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Brood size modifications affect plumage bacterial assemblages of European starlings.

Abstract : During reproduction, birds face trade-offs between time and energy devoted to parental effort and traits associated with self-maintenance. We manipulated brood sizes to investigate the effects of such trade-offs on feather bacterial densities and the structure of bacterial assemblages on feathers in adult European starlings, Sturnus vulgaris, and in vitro feather degradation. As predicted by a trade-off between parental effort and self-maintenance, we found that birds with enlarged broods had more free-living bacteria on their feathers than birds with reduced broods. Furthermore, we found a significant interaction between brood manipulation and original brood size on free-living bacterial densities suggesting that the trade-off is mediated by the adults' initial reproductive investment. In contrast, brood size manipulations had no significant effect on densities of attached bacteria. Using ribosomal intergenic spacer analysis (RISA), we demonstrated that brood manipulations significantly modified the structure (band pattern) of feather-degrading bacterial assemblages, but had no significant effect on their richness (number of bands) or the in vitro feather degradation. In vitro feather degradation varied in relation to the premanipulation brood size and positively with the richness of the feather degrading bacterial community. Besides brood manipulation effect, we found that ecological factors and individual traits, such as the age, the nest location or the capture date, shaped bacterial assemblages and feather degradation capacities.
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https://hal-enpc.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-00814496
Contributeur : Françoise Lucas <>
Soumis le : mercredi 17 avril 2013 - 11:48:09
Dernière modification le : samedi 11 juillet 2020 - 20:08:01

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Françoise S Lucas, Benoit Moureau, Violaine Jourdie, Philipp Heeb. Brood size modifications affect plumage bacterial assemblages of European starlings.. Molecular Ecology, Wiley, 2005, 14 (2), pp.639-46. ⟨10.1111/j.1365-294X.2005.02436.x⟩. ⟨hal-00814496⟩

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