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1.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A ; 118(10)2021 Mar 09.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-33649227

RESUMO

The population structure of social species has important consequences for both their demography and transmission of their pathogens. We develop a metapopulation model that tracks two key components of a species' social system: average group size and number of groups within a population. While the model is general, we parameterize it to mimic the dynamics of the Yellowstone wolf population and two associated pathogens: sarcoptic mange and canine distemper. In the initial absence of disease, we show that group size is mainly determined by the birth and death rates and the rates at which groups fission to form new groups. The total number of groups is determined by rates of fission and fusion, as well as environmental resources and rates of intergroup aggression. Incorporating pathogens into the models reduces the size of the host population, predominantly by reducing the number of social groups. Average group size responds in more subtle ways: infected groups decrease in size, but uninfected groups may increase when disease reduces the number of groups and thereby reduces intraspecific aggression. Our modeling approach allows for easy calculation of prevalence at multiple scales (within group, across groups, and population level), illustrating that aggregate population-level prevalence can be misleading for group-living species. The model structure is general, can be applied to other social species, and allows for a dynamic assessment of how pathogens can affect social structure and vice versa.

2.
Sci Rep ; 11(1): 3722, 2021 Feb 12.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-33580121

RESUMO

The presence of many pathogens varies in a predictable manner with latitude, with infections decreasing from the equator towards the poles. We investigated the geographic trends of pathogens infecting a widely distributed carnivore: the gray wolf (Canis lupus). Specifically, we investigated which variables best explain and predict geographic trends in seroprevalence across North American wolf populations and the implications of the underlying mechanisms. We compiled a large serological dataset of nearly 2000 wolves from 17 study areas, spanning 80° longitude and 50° latitude. Generalized linear mixed models were constructed to predict the probability of seropositivity of four important pathogens: canine adenovirus, herpesvirus, parvovirus, and distemper virus-and two parasites: Neospora caninum and Toxoplasma gondii. Canine adenovirus and herpesvirus were the most widely distributed pathogens, whereas N. caninum was relatively uncommon. Canine parvovirus and distemper had high annual variation, with western populations experiencing more frequent outbreaks than eastern populations. Seroprevalence of all infections increased as wolves aged, and denser wolf populations had a greater risk of exposure. Probability of exposure was positively correlated with human density, suggesting that dogs and synanthropic animals may be important pathogen reservoirs. Pathogen exposure did not appear to follow a latitudinal gradient, with the exception of N. caninum. Instead, clustered study areas were more similar: wolves from the Great Lakes region had lower odds of exposure to the viruses, but higher odds of exposure to N. caninum and T. gondii; the opposite was true for wolves from the central Rocky Mountains. Overall, mechanistic predictors were more informative of seroprevalence trends than latitude and longitude. Individual host characteristics as well as inherent features of ecosystems determined pathogen exposure risk on a large scale. This work emphasizes the importance of biogeographic wildlife surveillance, and we expound upon avenues of future research of cross-species transmission, spillover, and spatial variation in pathogen infection.

