maternal antibodies but not carotenoids in barn swallow eggs covary with embryo sex.mothers influence their offspring phenotype by varying egg quality. such maternal effects may be mediated by transmission of antibodies and antioxidants. mothers should adjust allocation of maternal substances depending on embryonic sex because of differences in reproductive value, potentially dependent on paternal genetic effects as reflected by secondary sexual characters. we manipulated sexual attractiveness of male barn swallows (hirundo rustica) and investigated maternal investment in eggs ...200314635852
timing of incorporation of docosahexaenoic acid into brain and muscle phospholipids during precocial and altricial modes of avian development.we investigated the possibilities that the proportion of docosahexaenoic acid (dha) in phospholipids of brain and skeletal muscle at hatch, and the ontogenetic timing of the dha accretion spurt in these tissues, might serve as indices of neonatal functional maturity that discriminate between precocial and altricial avian developmental modes. comparison of the fatty acid profiles of the initial and residual yolks of two free-living altricial species, the swallow (hirundo rustica) and the sparrow ...200515939318
antioxidants, radiation and mutation as revealed by sperm abnormality in barn swallows from chernobyl.reduced levels of antioxidants such as carotenoids and vitamins a and e can increase dna damage caused by free radicals. exposure to radiation has been proposed to reduce levels of antioxidants that are used for dna repair and this reduction may be responsible for increased levels of mutation in radioactively contaminated areas. we test this hypothesis using field measures of antioxidants in blood, liver and eggs of the barn swallow hirundo rustica while relating these to levels of mutation as r ...200515705548
digenetic trematodes, acanthatrium sp. and lecithodendrium sp., as vectors of neorickettsia risticii, the agent of potomac horse fever.neorickettsia (formerly ehrlichia) risticii, the agent of potomac horse fever (phf), has been recently detected in trematode stages found in the secretions of freshwater snails and in aquatic insects. insectivores, such as bats and birds, may serve as the definitive host of the trematode vector. to determine the definitive helminth vector, five bats (myotis yumanensis) and three swallows (hirundo rustica, tachycineta bicolor) were collected from a phf endemic location in northern california. bat ...200314627451
mutation and sexual selection: a test using barn swallows from chernobyl.secondary sexual characters have been hypothesized to be particularly susceptible to the deleterious effects of mutation because the expression of such characters is usually influenced by many more metabolic pathways than are ordinary morphological characters. we tested this hypothesis using the elevated mutation rates in the barn swallow (hirundo rustica) of the chernobyl region of ukraine as a model system. a great deal is known about the relative importance of different characters for male ma ...200314575333
carotenoid concentration in barn swallow eggs is influenced by laying order, maternal infection and paternal ornamentation.carotenoids are critical to embryonic development, immunity and protection from oxidative stress. transmission of carotenoids to the eggs may affect development and maturation of immunity in offspring, but carotenoids may be available to females in limiting amounts. females may thus transfer carotenoids to the eggs differentially in relation to the reproductive value of the offspring as affected by sexual ornamentation of their father. in this study of maternal allocation of carotenoids to the e ...200212204135
germ-line mutations at a mouse estr (pc-3) locus and human microsatellite loci.we examined the use of the mouse pc-3 estr (expanded simple tandem repeat) locus and 72 human microsatellite loci as potentially sensitive biomarkers for mutagenic exposures to germ cells in mice and humans respectively. in the mouse work, we treated male mice with tcdd (2, 3, 7, 8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin; a chemical known to induce congenital anomalies in humans and mice) and, analysed the f(1) fetuses for pc-3 mutations. although the incidence of anomalies was higher in the tcdd group, the ...200617019050
barn swallows before barns: population histories and intercontinental colonization.the barn swallow (hirundo rustica) is one of most widely distributed swallows, owing in part to its recent switch from natural nest sites to human structures. we conducted phylogenetic analysis of mitochondrial (mt) and nuclear dna to explore the recent evolutionary history of this species. strongly supported mtdna clades corresponded to europe, asia and north america plus the baikal region of asia. analysis of sequence data from a sex-linked nuclear gene was unable to recover the phylogenetic s ...200616720398
stressed mothers lay eggs with high corticosterone levels which produce low-quality offspring.organisms frequently encounter stressful ecological conditions. in vertebrates, a major mechanism of physiological response to stress is mediated by the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis and results in increased secretion of glucocorticosteroids, which can have adverse consequences on diverse phenotypic traits affecting fitness. maternal stress may thus have carry-over effects on progeny if it influences pre-natal offspring environment in terms of glucocorticosteroid concentration, although th ...200516217808
declining immunity with age in the wild.despite their higher metabolic rates and lifetime energy expenditures, birds generally outlive similar-sized mammals even in the wild, often reaching maturity and aging considerably more slowly. wild populations of many bird species have been monitored for years using banding-and-recapture methods, allowing field ornithologists to document age-related declines in survival and reproductive success. although elderly birds rarely reach advanced stages of senescence in nature, many show other signs ...200415163848
experimental manipulation of egg carotenoids affects immunity of barn swallow nestlings.the yolk of bird eggs contains maternal carotenoids that may act as antioxidants thus influencing offspring performance and survival. however, to our knowledge, this hypothesis has not been subjected to experimental tests and the function of transmission of carotenoids to the egg is largely unknown. we directly manipulated the concentration of the main carotenoid (lutein) in the eggs of barn swallows (hirundo rustica) and analysed the effect of experimental manipulation on growth of nestlings an ...200314667340
oxidative damage and anti-oxidant capacity in two migratory bird species at a stop-over site.we quantified in the garden warbler (sylvia borin) and the barn swallow (hirundo rustica), two long-distance migratory songbirds, the early oxidative damage (roms) and plasma anti-oxidant capacity (oxy) variation of individuals caught at a stop-over site after a sustained flight across the sea, during spring migration. our main goal was to quantify the oxidative damage and anti-oxidant capacity variation in these two migratory species in relation to fat and muscle stores. the birds were sampled ...200717218158
