Conservation Physiology

http://conphys.oxfordjournals.org

List of Papers (Total 233)

Unusual aerobic performance at high temperatures in juvenile Chinook salmon, Oncorhynchus tshawytscha

Understanding how the current warming trends affect fish populations is crucial for effective conservation and management. To help define suitable thermal habitat for juvenile Chinook salmon, the thermal performance of juvenile Chinook salmon acclimated to either 15 or 19°C was tested across a range of environmentally relevant acute temperature changes (from 12 to 26°C). Swim...

Corticosterone, inflammation, immune status and telomere length in frigatebird nestlings facing a severe herpesvirus infection

Herpesvirus outbreaks are common in natural animal populations, but little is known about factors that favour the infection and its consequences for the organism. In this study, we examined the pathophysiological consequences of a disease probably attributable to herpesvirus infection for several markers of immune function, corticosterone, telomere length and inflammation. In...

Gill structural change in response to turbidity has no effect on the oxygen uptake of a juvenile sparid fish

Turbidity as a result of increased suspended sediments in coastal waters is an environmental stress of worldwide concern. Recent research on fish suggests that detrimental changes to gill structure can occur in turbid waters, with speculation that these alterations diminish fitness variables, such as growth and development, by negatively impacting the O2 uptake capacity...

Physiological stress response, reflex impairment and delayed mortality of white sturgeon Acipenser transmontanus exposed to simulated fisheries stressors

White sturgeon (Acipenser transmontanus) are the largest freshwater fish in North America and a species exposed to widespread fishing pressure. Despite the growing interest in recreational fishing for white sturgeon, little is known about the sublethal and lethal impacts of angling on released sturgeon. In summer (July 2014, mean water temperature 15.3°C) and winter (February...

Maximal oxygen consumption increases with temperature in the European eel (Anguilla anguilla) through increased heart rate and arteriovenous extraction

Global warming results in increasing water temperature, which may represent a threat to aquatic ectotherms. The rising temperature affects ecology through physiology, by exerting a direct limiting effect on the individual. The mechanism controlling individual thermal tolerance is still elusive, but some evidence shows that the heart plays a central role, and that insufficient...

Understanding invasion history and predicting invasive niches using genetic sequencing technology in Australia: case studies from Cucurbitaceae and Boraginaceae

Part of the challenge in dealing with invasive plant species is that they seldom represent a uniform, static entity. Often, an accurate understanding of the history of plant introduction and knowledge of the real levels of genetic diversity present in species and populations of importance is lacking. Currently, the role of genetic diversity in promoting the successful...

Coloured ornamental traits could be effective and non-invasive indicators of pollution exposure for wildlife

Growth in human populations causes habitat degradation for other species, which is usually gauged by physical changes to landscapes. Corresponding habitat degradation to air and water is also common, but its effects on individuals can be difficult to detect until they result in the decline or disappearance of populations. More proactive measures of pollution usually combine...

Phenotypic variation in metabolism and morphology correlating with animal swimming activity in the wild: relevance for the OCLTT (oxygen- and capacity-limitation of thermal tolerance), allocation and performance models

Ongoing climate change is affecting animal physiology in many parts of the world. Using metabolism, the oxygen- and capacity-limitation of thermal tolerance (OCLTT) hypothesis provides a tool to predict the responses of ectothermic animals to variation in temperature, oxygen availability and pH in the aquatic environment. The hypothesis remains controversial, however, and has...

Effects of post-mortem storage conditions of bovine epididymides on sperm characteristics: investigating a tool for preservation of sperm from endangered species

The aim of this study was to establish and validate a reliable and efficient protocol for the recovery and cryopreservation of epididymal spermatozoa used for in vitro fertilization, using bulls of two different age classes. Testicles from 26 (37–51 weeks old, group 1) and 19 (52–115 weeks old, group 2) Danish Holstein bulls were collected after slaughter and stored at 5°C. After...

Expression of genes involved in brain GABAergic neurotransmission in three-spined stickleback exposed to near-future CO2

Change in the activity of the main inhibitory receptor, GABAA, has been suggested to be a general mechanism behind the behavioural alterations reported in ocean acidification studies on fish. It has been proposed that regulatory acid–base mechanisms in response to high CO2 alter the neuronal Cl− and HCO3 − gradients that are important for GABAA receptor function. Here, we report...

Physiological responses of three species of unionid mussels to intermittent exposure to elevated carbon dioxide

Freshwater systems are at risk owing to increasing carbon dioxide (CO2) levels, and one of the possible reasons for these elevations is the deployment of non-physical fish barriers to prevent invasive fish movements. Carbon dioxide barriers have the potential to create short, chronic and intermittent exposures of CO2 for surrounding freshwater biota. Although intermittent...

Zebrafish (Danio rerio) behaviour is largely unaffected by elevated pCO2

Ocean acidification, the decrease in ocean pH caused by anthropogenic emission of carbon dioxide, can cause behavioural disturbances in marine teleost species. We investigated whether AB-strain zebrafish (Danio rerio) show similar behavioural disturbances in the presence of elevated CO2, because this model species could open up a toolbox to investigate the physiological and...