3.
J Anim Ecol ; 2020 Jul 12.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-32654133

RESUMO

The spatial organization of a population can influence the spread of information, behaviour and pathogens. Group territory size and territory overlap and components of spatial organization, provide key information as these metrics may be indicators of habitat quality, resource dispersion, contact rates and environmental risk (e.g. indirectly transmitted pathogens). Furthermore, sociality and behaviour can also shape space use, and subsequently, how space use and habitat quality together impact demography. Our study aims to identify factors shaping the spatial organization of wildlife populations and assess the impact of epizootics on space use. We further aim to explore the mechanisms by which disease perturbations could cause changes in spatial organization. Here we assessed the seasonal spatial organization of Serengeti lions and Yellowstone wolves at the group level. We use network analysis to describe spatial organization and connectivity of social groups. We then examine the factors predicting mean territory size and mean territory overlap for each population using generalized additive models. We demonstrate that lions and wolves were similar in that group-level factors, such as number of groups and shaped spatial organization more than population-level factors, such as population density. Factors shaping territory size were slightly different than factors shaping territory overlap; for example, wolf pack size was an important predictor of territory overlap, but not territory size. Lion spatial networks were more highly connected, while wolf spatial networks varied seasonally. We found that resource dispersion may be more important for driving territory size and overlap for wolves than for lions. Additionally, canine distemper epizootics may have altered lion spatial organization, highlighting the importance of including infectious disease epizootics in studies of behavioural and movement ecology. We provide insight about when we might expect to observe the impacts of resource dispersion, disease perturbations, and other ecological factors on spatial organization. Our work highlights the importance of monitoring and managing social carnivore populations at the group level. Future research should elucidate the complex relationships between demographics, social and spatial structure, abiotic and biotic conditions and pathogen infections.

4.
Front Mol Neurosci ; 13: 36, 2020.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-32477061

RESUMO

Neurons located in dorsal root ganglia (DRG) are crucial for transmitting peripheral sensations such as proprioception, touch, temperature, and nociception to the spinal cord before propagating these signals to higher brain structures. To date, difficulty in identifying modality-specific DRG neurons has limited our ability to study specific populations in detail. As the calcium-binding protein parvalbumin (PV) is a neurochemical marker for proprioceptive DRG cells we used a transgenic mouse line expressing green fluorescent protein (GFP) in PV positive DRGs, to study the functional and molecular properties of putative proprioceptive neurons. Immunolabeled DRGs showed a 100% overlap between GFP positive (GFP+) and PV positive cells, confirming the PVeGFP mouse accurately labeled PV neurons. Targeted patch-clamp recording from isolated GFP+ and GFP negative (GFP-) neurons showed the passive membrane properties of the two groups were similar, however, their active properties differed markedly. All GFP+ neurons fired a single spike in response to sustained current injection and their action potentials (APs) had faster rise times, lower thresholds and shorter half widths. A hyperpolarization-activated current (Ih) was observed in all GFP+ neurons but was infrequently noted in the GFP- population (100% vs. 11%). For GFP+ neurons, Ih activation rates varied markedly, suggesting differences in the underlying hyperpolarization-activated cyclic nucleotide-gated channel (HCN) subunit expression responsible for the current kinetics. Furthermore, quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) showed the HCN subunits 2, 1, and 4 mRNA (in that order) was more abundant in GFP+ neurons, while HCN 3 was more highly expressed in GFP- neurons. Likewise, immunolabeling confirmed HCN 1, 2, and 4 protein expression in GFP+ neurons. In summary, certain functional properties of GFP+ and GFP- cells differ markedly, providing evidence for modality-specific signaling between the two groups. However, the GFP+ DRG population demonstrates considerable internal heterogeneity when hyperpolarization-activated cyclic nucleotide-gated channel (HCN channel) properties and subunit expression are considered. We propose this heterogeneity reflects the existence of different peripheral receptors such as tendon organs, muscle spindles or mechanoreceptors in the putative proprioceptive neuron population.