chernobyl as a population sink for barn swallows: tracking dispersal using stable-isotope profiles.stable-isotope profiles of feathers can reveal the location or habitat used by individual birds during the molting period. heterogeneity in isotope profiles will reflect heterogeneity in molt locations, but also heterogeneity in breeding locations, because spatial heterogeneity in molt locations will be congruent with spatial heterogeneity in breeding locations in species with high connectivity between breeding and molting sites. we used information on the congruence of spatial heterogeneity in ...200617069364
increased oxidative stress in barn swallows from the chernobyl region.the chernobyl nuclear accident produced the largest unintended release of radionuclides in history, with dramatic consequences for humans and other organisms. exposure to ionizing radiation is known to reduce circulating and stored levels of specific antioxidants in birds and humans, thus potentially increasing oxidative stress. however, overall effects of radioactive exposure on oxidative status have never been investigated in any free ranging vertebrate. we measured plasma antioxidant capacity ...201019896553
genetic variation in infestation with a directly transmitted ectoparasite.genetic variation in levels of parasitism of hosts is an underlying assumption of studies of coevolution, but few such estimates are available from the field. we studied genetic variation in the abundance of the chewing louse hirundoecus malleus on its barn swallow host hirundo rustica. these parasites are directly transmitted and a test of genetic variation of parasite abundance would thus provide a particularly strong test. the prevalence and the abundance of the chewing lice did not differ si ...200415000646
a new species of parasitic mites of the genus syringophiloidus kethley 1970 (acari: syringophilidae) from the barn swallow hirundo rustica linnaeus, 1758.a new quill mite species syringophiloidus hirundinis (acari: syringophilidae) is described from the barn swallow hirundo rustica. the species syringophiloidus hirundinis had a prevalence of 17.1% in the two outermost tail feathers (n = 208 adult barn swallows) during the breeding season of the barn swallow host. intensity of infestation was 9.7 adult mites per pair of infested tail feathers. the sex ratio was highly biased towards females, with only 7.5% of all individuals being males (20:3).200312669345
early maternal effects mediated by immunity depend on sexual ornamentation of the male partner.vertebrates have an immature immune system soon after birth, and parasites can therefore be particularly virulent to young hosts. transfer of immune factors via the egg can give rise to early maternal effects with important consequences for offspring fitness, as maternally derived immunity confers anti-parasite protection. mothers are expected to allocate immunity differentially to the eggs according to the reproductive value of their offspring as influenced by the quality of their father. in th ...200212028756
flight kinematics of the barn swallow (hirundo rustica) over a wide range of speeds in a wind tunnel.two barn swallows (hirundo rustica) flying in the lund wind tunnel were filmed using synchronised high-speed cameras to obtain posterior, ventral and lateral views of the birds in horizontal flapping flight. we investigated wingbeat kinematics, body tilt angle, tail spread and angle of attack at speeds of 4-14 ms(-1). wingbeat frequency showed a clear u-shaped relationship with air speed with minima at 8.9 ms(-1)(bird 1) and 8.7 ms(-1) (bird 2). a method previously used by other authors of estim ...200111533124
sexual selection for white tail spots in the barn swallow in relation to habitat choice by feather lice.many bird species have white spots in their tails or wing feathers, and such characters have been hypothesized to be either reliable signals (handicaps) or amplifiers that facilitate the message of a signal. in barn swallows, hirundo rustica, the size of the white spots in the tail feathers is sexually dimorphic and positively correlated with feather length. we tested whether such spots act as handicaps or amplifiers. these white spots affect sexual selection in barn swallows, as shown by an exp ...199910600140
albinism and phenotype of barn swallows (hirundo rustica) from chernobyl.the effects of mutation on phenotypic expression are supposed to be mainly deleterious because mutations disrupt the expression of genes that function relatively well under current environmental conditions. thus, mutations are assumed to give rise to deviant phenotypes that are generally selected against. radioactive contamination in the chernobyl region of ukraine is associated with a significant increase by a factor two to 10 in mutation rate in microsatellite markers of the barn swallow, hiru ...200111761068
better red than dead: carotenoid-based mouth coloration reveals infection in barn swallow nestlings.nestling birds solicit food from their parents by displaying their open brightly coloured gapes. carotenoids affect gape colour, but also play a central role in immunostimulation. therefore, we hypothesize that, by differentially allocating resources to nestlings with more brightly coloured gapes, parents favour healthy offspring which are able to allocate carotenoids to gape coloration without compromising their immune defence. we demonstrated that, in the barn swallow hirundo rustica, (i) pare ...200010670953
differential predation cost of a secondary sexual character: sparrowhawk predation on barn swallows.models of reliable signalling assume that secondary sexual characters and other displays are more costly to individuals of low than high phenotypic quality, and that low quality individuals disproportionately compromise their reproduction and survival prospects by investment in signalling. a field study of barn swallows, hirundo rustica with sexually exaggerated tail feathers, supported this prediction. males were captured by sparrowhawks, accipiter nisus more often than females, and captured ma ...19979794779
serological examinations for antibodies against west nile virus, semlikivirus and chikungunyavirus in laboratory mice, parasitized by nidicole fauna from swallow's nests.experimental mice in swallow's (nmri) nests highly infested with swallow bugs (hirundo rustica) revealed antibodies against west nile virus, semliki virus and chikungunya virus. additional nidicole ectoparasites were not controlled and could also play a role in the occurrence of infection in experimental mice. swallows and sparrows (passer domesticus) additional nest inhabitants appear to be the ultimate link in this infection pathway as swallow bugs seldom migrate into dwellings to infest human ...19883139492
fitness loss and germline mutations in barn swallows breeding in chernobyl.the severe nuclear accident at chernobyl in 1986 resulted in the worst reported accidental exposure of radioactive material to free-living organisms. short-term effects on human populations inhabiting polluted areas include increased incidence of thyroid cancer, infant leukaemia, and congenital malformations in newborns. two recent studies have reported, although with some controversy, that germline mutation rates were increased in humans and voles living close to chernobyl, but little is known ...19979335497
