Mar 30, 2020

Body temperature maintenance acclimates in a winter-tenacious songbird

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Charles W LinkemZachary A Cheviron

Abstract

Flexibility in heat generation and dissipation mechanisms provides endotherms the ability to match their thermoregulatory strategy with external demands. However, the degree to which these two mechanisms account for seasonal changes in body temperature regulation is unexplored. Here we present novel data on the regulation of avian body temperature to investigate how birds alter mechanisms of heat production and heat conservation to deal with variation in ambient conditions. We subjected Dark-eyed Juncos (Junco hyemalis) to chronic cold acclimations of varying duration and subsequently quantified their metabolic rates, thermal conductance, and ability to maintain normothermia. Cold-acclimated birds adjusted traits related to both heat generation (increased summit metabolic rate) and heat conservation (decreased conductance) to improve their body temperature regulation. Increases in summit metabolic rate occurred rapidly, but plateaued after one week of cold exposure. In contrast, changes to conductance occurred only after nine weeks of cold exposure. Thus, the ability to maintain body temperature continued to improve throughout the experiment, but the mechanisms underlying this improvement changed through time. Our results demon...Continue Reading

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Mentioned in this Paper

Study
Zone
Squamata
Trees (plant)
Phylogenetic Analysis
Morphologically Abnormal Structure (Morphologic Abnormality)
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Genes, vif
Species

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