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Physiological and Biochemical Zoology: PBZ

Amanpreet K Kohli, Alexa L Lindauer, Laura A Brannelly, Michel E B Ohmer, Cori Richards-Zawacki, Louise Rollins-Smith, Jamie Voyles
Drought can heavily impact aquatic ecosystems. For amphibian species that rely on water availability for larval development, drought can have direct and indirect effects on larval survival and postmetamorphic fitness. Some amphibian species can accelerate the timing of metamorphosis to escape drying habitats through developmental plasticity. However, trade-offs associated with premature metamorphosis, such as reduced body size and altered immune function in the recently metamorphosed individual, may have downstream effects on susceptibility to disease...
May 2019: Physiological and Biochemical Zoology: PBZ
Mauricio Seguel, Diego Perez-Venegas, Josefina Gutierrez, Daniel E Crocker, Eugene J DeRango
Parasites can cause chronic stress in some animal species, and this type of stress response has been associated with adverse consequences for the host. In order to know whether parasitism elicited a stress response associated with decreased host fitness, hookworm (Uncinaria sp.) infection was studied in a colony of South American fur seals (Arctocephalus australis) in which hookworms infect nearly all pups born in a reproductive season. A parasite-free group was generated by treating a subset of pups with an antiparasitic drug before they developed patent hookworm infection...
May 2019: Physiological and Biochemical Zoology: PBZ
Giulia S Rossi, Louise Tunnah, Keri E Martin, Andy J Turko, D Scott Taylor, Suzanne Currie, Patricia A Wright
Hydrogen sulfide (H2 S) is a potent respiratory toxin that makes sulfidic environments tolerable to only a few organisms. We report the presence of fishes (Kryptolebias marmoratus, Poecilia orri, Gambusia sp., and Dormitator maculatus) in Belizean mangrove pools with extremely high H2 S concentrations (up to 1,166 μM) that would be lethal for most fishes. Thus, we asked whether the three most prevalent species (Kryptolebias, Poecilia, and Gambusia) persist in sulfidic pools because they are exceptionally H2 S tolerant and/or because they can leave water (emerse) and completely avoid H2 S...
May 2019: Physiological and Biochemical Zoology: PBZ
Lisa C Hazard, Kenneth A Nagy, Donald B Miles, Erik I Svensson, Daniel Costa, Barry Sinervo
Covariation among behavioral and physiological traits is thought to enhance reproductive success and Darwinian fitness. Species that exhibit alternative mating strategies provide excellent opportunities to assess the relative contributions of physiological and behavioral traits to fitness. Male side-blotched lizards (Uta stansburiana) exhibit three heritable throat color morphs that are associated with alternative mating behaviors. The three morphs differ in resource holding potential, mate attraction, mate defense, and physiological performance...
May 2019: Physiological and Biochemical Zoology: PBZ
Essie M Rodgers, Craig E Franklin
Diving optimality models predict air breathers to routinely dive within aerobic limits, but predator avoidance dives may be an exception. Lengthening submergence times during a predation threat may enhance survival probability, and we therefore hypothesized that predator avoidance dives in juvenile estuarine crocodiles (Crocodylus porosus) would be partially anaerobically fueled. We also predicted that reliance on anaerobic metabolism would increase at elevated temperatures to offset the faster depletion of body oxygen stores...
May 2019: Physiological and Biochemical Zoology: PBZ
Teresa M Pegan, David W Winkler, Mark F Haussmann, Maren N Vitousek
Organisms are frequently exposed to challenges during development, such as poor weather and food shortage. Such challenges can initiate the hormonal stress response, which involves secretion of glucocorticoids. Although the hormonal stress response helps organisms deal with challenges, long-term exposure to high levels of glucocorticoids can have morphological, behavioral, and physiological consequences, especially during development. Glucocorticoids are also associated with telomere shortening, and they have a complex relationship with survival...
May 2019: Physiological and Biochemical Zoology: PBZ
Ismael Galván, Sol Rodríguez-Martínez
Even though plumage diversity is one of the most diverse phenotypic traits in nature, the reasons why some species exhibit more distinctive colors than others are poorly known. In the case of melanins, the most abundant pigments in birds, different chemical forms lead to different plumage colors and different amounts of those forms lead to different color intensities. However, the synthesis of some melanin forms is more physiologically limited than others. We hypothesize that an evolutionary solution to this scenario may consist in a negative association between melanin-based color heterogeneity and intensity...