scaling of hypercapnic ventilatory responsiveness in birds and mammals.the possible relationship between co2 responsiveness and body mass in birds was explored using newly acquired ventilatory data from the barn swallow, hirundo rustica, and the pigeon, columbia livia, and that from the literature on four other species. ventilatory responsiveness (% delta v) of birds to 5% inspired co2 is scaled to body mass to the 0.145 power (% delta v alpha mb 0.145). a similar allometric relationship exists for data on 7 species of eutherian mammals taken from the literature (% ...19957770666
transgenic plants are sensitive bioindicators of nuclear pollution caused by the chernobyl evaluate the genetic consequences of radioactive contamination originating from the nuclear reactor accident of chernobyl on indigenous populations of plants and animals, it is essential to determine the rates of accumulating genetic changes in chronically irradiated populations. an increase in germline mutation rates in humans living close to the chernobyl nuclear power plant site, and a two- to tenfold increase in germline mutations in barn swallows breeding in chernobyl have been reported. ...19989831035
immunocompetence, ornamentation, and viability of male barn swallows (hirundo rustica).immunocompetence (i.e., the ability to produce an immune response to pathogens) can be predicted to influence the chances that organisms have to survive and reproduce. in this study we simulated a challenge to the immune systems of male barn swallows (hirundo rustica) by injecting them intraperitoneally with a multigenic antigen, sheep red blood cells, and we analyzed long-term survival in relation to their immunocompetence. males were assigned to four groups that differed for the treatment of t ...19979012821
results of arbovirological examination of birds of the family hirundinidae in czechoslovakia.migratory birds (swallow, hirundo rustica; sand martin, riparia riparia; house martin, delichon urbica) caught in southern moravia (czechoslovakia) in 1984-87 were examined for arbovirus infections. isolation experiments were carried out using blood samples of 183 birds (52 swallows, 107 sand martins, and 24 house martins). the results were negative. serological examinations of 136 birds (36 swallows, 86 sand martins, and 14 house martins) were made by haemagglutination-inhibition test (hit) usi ...19892562171
the bird species of kumasir lake (kahramanmaras-turkey) and a view of environmental ethics on sustainable wetland management.kumasir lake is located next to towns of donuklu and fatih, nine km west of kahramanmaras city center the region of east mediterranean, turkey this lake is of crucial importance from the point of native and immigrant birds. we located 17 birdspecies in this area during our observations carried out in the spring and autumn of 2005-2006. these were ciconia ciconia l., anas platyrhynchos l., accipiter nisus l., accipiter brevipes l., fulica atra l., columba palumbus l., merops apiaster l., upupa ep ...200818972701
prevalence and characteristics of eae- and stx-positive strains of escherichia coli from wild birds in the immediate environment of tokyo bay.the prevalence and characteristics of eae- and stx-positive escherichia coli strains in wild birds in the immediate environment of tokyo bay, japan, was examined using cloacal swab samples taken from 447 birds belonging to 62 species. pcr screening showed that the prevalences of stx- and eae-positive strains of escherichia coli were 5% (23/447) and 25% (113/447), respectively. four strains of stx(2f)-positive e. coli were isolated from two feral pigeons, an oriental turtle dove and a barn swallo ...200918997019
[mutation processes in the natural populations of drosophila and hirundo rustica from ukrainian radiation contaminated territories].natural populations of drosophila melanogaster and hirundo rustica that reside at the territories with different levels of radioactive pollution were investigated. the levels of visible mutations, sex-linked mutations and gonad reduction of drosophila and the rate of interphase markers of chromosomal instability in erythrocytes of birds were selected as parameters for population monitoring. the results point out to possible reverse dependence among the level of chromosomal instability of birds, ...200819140433
collyriclosis in central european hirundines.cutaneous monostome trematode collyriclum faba (bremser in schmalz 1831) is a digenetic flatworm with unknown life cycle. here, we provide the first compelling evidence that despite low prevalence of the parasite, european hirundines are parasitized by this species. first host record for sand martin (riparia riparia) and first european host record for barn swallow (hirundo rustica) is provided. the birds were captured and checked in ten european and middle eastern countries, stretching from irel ...201121380577
dna damage in barn swallows (hirundo rustica) from the chernobyl region detected by use of the comet assay.we investigated levels of dna damage in blood cells of barn swallows (hirundo rustica) inhabiting the chernobyl region to evaluate whether chronic exposure to low-level radioactive contamination continues to induce genetic damage in free-living populations of animals. blood samples were obtained from barn swallows collected at sites with different background levels of radiation, including a relatively uncontaminated area. the extent of dna damage was evaluated using the alkaline (ph=12.1) comet ...201019941973
blood-feeding patterns of the culex pipiens complex in sacramento and yolo counties, california.mosquitoes in the culex pipiens complex are competent vectors of west nile virus (wnv; family flaviviridae, genus flavivirus) in the laboratory, and field-collected mosquitoes have tested positive for the virus in california and elsewhere. a better understanding of cx. pipiens complex blood-feeding patterns will help define the threat that these mosquitoes pose to human health and their role in wnv amplification in northern california. we collected blood-engorged cx. pipiens complex mosquitoes f ...201121485380
carotenoids, sexual signals and immune function in barn swallows from chernobyl.carotenoids have been hypothesized to facilitate immune function and act as free-radical scavengers, thereby minimizing the frequency of mutations. populations of animals exposed to higher levels of free radicals are thus expected to demonstrate reduced sexual coloration if use of carotenoids for free-radical scavenging is traded against use for sexual signals. the intensity of carotenoid-based sexual coloration was compared among three populations of barn swallows hirundo rustica differing in e ...199910406129
use of observed wild bird activity on poultry farms and a literature review to target species as high priority for avian influenza testing in 2 regions of canada.the risk of avian influenza outbreaks in poultry is partially dependent on the probability of contact between domestic poultry and wild birds shedding avian influenza (ai) virus. the major objective of this study was to document wild bird activity on poultry farms to determine which wild bird species should be targeted for ai surveillance in canada. we collected data in 2 major poultry producing regions of canada, southwestern ontario and the fraser valley of british columbia, on the relative ab ...022851777
cryptococcus neoformans isolation from swallow (hirundo rustica) excreta in iran.cryptococcus neoformans is an encapsulated yeast that can cause cryptococcosis, a life-threatening infection that mainly occurs in immunocompromised patients. the major environmental sources of c. neoformans have been shown to be soil contaminated with avian droppings. in the present study, we evaluated the isolation of c. neoformans from swallow (hirundo rustica) excreta in two northern cities of iran. ninety-seven swallow droppings were evaluated and 498 yeast-like colonies were isolated and i ...201121755233
