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Long-distance migrants as a model system of structural and physiological plasticity

Weber, Thomas LU and Hedenström, Anders LU (2001) In Evolutionary Ecology Research 3(3). p.255-271
Abstract
Several migratory bird species show active cycles of hypertrophy and atrophy of nutritional organs and selected muscle groups. We develop a model for nutritional organs to identify the conditions under which such a pattern of structural change is optimal. Migrants may choose the size of two components of lean mass: a constant component that they carry throughout the entire migration period and a component just deposited during stopover. The benefit of depositing and subsequently discarding additional tissues in nutritional organs during stopover is an increased fuelling rate and a decrease in flight costs; the cost of hypertrophy and atrophy is a time cost. The predicted pattern depends strongly on the lean mass with which the migrants... (More)
Several migratory bird species show active cycles of hypertrophy and atrophy of nutritional organs and selected muscle groups. We develop a model for nutritional organs to identify the conditions under which such a pattern of structural change is optimal. Migrants may choose the size of two components of lean mass: a constant component that they carry throughout the entire migration period and a component just deposited during stopover. The benefit of depositing and subsequently discarding additional tissues in nutritional organs during stopover is an increased fuelling rate and a decrease in flight costs; the cost of hypertrophy and atrophy is a time cost. The predicted pattern depends strongly on the lean mass with which the migrants enter the migratory period. Time-selected migrants flying between widely separated stopover sites should show the highest degree of structural plasticity if they commence migration with a lean mass below maximum. If stopovers are possible everywhere along the migratory route, cycles of hypertrophy and atrophy are still possible but less likely. We also discuss the consequence of using different currencies in the optimization procedure. Only if duration of migration is a component of fitness can structural changes be expected. If the energy cost of transport is minimized, there is no unique prediction about active changes in lean mass. For short migration distances, it may be optimal to burn the lean mass deposited at the start of the stopover as fuel instead of discarding it before departure. (Less)
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author
organization
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type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
in
Evolutionary Ecology Research
volume
3
issue
3
pages
255 - 271
publisher
Evolutionary Ecology Ltd
external identifiers
  • scopus:0041370246
ISSN
1522-0613
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
8e220e2e-ac1f-4527-87e4-778956dc0ad7 (old id 145847)
alternative location
http://www.evolutionary-ecology.com/issues/v03n03/ccar1239.pdf
date added to LUP
2007-06-26 12:38:32
date last changed
2018-01-07 09:43:26
@article{8e220e2e-ac1f-4527-87e4-778956dc0ad7,
  abstract     = {Several migratory bird species show active cycles of hypertrophy and atrophy of nutritional organs and selected muscle groups. We develop a model for nutritional organs to identify the conditions under which such a pattern of structural change is optimal. Migrants may choose the size of two components of lean mass: a constant component that they carry throughout the entire migration period and a component just deposited during stopover. The benefit of depositing and subsequently discarding additional tissues in nutritional organs during stopover is an increased fuelling rate and a decrease in flight costs; the cost of hypertrophy and atrophy is a time cost. The predicted pattern depends strongly on the lean mass with which the migrants enter the migratory period. Time-selected migrants flying between widely separated stopover sites should show the highest degree of structural plasticity if they commence migration with a lean mass below maximum. If stopovers are possible everywhere along the migratory route, cycles of hypertrophy and atrophy are still possible but less likely. We also discuss the consequence of using different currencies in the optimization procedure. Only if duration of migration is a component of fitness can structural changes be expected. If the energy cost of transport is minimized, there is no unique prediction about active changes in lean mass. For short migration distances, it may be optimal to burn the lean mass deposited at the start of the stopover as fuel instead of discarding it before departure.},
  author       = {Weber, Thomas and Hedenström, Anders},
  issn         = {1522-0613},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {3},
  pages        = {255--271},
  publisher    = {Evolutionary Ecology Ltd},
  series       = {Evolutionary Ecology Research},
  title        = {Long-distance migrants as a model system of structural and physiological plasticity},
  volume       = {3},
  year         = {2001},
}