Document Detail

Isotope signatures in winter moulted feathers predict malaria prevalence in a breeding avian host.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  18810501     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
It is widely accepted that animal distribution and migration strategy might have co-evolved in relation to selection pressures exerted by parasites. Here, we first determined the prevalence and types of malaria blood parasites in a breeding population of great reed warblers Acrocephalus arundinaceus using PCR. Secondly, we tested for differences in individual feather stable isotope signatures (delta (13)C, delta (15)N, deltaD and delta (34)S) to investigate whether malaria infected and non-infected birds had occupied different areas in winter. We show that birds moulting in Afro-tropical habitats with significantly higher delta (13)C and delta (15)N but lower deltaD and delta(34)S values were more frequently infected with malaria parasites. Based on established patterns of isotopic distributions, our results indicate that moulting sites with higher incidence of malaria are generally drier and situated further to the north in West Africa than sites with lower incidence of malaria. Our findings are pertinent to the general hypothesis that animal distribution and particularly avian migration strategy might evolve in response to selection pressures exerted by parasites at different geographic scales. Tradeoffs between investment in energy demanding life history traits (e.g. migration and winter moult) and immune function are suggested to contribute to the particular choice of habitat during migration and at wintering sites.
Elizabeth Yohannes; Bengt Hansson; Raymond W Lee; Jonas Waldenström; Helena Westerdahl; Mikael Akesson; Dennis Hasselquist; Staffan Bensch
Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't; Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.     Date:  2008-09-23
Journal Detail:
Title:  Oecologia     Volume:  158     ISSN:  0029-8549     ISO Abbreviation:  Oecologia     Publication Date:  2008 Nov 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2008-10-22     Completed Date:  2009-03-12     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0150372     Medline TA:  Oecologia     Country:  Germany    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  299-306     Citation Subset:  IM    
Behavioural Ecology and Evolutionary Genetics, Max Planck Institute for Ornithology, P.O. Box 1564, 82305, Starnberg (Seewiesen), Germany.
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MeSH Terms
Africa, Western / epidemiology
Animal Migration
Carbon Isotopes / analysis
Deuterium / analysis
Feathers / chemistry*
Logistic Models
Malaria, Avian / epidemiology*
Multivariate Analysis
Nitrogen Isotopes / analysis
Songbirds / parasitology*
Sulfur Isotopes / analysis
Tropical Climate
Reg. No./Substance:
0/Carbon Isotopes; 0/Nitrogen Isotopes; 0/Sulfur Isotopes; 7782-39-0/Deuterium

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