence the viability of populations. Here, we discuss the use of measurements of glucocorticoids in conservation physiology. We first provide an overview of the different methods to quantify glucocorticoids and their utility in conservation physiology. We then discuss five questions we think are essential for conservation physiologists to address. We highlight how intrinsic (e.g. sex, reproductive status, age, recent experiences) and ecological factors (e.g. predation, food availability, snowfall) can, by themselves or through their interactions with anthropogenic disturbances, affect the physiological stress response and mask any general patterns about the effects of anthropogenic disturbances on glucocorticoids. Using a meta-analysis, we show that anthropogenic disturbances are consistently associated with increased glucocorticoids regardless of the type of human disturbance. We also show that males may be more sensitive to anthropogenic disturbances than females and that faecal glucocorticoids, but not baseline plasma glucocorticoids, consistently increase in response to anthropogenic disturbances. Finally, we discuss how increases in glucocorticoids in free-living animals can sometimes enhance survival and reproduction. Unfortunately, our literature analysis indicates that this observation has not yet gained traction, and very few studies have shown that increases in glucocorticoid levels resulting from anthropogenic disturbances decrease survival or reproduction. We think that the use of measures of glucocorticoids in conservation physiology has tremendous potential, but there are still a number of methodological concerns, in addition to several crucial questions that should be addressed.
      PubDate: 2014-06-27T23:36:29-07:00
      DOI: 10.1093/conphys/cou023|hwp:master-id:conphys;cou023
      Issue No: Vol. 2, No. 1 (2014)
       
  • Body condition predicts energy stores in apex predatory sharks

    • Authors: Gallagher, A. J; Wagner, D. N, Irschick, D. J, Hammerschlag, N.
      Pages: cou022 - cou022
      Abstract: Animal condition typically reflects the accumulation of energy stores (e.g. fatty acids), which can influence an individual's decision to undertake challenging life-history events, such as migration and reproduction. Accordingly, researchers often use measures of animal body size and/or weight as an index of condition. However, values of condition, such as fatty acid levels, may not always reflect the physiological state of animals accurately. While the relationships between condition indices and energy stores have been explored in some species (e.g. birds), they have yet to be examined in top predatory fishes, which often undertake extensive and energetically expensive migrations. We used an apex predatory shark (Galeocerdo cuvier, the tiger shark) as a model species to evaluate the relationship between triglycerides (energy metabolite) and a metric of overall body condition. We captured, blood sampled, measured and released 28 sharks (size range 125–303 cm pre-caudal length). In the laboratory, we assayed each plasma sample for triglyceride values. We detected a positive and significant relationship between condition and triglyceride values (P 
      PubDate: 2014-06-23T00:53:12-07:00
      DOI: 10.1093/conphys/cou022|hwp:master-id:conphys;cou022
      Issue No: Vol. 2, No. 1 (2014)
       
  • Body condition and habitat use by Hermann's tortoises in burnt and intact
           habitats

    • Authors: Lecq, S; Ballouard, J.- M, Caron, S, Livoreil, B, Seynaeve, V, Matthieu, L.- A, Bonnet, X.
      Pages: cou019 - cou019
      Abstract: In Mediterranean regions, fires threaten terrestrial tortoises. Nevertheless, varying proportions of adults survive fire; these surviving individuals can play a central role for population recovery. The regions devastated by fire often include important habitat of Hermann's tortoises (Testudo hermanni hermanni), so assessing the ability of survivors to persist is essential for conserving the species. Body-condition indices provide an integrative estimate of how well individuals cope with environmental variations and impacts, including fires. Between 2002 and 2009, we monitored Hermann's tortoises in intact and burnt habitats in southeastern France. In summer 2003, a strong fire ravaged half of the surveyed zone, providing an opportunity to compare body condition of tortoises between intact and burnt areas over time. Six years later, the impact of fire on vegetation was still marked; large trees were abundant in the intact area, whereas open shrub vegetation prevailed in the burnt area. In both areas, the mean body condition of tortoises fluctuated over time; however, there were no differences between the two areas. A radio-tracking experiment demonstrated that individuals from each area were residents, and not vagrants commuting between areas. We also assessed changes in body condition and microhabitat use in radio-tracked individuals. We found no significant differences between the tortoises living in the burnt and intact areas, despite subtle differences in habitat use. In conclusion: (i) surviving tortoises in an area ravaged by fire can maintain their body condition like individuals living in an intact area, and thus, individuals from burnt areas should not be translocated to supposedly better areas; and (ii) depopulated burnt areas are likely to be appropriate for population-augmentation programmes.
      PubDate: 2014-06-12T01:05:47-07:00
      DOI: 10.1093/conphys/cou019|hwp:master-id:conphys;cou019
      Issue No: Vol. 2, No. 1 (2014)
       
  • Short-term episodes of imposed fasting have a greater effect on young
           northern fur seals (Callorhinus ursinus) in summer than in winter

    • Authors: Rosen, D. A. S; Volpov, B. L, Trites, A. W.
      Pages: cou021 - cou021
      Abstract: An unexpected shortage of food may affect wildlife in a different way depending on the time of year when it occurs. We imposed 48 h fasts on six female northern fur seals (Callorhinus ursinus; ages 6–24 months) to identify times of year when they might be particularly sensitive to interruptions in food supply. We monitored changes in their resting metabolic rates and their metabolic response to thermal challenges, and also examined potential bioenergetic causes for seasonal differences in body mass loss. The pre-fast metabolism of the fur seals while in ambient air or submerged in water at 4°C was higher during summer (June to Sepember) than winter (November to March), and submergence did not significantly increase metabolism, indicating a lack of additional thermoregulatory costs. There was no evidence of metabolic depression following the fasting periods, nor did metabolism increase during the post-fast thermal challenge, suggesting that mass loss did not negatively impact thermoregulatory capacity. However, the fur seals lost mass at greater rates while fasting during the summer months, when metabolism is normally high to facilitate faster growth rates (which would ordinarily have been supported by higher food intake levels). Our findings suggest that summer is a more critical time of year than winter for young northern fur seals to obtain adequate nutrition.
      PubDate: 2014-06-06T22:49:13-07:00
      DOI: 10.1093/conphys/cou021|hwp:master-id:conphys;cou021
      Issue No: Vol. 2, No. 1 (2014)
       