5.
J Anim Ecol ; 89(6): 1511-1519, 2020 Jun.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-32145069

RESUMO

While the functional response of predators is commonly measured, recent work has revealed that the age and sex composition of prey killed is often a better predictor of prey population dynamics because the reproductive value of adult females is usually higher than that of males or juveniles. Climate is often an important mediating factor in determining the composition of predator kills, but we currently lack a mechanistic understanding of how the multiple facets of climate interact with prey abundance and demography to influence the composition of predator kills. Over 20 winters, we monitored 17 wolf packs in Yellowstone National Park and recorded the sex, age and nutritional condition of kills of their dominant prey-elk-in both early and late winter periods when elk are in relatively good and relatively poor condition, respectively. Nutritional condition (as indicated by per cent marrow fat) of wolf-killed elk varied markedly with summer plant productivity, snow water equivalent (SWE) and winter period. Moreover, marrow was poorer for wolf-killed bulls and especially for calves than it was for cows. Wolf prey composition was influenced by a complex set of climatic and endogenous variables. In early winter, poor plant growth in either year t or t - 1, or relatively low elk abundance, increased the odds of wolves killing bulls relative to cows. Calves were most likely to get killed when elk abundance was high and when the forage productivity they experienced in utero was poor. In late winter, low SWE and a relatively large elk population increased the odds of wolves killing calves relative to cows, whereas low SWE and poor vegetation productivity 1 year prior together increased the likelihood of wolves killing a bull instead of a cow. Since climate has a strong influence on whether wolves prey on cows (who, depending on their age, are the key reproductive components of the population) or lower reproductive value of calves and bulls, our results suggest that climate can drive wolf predation to be more or less additive from year to year.

6.
J Anim Ecol ; 89(1): 120-131, 2020 01.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30838656

RESUMO

The extent to which prey space use actively minimizes predation risk continues to ignite controversy. Methodological reasons that have hindered consensus include inconsistent measurements of predation risk, biased spatiotemporal scales at which responses are measured and lack of robust null expectations. We addressed all three challenges in a comprehensive analysis of the spatiotemporal responses of adult female elk (Cervus elaphus) to the risk of predation by wolves (Canis lupus) during winter in northern Yellowstone, USA. We quantified spatial overlap between the winter home ranges of GPS-collared elk and three measures of predation risk: the intensity of wolf space use, the distribution of wolf-killed elk and vegetation openness. We also assessed whether elk varied their use of areas characterized by more or less predation risk across hours of the day, and estimated encounter rates between simultaneous elk and wolf pack trajectories. We determined whether observed values were significantly lower than expected if elk movements were random with reference to predation risk using a null model approach. Although a small proportion of elk did show a tendency to minimize use of open vegetation at specific times of the day, overall we highlight a notable absence of spatiotemporal response by female elk to the risk of predation posed by wolves in northern Yellowstone. Our results suggest that predator-prey interactions may not always result in strong spatiotemporal patterns of avoidance.


Assuntos
Cervos , Lobos , Animais , Feminino , Movimento , Comportamento Predatório , Estações do Ano
7.
Elife ; 82019 09 24.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31549963

RESUMO

Exceptionally high rates of tooth fracture in large Pleistocene carnivorans imply intensified interspecific competition, given that tooth fracture rises with increased bone consumption, a behavior that likely occurs when prey are difficult to acquire. To assess the link between prey availability and dental attrition, we documented dental fracture rates over decades among three well-studied populations of extant gray wolves that differed in prey:predator ratio and levels of carcass utilization. When prey:predator ratios declined, kills were more fully consumed, and rates of tooth fracture more than doubled. This supports tooth fracture frequency as a relative measure of the difficulty of acquiring prey, and reveals a rapid response to diminished food levels in large carnivores despite risks of infection and reduced fitness due to dental injuries. More broadly, large carnivore tooth fracture frequency likely reflects energetic stress, an aspect of predator success that is challenging to quantify in wild populations.


Assuntos
Doenças dos Animais/epidemiologia , Comportamento Alimentar , Fósseis , Fraturas dos Dentes/veterinária , Lobos , Animais , Fraturas dos Dentes/epidemiologia
8.
Ecol Lett ; 22(11): 1724-1733, 2019 Nov.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31373137

RESUMO

Many ecosystems contain sympatric predator species that hunt in different places and times. We tested whether this provides vacant hunting domains, places and times where and when predators are least active, that prey use to minimize threats from multiple predators simultaneously. We measured how northern Yellowstone elk (Cervus elaphus) responded to wolves (Canis lupus) and cougars (Puma concolor), and found that elk selected for areas outside the high-risk domains of both predators consistent with the vacant domain hypothesis. This enabled elk to avoid one predator without necessarily increasing its exposure to the other. Our results demonstrate how the diel cycle can serve as a key axis of the predator hunting domain that prey exploit to manage predation risk from multiple sources. We argue that a multi-predator, spatiotemporal framework is vital to understand the causes and consequences of prey spatial response to predation risk in environments with more than one predator.


