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Department ofBotany

No. 344
August 2013

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In This Issue

Small Migratory Birds Age Faster in Stressful Places

Adapted from the University of Maine

Small migratory male birds that winter in a stressful environment age faster than those that winter in a high-quality habitat, according to research stemming from a collaborative National Science Foundation grant between the University of Maine and Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute. The team of biologists, led by former postdoctoral researcher Frédéric Angelier working under the direction of University of Maine Professor of Biological Sciences Rebecca Holberton, focused on telomeres—the long, repetitive noncoding sequences of DNA at the end of chromosomes that protect chromosomes from degradation and play a role in the aging process.

A male American redstart (Photo by Dan Pancamo)

A male American redstart (Photo by Dan Pancamo)

The researchers found that telomeres of male American redstarts (Setophaga ruticilla) that winter in the arid Jamaican scrub habitat shortened significantly faster than telomeres of male American redstarts that winter in a lush Jamaican black mangrove forest. The findings, published in the journal Functional Ecology, suggest birds' nonbreeding environment impacts the rate of telomere shortening and has important indirect effects on migratory bird population, the team says.

The researchers also found males with shorter telomeres are less likely to return to the nonbreeding territory the ensuing year than those with longer telomeres, confirming previous studies that telomere length is related to survival in vertebrates. American redstarts generally arrive in the Font Hill Nature Preserve in Jamaica in mid-September, where they remain until spring migration in April or May.

The NSF project is part of a long-term collaboration between Holberton and Peter Marra, a research scientist at the Smithsonian's Migratory Bird Center. Holberton is a migratory bird expert who researches how external and internal factors affect avian survival. The Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center is dedicated to fostering greater understanding, appreciation, and protection of the grand phenomenon of bird migration.

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Enge, S., Nylund, G.M., and Pavia, H. 2013. Native generalist herbivores promote invasion of a chemically defended seaweed via refuge-mediated apparent competition. Ecol. Lett. 16(4):487-492.

Ewen, J.G., Adams, L., and Renwick, R. 2013. New Zealand species recovery groups and their role in evidence-based conservation. J. Appl. Ecol. 50(2):281-285.

Falcucci, A., Maiorano, L., Tempio, G., Boitani, L., and Ciucci, P. 2013. Modeling the potential distribution for a range-expanding species: wolf recolonization of the Alpine range. Biol. Conserv. 158:63-72.

Faleiro, F.V., Machado, R.B., and Loyola, R.D. 2013. Defining spatial conservation priorities in the face of land-use and climate change. Biol. Conserv. 158:248-257.

Fennell, M., Murphy, J.E., Gallagher, T., and Osborne, B. 2013. Simulating the effects of climate change on the distribution of an invasive plant, using a high resolution, local scale, mechanistic approach: challenges and insights. Global Change Biol. 19(4):1262-1274.

Fenu, G., Cogoni, D., Ulian, T., and Bacchetta, G. 2013. The impact of human trampling on a threatened coastal Mediterranean plant: the case of Anchusa littorea Moris (Boraginaceae). Flora 208(2):104-110.

Fergnani, P.N., Sackmann, P., and Ruggiero, A. 2013. The spatial variation in ant species composition and functional groups across the Subantarctic-Patagonian transition zone. J. Insect Conserv. 17(2):295-305.

Ferreira, F.S., Fernandes-Ferreira, H., Neto, N.A.L., Brito, S.V., and Alves, R.R.N. 2013. The trade of medicinal animals in Brazil: current status and perspectives. Biodivers. Conserv. 22(4):839-870.

Fischer, L.K., von der Lippe, M., and Kowarik, I. 2013. Urban grassland restoration: which plant traits make desired species successful colonizers? Appl. Veg. Sci. 16(2):272-285.

Fisichelli, N.A., Frelich, L.E., Reich, P.B., and Eisenhauer, N. 2013. Linking direct and indirect pathways mediating earthworms, deer, and understory composition in Great Lakes forests. Biol. Invasions 15(5):1057-1066.

Floury, M., Usseglio-Polatera, P., Ferreol, M., Delattre, C., and Souchon, Y. 2013. Global climate change in large European rivers: long-term effects on macroinvertebrate communities and potential local confounding factors. Global Change Biol. 19(4):1085-1099.

Flower, C.E., Knight, K.S., and Gonzalez-Meler, M.A. 2013. Impacts of the emerald ash borer (Agrilus planipennis Fairmaire) induced ash (Fraxinus spp.) mortality on forest carbon cycling and successional dynamics in the eastern United States. Biol. Invasions 15(4):931-944.

Foster, N.L., Foggo, A., and Howell, K.L. 2013. Using species-area relationships to inform baseline conservation targets for the deep North East Atlantic. PLoS ONE 8(3):e58941.

Fouquet, A., Pineau, K., Rodrigues, M.T., Mailles, J., Schneider, J.B., Ernst, R., and Dewynter, M. 2013. Endemic or exotic: the phylogenetic position of the Martinique Volcano Frog Allobates chalcopis (Anura: Dendrobatidae) sheds light on its origin and challenges current conservation strategies. Syst. Biodivers. 11(1):87-101.

Frei, B., Fyles, J.W., and Nocera, J.J. 2013. Maladaptive habitat use of a North American woodpecker in population decline. Ethology 119(5):377-388.

Frey, J.K. 2013. Re-evaluation of the evidence for the importation of red foxes from Europe to colonial America: origins of the southeastern red fox (Vulpes vulpes fulva). Biol. Conserv. 158:74-79.