  • Exposure to bloom-like concentrations of two marine Synechococcus
           cyanobacteria (strains CC9311 and CC9902) differentially alters fish
           behaviour

    • Authors: Hamilton, T. J; Paz-Yepes, J, Morrison, R. A, Palenik, B, Tresguerres, M.
      Pages: cou020 - cou020
      Abstract: Coastal California experiences large-scale blooms of Synechococcus cyanobacteria, which are predicted to become more prevalent by the end of the 21st century as a result of global climate change. This study investigated whether exposure to bloom-like concentrations of two Synechococcus strains, CC9311 and CC9902, alters fish behaviour. Black perch (Embiotoca jacksoni) were exposed to Synechococcus strain CC9311 or CC9902 (1.5 x 106 cells ml–1) or to control seawater in experimental aquaria for 3 days. Fish movement inside a testing arena was then recorded and analysed using video camera-based motion-tracking software. Compared with control fish, fish exposed to CC9311 demonstrated a significant preference for the dark zone of the tank in the light–dark test, which is an indication of increased anxiety. Furthermore, fish exposed to CC9311 also had a statistically significant decrease in velocity and increase in immobility and they meandered more in comparison to control fish. There was a similar trend in velocity, immobility and meandering in fish exposed to CC9902, but there were no significant differences in behaviour or locomotion between this group and control fish. Identical results were obtained with a second batch of fish. Additionally, in this second trial we also investigated whether fish would recover after a 3 day period in seawater without cyanobacteria. Indeed, there were no longer any significant differences in behaviour among treatments, demonstrating that the sp. CC9311-induced alteration of behaviour is reversible. These results demonstrate that blooms of specific marine Synechococcus strains can induce differential sublethal effects in fish, namely alterations light–dark preference behaviour and motility.
      PubDate: 2014-06-05T23:35:49-07:00
      DOI: 10.1093/conphys/cou020|hwp:master-id:conphys;cou020
      Issue No: Vol. 2, No. 1 (2014)
       
  • Effects of reduced winter duration on seed dormancy and germination in six
           populations of the alpine herb Aciphyllya glacialis (Apiaceae)

    • Authors: Hoyle, G. L; Cordiner, H, Good, R. B, Nicotra, A. B.
      Pages: cou015 - cou015
      Abstract: The life stages of seed germination and seedling establishment play a vital role in maintaining plant populations and determining range dynamics of species. Thus, it is not surprising that specific germination requirements and dormancy mechanisms have evolved in all major angiosperm clades. In a rapidly changing climate, we face growing pressure to manage, conserve and restore native plant species and communities. To achieve these aims, we require solid knowledge of whether and how seed germination requirements and dormancy status vary between different populations of a given species and how germination strategies may be affected by warming climatic conditions. We assessed the effect of decreasing durations of cold stratification (i.e. conditions representing a shortened winter as predicted under climate change) on germination and dormancy of the alpine herb Aciphylla glacialis. Our results confirmed previous research showing that A. glacialis seeds possess physiological dormancy that can be alleviated by cold stratification. In addition, the results demonstrated that A. glacialis seeds have underdeveloped embryos at dispersal; these grow to germinable size following 4–9 weeks at both constant 5°C and 10–5°C (day–night) temperatures. We conclude that A. glacialis exhibits morphophysiological dormancy. Furthermore, we found that the final percentage germination and dormancy status varied significantly among natural populations and that this variation did not correlate with elevation at the site of seed origin. Seeds germinated following 6–8 weeks of cold stratification, and seedlings showed no detrimental effects as a result of shorter stratification periods. Together, these results suggest that reduced duration of winter is unlikely to have direct negative impacts on germination or early seedling growth in A. glacialis. The causes and implications of the population variation in germination traits are discussed.
      PubDate: 2014-05-30T02:05:16-07:00
      DOI: 10.1093/conphys/cou015|hwp:master-id:conphys;cou015
      Issue No: Vol. 2, No. 1 (2014)
       
  • Non-lethal assessment of the reproductive status of broadnose sevengill
           sharks (Notorynchus cepedianus) to determine the significance of habitat
           use in coastal areas

    • Authors: Awruch, C. A; Jones, S. M, Asorey, M. G, Barnett, A.
      Pages: cou013 - cou013
      Abstract: Identification of the importance of habitats that are frequently used by any species is essential to a complete understanding of the species' biology and to incorporate their ecological role into conservation and management programmes. In this context, the present study investigated whether Tasmanian coastal waters have any reproductive relevance for the broadnose sevengill shark (Notorynchus cepedianus). Although this species is a large coast-associated apex predator in these areas, there is a complete gap in understanding the role that these coastal systems could play in its reproduction. Reproductive hormones were used as a non-lethal method to address the reproductive biology of this species. Females seemed to have at least a bi-annual reproductive cycle, being pregnant for ~1 year and spending at least 1 year non-pregnant, with the ovulatory cycle separated from gestation. Mature females were found to be ovulating, in the initial stages of pregnancy, resting or starting a new vitellogenic cycle. Notorynchus cepedianus did not use these coastal habitats for mating or as a pupping ground. Although the mating season was distinguished between September to April, only 22% of males showed mating scars during the peak of the mating period and no near-term pregnant females were observed. Thus, despite these coastal waters being an important foraging ground for this species, these areas did not have any reproductive relevance. In consequence, future management and conservation planning programmes need to identify whether there are other areas in Tasmania that play a critical role for reproductive purposes in this species. Finally, although previous studies have linked reproductive hormones with external examination of the gonads to validate the use of steroids as a non-lethal tool to address reproduction, the present study used this methodology without killing any animals. This has important implications for conservation programmes of threatened and endangered species worldwide where the methodology cannot be validated.
      PubDate: 2014-05-30T02:05:16-07:00
      DOI: 10.1093/conphys/cou013|hwp:master-id:conphys;cou013
      Issue No: Vol. 2, No. 1 (2014)
       
  • Exposure to residual concentrations of elements from a remediated coal fly
           ash spill does not adversely influence stress and immune responses of
           nestling tree swallows