long-term trends in first arrival and first egg laying dates of some migrant and resident bird species in northern italy.climate change is affecting the phenology of seasonal events in europe and the northern hemisphere, as shown by several studies of birds' timing of migration and reproduction. here, we analyse the long-term (1982-2006) trends of first arrival dates of four long-distance migratory birds [swift (apus apus), nightingale (luscinia megarhynchos), barn swallow (hirundo rustica), and house martin (delichon urbicum)] and first egg laying dates of two migrant (swift, barn swallow) and two resident specie ...200717375338
elevated frequency of abnormalities in barn swallows from chernobyl.ever since the chernobyl accident in 1986, that contaminated vast areas in surrounding countries with radiation, abnormalities and birth defects have been reported in human populations. recently, several studies suggested that the elevated frequency of such abnormalities can be attributed to poverty and stress in affected human populations. here, we present long-term results for a free-living population of barn swallows, hirundo rustica, demonstrating the presence of 11 morphological abnormaliti ...200717439847
[avian diversity and bird strike risk at fuyang airport].from june 2008 to january 2010, a survey of avian communities was conducted in five habitats (grassland, farmland, town, wetland, and woodland) at fuyang airport and its surrounding areas, with the diversity indices in different seasons and different habitats analyzed. a total of 122 avian species belonging to 15 orders and 40 families were recorded. at fuyang airport, the avian species number was significantly higher in summer and autumn than in winter and spring, the avian density was the high ...201122007473
is chernobyl radiation really causing negative individual and population-level effects on barn swallows? 018042513
ontogenetic development of l-gulonolactone oxidase activity in several vertebrates.activity of l-gulonolactone oxidase (ec in livers of fetal rattus norvegicus and mus musculus was detectable on the 18th day of gestation, increased rapidly to maxima at 15 and 5 days postpartum for the two species, respectively, and thereafter declined to adult levels. l-gulonolactone oxidase was not detectable in liver or kidney of fetal guinea pigs at any stage of development. near-term fetal snowshoe hares had higher activities of liver l-gulonolactone oxidase than observed in a lar ...19846611240
barn swallows (hirundo rustica) test negative for around the world have been urged to eliminate barn swallows (hirundo rustica) from their buildings, based on the unproven assumption that these birds amplify and spread salmonella to livestock, humans, and stored food. however, we tested over 500 barn swallows in sweden and found no evidence that they carry salmonella. our results cast doubt on the hypothesis that barn swallows are competent reservoirs of salmonella and suggest that their role, if any, is limited to being accidental host ...200818266565
aerobic cloacal and pharyngeal bacterial flora in six species of free-living birds.the purpose of this study was to investigate the culturable aerobic pharyngeal and cloacal bacterial flora of free-living birds, to determine the physiological bacterial microbiota, to identify possible interactions between feeding behaviour and the composition of the pharyngeal and cloacal microflora and to investigate the occurrence of pathogenic bacteria.201425176477
prevalence and molecular characterization of clostridium difficile isolated from european barn swallows (hirundo rustica) during migration.clostridium difficile is an important bacterial pathogen of humans and a variety of animal species. birds, especially migratory passerine species, can play a role in the spread of many pathogens, including clostridium difficile. barn swallows (hirundo rustica) nest in close proximity to human habitats and their biology is closely associated with cattle farming. therefore, we hypothesized that barn swallows can be the reservoir of clostridium difficile.201424507706
eggshell bacterial load is related to antimicrobial properties of feathers lining barn swallow nests.the use of feathers to line bird's nests has traditionally been interpreted as having a thermoregulatory function. feather-degrading bacteria growing on feathers lining nests may have antimicrobial properties, which may provide an additional benefit to lining nests with feathers. we test the hypothesis that the production of antimicrobial substances by feather bacteria affects the microbiological environment of the nest, and therefore the bacterial density on eggshells and, indirectly, hatching ...201424317898
two new species of eumegacetes looss, 1900 (digenea: eumegacetidae) from egyptian birds.two new species of the genus eumegacetes looss, 1900 are described from avian hosts in sharkia province, egypt and these include eumegacetes (anterovitellum) pycnonotus n. sp. from the bulbul, pycnonotus barbatus, and e. (posthovitellum) hirundus n. sp. from the barn swallow hirundo rustica saviginii. the descriptions are based primarily on differences in the shape and elevation of the intestinal caeca, the position of the genital opening and the shape and distribution of the vitelline follicles ...19947844418
variable contribution of functional prey groups in diets reveals inter- and intraspecific differences in faecal concentrations of essential and non-essential elements in three sympatric avian aerial insectivores: a re-assessment of usefulness of bird faeces in metal biomonitoring.aerial insectivores through their insect diet can contribute to biotransfer of elements across habitats. we investigate the relationship between dietary composition as expressed by the contributions of six functional invertebrate prey groups (primarily of agriculturally subsidised invertebrates characteristic of agricultural areas in temperate regions of europe) and concentrations of essential (na, k, ca, mg, fe, cu, zn, mn, co) and non-essential (as, cd, pb) elements of environmental concern in ...201525770953
functional invertebrate prey groups reflect dietary responses to phenology and farming activity and pest control services in three sympatric species of aerially foraging insectivorous birds.farming activity severely impacts the invertebrate food resources of farmland birds, with direct mortality to populations of above-ground arthropods thorough mechanical damage during crop harvests. in this study we assessed the effects of phenological periods, including the timing of harvest, on the composition and biomass of prey consumed by three species of aerial insectivorous birds. common swifts apus apus, barn swallows hirundo rustica and house martins delichon urbica breed sympatrically a ...201425506696
weekend bias in citizen science data reporting: implications for phenology studies.studies of bird phenology can help elucidate the effects of climate change on wildlife species but observations over broad spatial scales are difficult without a network of observers. recently, networks of citizen volunteers have begun to report first arrival dates for many migratory species. potential benefits are substantial (e.g., understanding ecological processes at broad spatial and temporal scales) if known biases of citizen data reporting are identified and addressed. one potential sourc ...201323104424
