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Composition of physiologically important fatty acids in great tits differs between urban and rural populations on a seasonal basis

Andersson, Martin N LU ; Wang, Hong-Lei LU ; Nord, Andreas LU ; Salmon, Pablo LU and Isaksson, Caroline LU (2015) In Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution 3(93). p.1-13
Abstract
Fatty acids (FA) have crucial functions in animals, affecting e.g. inflammatory responses, thermoregulation, and cell membrane fluidity. Diet and ambient temperature affect animals’ FA composition, which, in turn, may influence these physiological processes. Great tit (Parus major) −common in both urban and rural habitats− are mainly granivorous during winter and insectivorous during summer. These diets show pronounced differences in FA composition. Such variation has context-dependent effects on physiology, because the thermal environment, food availability, and levels of pro-inflammatory environmental stressors differ between urban and rural areas. Thus, we investigated how great tit plasma FA composition varied between urban and rural... (More)
Fatty acids (FA) have crucial functions in animals, affecting e.g. inflammatory responses, thermoregulation, and cell membrane fluidity. Diet and ambient temperature affect animals’ FA composition, which, in turn, may influence these physiological processes. Great tit (Parus major) −common in both urban and rural habitats− are mainly granivorous during winter and insectivorous during summer. These diets show pronounced differences in FA composition. Such variation has context-dependent effects on physiology, because the thermal environment, food availability, and levels of pro-inflammatory environmental stressors differ between urban and rural areas. Thus, we investigated how great tit plasma FA composition varied between urban and rural habitats and across seasons. Eight FAs differed between urban and rural birds. Among these, arachidonic acid (omega (ω)-6 polyunsaturated FA) with thermoregulatory and pro-inflammatory properties was more abundant in urban than rural birds in winter, whereas ω-3 FAs with anti-inflammatory properties were more abundant in rural birds. The difference in pro- and anti-inflammatory FAs suggest that the negative health effects that urban birds suffer from being exposed to higher levels of pollutants might be enhanced by an elevated inflammatory response. Eight FAs differed between winter and summer birds. This variation reflected the diet change: FAs common in seeds, e.g. oleic- and linoleic acid, were present in higher amounts in winter birds, whereas ω-3 polyunsaturated FAs that are common in caterpillars were more abundant in summer birds. Overall, a larger seasonal variation was seen among the urban birds. This study is the first to reveal a difference in FA composition between urban and rural populations for all animals studied to date. Future experiments should unravel the physiological implications of this variation, and ultimately, link its effects to fitness of animals with different physiological and dietary requirements in urban and rural environments. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
great tit, fatty acid, urban ecology, comparative physiology
in
Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution
volume
3
issue
93
pages
1 - 13
publisher
Frontiers
external identifiers
  • scopus:84961711372
ISSN
2296-701X
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
c5d8aeb0-4f14-4b01-9588-c8197a4da734 (old id 7697059)
date added to LUP
2015-07-31 12:18:08
date last changed
2017-08-06 04:53:16
@article{c5d8aeb0-4f14-4b01-9588-c8197a4da734,
  abstract     = {Fatty acids (FA) have crucial functions in animals, affecting e.g. inflammatory responses, thermoregulation, and cell membrane fluidity. Diet and ambient temperature affect animals’ FA composition, which, in turn, may influence these physiological processes. Great tit (Parus major) −common in both urban and rural habitats− are mainly granivorous during winter and insectivorous during summer. These diets show pronounced differences in FA composition. Such variation has context-dependent effects on physiology, because the thermal environment, food availability, and levels of pro-inflammatory environmental stressors differ between urban and rural areas. Thus, we investigated how great tit plasma FA composition varied between urban and rural habitats and across seasons. Eight FAs differed between urban and rural birds. Among these, arachidonic acid (omega (ω)-6 polyunsaturated FA) with thermoregulatory and pro-inflammatory properties was more abundant in urban than rural birds in winter, whereas ω-3 FAs with anti-inflammatory properties were more abundant in rural birds. The difference in pro- and anti-inflammatory FAs suggest that the negative health effects that urban birds suffer from being exposed to higher levels of pollutants might be enhanced by an elevated inflammatory response. Eight FAs differed between winter and summer birds. This variation reflected the diet change: FAs common in seeds, e.g. oleic- and linoleic acid, were present in higher amounts in winter birds, whereas ω-3 polyunsaturated FAs that are common in caterpillars were more abundant in summer birds. Overall, a larger seasonal variation was seen among the urban birds. This study is the first to reveal a difference in FA composition between urban and rural populations for all animals studied to date. Future experiments should unravel the physiological implications of this variation, and ultimately, link its effects to fitness of animals with different physiological and dietary requirements in urban and rural environments.},
  author       = {Andersson, Martin N and Wang, Hong-Lei and Nord, Andreas and Salmon, Pablo and Isaksson, Caroline},
  issn         = {2296-701X},
  keyword      = {great tit,fatty acid,urban ecology,comparative physiology},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {93},
  pages        = {1--13},
  publisher    = {Frontiers},
  series       = {Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution},
  title        = {Composition of physiologically important fatty acids in great tits differs between urban and rural populations on a seasonal basis},
  volume       = {3},
  year         = {2015},
}