May 2019: Physiological and Biochemical Zoology: PBZ
Laura H McDonnell, J E Reemeyer, Lauren J Chapman
Hypoxia and climate warming are pervasive stressors in aquatic systems that may have interactive effects on fishes because both affect aerobic metabolism. We explored independent and interactive effects of dissolved oxygen (DO) and temperature on thermal tolerance, behavior, and fitness-related traits of juvenile F1 offspring of the African cichlid Pseudocrenilabrus multicolor. Fish were reared in a split-brood design with four treatments (low or high DO, cool or hot temperature); thermal tolerance, growth, and condition were measured after 1 mo in the rearing treatments, following which behavioral traits were measured over 3...
May 2019: Physiological and Biochemical Zoology: PBZ
Caitlin Kroeger, Daniel E Crocker, David R Thompson, Leigh G Torres, Paul Sagar, Scott A Shaffer
Corticosterone (CORT) is a glucocorticoid hormone that maintains energy balance and can modulate foraging behaviors in seabirds. However, CORT responses are not always predictable under similar biophysical conditions and do not necessarily influence the same behaviors across breeding stages and species. To enhance our understanding of CORT's role as a proximate determinant of foraging behavior and energy maintenance, we examined the relationships between body condition, CORT, foraging behavior, and foraging success between two sympatric breeding albatross species with differing foraging strategies and life histories, the Campbell albatross (Thalassarache impavida) and the gray-headed albatross (Thalassarache chrysostoma), from Campbell Island, New Zealand...
March 2019: Physiological and Biochemical Zoology: PBZ
Wales A Carter, John P Whiteman, Clara Cooper-Mullin, Seth D Newsome, Scott R McWilliams
Although tissue fatty acid (FA) composition has been linked to whole-animal performance (e.g., aerobic endurance, metabolic rate, postexercise recovery) in a wide range of animal taxa, we do not adequately understand the pace of changes in FA composition and its implications for the ecology of animals. Therefore, we used a C4 to C3 diet shift experiment and compound-specific δ13 C analysis to estimate the turnover rates of FAs in the polar and neutral fractions of flight muscle lipids (corresponding to membranes and lipid droplets) of exercised and sedentary zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata)...
March 2019: Physiological and Biochemical Zoology: PBZ
Brett M Culbert, Sigal Balshine, Kathleen M Gilmour
In social groups, dominant animals typically are larger and have better access to resources than subordinates. When subordinates are given the opportunity to ascend to a dominant position, they will elevate their rates of growth to help secure dominance. This study investigated the physiological mechanisms facilitating this increased growth. Using the group-living cichlid, Neolamprologus pulcher, we investigated whether the insulin-like growth factor (IGF) system-a key regulator of growth-is involved in the regulation of growth during social ascension...
March 2019: Physiological and Biochemical Zoology: PBZ
David Ochoa, Tomás Redondo, Gregorio Moreno-Rueda
Hematological profiles are routinely used to assess the health status of animals. Several methods have been developed for blood cell counting, but they are typically expensive and/or time-consuming. Here, we present a free image-processing software, Mizutama, developed for counting cells in photographs of blood smears. Mizutama uses the thresholding method to transform original photographs into grayscale trinary images. Following a number of parameters, Mizutama searches in the image for cells of a given size, with a nucleus size relative to cytoplasm surface area...
March 2019: Physiological and Biochemical Zoology: PBZ
Susan E Anthony, Brent J Sinclair
Although many arthropods are freeze tolerant (able to withstand internal ice), small-bodied terrestrial arthropods such as mites are thought to be constrained to freeze avoidance. We field-collected active adult red velvet mites, Allothrombium sp. (Trombidiidae), in winter in Southwestern Ontario, Canada, where temperatures drop below -20°C. These mites froze between -3.6° and -9.2°C and survived internal ice formation. All late-winter mites survived being frozen for 24 h at -9°C, and 50% survived 1 wk...
