Document Detail

Growth and development of house sparrows (Passer domesticus) in response to chronic food restriction throughout the nestling period.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  22573759     Owner:  NLM     Status:  In-Data-Review    
Birds have evolved phenotypic plasticity in growth and developmental patterns in order to respond to fluctuating environmental conditions and to mitigate the impact of poor feeding on fitness. Chronic food shortage can occur during chick development in the wild, and the responses of altricial birds have not been thoroughly studied. House sparrow (Passer domesticus) nestlings were raised in the laboratory on age-specific meal sizes (controls) or meal sizes 25% less than age-specific amounts (food-restricted) and analyzed at 6, 9 and 12 days post-hatch for differences in growth and development. Food-restricted birds had significantly reduced body mass and body temperature, but skeletal growth was maintained with respect to controls. Muscle mass was significantly reduced and muscle water content was slightly, though not significantly, higher in food-restricted birds, which may reflect slight developmental immaturity. Assimilation organ masses, summed enzymatic capacity of the intestine and lipid content of the liver were significantly reduced in food-restricted birds. Findings from this study indicate that altricial birds experiencing chronic, moderate food restriction throughout the nestling period may allocate resources to structural growth through energy-saving reductions in mass of assimilation organs and body temperature.
Tess L Killpack; William H Karasov
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  The Journal of experimental biology     Volume:  215     ISSN:  1477-9145     ISO Abbreviation:  J. Exp. Biol.     Publication Date:  2012 Jun 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2012-05-10     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0243705     Medline TA:  J Exp Biol     Country:  England    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  1806-15     Citation Subset:  IM    
Department of Zoology, University of Wisconsin, A229 Russell Laboratories, 1630 Linden Drive, Madison, WI 53706, USA.
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