Assuntos
Cervos , Lobos , Animais , Ecossistema , Comportamento Predatório
9.
Mol Biol Evol ; 2019 Jul 12.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31297530

RESUMO

Knowledge of mutation rates is crucial for calibrating population genetics models of demographic history in units of years. However, mutation rates remain challenging to estimate because of the need to identify extremely rare events. We estimated the nuclear mutation rate in wolves by identifying de novo mutations in a pedigree of seven wolves. Putative de novo mutations were discovered by whole-genome sequencing and were verified by Sanger sequencing of parents and offspring. Using stringent filters and an estimate of the false negative rate in the remaining observable genome, we obtain an estimate of ∼4.5 x 10-9 per base pair per generation and provide conservative bounds from 2.6 x 10-9 and 7.1 x 10-9. Although our estimate is consistent with recent mutation rate estimates from ancient DNA (4.0 x 10-9 and 3.0-4.5 x 10-9), it implies a wider possible range. We also examined the consequences of our rate and the accompanying interval for dating several critical events in canid demographic history. For example, applying our full range of rates to coalescent models of dog and wolf demographic history implies a wide set of possible divergence times between the ancestral populations of dogs and extant Eurasian wolves (16,000 - 64,000 years ago) although our point estimate indicates a date between 25,000 and 33,000 years ago. Aside from one study in mice, ours provides the only direct mammalian mutation rate outside of primates, and is likely to be vital to future investigations of mutation rate evolution.

10.
Sci Adv ; 5(3): eaav1139, 2019 03.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30906863

RESUMO

Predatory fish introduction can cause cascading changes within recipient freshwater ecosystems. Linkages to avian and terrestrial food webs may occur, but effects are thought to attenuate across ecosystem boundaries. Using data spanning more than four decades (1972-2017), we demonstrate that lake trout invasion of Yellowstone Lake added a novel, piscivorous trophic level resulting in a precipitous decline of prey fish, including Yellowstone cutthroat trout. Plankton assemblages within the lake were altered, and nutrient transport to tributary streams was reduced. Effects across the aquatic-terrestrial ecosystem boundary remained strong (log response ratio ≤ 1.07) as grizzly bears and black bears necessarily sought alternative foods. Nest density and success of ospreys greatly declined. Bald eagles shifted their diet to compensate for the cutthroat trout loss. These interactions across multiple trophic levels both within and outside of the invaded lake highlight the potential substantial influence of an introduced predatory fish on otherwise pristine ecosystems.


Assuntos
Ecossistema , Espécies Introduzidas , Comportamento Predatório/fisiologia , Truta/fisiologia , Animais , Águias/fisiologia , Cadeia Alimentar , Lagos , Parques Recreativos , Dinâmica Populacional , Rios , Estados Unidos , Ursidae/fisiologia
11.
Ecol Evol ; 8(22): 11158-11168, 2018 Nov.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30519433