Frisch, D., Havel, J.E., and Weider, L.J. 2013. The invasion history of the exotic freshwater zooplankter Daphnia lumholtzi (Cladocera, Crustacea) in North America: a genetic analysis. Biol. Invasions 15(4):817-828.

Fuentes, M.M.P.B., Pike, D.A., Dimatteo, A., and Wallace, B.P. 2013. Resilience of marine turtle regional management units to climate change. Global Change Biol. 19(5):1399-1406.

Fuentes, N., Pauchard, A., Sánchez, P., Esquivel, J., and Marticorena, A. 2013. A new comprehensive database of alien plant species in Chile based on herbarium records. Biol. Invasions 15(4):847-858.

Fukasawa, K., Hashimoto, T., Tatara, M., and Abe, S. 2013. Reconstruction and prediction of invasive mongoose population dynamics from history of introduction and management: a Bayesian state-space modelling approach. J. Appl. Ecol. 50(2):469-478.

Gabriel, D.N. 2013. Habitat use and activity patterns as an indication of fragment quality in a strepsirrhine primate. Int. J. Primatol. 34(2):388-406.

Galende, G.I., Troncoso, A., and Lambertucci, S.A. 2013. Effects of coypu (Myocastor coypus) abundances and diet selection on a wetland of the Patagonian steppe. Stud. Neotrop. Fauna Environ. 48(1):32-39.

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Gandiwa, E., Heitkonig, I.M.A., Lokhorst, A.M., Prins, H.H.T., and Leeuwis, C. 2013. Illegal hunting and law enforcement during a period of economic decline in Zimbabwe: a case study of northern Gonarezhou National Park and adjacent areas. J. Nature Conserv. 21(3):133-142.

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Geraldi, N.R., Simpson, M., Fegley, S.R., Holmlund, P., and Peterson, C.H. 2013. Addition of juvenile oysters fails to enhance oyster reef development in Pamlico Sound. Mar. Ecol. Progr. Ser. 480:119-129.

Gieselman, T.M., Hodges, K.E., and Vellend, M. 2013. Human-induced edges alter grassland community composition. Biol. Conserv. 158:384-392.

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Giraldo, C.E., Willmott, K.R., Vila, R., and Uribe, S.I. 2013. Ithomiini butterflies (Lepidoptera: Nymphalidae) of Antioquia, Colombia. Neotrop. Entomol. 42(2):146-157.

Glasby, T.M. 2013. Caulerpa taxifolia in seagrass meadows: killer or opportunistic weed? Biol. Invasions 15(5):1017-1035.

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Halloran, A.R., Cloutier, C.T., and Sesay, P.B. 2013. A previously undiscovered group of chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes verus) is observed living in the Tonkolili District of Sierra Leone. Am. J. Primatol. 75(6):519-523.

Hanna, E., and Cardillo, M. 2013. A comparison of current and reconstructed historic geographic range sizes as predictors of extinction risk in Australian mammals. Biol. Conserv. 158:196-204.

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Jackson, M.C., and Grey, J. 2013. Accelerating rates of freshwater invasions in the catchment of the River Thames. Biol. Invasions 15(5):945-951.

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Kelle, D., Fechter, D., Singer, A., Pratje, P., and Storch, I. 2013. Determining sensitive parameters for the population viability of reintroduced Sumatran orangutans (Pongo abelii). Int. J. Primatol. 34(2):423-442.

Kellnreitner, F., Pockberger, M., Asmus, R., and Asmus, H. 2013. Feeding interactions between the introduced ctenophore Mnemiopsis leidyi and juvenile herring Clupea harengus in the Wadden Sea. Biol. Invasions 15(4):871-884.

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Klose, K., and Cooper, S.D. 2013. Complex impacts of an invasive omnivore and native consumers on stream communities in California and Hawaii. Oecologia 171(4):945-960.

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Kovačič, G., and Ravbar, N. 2013. Analysis of human induced changes in a karst landscape - the filling of dolines in the Kras plateau, Slovenia. Sci. Total Environ. 447:143-151.

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Lukács, B.A., Sramkó, G., and Molnár V., A. 2013. Plant diversity and conservation value of continental temporary pools. Biol. Conserv. 158:393-400.

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Mandle, L., and Ticktin, T. 2013. Moderate land use shifts plant diversity from overstory to understory and contributes to biotic homogenization in a seasonally dry tropical ecosystem. Biol. Conserv. 158:326-333.

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Yildirim, H., Gemici, Y., and Wilkin, P. 2013. Scilla vardaria (Asparagaceae subfamily Scilloideae): a threatened new species of Scilla L. from Northeast Turkey with a floral corona. Phytotaxa 91(2):50-60.

Young, J.C., Jordan, A., Searle, K.R., Butler, A., Chapman, D.S., Simmons, P., and Watt, A.D. 2013. Does stakeholder involvement really benefit biodiversity conservation? Biol. Conserv. 158:359-370.

Zhang, K.R., Zhang, Y.L., Tian, H., Cheng, X.L., Dang, H.S., and Zhang, Q.F. 2013. Sustainability of social-ecological systems under conservation projects: lessons from a biodiversity hotspot in western China. Biol. Conserv. 158:205-213.

Zielinski, W.J., Schlexer, F.V., Parks, S.A., Pilgrim, K.L., and Schwartz, M.K. 2013. Small geographic range but not panmictic: how forests structure the endangered Point Arena mountain beaver (Aplodontia rufa nigra). Conserv. Genet. 14(2):369-383.

Żmihorski, M., Sienkiewicz, P., and Tryjanowski, P. 2013. Never ending story: a lesson in using sampling efficiency methods with ground beetles. J. Insect Conserv. 17(2):333-337.

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