Concentrations of faecal glucocorticoid metabolites in Asian elephant's dung are stable for up to 8 h in a tropical environment

The use of faecal glucocorticoid metabolites (fGCMs) has facilitated the development of non-invasive methods to study physiological conditions of endangered wildlife populations. One limitation is that fGCM concentrations are known to change over time and to vary according to different environmental conditions. The aim of this study was to perform a controlled dung decay...

Lionfish misidentification circumvents an optimized escape response by prey

Invasive lionfish represent an unprecedented problem in the Caribbean basin, where they are causing major changes to foodwebs and habitats through their generalized predation on fishes and invertebrates. To ascertain what makes the red lionfish (Pterois volitans) such a formidable predator, we examined the reaction of a native damselfish prey, the whitetail damsel (Pomacentrus...

Limited variability in upper thermal tolerance among pure and hybrid populations of a cold-water fish

As climate warming threatens the persistence of many species and populations, it is important to forecast their responses to warming thermal regimes. Climate warming often traps populations in smaller habitat fragments, not only changing biotic parameters, but potentially decreasing adaptive potential by decreasing genetic variability. We examined the ability of six genetically...

Tropical fish in a warming world: thermal tolerance of Nile perch Lates niloticus (L.) in Lake Nabugabo, Uganda

Key to predicting the response of fishes to climate change is quantifying how close fish are to their critical thermal limits in nature and their ability to adjust their thermal sensitivity to maintain performance. Here, we evaluated the effects of body size and habitat on aerobic scope (AS) and thermal tolerance of Nile perch Lates niloticus (L.), a fish of great economic and...

Physiological reactions to capture in hibernating brown bears

Human disturbance can affect animal life history and even population dynamics. However, the consequences of these disturbances are difficult to measure. This is especially true for hibernating animals, which are highly vulnerable to disturbance, because hibernation is a process of major physiological changes, involving conservation of energy during a resource-depleted time of...

Physical condition and stress levels during early development reflect feeding rates and predict pre- and post-fledging survival in a nearshore seabird

The effects of acute environmental stressors on reproduction in wildlife are often difficult to measure because of the labour and disturbance involved in collecting accurate reproductive data. Stress hormones represent a promising option for assessing the effects of environmental perturbations on altricial young; however, it is necessary first to establish how stress levels are...

Using circulating reproductive hormones for sex determination of Atlantic sturgeon (Acipenser oxyrinchus oxyrinchus) in the Saco River estuary, Maine

The Atlantic sturgeon (Acipenser oxyrinchus oxyrinchus) is a long-lived, anadromous fish species ranging from Labrador, CA to Florida, USA. In the Saco River, located in the Gulf of Maine, this species was not present during a survey study ending in 1982, but was found inhabiting the estuary in 2007. Although the reason for the return of this sturgeon to this river system remains...

Parasites, stress and reindeer: infection with abomasal nematodes is not associated with elevated glucocorticoid levels in hair or faeces

Stress hormones (glucocorticoids), incorporated into hair/fur and faeces, have been proposed as biomarkers of overall health in wildlife. Although such biomarkers may be helpful for wildlife conservation and management, their use has rarely been validated. There is a paucity of studies examining the variation of stress hormones in mammals and how they relate to other health...

High thermal tolerance of a rainbow trout population near its southern range limit suggests local thermal adjustment

Transformation of earth's ecosystems by anthropogenic climate change is predicted for the 21st century. In many regions, the associated increase in environmental temperatures and reduced precipitation will have direct effects on the physiological performance of terrestrial and aquatic ectotherms and have already threatened fish biodiversity and important fisheries. The threat of...

Thermal ecological physiology of native and invasive frog species: do invaders perform better?

Biological invasions are recognized as an important biotic component of global change that threatens the composition, structure and functioning of ecosystems, resulting in loss of biodiversity and displacement of native species. Although ecological characteristics facilitating the establishment and spread of non-native species are widely recognized, little is known about...

Temporal overlap and repeatability of feather corticosterone levels: practical considerations for use as a biomarker

The measurement of corticosterone (CORT) levels in feathers has recently become an appealing tool for the conservation toolbox, potentially providing a non-invasive, integrated measure of stress activity throughout the time of feather growth. However, because the mechanism of CORT deposition, storage and stability in feathers is not fully understood, it is unclear how reliable...

Sex-specific ecophysiological responses to environmental fluctuations of free-ranging Hermann's tortoises: implication for conservation

Physiological parameters provide indicators to evaluate how organisms respond to conservation actions. For example, individuals translocated during reinforcement programmes may not adapt to their novel host environment and may exhibit elevated chronic levels of stress hormones and/or decreasing body condition. Conversely, successful conservation actions should be associated with...

Effect of elevated carbon dioxide on shoal familiarity and metabolism in a coral reef fish

Atmospheric CO2 is expected to more than double by the end of the century. The resulting changes in ocean chemistry will affect the behaviour, sensory systems and physiology of a range of fish species. Although a number of past studies have examined effects of CO2 in gregarious fishes, most have assessed individuals in social isolation, which can alter individual behaviour and...