RESUMO

Top predators have cascading effects throughout the food web, but their impacts on scavenger abundance are largely unknown. Gray wolves (Canis lupus) provide carrion to a suite of scavenger species, including the common raven (Corvus corax). Ravens are wide-ranging and intelligent omnivores that commonly take advantage of anthropogenic food resources. In areas where they overlap with wolves, however, ravens are numerous and ubiquitous scavengers of wolf-acquired carrion. We aimed to determine whether subsidies provided through wolves are a limiting factor for raven populations in general and how the wolf reintroduction to Yellowstone National Park in 1995-1997 affected raven population abundance and distribution on the Yellowstone's Northern Range specifically. We counted ravens throughout Yellowstone's Northern Range in March from 2009 to 2017 in both human-use areas and wolf habitat. We then used statistics related to the local wolf population and the winter weather conditions to model raven abundance during our study period and predict raven abundance on the Northern Range both before and after the wolf reintroduction. In relatively severe winters with greater snowpack, raven abundance increased in areas of human use and decreased in wolf habitat. When wolves were able to acquire more carrion, however, ravens increased in wolf habitat and decreased in areas with anthropogenic resources. Raven populations prior to the wolf reintroduction were likely more variable and heavily dependent on ungulate winter-kill and hunter-provided carcasses. The wolf recovery in Yellowstone helped stabilize raven populations by providing a regular food supply, regardless of winter severity. This stabilization has important implications for effective land management as wolves recolonize the west and global climate patterns change.

12.
Ecol Evol ; 8(17): 8726-8735, 2018 Sep.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30271540

RESUMO

Many parasites infect multiple hosts, but estimating the transmission across host species remains a key challenge in disease ecology. We investigated the within and across host species dynamics of canine distemper virus (CDV) in grizzly bears (Ursus arctos) and wolves (Canis lupus) of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem (GYE). We hypothesized that grizzly bears may be more likely to be exposed to CDV during outbreaks in the wolf population because grizzly bears often displace wolves while scavenging carcasses. We used serological data collected from 1984 to 2014 in conjunction with Bayesian state-space models to infer the temporal dynamics of CDV. These models accounted for the unknown timing of pathogen exposure, and we assessed how different testing thresholds and the potential for testing errors affected our conclusions. We identified three main CDV outbreaks (1999, 2005, and 2008) in wolves, which were more obvious when we used higher diagnostic thresholds to qualify as seropositive. There was some evidence for increased exposure rates in grizzly bears in 2005, but the magnitude of the wolf effect on bear exposures was poorly estimated and depended upon our prior distributions. Grizzly bears were exposed to CDV prior to wolf reintroduction and during time periods outside of known wolf outbreaks, thus wolves are only one of several potential routes for grizzly bear exposures. Our modeling approach accounts for several of the shortcomings of serological data and is applicable to many wildlife disease systems, but is most informative when testing intervals are short. CDV circulates in a wide range of carnivore species, but it remains unclear whether the disease persists locally within the GYE carnivore community or is periodically reintroduced from distant regions with larger host populations.

13.
Nat Ecol Evol ; 2(10): 1619-1625, 2018 10.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30177803

RESUMO

Sexually selected weapons evolved to maximize the individual reproductive success of males in many polygynous breeding species. Many weapons are also retained outside of reproductive periods for secondary reasons, but the importance of these secondary functions is poorly understood. Here we leveraged a unique opportunity from the predator-prey system in northern Yellowstone National Park, WY, USA to evaluate whether predation by a widespread, coursing predator (wolves) has influenced a specific weapon trait (antler retention time) in their primary cervid prey (elk). Male elk face a trade-off: individuals casting antlers early begin regrowth before other males, resulting in relatively larger antlers the following year, and thus greater reproductive success, as indicated by research with red deer. We show, however, that male elk that cast their antlers early are preferentially hunted and killed by wolves, despite early casters being in better nutritional condition than antlered individuals. Our results run counter to classic expectations of coursing predators preferring poorer-conditioned individuals, and in so doing, reveal an important secondary function for an exaggerated sexually selected weapon-predatory deterrence. We suggest this secondary function played a key evolutionary role in elk; uniquely among North American cervids, they retain their antlers long after they fulfil their primary role in reproduction.