defenses against keratinolytic bacteria in birds living in radioactively contaminated areas.microorganisms have shaped the evolution of a variety of defense mechanisms against pathogenic infections. radioactivity modifies bacterial communities and, therefore, bird hosts breeding in contaminated areas are expected to adapt to the new bacterial environment. we tested this hypothesis in populations of barn swallows (hirundo rustica) from a gradient of background radiation levels at chernobyl and uncontaminated controls from denmark. investment in defenses against keratinolytic bacteria wa ...201627542091
evidence for neutral and selective processes in the recruitment of enzyme-crystallins in avian apparent contrast to most other tissues, the ocular lenses in vertebrates show striking differences in protein composition between taxa, most notably in the recruitment of different enzymes as major structural proteins. this variability appears to be the result of at least partially neutral evolutionary processes, although there is also evidence for selective modification in molecular structure. here we describe a bird, the chimney swift (chaetura pelagica), that lacks delta-crystallin/argini ...19902385592
methylation of the circadian clock gene in the offspring of a free-living passerine bird increases with maternal and individual exposure to pm10.the consequences of exposure to particulate matter (pm) have been thoroughly investigated in humans and other model species, but there is a dearth of studies of the effects of pm on physiology and life-history traits of non-human organisms living in natural or semi-natural environments. besides toxicological relevance, pm has been recently suggested to exert epigenetic effects by altering dna methylation patterns. here, we investigated for the first time the association between the exposure to f ...201727712846
temporal stability and the effect of transgenerational transfer on fecal microbiota structure in a long distance migratory bird.animal bodies are inhabited by a taxonomically and functionally diverse community of symbiotic and commensal microorganisms. from an ecological and evolutionary perspective, inter-individual variation in host-associated microbiota contributes to physiological and immune system variation. as such, host-associated microbiota may be considered an integral part of the host's phenotype, serving as a substrate for natural selection. this assumes that host-associated microbiota exhibits high temporal s ...201728220109
molecular approaches for blood meal analysis and species identification of mosquitoes (insecta: diptera: culicidae) in rural locations in southern england, united kingdom.thirty-four species of culicidae are present in the uk, of which 15 have been implicated as potential vectors of arthropod-borne viruses such as west nile virus. identification of mosquito feeding preferences is paramount to the understanding of vector-host-pathogen interactions which, in turn, would assist in the control of disease outbreaks. results are presented on the application of dna barcoding for vertebrate species identification in blood-fed female mosquitoes in rural locations. blood-f ...201728610033
foraging at the edge of the world: low-altitude, high-speed manoeuvering in barn swallows.while prior studies of swallow manoeuvering have focused on slow-speed flight and obstacle avoidance in still air, swallows survive by foraging at high speeds in windy environments. recent advances in field-portable, high-speed video systems, coupled with precise anemometry, permit measures of high-speed aerial performance of birds in a natural state. we undertook the present study to test: (i) the manner in which barn swallows (hirundo rustica) may exploit wind dynamics and ground effect while ...201627528781
sex-dependent carry-over effects on timing of reproduction and fecundity of a migratory of many organisms flows as a sequence of annual cycles. timing of cyclical events is shaped by natural selection also via the domino effects that any life history stage has on the stages that follow. such 'carry-over effects' have major consequences for evolutionary, ecological and demographic processes, but the causes that generate their individual-level variation, including the effect of sex, are poorly understood. we used light-level geolocators to study carry-over effects on the year-ro ...201728000219
migration phenology and breeding success are predicted by methylation of a photoperiodic gene in the barn swallow.individuals often considerably differ in the timing of their life-cycle events, with major consequences for individual fitness, and, ultimately, for population dynamics. phenological variation can arise from genetic effects but also from epigenetic modifications in dna expression and translation. here, we tested if cpg methylation at the poly-q and 5'-utr loci of the photoperiodic clock gene predicted migration and breeding phenology of long-distance migratory barn swallows (hirundo rustica) tha ...201728361883
avian immunosenescence.immunosenescence, the aging of the immune system, is well studied in humans. mammalian immune systems become less capable of fighting pathogens and individuals become more susceptible to infection and cancer in their elder years. little is currently published on avian immunosenescence even though avian immune function has been well characterized and birds have been critical models in the study of immunology. the value of birds in the study of aging has been well established. evidence demonstrate ...200523598661
earlier breeding, lower success: does the spatial scale of climatic conditions matter in a migratory passerine bird?following over 20 years of research on the climatic effects on biodiversity we now have strong evidence that climate change affects phenology, fitness, and distribution ranges of different taxa, including birds. bird phenology likely responds to changes in local weather. it is also affected by climatic year-to-year variations on larger scales. although such scale-related effects are common in ecology, most studies analyzing the effects of climate change were accomplished using climatic informati ...201527069620
blood esterase inhibition in birds as an index of organophosphorus contamination: field and laboratory studies.: with the aim of developing a nondestructive biomarker (serum 'b' esterases) for monitoring bird populations exposed to azamethiphos s((6-chloro-2-oxooxazolo(4,5-b)pyridin-3(2h)-yl)methyl) 0,0-dimethyl phosphorothioate (9cl), parallel laboratory and field studies were performed. in japanese quail (coturnix coturnix japonica) treated with azamethiphos at 10 mg kg(-1), serum butyrylcholinesterase (bche) and carboxylesterase (ce) activities were inhibited by 88% and 35%, respectively, after 24 h. ...199424201863
resistance of feather-associated bacteria to intermediate levels of ionizing radiation near chernobyl.ionizing radiation has been shown to produce negative effects on organisms, although little is known about its ecological and evolutionary effects. as a study model, we isolated bacteria associated with feathers from barn swallows hirundo rustica from three study areas around chernobyl differing in background ionizing radiation levels and one control study site in denmark. each bacterial community was exposed to four different γ radiation doses ranging from 0.46 to 3.96 kgy to test whether chron ...201626976674
