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Age differences in night-time metabolic rate and body temperature in a small passerine

Andreasson, Fredrik LU ; Nord, Andreas LU and Nilsson, Jan-Åke LU (2020) In Journal of Comparative Physiology B: Biochemical, Systemic, and Environmental Physiology 190. p.349-359
Abstract
Spending the winter in northern climes with short days and cold ambient temperatures (Ta) can be energetically challenging for small birds that have high metabolic and heat loss rates. Hence, maintaining body temperature (Tb) in Ta below thermoneutrality can be energetically costly for a small bird. We still know little about how increased heat production below thermoneutrality affects the level at which Tb is maintained, and if these patterns are age specific. To test this, we measured subcutaneous body temperature (Ts) and resting metabolic rate (RMR) simultaneously in blue tits (Cyanistes caeruleus) during winter nights in Ta’s ranging from 25 to − 15 °C. RMR increased below the lower critical temperature (LCT, estimated at 14 °C) and... (More)
Spending the winter in northern climes with short days and cold ambient temperatures (Ta) can be energetically challenging for small birds that have high metabolic and heat loss rates. Hence, maintaining body temperature (Tb) in Ta below thermoneutrality can be energetically costly for a small bird. We still know little about how increased heat production below thermoneutrality affects the level at which Tb is maintained, and if these patterns are age specific. To test this, we measured subcutaneous body temperature (Ts) and resting metabolic rate (RMR) simultaneously in blue tits (Cyanistes caeruleus) during winter nights in Ta’s ranging from 25 to − 15 °C. RMR increased below the lower critical temperature (LCT, estimated at 14 °C) and was 6% higher in young (birds in their first winter) compared to old birds (birds in their second winter or older). The higher RMR was also mirrored in higher Ts and thermal conductance (C) in young birds, which we suggest could be caused by age differences in plumage quality, likely driven by time constraints during moult. Reduction in nightly predicted Tb was modest and increased again at the coldest ambient temperatures, suggesting that either heat retention or heat production (or both) improved when Ta reached levels which are cold by the standards of birds in our population. Our results show that levels of heat production and Tb can be age specific. Further studies should address age-specific differences on quality, structure, and thermal conductivity of plumage more explicitly, to investigate the role of variation in insulation in age-linked metabolic phenotypes. (Less)
Abstract (Swedish)
Spending the winter in northern climes with short days and cold ambient temperatures (Ta) can be energetically challenging for small birds that have high metabolic and heat loss rates. Hence, maintaining body temperature (Tb) in Ta below thermoneutrality can be energetically costly for a small bird. We still know little about how increased heat production below thermoneutrality affects the level at which Tb is maintained, and if these patterns are age specific. To test this, we measured subcutaneous body temperature (Ts) and resting metabolic rate (RMR) simultaneously in blue tits (Cyanistes caeruleus) during winter nights in Ta’s ranging from 25 to − 15 °C. RMR increased below the lower critical temperature (LCT, estimated at 14 °C) and... (More)
Spending the winter in northern climes with short days and cold ambient temperatures (Ta) can be energetically challenging for small birds that have high metabolic and heat loss rates. Hence, maintaining body temperature (Tb) in Ta below thermoneutrality can be energetically costly for a small bird. We still know little about how increased heat production below thermoneutrality affects the level at which Tb is maintained, and if these patterns are age specific. To test this, we measured subcutaneous body temperature (Ts) and resting metabolic rate (RMR) simultaneously in blue tits (Cyanistes caeruleus) during winter nights in Ta’s ranging from 25 to − 15 °C. RMR increased below the lower critical temperature (LCT, estimated at 14 °C) and was 6% higher in young (birds in their first winter) compared to old birds (birds in their second winter or older). The higher RMR was also mirrored in higher Ts and thermal conductance (C) in young birds, which we suggest could be caused by age differences in plumage quality, likely driven by time constraints during moult. Reduction in nightly predicted Tb was modest and increased again at the coldest ambient temperatures, suggesting that either heat retention or heat production (or both) improved when Ta reached levels which are cold by the standards of birds in our population. Our results show that levels of heat production and Tb can be age specific. Further studies should address age-specific differences on quality, structure, and thermal conductivity of plumage more explicitly, to investigate the role of variation in insulation in age-linked metabolic phenotypes. (Less)
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author
; and
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
bird, winter, thermoregulation, ecology, energy, metabolic rate, bird, thermoregulation, winter, metabolic rate
in
Journal of Comparative Physiology B: Biochemical, Systemic, and Environmental Physiology
volume
190
pages
349 - 359
publisher
Springer
external identifiers
  • scopus:85083690103
  • pmid:32095837
ISSN
0174-1578
DOI
10.1007/s00360-020-01266-5
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
cd20f231-cc9f-4c36-b74e-ab23416eac20
date added to LUP
2020-04-24 16:12:52
date last changed
2020-05-24 06:31:35
@article{cd20f231-cc9f-4c36-b74e-ab23416eac20,
  abstract     = {Spending the winter in northern climes with short days and cold ambient temperatures (Ta) can be energetically challenging for small birds that have high metabolic and heat loss rates. Hence, maintaining body temperature (Tb) in Ta below thermoneutrality can be energetically costly for a small bird. We still know little about how increased heat production below thermoneutrality affects the level at which Tb is maintained, and if these patterns are age specific. To test this, we measured subcutaneous body temperature (Ts) and resting metabolic rate (RMR) simultaneously in blue tits (Cyanistes caeruleus) during winter nights in Ta’s ranging from 25 to − 15 °C. RMR increased below the lower critical temperature (LCT, estimated at 14 °C) and was 6% higher in young (birds in their first winter) compared to old birds (birds in their second winter or older). The higher RMR was also mirrored in higher Ts and thermal conductance (C) in young birds, which we suggest could be caused by age differences in plumage quality, likely driven by time constraints during moult. Reduction in nightly predicted Tb was modest and increased again at the coldest ambient temperatures, suggesting that either heat retention or heat production (or both) improved when Ta reached levels which are cold by the standards of birds in our population. Our results show that levels of heat production and Tb can be age specific. Further studies should address age-specific differences on quality, structure, and thermal conductivity of plumage more explicitly, to investigate the role of variation in insulation in age-linked metabolic phenotypes.},
  author       = {Andreasson, Fredrik and Nord, Andreas and Nilsson, Jan-Åke},
  issn         = {0174-1578},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {349--359},
  publisher    = {Springer},
  series       = {Journal of Comparative Physiology B: Biochemical, Systemic, and Environmental Physiology},
  title        = {Age differences in night-time metabolic rate and body temperature in a small passerine},
  url          = {https://lup.lub.lu.se/search/ws/files/78826814/Andreasson_et_al._JCPB_2020.pdf},
  doi          = {10.1007/s00360-020-01266-5},
  volume       = {190},
  year         = {2020},
}