Prolonged physiological stress response may lead to an excessive production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and ultimately to oxidative stress and severe fitness costs. We investigated whether natural variation in predation risk, induced by pygmy owls (Glau-cidium passerinum), modifies the oxidative status of two free-living food-supplemented passerine bird species—the great tit (Parus major) and the willow tit (Poecile montanus)—in March 2012 and 2013. Predation risk significantly affected antioxidant enzyme activities of willow tits. Antioxidant enzyme activities (principal component factor 2 [PC2] representing glutathione-S-transferase and superoxide dismutase activities) were higher in high predation risk areas in 2013 than in low predation risk areas in the same year. Higher enzyme activities may suggest higher ROS production in birds living under high predation risk. In addition, antioxidant enzymeactivities (PC2) werealsohigher inhigh predation riskareas in 2013 than in high predation risk areas in the previous year, 2012. This may represent variation in the risk represented by pygmy owls, which is probably inversely related to the natural fluctuations in the densities of their main prey, voles. In willow tits, PC1 (representing catalase, total glutathione, the ratio of reduced to oxidized glutathione, and protein carbonylation) was not affected by perceived predation risk, nor were antioxidant levels or enzyme activities in great tits. Higher enzyme activities observed in willow tits suggest that predator presence can modify the antioxidant status of avian prey, but the response also seem to be influenced by other environmental characteristics, like harsh winter conditions.

Antioxidant enzyme activities vary with predation risk and environmental conditions in free-living passerine birds

Morosinotto C.;
2018

Abstract

Prolonged physiological stress response may lead to an excessive production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and ultimately to oxidative stress and severe fitness costs. We investigated whether natural variation in predation risk, induced by pygmy owls (Glau-cidium passerinum), modifies the oxidative status of two free-living food-supplemented passerine bird species—the great tit (Parus major) and the willow tit (Poecile montanus)—in March 2012 and 2013. Predation risk significantly affected antioxidant enzyme activities of willow tits. Antioxidant enzyme activities (principal component factor 2 [PC2] representing glutathione-S-transferase and superoxide dismutase activities) were higher in high predation risk areas in 2013 than in low predation risk areas in the same year. Higher enzyme activities may suggest higher ROS production in birds living under high predation risk. In addition, antioxidant enzymeactivities (PC2) werealsohigher inhigh predation riskareas in 2013 than in high predation risk areas in the previous year, 2012. This may represent variation in the risk represented by pygmy owls, which is probably inversely related to the natural fluctuations in the densities of their main prey, voles. In willow tits, PC1 (representing catalase, total glutathione, the ratio of reduced to oxidized glutathione, and protein carbonylation) was not affected by perceived predation risk, nor were antioxidant levels or enzyme activities in great tits. Higher enzyme activities observed in willow tits suggest that predator presence can modify the antioxidant status of avian prey, but the response also seem to be influenced by other environmental characteristics, like harsh winter conditions.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11577/3497755
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