evolution of tail fork depth in genus hirundo.a classic example of a sexually selected trait, the deep fork tail of the barn swallow hirundo rustica is now claimed to have evolved and be maintained mainly via aerodynamic advantage rather than sexually selected advantage. however, this aerodynamic advantage hypothesis does not clarify which flight habits select for/against deep fork tails, causing diversity of tail fork depth in hirundines. here, by focusing on the genus hirundo, we investigated whether the large variation in tail fork depth ...201626865972
new microsatellites from the pied flycatcher ficedula hypoleuca and the swallow hirundo rustica genomes. 19968931360
wing morphology, winter ecology, and fecundity selection: evidence for sex-dependence in barn swallows (hirundo rustica).variation in wing morphology results from the combination of diverse selection pressures. wing feather morphology within species varies with sex and ontogenetic effects, and also with ecological factors. yet, the direction of causation for the wing morphology-ecology association remains to be elucidated. under the 'ecology-dependence' hypothesis, wing morphology covaries with ecological conditions, because the latter affect feather molt. alternatively, the 'habitat choice' hypothesis posits that ...201728741127
lifetime reproductive success, selection on lifespan, and multiple sexual ornaments in male european barn swallows.natural and sexual selection arise when individual fitness varies according to focal traits. extra-pair paternities (epps) can affect the intensity of selection by influencing variance in fitness among individuals. studies of selection require that individual fitness is estimated using proxies of lifetime reproductive success (lrs). however, estimating lrs is difficult in large, open populations where epps cause reallocation of biological paternity. here, we used extensive field sampling to esti ...201728722759
draft genome sequence of multidrug-resistant cellulosimicrobium sp. strain kwt-b, isolated from feces of hirundo rustica.migratory birds have been postulated as potential spreaders of antibiotic resistance. multidrug-resistant cellulosimicrobium sp. strain kwt-b was isolated from the feces of hirundo rustica a draft genome sequence indicated that the strain harbors multidrug-resistant transporters, multidrug efflux pumps, a vancomycin-resistant protein, and metallo-beta-lactamases.201728705986
cloacal microbiome structure in a long-distance migratory bird assessed using deep 16srna pyrosequencing.effects of vertebrate-associated microbiota on physiology and health are of significant interest in current biological research. most previous studies have focused on host-microbiota interactions in captive-bred mammalian models. these interactions and their outcomes are still relatively understudied, however, in wild populations and non-mammalian taxa. using deep pyrosequencing, we described the cloacal microbiome (cm) composition in free living barn swallows hirundo rustica, a long-distance mi ...201526360776
capacity of blood plasma is higher in birds breeding in radioactively contaminated areas.environmental pollution in general, and radioactive contamination in particular, may deeply affect host-parasite relationships and their consequences for the evolution of organisms. the nuclear accident that occurred more than 30 years ago in chernobyl resulted in significant changes in diversity and richness of microbial communities that could influence characteristics of animal-bacteria interactions, including host immune responses and competitive interference by bacteria. given the high morta ...201728662048
clock gene polymorphism and scheduling of migration: a geolocator study of the barn swallow hirundo rustica.circannual rhythms often rely on endogenous seasonal photoperiodic timers involving 'clock' genes, and clock gene polymorphism has been associated to variation in phenology in some bird species. in the long-distance migratory barn swallow hirundo rustica, individuals bearing the rare clock allele with the largest number of c-terminal polyglutamine repeats found in this species (q8) show a delayed reproduction and moult later. we explored the association between clock polymorphism and migration s ...201526197782
long-distance range expansion and rapid adjustment of migration in a newly established population of barn swallows breeding in argentina.when bird populations spread, long-distance pioneering populations are often backfilled by a more slowly advancing front [1-3]. the barn swallow hirundo rustica, a globally distributed passerine [4, 5], expanded its breeding range an exceptional 7,000 km when it began breeding 35 years ago in its regular wintering range in argentina [6], subsequently expanding over 500 km from its starting point [7-11]. trans-hemispheric breeding attempts have occurred previously in related swallows [12-14], but ...201728318974
correction: a continent-wide migratory divide in north american breeding barn swallows (hirundo rustica). 201526171864
an experimental test of the effect of brood size on glucocorticoid responses, parental investment, and offspring phenotype.because elevated glucocorticoid levels can impair reproduction, populations or species that engage in particularly valuable reproductive attempts may down-regulate the glucocorticoid stress response during reproduction (the brood value hypothesis). it is not clear, however, whether individuals rapidly modulate glucocorticoid responses based on shifting cues about the likelihood of reproductive success. by manipulating brood size to create broods that differed in potential value, we tested whethe ...201728137535
bridge hosts for avian influenza viruses at the wildlife/domestic interface: an eco-epidemiological framework implemented in southern africa.wild terrestrial birds can act as potential local spreaders or bridge hosts for avian influenza viruses (aivs) between waterfowl (the maintenance hosts of aivs) and domestic avian populations in which aivs may cause disease. few studies have investigated this hypothesis, although it is an important knowledge gap in our understanding of aiv spread within socio-ecosystems. we designed a simple and reproducible approach in an agro-ecosystem in zimbabwe based on: (1) bird counts at key target sites ...201425457135
geographical and seasonal variation in the intensity of sexual selection in the barn swallow hirundo rustica: a meta-analysis.sexual selection arises from competition among individuals for access to mates, resulting in the evolution of conspicuous sexually selected traits, especially when inter-sexual competition is mediated by mate choice. different sexual selection regimes may occur among populations/subspecies within the same species. this is particularly the case when mate choice is based on multiple sexually selected traits. however, empirical evidence supporting this hypothesis at the among-populations level is s ...201727615554
phenotypic differentiation is associated with divergent sexual selection among closely related barn swallow populations.sexual selection plays a key role in the diversification of numerous animal clades and may accelerate trait divergence during speciation. however, much of our understanding of this process comes from phylogenetic comparative studies, which rely on surrogate measures such as dimorphism that may not represent selection in wild populations. in this study, we assess sexual selection pressures for multiple male visual signals across four barn swallow (hirundo rustica) populations. our sample encompas ...201627538265
