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Journal Cover Conservation Physiology  
  This is an Open Access Journal Open Access journal
   ISSN (Online) 2051-1434
   Published by Oxford University Press (OUP) Homepage  [312 journals]
  • Predicting future thermal habitat suitability of competing native and
           invasive fish species: from metabolic scope to oceanographic modelling

    • Authors: Marras, S; Cucco, A, Antognarelli, F, Azzurro, E, Milazzo, M, Bariche, M, Butenschon, M, Kay, S, Di Bitetto, M, Quattrocchi, G, Sinerchia, M, Domenici, P.
      Pages: cou059 - cou059
      Abstract: Global increase in sea temperatures has been suggested to facilitate the incoming and spread of tropical invaders. The increasing success of these species may be related to their higher physiological performance compared with indigenous ones. Here, we determined the effect of temperature on the aerobic metabolic scope (MS) of two herbivorous fish species that occupy a similar ecological niche in the Mediterranean Sea: the native salema (Sarpa salpa) and the invasive marbled spinefoot (Siganus rivulatus). Our results demonstrate a large difference in the optimal temperature for aerobic scope between the salema (21.8°C) and the marbled spinefoot (29.1°C), highlighting the importance of temperature in determining the energy availability and, potentially, the distribution patterns of the two species. A modelling approach based on a present-day projection and a future scenario for oceanographic conditions was used to make predictions about the thermal habitat suitability (THS, an index based on the relationship between MS and temperature) of the two species, both at the basin level (the whole Mediterranean Sea) and at the regional level (the Sicilian Channel, a key area for the inflow of invasive species from the Eastern to the Western Mediterranean Sea). For the present-day projection, our basin-scale model shows higher THS of the marbled spinefoot than the salema in the Eastern compared with the Western Mediterranean Sea. However, by 2050, the THS of the marbled spinefoot is predicted to increase throughout the whole Mediterranean Sea, causing its westward expansion. Nevertheless, the regional-scale model suggests that the future thermal conditions of Western Sicily will remain relatively unsuitable for the invasive species and could act as a barrier for its spread westward. We suggest that metabolic scope can be used as a tool to evaluate the potential invasiveness of alien species and the resilience to global warming of native species.
      PubDate: 2015-01-21T00:54:52-08:00
      DOI: 10.1093/conphys/cou059|hwp:master-id:conphys;cou059
      Issue No: Vol. 3, No. 1 (2015)
  • Detection of oocyte perivitelline membrane-bound sperm: a tool for avian
           collection management

    • Authors: Croyle, K. E; Durrant, B. S, Jensen, T.
      Pages: cou060 - cou060
      Abstract: The success and sustainability of an avian breeding programme depend on managing productive and unproductive pairs. Given that each breeding season can be of immeasurable importance, it is critical to resolve pair fertility issues quickly. Such problems are traditionally diagnosed through behavioural observations, egg lay history and hatch rates, with a decision to re-pair generally taking one or more breeding seasons. In pairs producing incubated eggs that show little or no signs of embryonic development, determining fertility is difficult. Incorporating a technique to assess sperm presence on the oocyte could, in conjunction with behaviour and other data, facilitate a more timely re-pair decision. Detection of perivitelline membrane-bound (PVM-bound) sperm verifies successful copulation, sperm production and sperm functionality. Alternatively, a lack of detectable sperm, at least in freshly laid eggs, suggests no mating, lack of sperm production/function or sperm–oviduct incompatibility. This study demonstrated PVM-bound sperm detection by Hoechst staining in fresh to 24-day-incubated exotic eggs from 39 species representing 13 orders. However, a rapid and significant time-dependent loss of detectable PVM-bound sperm was observed following incubation of chicken eggs. The PCR detection of sperm in seven species, including two bacterially infected eggs, demonstrated that this method was not as reliable as visual detection using Hoechst staining. The absence of amplicons in visually positive PVMs was presumably due to large PVM size and low sperm count, resulting in DNA concentrations too low for standard PCR detection. In summary, this study demonstrated the feasibility and limitations of using PVM-bound sperm detection as a management tool for exotic avian species. We verified that sperm presence or absence on fluorescence microscopy can aid in the differentiation of fertile from infertile eggs to assist breeding managers in making prompt decisions for pair rearrangements. This protocol is currently used to manage several breeding pairs in San Diego Zoo global avian conservation programmes.
      PubDate: 2015-01-18T23:16:52-08:00
      DOI: 10.1093/conphys/cou060|hwp:master-id:conphys;cou060
      Issue No: Vol. 3, No. 1 (2015)
  • Effects of anthropogenic noise on endocrine and reproductive function in
           White's treefrog, Litoria caerulea

    • Authors: Kaiser, K; Devito, J, Jones, C. G, Marentes, A, Perez, R, Umeh, L, Weickum, R. M, McGovern, K. E, Wilson, E. H, Saltzman, W.
      Pages: cou061 - cou061
      Abstract: Urbanization is a major driver of ecological change and comes with a suite of habitat modifications, including alterations to the local temperature, precipitation, light and noise regimes. Although many recent studies have investigated the behavioural and ecological ramifications of urbanization, physiological work in this area has lagged. We tested the hypothesis that anthropogenic noise is a stressor for amphibians and that chronic exposure to such noise leads to reproductive suppression. In the laboratory, we exposed male White's treefrogs, Litoria caerulea, to conspecific chorus noise either alone or coupled with pre-recorded traffic noise nightly for 1 week. Frogs presented with anthropogenic noise had significantly higher circulating concentrations of corticosterone and significantly decreased sperm count and sperm viability than did control frogs. These results suggest that in addition to having behavioural and ecological effects, anthropogenic change might alter physiology and Darwinian fitness. Future work should integrate disparate fields such as behaviour, ecology and physiology to elucidate fully organisms’ responses to habitat change.
      PubDate: 2015-01-16T02:43:53-08:00
      DOI: 10.1093/conphys/cou061|hwp:master-id:conphys;cou061
      Issue No: Vol. 3, No. 1 (2015)
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