Assuntos
Chifres de Veado/fisiologia , Cervos/fisiologia , Cadeia Alimentar , Comportamento Predatório , Lobos/fisiologia , Animais , Chifres de Veado/crescimento & desenvolvimento , Cervos/crescimento & desenvolvimento , Feminino , Masculino , Parques Recreativos , Wyoming
14.
Mol Biol Evol ; 35(5): 1190-1209, 2018 05 01.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-29688543

RESUMO

Pigmentation is often used to understand how natural selection affects genetic variation in wild populations since it can have a simple genetic basis, and can affect a variety of fitness-related traits (e.g., camouflage, thermoregulation, and sexual display). In gray wolves, the K locus, a ß-defensin gene, causes black coat color via a dominantly inherited KB allele. The allele is derived from dog-wolf hybridization and is at high frequency in North American wolf populations. We designed a DNA capture array to probe the geographic origin, age, and number of introgression events of the KB allele in a panel of 331 wolves and 20 dogs. We found low diversity in KB, but not ancestral ky, wolf haplotypes consistent with a selective sweep of the black haplotype across North America. Further, North American wolf KB haplotypes are monophyletic, suggesting that a single adaptive introgression from dogs to wolves most likely occurred in the Northwest Territories or Yukon. We use a new analytical approach to date the origin of the KB allele in Yukon wolves to between 1,598 and 7,248 years ago, suggesting that introgression with early Native American dogs was the source. Using population genetic simulations, we show that the K locus is undergoing natural selection in four wolf populations. We find evidence for balancing selection, specifically in Yellowstone wolves, which could be a result of selection for enhanced immunity in response to distemper. With these data, we demonstrate how the spread of an adaptive variant may have occurred across a species' geographic range.


Assuntos
Cor de Cabelo/genética , Seleção Genética , Lobos/genética , beta-Defensinas/genética , Animais , Simulação por Computador , Cães , Frequência do Gene , Variação Genética , Haplótipos , Homozigoto , América do Norte
15.
Proc Biol Sci ; 284(1848)2017 02 08.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-28179516

RESUMO

Trophic interactions are a fundamental topic in ecology, but we know little about how competition between apex predators affects predation, the mechanism driving top-down forcing in ecosystems. We used long-term datasets from Scandinavia (Europe) and Yellowstone National Park (North America) to evaluate how grey wolf (Canis lupus) kill rate was affected by a sympatric apex predator, the brown bear (Ursus arctos). We used kill interval (i.e. the number of days between consecutive ungulate kills) as a proxy of kill rate. Although brown bears can monopolize wolf kills, we found no support in either study system for the common assumption that they cause wolves to kill more often. On the contrary, our results showed the opposite effect. In Scandinavia, wolf packs sympatric with brown bears killed less often than allopatric packs during both spring (after bear den emergence) and summer. Similarly, the presence of bears at wolf-killed ungulates was associated with wolves killing less often during summer in Yellowstone. The consistency in results between the two systems suggests that brown bear presence actually reduces wolf kill rate. Our results suggest that the influence of predation on lower trophic levels may depend on the composition of predator communities.


Assuntos
Comportamento Competitivo , Comportamento Predatório , Ursidae , Lobos , Animais , Cervos , Cadeia Alimentar , América do Norte , Países Escandinavos e Nórdicos
16.
Behav Processes ; 136: 64-72, 2017 Mar.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-28143722

RESUMO

Aggression directed at conspecific groups is common among gregarious, territorial species, and for some species such as gray wolves (Canis lupus) intraspecific strife is the leading cause of natural mortality. Each individual in a group likely has different measures of the costs and benefits associated with a group task, such as an aggressive attack on another group, which can alter motivation and behavior. We observed 292 inter-pack aggressive interactions in Yellowstone National Park between 1 April 1995 and 1 April 2011 (>5300days of observation) in order to determine the role of both sexes, and the influence of pack, age, and other traits on aggression. We recorded the behaviors and characteristics of all individuals present during the interactions (n=534 individuals) and which individuals participated in each step (i.e. chase, attack, kill, flight) of the interaction. Overall, all wolves were more likely to chase rivals if they outnumbered their opponent, suggesting packs accurately assess their opponent's size during encounters and individuals adjust their behavior based on relative pack size. Males were more likely than females to chase rival packs and gray-colored wolves were more aggressive than black-colored wolves. Male wolves and gray-colored wolves also recorded higher cortisol levels than females and black-colored wolves, indicating hormonal support for more intense aggressive behavior. Further, we found a positive correlation between male age and probability of chasing, while age-specific participation for females remained constant. Chasing behavior was influenced by the sex of lone intruders, with males more likely to chase male intruders. This difference in behavior suggests male and female wolves may have different strategies and motivations during inter-pack aggressive interactions related to gray wolf mating systems. A division of labor between pack members concerning resource and territory defense suggests selection for specific traits related to aggression is an adaptive response to intense competition between groups of conspecifics.