    • Authors: Beck, M. L; Hopkins, W. A, Hallagan, J. J, Jackson, B. P, Hawley, D. M.
      Pages: cou018 - cou018
      Abstract: Anthropogenic activities often produce pollutants that can affect the physiology, growth and reproductive success of wildlife. Many metals and trace elements play important roles in physiological processes, and exposure to even moderately elevated concentrations of essential and non-essential elements could have subtle effects on physiology, particularly during development. We examined the effects of exposure to a number of elements from a coal fly ash spill that occurred in December 2008 and has since been remediated on the stress and immune responses of nestling tree swallows. We found that nestlings at the site of the spill had significantly greater blood concentrations of Cu, Hg, Se and Zn in 2011, but greater concentrations only of Se in 2012, in comparison to reference colonies. The concentrations of elements were below levels of significant toxicological concern in both years. In 2011, we found no relationship between exposure to elements associated with the spill and basal or stress-induced corticosterone concentrations in nestlings. In 2012, we found that Se exposure was not associated with cell-mediated immunity based on the response to phytohaemagglutinin injection. However, the bactericidal capacity of nestling plasma had a positive but weak association with blood Se concentrations, and this association was stronger at the spill site. Our results indicate that exposure to these low concentrations of elements had few effects on nestling endocrine and immune physiology. The long-term health consequences of low-level exposure to elements and of exposure to greater element concentrations in avian species require additional study.
      PubDate: 2014-05-28T00:27:20-07:00
      DOI: 10.1093/conphys/cou018|hwp:master-id:conphys;cou018
      Issue No: Vol. 2, No. 1 (2014)
       
  • Native trees show conservative water use relative to invasive trees:
           results from a removal experiment in a Hawaiian wet forest

    • Authors: Cavaleri, M. A; Ostertag, R, Cordell, S, Sack, L.
      Pages: cou016 - cou016
      Abstract: While the supply of freshwater is expected to decline in many regions in the coming decades, invasive plant species, often ‘high water spenders’, are greatly expanding their ranges worldwide. In this study, we quantified the ecohydrological differences between native and invasive trees and also the effects of woody invasive removal on plot-level water use in a heavily invaded mono-dominant lowland wet tropical forest on the Island of Hawaii. We measured transpiration rates of co-occurring native and invasive tree species with and without woody invasive removal treatments. Twenty native Metrosideros polymorpha and 10 trees each of three invasive species, Cecropia obtusifolia, Macaranga mappa and Melastoma septemnervium, were instrumented with heat-dissipation sap-flux probes in four 100 m2 plots (two invaded, two removal) for 10 months. In the invaded plots, where both natives and invasives were present, Metrosideros had the lowest sap-flow rates per unit sapwood, but the highest sap-flow rates per whole tree, owing to its larger mean diameter than the invasive trees. Stand-level water use within the removal plots was half that of the invaded plots, even though the removal of invasives caused a small but significant increase in compensatory water use by the remaining native trees. By investigating the effects of invasive species on ecohydrology and comparing native vs. invasive physiological traits, we not only gain understanding about the functioning of invasive species, but we also highlight potential water-conservation strategies for heavily invaded mono-dominant tropical forests worldwide. Native-dominated forests free of invasive species can be conservative in overall water use, providing a strong rationale for the control of invasive species and preservation of native-dominated stands.
      PubDate: 2014-05-19T01:13:08-07:00
      DOI: 10.1093/conphys/cou016|hwp:master-id:conphys;cou016
      Issue No: Vol. 2, No. 1 (2014)
       
  • Physiological assessment of the effects of changing water levels
           associated with reservoir management on fattening rates of neotropical
           migrants at a stopover site

    • Authors: Wagner, D. N; Green, D. J, Pavlik, M, Cooper, J, Williams, T. D.
      Pages: cou017 - cou017
      Abstract: Riparian habitat makes up a small fraction of the landscape but provides important stopover habitat for migratory birds. Hydroelectric dam operations cause fluctuations in water levels that can change the amount or quality of riparian habitat, which in turn might affect potential fattening rates of migrant birds. Here we used plasma metabolite analysis to estimate variation in fattening rate in relationship to variable water levels associated with reservoir management in four species of neotropical migratory songbirds using riparian habitat at a dam-impacted stopover site in Revelstoke, British Columbia, Canada. Residual plasma triglyceride, our measure of estimated fattening rate, varied systematically with time of day and Julian date and varied consistently among species, but did not vary with age or sex. Controlling for potentially confounding variables, we found no inter-annual variation in estimated fattening rate, even though there were marked differences in water levels among years. Likewise, there was no relationship between daily variation in water levels and estimated fattening rate. Data on feather isotopes (D), indicative of migratory origin, did not add explanatory power to our models. There was inter-annual variation in plasma glycerol and β-hydroxybutyrate levels and significant, though weak, relationships between these metabolites and water level (higher metabolite levels when drier) that might indicate effects on ‘body condition’ independent of fattening rate. Our study suggests that, at present, although hydroelectric dam operations influence water levels in the Arrows Lake Reservoir and adjacent riparian habitats, this does not significantly impact fattening rates of migratory passerines using these habitats.
      PubDate: 2014-05-15T07:34:44-07:00
      DOI: 10.1093/conphys/cou017|hwp:master-id:conphys;cou017
      Issue No: Vol. 2, No. 1 (2014)
       
  • Biomarkers of oxidative status: missing tools in conservation physiology

    • Authors: Beaulieu, M; Costantini, D.
      Pages: cou014 - cou014
      Abstract: Recent ecological studies have shown that oxidative status could have a significant impact on fitness components in wild animals. Not only can oxidative status reflect the environmental conditions that animals experience, but it can also predict their chances of reproduction and survival in the future in their natural habitat. Such important characteristics make markers of oxidative status informative tools to evaluate a priori individual perspectives of reproduction and survival as well as to assess a posteriori the effect of human activities on the fitness of species of conservation concern and wildlife in general. Markers of oxidative status may therefore help conservation practitioners to identify conservation threats to animal populations and to maximize the success of wildlife management. Despite these potential benefits for animal conservation programmes, up to now markers of oxidative status have only been reported anecdotally in conservation studies. The aim of this review is therefore to raise awareness by conservation practitioners of the use of markers of oxidative status. Towards this end, we first describe how environmental disruptions due to human activities can translate into variation in oxidative status. Second, we show how individual and population variation in oxidative status may contribute to the success or the failure of reintroduction or translocation programmes. Finally, we emphasize the technical features specific to the measurement of markers of oxidative status in conservation programmes, which may help investigators with the interpretation of their results. Such prior knowledge about markers of oxidative status may encourage conservation physiologists to use them in order to enhance the success of conservation programmes and wildlife management.
      PubDate: 2014-05-12T01:47:50-07:00
      DOI: 10.1093/conphys/cou014|hwp:master-id:conphys;cou014
      Issue No: Vol. 2, No. 1 (2014)
       