the maintenance of phenotypic divergence through sexual selection: an experimental study in barn swallows hirundo rustica.previous studies have shown that sexual signals can rapidly diverge among closely related species. however, we lack experimental studies to demonstrate that differences in trait-associated reproductive performance maintain sexual trait differences between closely related populations, in support for a role of sexual selection in speciation. populations of northern hemisphere distributed barn swallows hirundo rustica are closely related, yet differ in two plumage-based traits: ventral color and le ...201627436630
genome-wide differentiation in closely related populations: the roles of selection and geographic isolation.population divergence in geographic isolation is due to a combination of factors. natural and sexual selection may be important in shaping patterns of population differentiation, a pattern referred to as 'isolation by adaptation' (iba). iba can be complementary to the well-known pattern of 'isolation by distance' (ibd), in which the divergence of closely related populations (via any evolutionary process) is associated with geographic isolation. the barn swallow hirundo rustica complex comprises ...201627357267
stress response, gut microbial diversity and sexual signals correlate with social interactions.theory predicts that social interactions are dynamically linked to phenotype. yet because social interactions are difficult to quantify, little is known about the precise details on how interactivity is linked to phenotype. here, we deployed proximity loggers on north american barn swallows (hirundo rustica erythrogaster) to examine intercorrelations among social interactions, morphology and features of the phenotype that are sensitive to the social context: stress-induced corticosterone (cort) ...201627354713
better-surviving barn swallow mothers produce more and better-surviving allocation theory predicts that parents are selected to bias their progeny sex ratio (sr) toward the sex that will benefit the most from parental quality. because parental quality may differentially affect survival of sons and daughters, a pivotal test of the adaptive value of sr adjustment is whether parents overproduce offspring of the sex that accrues larger fitness advantages from high parental quality. however, this crucial test of the long-term fitness consequences of sex allocation de ...201626990898
disruptive selection without genome-wide evolution across a migratory divide.transcontinental migration is a fascinating example of how animals can respond to climatic oscillation. yet, quantitative data on fitness components are scarce, and the resulting population genetic consequences are poorly understood. migratory divides, hybrid zones with a transition in migratory behaviour, provide a natural setting to investigate the micro-evolutionary dynamics induced by migration under sympatric conditions. here, we studied the effects of migratory programme on survival, trait ...201626749140
early-life telomere dynamics differ between the sexes and predict growth in the barn swallow (hirundo rustica).telomeres are conserved dna-protein structures at the termini of eukaryotic chromosomes which contribute to maintenance of genome integrity, and their shortening leads to cell senescence, with negative consequences for organismal functions. because telomere erosion is influenced by extrinsic and endogenous factors, telomere dynamics may provide a mechanistic basis for evolutionary and physiological trade-offs. yet, knowledge of fundamental aspects of telomere biology under natural selection regi ...201526565632
telomere length is reflected by plumage coloration and predicts seasonal reproductive success in the barn swallow.individuals differ in realized fitness but the genetic/phenotypic traits that underpin such variation are often unknown. telomere dynamics may be a major source of variation in fitness traits because physiological telomere shortening depends on environmental and genetic factors and may impair individual performance. here, we showed that, in a population of a socially monogamous, biparental passerine bird, the barn swallow (hirundo rustica) breeding in northern italy, telomere length (tl) of both ...201728851004
protein loss during long-distance migratory flight in passerine birds: adaptation and constraint.during long-distance flights, birds catabolize not only fat but also protein. because there is no storage form of protein, protein catabolism entails a structural or functional loss. in this study, we investigated which organs were most reduced in lean mass during different phases of fat store loss and whether protein loss can be regarded as adaptive or as a constraint. body and organ composition were analysed both during the autumn migration over continental europe (sample from switzerland) and ...200211907058
environmental conditions during early life accelerate the rate of senescence in a short-lived passerine bird.environmental conditions experienced in early life may shape subsequent phenotypic traits including life history. we investigated how predation risk caused by domestic cats (felis silvestris catus) and local breeding density affected patterns of reproductive and survival senescence in barn swallows (hirundo rustica) breeding semicolonially in denmark. we recorded the abundance of cats and the number of breeding pairs at 39 breeding sites during 24 years and related these to age-specific survival ...201526230016
wingbeat frequency of barn swallows and house martins: a comparison between free flight and wind tunnel experiments.the flight paths and wingbeat patterns of 39 barn swallows (hirundo rustica) and 26 house martins (delichon urbica) were recorded by tracking radar during the spring migration. depending mostly on flight angle, hirundines performed anything from continuous flapping flight during climbing to single pulse-like wing beats during descent. unlike most other passerines, hirundines rarely showed regular flapping and rest phases, allowing them to be distinguished from other bird migrants by radar echo s ...200212124369
viability and expression of sexual ornaments in the barn swallow hirundo rustica: a meta-analysis.sexual selection results in the evolution of exaggerated secondary sexual characters that can entail a viability cost. however, in species where sexual ornaments honestly reflect individual quality, the viability cost of secondary sexual characters may be overwhelmed by variation in individual quality, leading to expect that individuals with the largest secondary sexual characters show higher, rather than lower viability. here, we used meta-analyses to test whether such expected positive relatio ...201728787531
a trade-off between reproduction and feather growth in the barn swallow (hirundo rustica).physiological trade-offs mediated by limiting energy, resources or time constrain the simultaneous expression of major functions and can lead to the evolution of temporal separation between demanding activities. in birds, plumage renewal is a demanding activity, which accomplishes fundamental functions, such as allowing thermal insulation, aerodynamics and socio-sexual signaling. feather renewal is a very expensive and disabling process, and molt is often partitioned from breeding and migration. ...201424826890