Assuntos
Agressão/fisiologia , Comportamento Animal/fisiologia , Caracteres Sexuais , Comportamento Social , Territorialidade , Lobos/fisiologia , Fatores Etários , Animais , Feminino , Masculino
17.
Mol Biol Evol ; 33(8): 1967-78, 2016 08.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-27189566

RESUMO

Gene expression levels change as an individual ages and responds to environmental conditions. With the exception of humans, such patterns have principally been studied under controlled conditions, overlooking the array of developmental and environmental influences that organisms encounter under conditions in which natural selection operates. We used high-throughput RNA sequencing (RNA-Seq) of whole blood to assess the relative impacts of social status, age, disease, and sex on gene expression levels in a natural population of gray wolves (Canis lupus). Our findings suggest that age is broadly associated with gene expression levels, whereas other examined factors have minimal effects on gene expression patterns. Further, our results reveal evolutionarily conserved signatures of senescence, such as immunosenescence and metabolic aging, between wolves and humans despite major differences in life history and environment. The effects of aging on gene expression levels in wolves exhibit conservation with humans, but the more rapid expression differences observed in aging wolves is evolutionarily appropriate given the species' high level of extrinsic mortality due to intraspecific aggression. Some expression changes that occur with age can facilitate physical age-related changes that may enhance fitness in older wolves. However, the expression of these ancestral patterns of aging in descendant modern dogs living in highly modified domestic environments may be maladaptive and cause disease. This work provides evolutionary insight into aging patterns observed in domestic dogs and demonstrates the applicability of studying natural populations to investigate the mechanisms of aging.


Assuntos
Envelhecimento/genética , Regulação da Expressão Gênica , Lobos/genética , Fatores Etários , Animais , Animais Selvagens , Evolução Biológica , Cães , Meio Ambiente , Feminino , Perfilação da Expressão Gênica , Sequenciamento de Nucleotídeos em Larga Escala , Masculino , Filogenia , Seleção Genética , Análise de Sequência de RNA/métodos , Fatores Sexuais
18.
PLoS One ; 11(4): e0153808, 2016.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-27124729

RESUMO

The desire to see free ranging large carnivores in their natural habitat is a driver of tourism in protected areas around the globe. However, large carnivores are wide-ranging and subject to human-caused mortality outside protected area boundaries. The impact of harvest (trapping or hunting) on wildlife viewing opportunities has been the subject of intense debate and speculation, but quantitative analyses have been lacking. We examined the effect of legal harvest of wolves (Canis lupus) along the boundaries of two North American National Parks, Denali (DNPP) and Yellowstone (YNP), on wolf viewing opportunities within the parks during peak tourist season. We used data on wolf sightings, pack sizes, den site locations, and harvest adjacent to DNPP from 1997-2013 and YNP from 2008-2013 to evaluate the relationship between harvest and wolf viewing opportunities. Although sightings were largely driven by wolf population size and proximity of den sites to roads, sightings in both parks were significantly reduced by harvest. Sightings in YNP increased by 45% following years with no harvest of a wolf from a pack, and sightings in DNPP were more than twice as likely during a period with a harvest buffer zone than in years without the buffer. These findings show that harvest of wolves adjacent to protected areas can reduce sightings within those areas despite minimal impacts on the size of protected wolf populations. Consumptive use of carnivores adjacent to protected areas may therefore reduce their potential for non-consumptive use, and these tradeoffs should be considered when developing regional wildlife management policies.


