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Oxidative damage to lipids is rapidly reduced during migratory stopovers

Eikenaar, Cas ; Winslott, Erica ; Hessler, Sven and Isaksson, Caroline LU (2020) In Functional Ecology
Abstract

Most migrating birds need to stopover in between flights in order to refuel. Lately, additional purposes of stopover have been suggested, including physiological recovery from metabolically demanding migratory flight. One apparently unavoidable, but harmful physiological effect of migratory flight is increased oxidative damage to lipids and proteins. We here, for the first time, tested whether migrating birds are able to reduce their oxidative damage during stopover. To be able to collect longitudinal data on a large number of individual birds, we temporarily caged wild northern wheatears, a long-distance migrant which does not suffer stress when caged during migration. Around noon on the first and third day at stopover, the birds were... (More)

Most migrating birds need to stopover in between flights in order to refuel. Lately, additional purposes of stopover have been suggested, including physiological recovery from metabolically demanding migratory flight. One apparently unavoidable, but harmful physiological effect of migratory flight is increased oxidative damage to lipids and proteins. We here, for the first time, tested whether migrating birds are able to reduce their oxidative damage during stopover. To be able to collect longitudinal data on a large number of individual birds, we temporarily caged wild northern wheatears, a long-distance migrant which does not suffer stress when caged during migration. Around noon on the first and third day at stopover, the birds were blood-sampled to determine malondialdehyde (MDA) concentration, a commonly used marker of oxidative damage to lipids. We found that MDA concentrations significantly decreased during stopover, a result unchanged when correcting for the peroxidizability of the substrate. The extent of the decrease was unrelated to the amounts of food consumed or of fuel accumulated. Our findings support the hypothesis that stopovers serve reduction of oxidative damage, warranting re-thinking of how birds accomplish their migrations. They also highlight the need to include physiological recovery as a driver of the (temporal) organization of migration. A free Plain Language Summary can be found within the Supporting Information of this article.

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author
; ; and
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
epub
subject
keywords
avian, eco-physiology, migrant, optimal migration, oxidative stress
in
Functional Ecology
publisher
Wiley-Blackwell
external identifiers
  • scopus:85079700495
ISSN
0269-8463
DOI
10.1111/1365-2435.13540
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
a74dfd7b-d211-45e2-8341-6a9e3bff0826
date added to LUP
2020-03-04 15:57:33
date last changed
2020-10-07 06:55:09
@article{a74dfd7b-d211-45e2-8341-6a9e3bff0826,
  abstract     = {<p>Most migrating birds need to stopover in between flights in order to refuel. Lately, additional purposes of stopover have been suggested, including physiological recovery from metabolically demanding migratory flight. One apparently unavoidable, but harmful physiological effect of migratory flight is increased oxidative damage to lipids and proteins. We here, for the first time, tested whether migrating birds are able to reduce their oxidative damage during stopover. To be able to collect longitudinal data on a large number of individual birds, we temporarily caged wild northern wheatears, a long-distance migrant which does not suffer stress when caged during migration. Around noon on the first and third day at stopover, the birds were blood-sampled to determine malondialdehyde (MDA) concentration, a commonly used marker of oxidative damage to lipids. We found that MDA concentrations significantly decreased during stopover, a result unchanged when correcting for the peroxidizability of the substrate. The extent of the decrease was unrelated to the amounts of food consumed or of fuel accumulated. Our findings support the hypothesis that stopovers serve reduction of oxidative damage, warranting re-thinking of how birds accomplish their migrations. They also highlight the need to include physiological recovery as a driver of the (temporal) organization of migration. A free Plain Language Summary can be found within the Supporting Information of this article.</p>},
  author       = {Eikenaar, Cas and Winslott, Erica and Hessler, Sven and Isaksson, Caroline},
  issn         = {0269-8463},
  language     = {eng},
  month        = {01},
  publisher    = {Wiley-Blackwell},
  series       = {Functional Ecology},
  title        = {Oxidative damage to lipids is rapidly reduced during migratory stopovers},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1365-2435.13540},
  doi          = {10.1111/1365-2435.13540},
  year         = {2020},
}