Fitness Consequences of Dispersal: Is Leaving Home the Best of a Bad Lot?

Fitness consequences of dispersal: is leaving home the best of a bad lot?

Ecology. 2013 Jun; 94(6): 1287-95
Waser PM, Nichols KM, Hadfield JD

Using 20 years of demographic and genetic data from four populations of banner-tailed kangaroo rats (Dipodomys spectabilis), we asked whether dispersing individuals gain benefits during adulthood that might compensate for the substantial survival costs they experience as juveniles. Compared to philopatric animals, within- and between-population dispersers gained no measureable advantages in adult survival, fecundity, or probability of recruiting offspring to adulthood. Restricting analyses to members of two central populations living more than 15 times the median dispersal distance from the study site edge, and using peripheral populations only to detect dispersal or offspring recruitment “offsite,” did not change this result. Population density during year of birth had small negative effects on adult survival and fecundity, but there were no interactions with dispersal phenotype. We found no evidence that dispersers gained access to superior habitat or that their offspring suffered less inbreeding depression. Our results are consistent with fitness advantages being indirect; by leaving, dispersers release their kin from competition. Our results are also consistent with the possibility that dispersal is the “best of a bad lot.” If dispersal is a conditional strategy, then the benefits may be obscured in observational data that compare dispersing individuals to philopatric individuals rather than to individuals whose dispersal phenotype is experimentally manipulated. HubMed – depression

Animal migration amid shifting patterns of phenology and predation: lessons from a Yellowstone elk herd.

Ecology. 2013 Jun; 94(6): 1245-56
Middleton AD, Kauffman MJ, McWhirter DE, Cook JG, Cook RC, Nelson AA, Jimenez MD, Klaver RW

Migration is a striking behavioral strategy by which many animals enhance resource acquisition while reducing predation risk. Historically, the demographic benefits of such movements made migration common, but in many taxa the phenomenon is considered globally threatened. Here we describe a long-term decline in the productivity of elk (Cervus elaphus) that migrate through intact wilderness areas to protected summer ranges inside Yellowstone National Park, USA. We attribute this decline to a long-term reduction in the demographic benefits that ungulates typically gain from migration. Among migratory elk, we observed a 21-year, 70% reduction in recruitment and a 4-year, 19% depression in their pregnancy rate largely caused by infrequent reproduction of females that were young or lactating. In contrast, among resident elk, we have recently observed increasing recruitment and a high rate of pregnancy. Landscape-level changes in habitat quality and predation appear to be responsible for the declining productivity of Yellowstone migrants. From 1989 to 2009, migratory elk experienced an increasing rate and shorter duration of green-up coincident with warmer spring-summer temperatures and reduced spring precipitation, also consistent with observations of an unusually severe drought in the region. Migrants are also now exposed to four times as many grizzly bears (Ursus arctos) and wolves (Canis lupus) as resident elk. Both of these restored predators consume migratory elk calves at high rates in the Yellowstone wilderness but are maintained at low densities via lethal management and human disturbance in the year-round habitats of resident elk. Our findings suggest that large-carnivore recovery and drought, operating simultaneously along an elevation gradient, have disproportionately influenced the demography of migratory elk. Many migratory animals travel large geographic distances between their seasonal ranges. Changes in land use and climate that disparately influence such seasonal ranges may alter the ecological basis of migratory behavior, representing an important challenge for, and a powerful lens into, the ecology and conservation of migratory taxa. HubMed – depression

Depression in diabetes patients. An overview of screening tools for use in primary care settings.

Adv NPs PAs. 2013 Jul; 4(7): 26-9; quiz 30
Johnson RL

HubMed – depression

Persistent posttetanic depression at cerebellar parallel fiber to purkinje cell synapses.

PLoS One. 2013; 8(7): e70277
Bergerot A, Rigby M, Bouvier G, Marcaggi P

Plasticity at the cerebellar parallel fiber to Purkinje cell synapse may underlie information processing and motor learning. In vivo, parallel fibers appear to fire in short high frequency bursts likely to activate sparsely distributed synapses over the Purkinje cell dendritic tree. Here, we report that short parallel fiber tetanic stimulation evokes a ?7-15% depression which develops over 2 min and lasts for at least 20 min. In contrast to the concomitantly evoked short-term endocannabinoid-mediated depression, this persistent posttetanic depression (PTD) does not exhibit a dependency on the spatial pattern of synapse activation and is not caused by any detectable change in presynaptic calcium signaling. This persistent PTD is however associated with increased paired-pulse facilitation and coefficient of variation of synaptic responses, suggesting that its expression is presynaptic. The chelation of postsynaptic calcium prevents its induction, suggesting that post- to presynaptic (retrograde) signaling is required. We rule out endocannabinoid signaling since the inhibition of type 1 cannabinoid receptors, monoacylglycerol lipase or vanilloid receptor 1, or incubation with anandamide had no detectable effect. The persistent PTD is maximal in pre-adolescent mice, abolished by adrenergic and dopaminergic receptors block, but unaffected by adrenergic and dopaminergic agonists. Our data unveils a novel form of plasticity at parallel fiber synapses: a persistent PTD induced by physiologically relevant input patterns, age-dependent, and strongly modulated by the monoaminergic system. We further provide evidence supporting that the plasticity mechanism involves retrograde signaling and presynaptic diacylglycerol. HubMed – depression