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Migrant blackbirds, Turdus merula, have higher plasma levels of polyunsaturated fatty acids compared to residents, but not enhanced fatty acid unsaturation index

Jensen, Johan Kjellberg LU ; Isaksson, Caroline LU ; Eikenaar, Cas and Andersson, Martin N. LU (2020) In Ecology and Evolution 10(18). p.10196-10206
Abstract

Birds have been observed to have dietary preferences for unsaturated fatty acids during migration. Polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) may increase the exercise performance of migrant birds; however, PUFAs are also peroxidation prone and might therefore incur increased costs in terms of enhanced oxidative damage in migratory individuals. To shed light on this potential constraint, we analyzed plasma fatty acid (FA) composition and estimated the unsaturation index as a proxy for susceptibility to lipid peroxidation of migrants and residents of the partially migratory common blackbird (Turdus merula) at a stopover site during autumn migration. As predicted, migrant birds had higher relative and absolute levels of PUFAs compared to... (More)

Birds have been observed to have dietary preferences for unsaturated fatty acids during migration. Polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) may increase the exercise performance of migrant birds; however, PUFAs are also peroxidation prone and might therefore incur increased costs in terms of enhanced oxidative damage in migratory individuals. To shed light on this potential constraint, we analyzed plasma fatty acid (FA) composition and estimated the unsaturation index as a proxy for susceptibility to lipid peroxidation of migrants and residents of the partially migratory common blackbird (Turdus merula) at a stopover site during autumn migration. As predicted, migrant birds had higher relative and absolute levels of PUFAs compared to resident birds. This included the strictly dietary ?-3 PUFA a-linolenic acid, suggesting a dietary and/or storage preference for these FAs in migrants. Interestingly, the FA unsaturation index did not differ between migrants and residents. These findings suggest a mechanism where birds alter their levels of metabolic substrate without simultaneously increasing the susceptibility of the substrate to lipid peroxidation. In summary, our results are in line with the hypothesis that increased exercise performance during migration might be constrained by oxidative stress, which is manifested in changes in the composition of key FAs to retain the unsaturation index constant despite the increased levels of peroxidizable PUFAs.

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author
; ; and
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
diet, fatty acids, migration, nutritional physiology, polyunsaturated fatty acids, Turdus merula
in
Ecology and Evolution
volume
10
issue
18
pages
11 pages
publisher
Wiley-Blackwell
external identifiers
  • scopus:85089539866
  • pmid:33005375
ISSN
2045-7758
DOI
10.1002/ece3.6681
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
3c5cee2f-8d60-4e3f-9fb5-15074afcf096
date added to LUP
2020-08-28 10:36:18
date last changed
2021-01-06 05:17:58
@article{3c5cee2f-8d60-4e3f-9fb5-15074afcf096,
  abstract     = {<p>Birds have been observed to have dietary preferences for unsaturated fatty acids during migration. Polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) may increase the exercise performance of migrant birds; however, PUFAs are also peroxidation prone and might therefore incur increased costs in terms of enhanced oxidative damage in migratory individuals. To shed light on this potential constraint, we analyzed plasma fatty acid (FA) composition and estimated the unsaturation index as a proxy for susceptibility to lipid peroxidation of migrants and residents of the partially migratory common blackbird (Turdus merula) at a stopover site during autumn migration. As predicted, migrant birds had higher relative and absolute levels of PUFAs compared to resident birds. This included the strictly dietary ?-3 PUFA a-linolenic acid, suggesting a dietary and/or storage preference for these FAs in migrants. Interestingly, the FA unsaturation index did not differ between migrants and residents. These findings suggest a mechanism where birds alter their levels of metabolic substrate without simultaneously increasing the susceptibility of the substrate to lipid peroxidation. In summary, our results are in line with the hypothesis that increased exercise performance during migration might be constrained by oxidative stress, which is manifested in changes in the composition of key FAs to retain the unsaturation index constant despite the increased levels of peroxidizable PUFAs.</p>},
  author       = {Jensen, Johan Kjellberg and Isaksson, Caroline and Eikenaar, Cas and Andersson, Martin N.},
  issn         = {2045-7758},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {18},
  pages        = {10196--10206},
  publisher    = {Wiley-Blackwell},
  series       = {Ecology and Evolution},
  title        = {Migrant blackbirds, Turdus merula, have higher plasma levels of polyunsaturated fatty acids compared to residents, but not enhanced fatty acid unsaturation index},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ece3.6681},
  doi          = {10.1002/ece3.6681},
  volume       = {10},
  year         = {2020},
}