genomic variation across two barn swallow hybrid zones reveals traits associated with divergence in sympatry and allopatry.hybrid zones are geographic regions where isolating barriers between divergent populations are challenged by admixture. identifying factors that facilitate or inhibit hybridization in sympatry can illuminate the processes that maintain those reproductive barriers. we analysed patterns of hybridization and phenotypic variation across two newly discovered hybrid zones between three subspecies of barn swallow (hirundo rustica). these subspecies differ in ventral coloration and wing length, traits t ...201728777875
plasma testosterone levels increase with expression of male ornaments during mating, but not incubation, in japanese barn swallows.recent experimental studies involving the manipulation of sexual traits have demonstrated that sexual trait expression feeds back to testosterone levels, perhaps via social interactions, reinforcing the linkage between sexual trait expression and testosterone levels during the mating period. however, information on this reinforcement under the natural variation of sexual traits remains limited. using japanese barn swallows, hirundo rustica gutturalis, in which extra-pair paternity is quite rare ...201728770683
multimodal signalling in the north american barn swallow: a phenotype network approach.complex signals, involving multiple components within and across modalities, are common in animal communication. however, decomposing complex signals into traits and their interactions remains a fundamental challenge for studies of phenotype evolution. we apply a novel phenotype network approach for studying complex signal evolution in the north american barn swallow (hirundo rustica erythrogaster). we integrate model testing with correlation-based phenotype networks to infer the contributions o ...201526423842
[ectoparasites from nests of swallows delichon urbica and hirundo rustica collected in autumn].in the years 1989-1990 53 nests of d. urbica and 47 nests of h. rustica were collected from resko (province szczecin). in 95 nests 2483 ectoparasites representing 3 species: c. hirundinis (73.1%), oe. hirundinis (26.5%) and c. gallinae (0.4%) were found. the highest mean number of specimens per nest was observed in the nest of d. urbica (29.5) and the lowest in nest of h. rustica (19.5). the highest (57) of nests was inhabited by 2 parasites species, 35 nests--by 1 and 3 nests--by 3 species. the ...19938128730
quantitative genetics of plumage color: lifetime effects of early nest environment on a colorful sexual signal.phenotypic differences among individuals are often linked to differential survival and mating success. quantifying the relative influence of genetic and environmental variation on phenotype allows evolutionary biologists to make predictions about the potential for a given trait to respond to selection and various aspects of environmental variation. in particular, the environment individuals experience during early development can have lasting effects on phenotype later in life. here, we used a n ...201526380676
performance of encounternet tags: field tests of miniaturized proximity loggers for use on small birds.proximity logging is a new tool for understanding social behavior as it allows for accurate quantification of social networks. we report results from field calibration and deployment tests of miniaturized proximity tags (encounternet), digital transceivers that log encounters between tagged individuals. we examined radio signal behavior in relation to tag attachment (tag, tag on bird, tag on saline-filled balloon) to understand how radio signal strength is affected by the tag mounting technique ...201526348329
differential contribution of demographic rate synchrony to population synchrony in barn swallows.populations of many species show temporally synchronous dynamics over some range, mostly caused by spatial autocorrelation of the environment that affects demographic rates. synchronous fluctuation of a demographic rate is a necessary, but not sufficient condition for population synchrony because population growth is differentially sensitive to variation in demographic rates. little is known about the relative effects of demographic rates to population synchrony, because it is rare that all demo ...201526179225
nest sanitation elicits egg discrimination in cuckoo hosts.nest sanitation is a nearly universal behavior in birds, while egg discrimination is a more specific adaptation that has evolved to counter brood parasitism. these two behaviors are closely related with nest sanitation being the ancestral behavior, and it has been hypothesized to constitute a preadaptation for egg discrimination. however, previous studies found little evidence to support this hypothesis. here, we conducted an empirical test of the association between nest sanitation and egg disc ...201526160343
sexual dimorphism and population differences in structural properties of barn swallow (hirundo rustica) wing and tail feathers.sexual selection and aerodynamic forces affecting structural properties of the flight feathers of birds are poorly understood. here, we compared the structural features of the innermost primary wing feather (p1) and the sexually dimorphic outermost (ta6) and monomorphic second outermost (ta5) tail feathers of barn swallows (hirundo rustica) from a romanian population to investigate how sexual selection and resistance to aerodynamic forces affect structural differences among these feathers. furth ...201526110255
[oeciacus hirundinis from the nests of the swallows delichon urbica and hirundo rustica].in the years 1976-1989 392 nests of d. urbica and 584 nests of h. rustica were collected from 54 localities in 6 provinces in the north of poland. the highest mean number of specimens per nest was observed in the nest of d. urbica (28.4) and the lowest in nest of h. rustica (4.2). the highest percentage of nests of the swallows with oe. hirundinis was recorded in december and lowest in march. the highest mean number of oe. hirundinis per nest was in the nest of d. urbica in august and lowest in ...19911822044
the odour of sex: sex-related differences in volatile compound composition among barn swallow eggs carrying embryos of either sex.avian communication has been traditionally believed to be mainly mediated by visual and auditory channels. however, an increasing number of studies are disclosing the role of olfaction in the interaction of birds with their social environment and with other species, as well as in other behaviors such as nest recognition, food location and navigation. olfaction has also been suggested to play a role in parent-offspring communication not only in the post- but also in the pre-hatching period. volat ...201627851741
assessing costs of carrying geolocators using feather corticosterone in two species of aerial insectivore.despite benefits of using light-sensitive geolocators to track animal movements and describe patterns of migratory connectivity, concerns have been raised about negative effects of these devices, particularly in small species of aerial insectivore. geolocators may act as handicaps that increase energetic expenditure, which could explain reported effects of geolocators on survival. we tested this 'energetic expenditure hypothesis' in 12 populations of tree swallows (tachycineta bicolor) and barn ...201526064659
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