Leukocyte profiles are associated with longevity and survival, but not migratory effort: a comparative analysis of shorebirds
Piotr Minias , Radosław Włodarczyk , Włodzimierz Meissner
Abstract1. Assessment of leukocyte profiles has become an increasingly popular tool in the fields of ecology and ecophysiology. The ratio of heterophils to lymphocytes (H/L ratio) is of special utility, as it reflects physiological adaptation of an organism to cope either with an infection through injury (via heterophils) or a communicable disease (via lymphocytes). Thus, elevated H/L ratios may constitute an adaptation to risky environments (i.e. associated with high risk of injury). While intra-population variation in avian H/L ratio has been extensively studied, we are aware of no studies that linked this trait to life-history components at the interspecific level.2. We measured H/L ratio in over 400 shorebirds from 19 species during their autumn migration through Central Europe. Phylogenetically informed comparative methods were used to test whether H/L ratio was related to: (1) annual survival and life span; (2) migratory effort, as measured with total migration distance and migratory energy reserves and (3) confounding variables such as body size or breeding latitude.3. A relatively strong phylogenetic signal and spatial phylogenetic autocorrelation indicated that most diversification in shorebird H/L ratios occurred relatively early in radiation of this group.4. Comparative analysis gave strong support for the negative associations of H/L ratio with residual life span and annual survival. In contrast, we found no support for the effect of migratory behaviour on H/L ratios, suggesting that leukocyte profiles in shorebirds may not constitute an important physiological adaptation for long-distance migration.5. Our study provided the first comparative evidence for a link between H/L ratios and important life-history traits in birds. Strong negative associations with annual survival and residual life span indicate that leukocyte profiles may form an adaptive basis for life-history strategies in birds.
|Journal series||Functional Ecology, ISSN 0269-8463|
|Publication size in sheets||0.5|
|Keywords in English||birds, comparative method, H/L ratio, life history, migration,stress response|
|Score|| = 40.0, 20-12-2017, ArticleFromJournal|
= 40.0, 20-12-2017, ArticleFromJournal
|Publication indicators||: 2016 = 5.63 (2) - 2016=5.819 (5)|
* presented citation count is obtained through Internet information analysis and it is close to the number calculated by the Publish or Perish system.