Assuntos
Conservação dos Recursos Naturais , Ecossistema , Atividades Humanas , Animais , Animais Selvagens , Humanos , Densidade Demográfica , Lobos
19.
Evolution ; 70(4): 757-66, 2016 Apr.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-26988852

RESUMO

There is strong negative-assortative mating for gray and black pelage color in the iconic wolves in Yellowstone National Park. This is the first documented case of significant negative-assortative mating in mammals and one of only a very few cases in vertebrates. Of 261 matings documented from 1995 to 2015, 63.6% were between gray and black wolves and the correlation between mates for color was -0.266. There was a similar excess of matings of both gray males × black females and black males × gray females. Using the observed frequency of negative-assortative mating in a model with both random and negative-assortative mating, the estimated proportion of negative-assortative mating was 0.430. The estimated frequency of black wolves in the population from 1996 to 2014 was 0.452 and these frequencies appear stable over this 19-year period. Using the estimated level of negative-assortative mating, the predicted equilibrium frequency of the dominant allele was 0.278, very close to the mean value of 0.253 observed. In addition, the patterns of genotype frequencies, that is, the observed proportion of black homozygotes and the observed excess of black heterozygotes, are consistent with negative-assortative mating. Importantly these results demonstrate that negative-assortative mating could be entirely responsible for the maintenance of this well-known color polymorphism.


Assuntos
Preferência de Acasalamento Animal , Pigmentação/genética , Reprodução , Lobos/genética , Alelos , Animais , Feminino , Genótipo , Cabelo , Heterozigoto , Homozigoto , Masculino , Modelos Genéticos , Noroeste dos Estados Unidos
20.
PLoS One ; 10(9): e0137378, 2015.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-26398784

RESUMO

BACKGROUND: When confronted with a stressor, animals react with several physiological and behavioral responses. Although sustained or repeated stress can result in severe deleterious physiological effects, the causes of stress in free-ranging animals are yet poorly documented. In our study, we aimed at identifying the main factors affecting stress levels in free-ranging wolves (Canis lupus). METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We used fecal cortisol metabolites (FCM) as an index of stress, after validating the method for its application in wolves. We analyzed a total of 450 fecal samples from eleven wolf packs belonging to three protected populations, in Italy (Abruzzo), France (Mercantour), and the United States (Yellowstone). We collected samples during two consecutive winters in each study area. We found no relationship between FCM concentrations and age, sex or social status of individuals. At the group level, our results suggest that breeding pair permanency and the loss of pack members through processes different from dispersal may importantly impact stress levels in wolves. We measured higher FCM levels in comparatively small packs living in sympatry with a population of free-ranging dogs. Lastly, our results indicate that FCM concentrations are associated with endoparasitic infections of individuals. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: In social mammals sharing strong bonds among group members, the death of one or several members of the group most likely induces important stress in the remainder of the social unit. The potential impact of social and territorial stability on stress levels should be further investigated in free-ranging populations, especially in highly social and in territorial species. As persistent or repeated stressors may facilitate or induce pathologies and physiological alterations that can affect survival and fitness, we advocate considering the potential impact of anthropogenic causes of stress in management and conservation programs regarding wolves and other wildlife.


Assuntos
Helmintíase Animal/metabolismo , Estresse Psicológico/metabolismo , Lobos/metabolismo , Animais , Conservação dos Recursos Naturais , Ecossistema , Fezes/parasitologia , Feminino , França , Helmintíase Animal/epidemiologia , Hidrocortisona/metabolismo , Itália , Masculino , Estações do Ano , Estresse Fisiológico , Estados Unidos , Lobos/parasitologia
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