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Brood size constrains the development of endothermy in blue tits

Andreasson, Fredrik LU ; Nord, Andreas LU and Nilsson, Jan-Åke LU (2016) In Journal of Experimental Biology 219(14). p.2212-2219
Abstract
Altricial birds are unable to maintain body temperature when exposed to low ambient temperatures during the first days after hatching. Thermoregulatory capacity begins to form as postnatal development progresses, and eventually nestlings become homeothermic. Several factors may influence this development at both the level of the individual and the level of the whole brood, but to our knowledge no studies have focused on the effect of brood size per se on the development of endothermy in individual nestlings. We performed cooling experiments on blue tit (Cyanistes caeruleus) nestlings in the field, to study how different experimental brood sizes affected the development of endothermy in individual nestlings and the thermal environment... (More)
Altricial birds are unable to maintain body temperature when exposed to low ambient temperatures during the first days after hatching. Thermoregulatory capacity begins to form as postnatal development progresses, and eventually nestlings become homeothermic. Several factors may influence this development at both the level of the individual and the level of the whole brood, but to our knowledge no studies have focused on the effect of brood size per se on the development of endothermy in individual nestlings. We performed cooling experiments on blue tit (Cyanistes caeruleus) nestlings in the field, to study how different experimental brood sizes affected the development of endothermy in individual nestlings and the thermal environment experienced by the whole brood in the nest. Nestlings from all experimental brood sizes showed a decrease in cooling rate as they grew older, but birds from reduced broods showed an earlier onset of endothermy compared with nestlings from enlarged and control broods. This difference manifested during early development and gradually disappeared as nestlings grew older. The thermal environment in the nests differed between treatments during nestling development, such that nest temperature in reduced broods was lower than that in enlarged broods during all days and during nights at the end of the experimental period. We suggest that the development of endothermy in blue tit nestlings is not ontogenetically fixed, but instead may vary according to differences in developmental, nutritional and thermal conditions as determined by brood size. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
heterothermy, endothermy, infrared thermography, evolutionary biology, ecological physiology, ornithology
in
Journal of Experimental Biology
volume
219
issue
14
pages
2212 - 2219
publisher
The Company of Biologists Ltd
external identifiers
  • Scopus:84983006862
ISSN
1477-9145
DOI
10.1242/jeb.135350
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
b3722802-8fa3-4314-a7b6-589cb7a4b7b0
date added to LUP
2016-07-22 11:22:53
date last changed
2016-10-23 04:44:48
@misc{b3722802-8fa3-4314-a7b6-589cb7a4b7b0,
  abstract     = {Altricial birds are unable to maintain body temperature when exposed to low ambient temperatures during the first days after hatching. Thermoregulatory capacity begins to form as postnatal development progresses, and eventually nestlings become homeothermic. Several factors may influence this development at both the level of the individual and the level of the whole brood, but to our knowledge no studies have focused on the effect of brood size per se on the development of endothermy in individual nestlings. We performed cooling experiments on blue tit (Cyanistes caeruleus) nestlings in the field, to study how different experimental brood sizes affected the development of endothermy in individual nestlings and the thermal environment experienced by the whole brood in the nest. Nestlings from all experimental brood sizes showed a decrease in cooling rate as they grew older, but birds from reduced broods showed an earlier onset of endothermy compared with nestlings from enlarged and control broods. This difference manifested during early development and gradually disappeared as nestlings grew older. The thermal environment in the nests differed between treatments during nestling development, such that nest temperature in reduced broods was lower than that in enlarged broods during all days and during nights at the end of the experimental period. We suggest that the development of endothermy in blue tit nestlings is not ontogenetically fixed, but instead may vary according to differences in developmental, nutritional and thermal conditions as determined by brood size.},
  author       = {Andreasson, Fredrik and Nord, Andreas and Nilsson, Jan-Åke},
  issn         = {1477-9145},
  keyword      = {heterothermy,endothermy,infrared thermography,evolutionary biology,ecological physiology,ornithology},
  language     = {eng},
  month        = {07},
  number       = {14},
  pages        = {2212--2219},
  publisher    = {ARRAY(0x9880b70)},
  series       = {Journal of Experimental Biology},
  title        = {Brood size constrains the development of endothermy in blue tits},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1242/jeb.135350},
  volume       = {219},
  year         = {2016},
}