March 2019: Physiological and Biochemical Zoology: PBZ
Eric J Gangloff, Mahaut Sorlin, Gerardo A Cordero, Jérémie Souchet, Fabien Aubret
Warming climates are facilitating the range expansion of many taxa to habitats that were formerly thermally inhospitable, including to higher latitudes and elevations. The potential for such colonization, however, varies widely among taxa. Because environmental factors may interact to affect colonization potential, an understanding of underlying physiological and behavioral mechanisms is necessary to predict how species will respond to potentially suitable habitats. For example, temperature and oxygen availability will interact to shape physiological and performance traits...
March 2019: Physiological and Biochemical Zoology: PBZ
Maxine Zylberberg
The application of next-generation sequencing (NGS) to the study of whole genomes and transcriptomes is becoming commonplace in molecular biology and molecular medicine. Over the past decade, these technologies have become more accessible to the broader biological community as the cost of NGS has decreased significantly and the availability of ready-to-use library preparation kits and user-friendly bioinformatic tools has increased. Indeed, these technologies are starting to be deployed in the study of ecological systems and immune function and have already yielded new discoveries and insights...
March 2019: Physiological and Biochemical Zoology: PBZ
Alice E Harada, Ronald S Burton
Thermal stress experiments are essential for understanding organisms' thermal limits and the physiological processes that contribute to establishing those limits. Experiments typically employ either an abrupt transfer to near-lethal temperatures or a gradually increasing thermal exposure. In the current study, we used three populations of the intertidal copepod Tigriopus californicus that are known to differ in upper thermal tolerance to investigate the effects of gradual versus abrupt thermal exposures on survivorship, developmental time, and heat shock protein gene expression...
March 2019: Physiological and Biochemical Zoology: PBZ
Katherine L Moon, Ian J Aitkenhead, Ceridwen I Fraser, Steven L Chown
One of the most extreme examples of parasite adaptation comes from terrestrial ectoparasites exploiting marine hosts. Despite the ubiquity of such ectoparasitism and its ecological and evolutionary importance, investigations of the responses of ectoparasites to conditions encountered on their hosts are rare. In the case of penguins and their ticks, current understanding suggests that ticks freely parasitize their hosts on land but are incapable of surviving extended oceanic journeys. We examined this conjecture by assessing the physiological capacity of little penguin ticks to endure at-sea foraging and dispersal events of their hosts...
March 2019: Physiological and Biochemical Zoology: PBZ
Michael J Roast, Anne E Aulsebrook, Marie Fan, Nataly Hidalgo Aranzamendi, Niki Teunissen, Anne Peters
Investment in immune function can be costly, and life-history theory predicts trade-offs between immune function and other physiological demands. Environmental heterogeneity may constrain or change the optimal strategy and thereby alter baseline immune function (possibly mediated by stress responses). We tested several hypotheses relating variation in climatic, ecological, and social environments to chronic stress and levels of baseline innate immunity in a wild, cooperatively breeding bird, the purple-crowned fairy-wren (Malurus coronatus coronatus)...
March 2019: Physiological and Biochemical Zoology: PBZ
Maria C Cartolano, Phallon Tullis-Joyce, Kathleen Kubicki, M Danielle McDonald
Gulf toadfish (Opsanus beta) are exceptionally capable of switching from excreting ammonia as their primary nitrogenous waste to excreting predominantly urea in distinct pulses across the gill. Previous studies suggest that these urea pulses may be used for intraspecific chemical communication. To determine whether pulsatile urea excretion communicates reproductive status, toadfish were sexed using ultrasound and delivered conspecific-conditioned seawater (CC-SW) that previously housed a conspecific of the opposite sex, a conspecific chemical alarm cue (avoidance control), or a prey cue (attraction control)...
March 2019: Physiological and Biochemical Zoology: PBZ
Agnieszka Babczyńska, Sławomir Sułowicz, Ewa Talik, Mateusz Hermyt, Agata Bednarek, Marta Sawadro, Agnieszka Molenda
Coexistence of organisms and pathogens has resulted in the evolution of efficient antimicrobial defense, especially at the embryonic stage. This investigation aimed to substantiate the hypothesis that the layers of silk in a spider cocoon play a role in the immunity of the embryos against microorganisms present in the external environment. A two-step interdisciplinary attempt has been made. First, the eggs and empty cocoons of the spider Parasteatoda tepidariorum were incubated on lysogeny broth agar media for 3 d...
January 2019: Physiological and Biochemical Zoology: PBZ
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