  • Stress and reproductive hormones reflect inter-specific social and
           nutritional conditions mediated by resource availability in a bear-salmon
           system

    • Authors: Bryan, H. M; Darimont, C. T, Paquet, P. C, Wynne-Edwards, K. E, Smits, J. E. G.
      Pages: cou010 - cou010
      Abstract: Food availability can influence the nutritional and social dynamics within and among species. Our investigation focused on grizzly and black bears in coastal British Columbia, Canada, where recent and dramatic declines in their primary prey (salmon) raise concerns about potentially negative effects on bear physiology. We examined how salmon availability relates to stress and reproductive hormones in coastal grizzly (n = 69) and black bears (n = 68) using cortisol and testosterone. In hair samples from genotyped individuals, we quantified salmon consumption using stable isotope analysis and hormone levels by enzyme immunoassay. To estimate the salmon biomass available to each bear, we developed a spatially explicit approach based on typical bear home-range sizes. Next, we compared the relative importance of salmon consumption and salmon availability on hormone levels in male bears using an information theoretical approach. Cortisol in grizzly bears was higher in individuals that consumed less salmon, possibly reflecting nutritional stress. In black bears, cortisol was better predicted by salmon availability than salmon consumption; specifically, individuals in areas and years with low salmon availability showed higher cortisol levels. This indicates that cortisol in black bears is more strongly influenced by the socially competitive environment mediated by salmon availability than by nutritional requirements. In both species, testosterone generally decreased with increasing salmon availability, possibly reflecting a less competitive environment when salmon were abundant. Differences between species could relate to different nutritional requirements, social densities and competitive behaviour and/or habitat use. We present a conceptual model to inform further investigations in this and other systems. Our approach, which combines data on multiple hormones with dietary and spatial information corresponding to the year of hair growth, provides a promising tool for evaluating the responses of a broad spectrum of wildlife to changes in food availability or other environmental conditions.
      PubDate: 2014-05-02T02:35:19-07:00
      DOI: 10.1093/conphys/cou010|hwp:master-id:conphys;cou010
      Issue No: Vol. 2, No. 1 (2014)
       
  • First line of defence: the role of sloughing in the regulation of
           cutaneous microbes in frogs

    • Authors: Cramp, R. L; McPhee, R. K, Meyer, E. A, Ohmer, M. E, Franklin, C. E.
      Pages: cou012 - cou012
      Abstract: Amphibian populations worldwide are currently experiencing unprecedented declines due to the combined effects of emerging infectious disease and climate change. The skin is the first line of defence in preventing establishment of pathogens and associated infections. Although amphibians undergo regular sloughing of the outer layer of the skin, the potential for regular sloughing to play a role in influencing cutaneous microbial populations and pathogens has been largely overlooked. In the present study, we assessed the effect of skin sloughing on cultivable cutaneous bacterial abundance in the green tree frog (Litoria caerulea). We also examined the effects of temperature and hydric environment on sloughing frequency and microbial re-establishment rates. Our data showed that cultivable cutaneous bacterial abundance was significantly reduced by sloughing events, and frogs kept at ‘summer’ temperatures (23–33°C) sloughed almost twice as frequently as those maintained at ‘winter’ temperatures (13–23°C). No effect of hydric environment on sloughing frequency was observed, but we did find that sloughing in L. caerulea appeared to be linked to ambient light cycles. Examination of the effect of sloughing on microbial recolonization indicated that at cool temperatures, an extended intermoult interval allowed microbial abundance to reach higher levels than at warmer ‘summer’ temperatures (when the intermoult interval was significantly reduced). Our data suggest that sloughing may significantly influence the establishment and/or maintenance of cutaneous bacterial populations (pathogenic, mutualistic and/or commensal) and this, in turn, may be affected by environmental factors, such as ambient light and temperature. These findings are likely to be important for our understanding of the ecology of skin-based pathogens, such as the amphibian chytrid fungus, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis.
      PubDate: 2014-04-21T22:56:12-07:00
      DOI: 10.1093/conphys/cou012|hwp:master-id:conphys;cou012
      Issue No: Vol. 2, No. 1 (2014)
       
  • Use of portable blood physiology point-of-care devices for basic and
           applied research on vertebrates: a review

    • Authors: Stoot, L. J; Cairns, N. A, Cull, F, Taylor, J. J, Jeffrey, J. D, Morin, F, Mandelman, J. W, Clark, T. D, Cooke, S. J.
      Pages: cou011 - cou011
      Abstract: Non-human vertebrate blood is commonly collected and assayed for a variety of applications, including veterinary diagnostics and physiological research. Small, often non-lethal samples enable the assessment and monitoring of the physiological state and health of the individual. Traditionally, studies that rely on blood physiology have focused on captive animals or, in studies conducted in remote settings, have required the preservation and transport of samples for later analysis. In either situation, large, laboratory-bound equipment and traditional assays and analytical protocols are required. The use of point-of-care (POC) devices to measure various secondary blood physiological parameters, such as metabolites, blood gases and ions, has become increasingly popular recently, due to immediate results and their portability, which allows the freedom to study organisms in the wild. Here, we review the current uses of POC devices and their applicability to basic and applied studies on a variety of non-domesticated species. We located 79 individual studies that focused on non-domesticated vertebrates, including validation and application of POC tools. Studies focused on a wide spectrum of taxa, including mammals, birds and herptiles, although the majority of studies focused on fish, and typical variables measured included blood glucose, lactate and pH. We found that calibrations for species-specific blood physiology values are necessary, because ranges can vary within and among taxa and are sometimes outside the measurable range of the devices. In addition, although POC devices are portable and robust, most require durable cases, they are seldom waterproof/water-resistant, and factors such as humidity and temperature can affect the performance of the device. Overall, most studies concluded that POC devices are suitable alternatives to traditional laboratory devices and eliminate the need for transport of samples; however, there is a need for greater emphasis on rigorous calibration and validation of these units and appreciation of their limitations.
      PubDate: 2014-04-04T23:05:56-07:00
      DOI: 10.1093/conphys/cou011|hwp:master-id:conphys;cou011
      Issue No: Vol. 2, No. 1 (2014)
       
