Social huddling and physiological thermoregulation are related to melanism in the nocturnal barn owl.

Détails

Ressource 1Télécharger: BIB_9EBE73744706.P001.pdf (2171.52 [Ko])
Etat: Public
Version: Final published version
ID Serval
serval:BIB_9EBE73744706
Type
Article: article d'un périodique ou d'un magazine.
Collection
Publications
Titre
Social huddling and physiological thermoregulation are related to melanism in the nocturnal barn owl.
Périodique
Oecologia
Auteur(s)
Dreiss A.N., Séchaud R., Béziers P., Villain N., Genoud M., Almasi B., Jenni L., Roulin A.
ISSN
1432-1939 (Electronic)
ISSN-L
0029-8549
Statut éditorial
Publié
Date de publication
2016
Peer-reviewed
Oui
Volume
180
Numéro
2
Pages
371-381
Langue
anglais
Résumé
Endothermic animals vary in their physiological ability to maintain a constant body temperature. Since melanin-based coloration is related to thermoregulation and energy homeostasis, we predict that dark and pale melanic individuals adopt different behaviours to regulate their body temperature. Young animals are particularly sensitive to a decrease in ambient temperature because their physiological system is not yet mature and growth may be traded-off against thermoregulation. To reduce energy loss, offspring huddle during periods of cold weather. We investigated in nestling barn owls (Tyto alba) whether body temperature, oxygen consumption and huddling were associated with melanin-based coloration. Isolated owlets displaying more black feather spots had a lower body temperature and consumed more oxygen than those with fewer black spots. This suggests that highly melanic individuals display a different thermoregulation strategy. This interpretation is also supported by the finding that, at relatively low ambient temperature, owlets displaying more black spots huddled more rapidly and more often than those displaying fewer spots. Assuming that spot number is associated with the ability to thermoregulate not only in Swiss barn owls but also in other Tytonidae, our results could explain geographic variation in the degree of melanism. Indeed, in the northern hemisphere, barn owls and allies are less spotted polewards than close to the equator, and in the northern American continent, barn owls are also less spotted in colder regions. If melanic spots themselves helped thermoregulation, we would have expected the opposite results. We therefore suggest that some melanogenic genes pleiotropically regulate thermoregulatory processes.
Mots-clé
Huddling, Melanin, Metabolic rate, Oxygen consumption, Pleiotropy, Temperature, Thermoregulation
Pubmed
Web of science
Création de la notice
05/11/2015 13:38
Dernière modification de la notice
20/08/2019 15:04
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