Skip to main content

Lund University Publications

LUND UNIVERSITY LIBRARIES

A mimicked bacterial infection prolongs stopover duration in songbirds—but more pronounced in short- than long-distance migrants

Hegemann, Arne LU ; Alcalde Abril, Pablo ; Sjöberg, Sissel LU ; Muheim, Rachel LU ; Alerstam, Thomas LU ; Nilsson, Jan Åke LU and Hasselquist, Dennis LU (2018) In Journal of Animal Ecology 87(6). p.1698-1708
Abstract

Migration usually consists of intermittent travel and stopovers, the latter being crucially important for individuals to recover and refuel to successfully complete migration. Quantifying how sickness behaviours influence stopovers is crucial for our understanding of migration ecology and how diseases spread. However, little is known about infections in songbirds, which constitute the majority of avian migrants. We experimentally immune-challenged autumn migrating passerines (both short- and long-distance migrating species) with a simulated bacterial infection. Using an automated radiotelemetry system in the stopover area, we subsequently quantified stopover duration, “bush-level” activity patterns (0.1–30 m) and landscape movements... (More)

Migration usually consists of intermittent travel and stopovers, the latter being crucially important for individuals to recover and refuel to successfully complete migration. Quantifying how sickness behaviours influence stopovers is crucial for our understanding of migration ecology and how diseases spread. However, little is known about infections in songbirds, which constitute the majority of avian migrants. We experimentally immune-challenged autumn migrating passerines (both short- and long-distance migrating species) with a simulated bacterial infection. Using an automated radiotelemetry system in the stopover area, we subsequently quantified stopover duration, “bush-level” activity patterns (0.1–30 m) and landscape movements (30–6,000 m). We show that compared to controls, immune-challenged birds prolonged their stopover duration by on average 1.2 days in long-distance and 2.9 days in short-distance migrants, respectively (100%–126% longer than controls, respectively). During the prolonged stopover, the immune-challenged birds kept a high “bush-level” activity (which was unexpected) but reduced their local movements, independent of migration strategy. Baseline immune function, but not blood parasite infections prior to the immune challenge, had a prolonging effect on stopover duration, particularly in long-distance migrants. We conclude that a mimicked bacterial infection does not cause lethargy, per se, but restricts landscape movements and prolongs stopover duration, and that this behavioural response also depends on the status of baseline immune function and migration strategy. This adds a new level to the understanding of how acute inflammation affect migration behaviour and hence the ecology and evolution of migration. Accounting for these effects of bacterial infections will also enable us to fine-tune and apply optimal migration theory. Finally, it will help us predicting how migrating animals may respond to increased pathogen pressure caused by global change.

(Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
; ; ; ; ; and
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
avian, disease ecology, eco-immunology, eco-physiology, stopovers, trade-offs
in
Journal of Animal Ecology
volume
87
issue
6
pages
1698 - 1708
publisher
Blackwell
external identifiers
  • scopus:85052816715
  • pmid:30101481
ISSN
0021-8790
DOI
10.1111/1365-2656.12895
project
Centre for Animal Movement Research
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
769b1dba-91bd-410c-b6c2-7110382aed5e
date added to LUP
2018-10-04 13:37:14
date last changed
2021-10-06 02:36:10
@article{769b1dba-91bd-410c-b6c2-7110382aed5e,
  abstract     = {<p>Migration usually consists of intermittent travel and stopovers, the latter being crucially important for individuals to recover and refuel to successfully complete migration. Quantifying how sickness behaviours influence stopovers is crucial for our understanding of migration ecology and how diseases spread. However, little is known about infections in songbirds, which constitute the majority of avian migrants. We experimentally immune-challenged autumn migrating passerines (both short- and long-distance migrating species) with a simulated bacterial infection. Using an automated radiotelemetry system in the stopover area, we subsequently quantified stopover duration, “bush-level” activity patterns (0.1–30 m) and landscape movements (30–6,000 m). We show that compared to controls, immune-challenged birds prolonged their stopover duration by on average 1.2 days in long-distance and 2.9 days in short-distance migrants, respectively (100%–126% longer than controls, respectively). During the prolonged stopover, the immune-challenged birds kept a high “bush-level” activity (which was unexpected) but reduced their local movements, independent of migration strategy. Baseline immune function, but not blood parasite infections prior to the immune challenge, had a prolonging effect on stopover duration, particularly in long-distance migrants. We conclude that a mimicked bacterial infection does not cause lethargy, per se, but restricts landscape movements and prolongs stopover duration, and that this behavioural response also depends on the status of baseline immune function and migration strategy. This adds a new level to the understanding of how acute inflammation affect migration behaviour and hence the ecology and evolution of migration. Accounting for these effects of bacterial infections will also enable us to fine-tune and apply optimal migration theory. Finally, it will help us predicting how migrating animals may respond to increased pathogen pressure caused by global change.</p>},
  author       = {Hegemann, Arne and Alcalde Abril, Pablo and Sjöberg, Sissel and Muheim, Rachel and Alerstam, Thomas and Nilsson, Jan Åke and Hasselquist, Dennis},
  issn         = {0021-8790},
  language     = {eng},
  month        = {08},
  number       = {6},
  pages        = {1698--1708},
  publisher    = {Blackwell},
  series       = {Journal of Animal Ecology},
  title        = {A mimicked bacterial infection prolongs stopover duration in songbirds—but more pronounced in short- than long-distance migrants},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1365-2656.12895},
  doi          = {10.1111/1365-2656.12895},
  volume       = {87},
  year         = {2018},
}