  • Captivity results in disparate loss of gut microbial diversity in closely
           related hosts

    • Authors: Kohl, K. D; Skopec, M. M, Dearing, M. D.
      Pages: cou009 - cou009
      Abstract: The gastrointestinal tracts of animals contain diverse communities of microbes that provide a number of services to their hosts. There is recent concern that these communities may be lost as animals enter captive breeding programmes, due to changes in diet and/or exposure to environmental sources. However, empirical evidence documenting the effects of captivity and captive birth on gut communities is lacking. We conducted three studies to advance our knowledge in this area. First, we compared changes in microbial diversity of the gut communities of two species of woodrats (Neotoma albigula, a dietary generalist, and Neotoma stephensi, which specializes on juniper) before and after 6–9 months in captivity. Second, we investigated whether reintroduction of the natural diet of N. stephensi could restore microbial diversity. Third, we compared the microbial communities between offspring born in captivity and their mothers. We found that the dietary specialist, N. stephensi, lost a greater proportion of its native gut microbiota and overall diversity in response to captivity compared with N. albigula. Addition of the natural diet increased the proportion of the original microbiota but did not restore overall diversity in N. stephensi. Offspring of N. albigula more closely resembled their mothers compared with offspring–mother pairs of N. stephensi. This research suggests that the microbiota of dietary specialists may be more susceptible to captivity. Furthermore, this work highlights the need for further studies investigating the mechanisms underlying how loss of microbial diversity may vary between hosts and what an acceptable level of diversity loss may be to a host. This knowledge will aid conservation biologists in designing captive breeding programmes effective at maintaining microbial diversity. Sequence Accession Numbers: NCBI's Sequence Read Archive (SRA) – SRP033616
      PubDate: 2014-03-24T06:27:48-07:00
      DOI: 10.1093/conphys/cou009|hwp:master-id:conphys;cou009
      Issue No: Vol. 2, No. 1 (2014)
       
  • Ontogeny influences sensitivity to climate change stressors in an
           endangered fish

    • Authors: Komoroske, L. M; Connon, R. E, Lindberg, J, Cheng, B. S, Castillo, G, Hasenbein, M, Fangue, N. A.
      Pages: cou008 - cou008
      Abstract: Coastal ecosystems are among the most human-impacted habitats globally, and their management is often critically linked to recovery of declining native species. In the San Francisco Estuary, the Delta Smelt (Hypomesus transpacificus) is an endemic, endangered fish strongly tied to Californian conservation planning. The complex life history of Delta Smelt combined with dynamic seasonal and spatial abiotic conditions result in dissimilar environments experienced among ontogenetic stages, which may yield stage-specific susceptibility to abiotic stressors. Climate change is forecasted to increase San Francisco Estuary water temperature and salinity; therefore, understanding the influences of ontogeny and phenotypic plasticity on tolerance to these critical environmental parameters is particularly important for Delta Smelt and other San Francisco Estuary fishes. We assessed thermal and salinity limits in several ontogenetic stages and acclimation states of Delta Smelt, and paired these data with environmental data to evaluate sensitivity to climate-change stressors. Thermal tolerance decreased among successive stages, with larval fish exhibiting the highest tolerance and post-spawning adults having the lowest. Delta Smelt had limited capacity to increase tolerance through thermal acclimation, and comparisons with field temperature data revealed that juvenile tolerance limits are the closest to current environmental conditions, which may make this stage especially susceptible to future climate warming. Maximal water temperatures observed in situ exceeded tolerance limits of juveniles and adults. Although these temperature events are currently rare, if they increase in frequency as predicted, it could result in habitat loss at these locations despite other favourable conditions for Delta Smelt. In contrast, Delta Smelt tolerated salinities spanning the range of expected environmental conditions for each ontogenetic stage, but salinity did impact survival in juvenile and adult stages in exposures over acute time scales. Our results underscore the importance of considering ontogeny and phenotypic plasticity in assessing the impacts of climate change, particularly for species adapted to spatially and temporally heterogeneous environments.
      PubDate: 2014-03-11T00:08:52-07:00
      DOI: 10.1093/conphys/cou008|hwp:master-id:conphys;cou008
      Issue No: Vol. 2, No. 1 (2014)
       
  • High water-use efficiency and growth contribute to success of non-native
           Erodium cicutarium in a Sonoran Desert winter annual community

    • Authors: Kimball, S; Gremer, J. R, Barron-Gafford, G. A, Angert, A. L, Huxman, T. E, Venable, D. L.
      Pages: cou006 - cou006
      Abstract: The success of non-native, invasive species may be due to release from natural enemies, superior competitive abilities, or both. In the Sonoran Desert, Erodium cicutarium has increased in abundance over the last 30 years. While native species in this flora exhibit a strong among-species trade-off between relative growth rate and water-use efficiency, E. cicutarium seems to have a higher relative growth rate for its water-use efficiency value relative to the pattern across native species. This novel trait combination could provide the non-native species with a competitive advantage in this water-limited environment. To test the hypothesis that E. cicutarium is able to achieve high growth rates due to release from native herbivores, we compared the effects of herbivory on E. cicutarium and its native congener, Erodium texanum. We also compared these two species across a range of environmental conditions, both in a common garden and in two distinct seasons in the field, using growth analysis, isotopic compositions and leaf-level gas exchange. Additionally, we compared the competitive abilities of the two Erodium species in a greenhouse experiment. We found no evidence of herbivory to either species. Physiological measurements in a common environment revealed that E. cicutarium was able to achieve high growth rates while simultaneously controlling leaf-level water loss. Non-native E. cicutarium responded to favourable conditions in the field with greater specific leaf area and leaf area ratio than native E. texanum. The non-native Erodium was a stronger competitor than its native congener in a greenhouse competition experiment. The ability to maintain relatively higher values of water-use efficiency:relative growth rate in comparison to the native flora may be what enables E. cictarium to outcompete native species in both wet and dry years, resulting in an increase in abundance in the highly variable Sonoran Desert.
      PubDate: 2014-03-05T22:23:24-08:00
      DOI: 10.1093/conphys/cou006|hwp:master-id:conphys;cou006
      Issue No: Vol. 2, No. 1 (2014)
       
  • Physiological response and resilience of early life-stage Eastern oysters
           (Crassostrea virginica) to past, present and future ocean acidification

    • Authors: Gobler, C. J; Talmage, S. C.
      Pages: cou004 - cou004
      Abstract: The Eastern oyster, Crassostrea virginica (Gmelin, 1791), is the second most valuable bivalve fishery in the USA and is sensitive to high levels of partial pressure of CO2 (pCO2). Here we present experiments that comprehensively examined how the ocean's past, present and projected (21st and 22nd centuries) CO2 concentrations impact the growth and physiology of larval stages of C. virginica. Crassostrea virginica larvae grown in present-day pCO2 concentrations (380 μatm) displayed higher growth and survival than individuals grown at both lower (250 μatm) and higher pCO2 levels (750 and 1500 μatm). Crassostrea virginica larvae manifested calcification rates, sizes, shell thicknesses, metamorphosis, RNA:DNA ratios and lipid contents that paralleled trends in survival, with maximal values for larvae grown at 380 μatm pCO2 and reduced performance in higher and lower pCO2 levels. While some physiological differences among oysters could be attributed to CO2-induced changes in size or calcification rates, the RNA:DNA ratios at ambient pCO2 levels were elevated, independent of these factors. Likewise, the lipid contents of individuals exposed to high pCO2 levels were depressed even when differences in calcification rates were considered. These findings reveal the cascading, interdependent impact that high CO2 can have on oyster physiology. Crassostrea virginica larvae are significantly more resistant to elevated pCO2 than other North Atlantic bivalves, such as Mercenaria mercenaria and Argopecten irradians, a finding that may be related to the biogeography and/or evolutionary history of these species and may have important implications for future bivalve restoration and aquaculture efforts.
      PubDate: 2014-03-04T22:37:08-08:00
      DOI: 10.1093/conphys/cou004|hwp:master-id:conphys;cou004
      Issue No: Vol. 2, No. 1 (2014)
       
  • Plant water use characteristics of five dominant shrub species of the
           Lower Rio Grande Valley, Texas, USA: implications for shrubland
           restoration and conservation

    • Authors: Adhikari, A; White, J. D.
      Pages: cou005 - cou005
      Abstract: The biogeographic distribution of plant species is inherently associated with the plasticity of physiological adaptations to environmental variation. For semi-arid shrublands with a legacy of saline soils, characterization of soil water-tolerant shrub species is necessary for habitat restoration given future projection of increased drought magnitude and persistence in these ecosystems. Five dominant native shrub species commonly found in the Lower Rio Grande Valley, TX, USA, were studied, namely Acacia farnesiana, Celtis ehrenbergiana, Forestiera angustifolia, Parkinsonia aculeata and Prosopis glandulosa. To simulate drought conditions, we suspended watering of healthy, greenhouse-grown plants for 4 weeks. Effects of soil salinity were also studied by dosing plants with 10% NaCl solution with suspended watering. For soil water deficit treatment, the soil water potential of P. glandulosa was the highest (–1.20 MPa), followed by A. farnesiana (–4.69 MPa), P. aculeata (–5.39 MPa), F. angustifolia (–6.20 MPa) and C. ehrenbergiana (–10.02 MPa). For the soil salinity treatment, P. glandulosa also had the highest soil water potential value (–1.60 MPa), followed by C. ehrenbergiana (–1.70 MPa), A. farnesiana (–1.84 MPa), P. aculeata (–2.04 MPa) and F. angustifolia (–6.99 MPa). Within the species, only C. ehrenbergiana and F. angustifolia for soil water deficit treatment and A. farnesiana for the salinity treatment had significantly lower soil water potential after 4 weeks of treatment (P 
      PubDate: 2014-02-27T03:02:17-08:00
      DOI: 10.1093/conphys/cou005|hwp:master-id:conphys;cou005
      Issue No: Vol. 2, No. 1 (2014)
       
  • State of the interface between conservation and physiology: a bibliometric
           analysis

    • Authors: Lennox, R; Cooke, S. J.
      Pages: cou003 - cou003
      Abstract: Contemporary conservation science benefits from the perspectives of a variety of different disciplines, including a recent synergy with physiology, an interface known as ‘conservation physiology’. To evaluate the degree of interaction between conservation and animal/plant physiology, we conducted three bibliometric analyses. We first pursued the use of the term ‘conservation physiology’ since its first definition in 2006 to determine how frequently it has been used and in which publications. Secondly, we evaluated the occurrence of conservation terms in animal and plant physiology journals, physiological terms in conservation journals, and a combination of terms in ecology journals. Thirdly, we explored trends in a subset of conservation physiology articles published between 2006 and 2012. We identified a surge in the use of the term ‘conservation physiology’ in 2012, after only a slow increase in usage between 2006 and 2011. Conservation journals tend to have been significantly more active in publishing conservation physiology than animal physiology, plant physiology or ecology journals. However, we found evidence that ecology and animal physiology journals began to incorporate more conservation physiology after 2006, while conservation- and plant physiology-themed journals did not. Among 299 conservation physiology articles that we identified, vertebrate taxa have been over-represented in conservation physiology compared with their relative taxonomic abundance, invertebrate taxa have been under-represented, and plants have been represented in proportion to their relative taxonomic abundance; however, those findings are reasonably consistent with publication trends in conservation biology. Diffuse distribution of conservation physiology papers throughout the literature may have been a barrier to the growth of the subdiscipline when the interface was emerging. The introduction of the focused journal Conservation Physiology in 2013 may address that deficiency. Moreover, development of a unifying framework could help to aggregate knowledge and attract potential contributors by highlighting and facilitating access to and application of conservation physiology.
      PubDate: 2014-02-25T22:45:54-08:00
      DOI: 10.1093/conphys/cou003|hwp:master-id:conphys;cou003
      Issue No: Vol. 2, No. 1 (2014)
       
  • Conservation physiology of plants

    • Authors: van Kleunen; M.
      Pages: cou007 - cou007
      PubDate: 2014-02-25T22:45:54-08:00
      DOI: 10.1093/conphys/cou007|hwp:master-id:conphys;cou007
      Issue No: Vol. 2, No. 1 (2014)
       
  • Seasonal trends in nesting leatherback turtle (Dermochelys coriacea) serum
           proteins further verify capital breeding hypothesis

    • Authors: Perrault, J. R; Wyneken, J, Page-Karjian, A, Merrill, A, Miller, D. L.
      Pages: cou002 - cou002
      Abstract: Serum protein concentrations provide insight into the nutritional and immune status of organisms. It has been suggested that some marine turtles are capital breeders that fast during the nesting season. In this study, we documented serum proteins in neophyte and remigrant nesting leatherback sea turtles (Dermochelys coriacea). This allowed us to establish trends across the nesting season to determine whether these physiological parameters indicate if leatherbacks forage or fast while on nesting grounds. Using the biuret method and agarose gel electrophoresis, total serum protein (median = 5.0 g/dl) and protein fractions were quantified and include pre-albumin (median = 0.0 g/dl), albumin (median = 1.81 g/dl), α1-globulin (median = 0.90 g/dl), α2-globulin (median = 0.74 g/dl), total α-globulin (median = 1.64 g/dl), β-globulin (median = 0.56 g/dl), -globulin (median = 0.81 g/dl) and total globulin (median = 3.12 g/dl). The albumin:globulin ratio (median = 0.59) was also calculated. Confidence intervals (90%) were used to establish reference intervals. Total protein, albumin and total globulin concentrations declined in successive nesting events. Protein fractions declined at less significant rates or remained relatively constant during the nesting season. Here, we show that leatherbacks are most likely fasting during the nesting season. A minimal threshold of total serum protein concentrations of around 3.5–4.5 g/dl may physiologically signal the end of the season's nesting for individual leatherbacks. The results presented here lend further insight into the interaction between reproduction, fasting and energy reserves and will potentially improve the conservation and management of this imperiled species.
      PubDate: 2014-02-19T23:47:45-08:00
      DOI: 10.1093/conphys/cou002|hwp:master-id:conphys;cou002
      Issue No: Vol. 2, No. 1 (2014)
       
  • One fledgling or two in the endangered Carnaby's Cockatoo (Calyptorhynchus
           latirostris): a strategy for survival or legacy from a bygone era'

    • Authors: Saunders, D. A; Mawson, P. R, Dawson, R.
      Pages: cou001 - cou001
      Abstract: Of the five species of black cockatoo in the genus Calyptorhynchus, those species with red tail bands (Red-tailed Black Cockatoo and Glossy Black Cockatoo) lay clutches of only one egg and those with white or yellow tail bands (Carnaby's Cockatoo, Baudin's Cockatoo and Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoo) usually lay clutches of two. The breeding of the endangered Carnaby's Cockatoo has been studied from 1969 to 2012 at a number of localities throughout its range in south-western Australia within a region largely cleared for agriculture. When raising nestlings the species feeds on seeds of native vegetation, and there was a strong but not significant negative relationship between nesting success and percentage loss of native vegetation within 6 and 12 km of nest hollows. There was a significant negative relationship between the health of nestlings and percentage loss of native vegetation around nest hollows. While the usual clutch size is two, average clutch size tended to be lower in areas where much native vegetation has been cleared. While both eggs hatch in 77% of two-egg clutches, the species normally fledges only one young. However, the species is capable of fledging both nestlings from a breeding attempt. Sets of siblings are usually the product of older, more experienced females nesting in areas where more native vegetation has been retained. The conservation implications of these findings are discussed in the light of predicted changes to the climate of south-western Australia.
      PubDate: 2014-02-17T06:29:58-08:00
      DOI: 10.1093/conphys/cou001|hwp:master-id:conphys;cou001
      Issue No: Vol. 2, No. 1 (2014)
       
  • Linking physiological approaches to marine vertebrate conservation: using
           sex steroid hormone determinations in demographic assessments

    • Authors: Labrada-Martagon, V; Zenteno-Savin, T, Mangel, M.
      Pages: cot035 - cot035
      Abstract: Sex, age and sexual maturation are key biological parameters for aspects of life history and are fundamental information for assessing demographic changes and the reproductive viability and performance of natural populations under exploitation pressures or in response to environmental influences. Much of the information available on the reproductive condition, length at sexual maturity and sex determinations of endangered species has been derived from direct examination of the gonads in dead animals, either intentionally or incidentally caught, or from stranded individuals. However, morphological data, when used alone, do not provide accurate demographic information in sexually monomorphic marine vertebrate species (e.g. sharks, sea turtles, seabirds and cetaceans). Hormone determination is an accurate and non-destructive method that provides indirect information about sex, reproductive condition and sexual maturity of free-ranging individuals. Correlations between sex steroid concentrations and biochemical parameters, gonadal development and state, reproductive behaviour and secondary external features have been already demonstrated in many species. Different non-lethal approaches (e.g. surgical and mark–recapture procedures), with intrinsic advantages and disadvantages when applied on free-ranging organisms, have been proposed to asses sex, growth and reproductive condition. Hormone determination from blood samples will generate valuable additional demographic information needed for stock assessment and biological conservation.
      PubDate: 2014-02-11T06:45:10-08:00
      DOI: 10.1093/conphys/cot035|hwp:master-id:conphys;cot035
      Issue No: Vol. 2, No. 1 (2014)
       
  • Hooking injury, physiological status and short-term mortality of juvenile
           lemon sharks (Negaprion bevirostris) following catch-and-release
           recreational angling

    • Authors: Danylchuk, A. J; Suski, C. D, Mandelman, J. W, Murchie, K. J, Haak, C. R, Brooks, A. M. L, Cooke, S. J.
      Pages: cot036 - cot036
      Abstract: Sport fishing for sharks, including fishing with the intent to release, is becoming more prevalent within the recreational angling community. Common targets of recreational anglers are juvenile lemon sharks (Negaprion brevirostris) that frequent shallow tropical nearshore habitats. In this study, we captured 32 juvenile lemon sharks (530–875 mm total length) with conventional angling gear (i.e. spinning rods, dead fish bait and 5/0 barbed circle hooks) from the coastal waters of Eleuthera, The Bahamas, to determine the consequences of capture for individual sharks. Each shark was examined for hooking injuries, blood sampled to quantify physiological disturbance, assessed for reflex impairment and then monitored to assess post-release behaviour and mortality. Four sharks (12.5%) died following release during the 15 min tracking period. Principal components (PC) analysis revealed four axes describing 66.5% of the variance for blood physiology parameters, total length and water temperature. The PC1 and PC3 scores, characterized by positive factor loadings for indicators of exercise-induced stress and blood ion concentrations, respectively, were significantly related to fight time but were not associated with short-term mortality. Short-term mortality was significantly related to factor scores for PC4 that loaded heavily for water temperature and total length. Ten sharks (31%) exhibited impaired reflexes, with loss of bite reflex being most prevalent. Sharks that died had the following characteristics: (i) they had two or more impaired reflexes; (ii) they were hooked in the basihyal; (iii) they exhibited no movement after the initial bout of directional swimming; and (iv) they experienced high water temperatures (i.e. >31°C). Collectively, these results indicate that for juvenile lemon sharks inhabiting tropical flats, fight time can influence the degree of physiological disturbance, while water temperature contributes to the likelihood of survival following release.
      PubDate: 2014-02-05T06:16:09-08:00
      DOI: 10.1093/conphys/cot036|hwp:master-id:conphys;cot036
      Issue No: Vol. 2, No. 1 (2014)
       
  • A practical field extraction method for non-invasive monitoring of hormone
           activity in the black rhinoceros

    • Authors: Edwards, K. L; McArthur, H. M, Liddicoat, T, Walker, S. L.
      Pages: cot037 - cot037
      Abstract: Non-invasive hormone analysis is a vital tool in assessing an animal's adrenal and reproductive status, which can be beneficial to in situ and ex situ conservation. However, it can be difficult to employ these techniques when monitoring in situ populations away from controlled laboratory conditions, when electricity is not readily available. A practical method for processing faecal samples in the field, which enables samples to be extracted soon after defaecation and stored in field conditions for prolonged periods prior to hormone analysis, is therefore warranted. This study describes the development of an optimal field extraction method, which includes hand-shaking faecal material in 90% methanol, before loading this extract in a 40% solvent onto HyperSep™ C8 solid-phase extraction cartridges, stored at ambient temperatures. This method was successfully validated for measurement of adrenal and reproductive hormone metabolites in faeces of male and female black rhinoceros (Diceros bicornis) and was rigorously tested in controlled laboratory and simulated field conditions. All the hormones tested demonstrated between 83 and 94% and between 42 and 89% recovery of synthetic and endogenous hormone metabolites, respectively, with high precision of replication. Furthermore, results obtained following the developed optimal field extraction method were highly correlated with the control laboratory method. Cartridges can be stored at ambient (cool, dry or warm, humid) conditions for periods of up to 6 months without degradation, before re-extraction of hormone metabolites for analysis by enzyme immunoassay. The described method has great potential to be applied to monitor faecal reproductive and adrenal hormone metabolites in a wide variety of species and allows samples to be stored in the field for up to 6 months prior to analysis. This provides the opportunity to investigate hormone relationships within in situ populations, where equipment and facilities may previously have been limiting.
      PubDate: 2014-02-04T04:14:34-08:00
      DOI: 10.1093/conphys/cot037|hwp:master-id:conphys;cot037
      Issue No: Vol. 2, No. 1 (2014)
       
  • Impacts of environmental pressures on the reproductive physiology of
           subpopulations of black rhinoceros (Diceros bicornis bicornis) in Addo
           Elephant National Park, South Africa

    • Authors: Freeman, E. W; Meyer, J. M, Bird, J, Adendorff, J, Schulte, B. A, Santymire, R. M.
      Pages: cot034 - cot034
      Abstract: Black rhinoceros are an icon for international conservation, yet little is known about their physiology due to their secretive nature. To overcome these challenges, non-invasive methods were used to monitor rhinoceros in two sections of Addo Elephant National Park, South Africa, namely Addo and Nyathi. These sections were separated by a public road, and the numbers of elephants, predators and tourists were higher in Addo. Faecal samples (n = 231) were collected (from July 2007 to November 2010) from known individuals and analysed for progestagen and androgen metabolite (FPM and FAM, respectively) concentrations. As biotic factors could impact reproduction, we predicted that demographics, FPM and FAM would vary between sections and with respect to season (calendar and wet/dry), climate and age of the rhinoceros. Mean FPM concentrations from pregnant females were seven times higher (P 
      PubDate: 2014-02-04T04:14:34-08:00
      DOI: 10.1093/conphys/cot034|hwp:master-id:conphys;cot034
      Issue No: Vol. 2, No. 1 (2014)
       
  • Conservation physiology today and tomorrow

    • Authors: Cooke; S. J.
      Pages: cot033 - cot033
      PubDate: 2014-01-07T02:20:52-08:00
      DOI: 10.1093/conphys/cot033|hwp:master-id:conphys;cot033
      Issue No: Vol. 2, No. 1 (2014)
       
 
 
JournalTOCs
School of Mathematical and Computer Sciences
Heriot-Watt University
Edinburgh, EH14 4AS, UK
Email: journaltocs@hw.ac.uk
Tel: +00 44 (0)131 4513762
Fax: +00 44 (0)131 4513327
 
About JournalTOCs
API
Help
News (blog, publications)
JournalTOCs on Twitter   JournalTOCs on Facebook

JournalTOCs © 2009-2014