Brightly colored birds most affected by Chernobyl radiation

Brightly coloured birds are among the species most adversely affected by the high levels of radiation around the Chernobyl nuclear plant, ecologists have discovered. The findings published online in the British Ecological Society's Journal of Applied Ecology help explain why some species are harder hit by ionising radiation than others.

Dr Anders Mller of the Universit Pierre et Marie Curie and Professor Timothy Mousseau of the University of South Carolina examined 1,570 birds from 57 different species in the forests around Chernobyl at varying distances from the reactor. They found that populations of four groups of birds those whose red, yellow and orange plumage is based on carotenoids, those that laid the biggest eggs, and those that migrated or dispersed the furthest declined more than other species.

The intriguing results centre on the role of antioxidants chemicals that help protect living organisms from the damaging effects of free radicals. Certain activities use up large amounts of antioxidants. These include producing carotenoid-based pigments for feathers, migrating long distances and laying large eggs (birds lay down antioxidants in their eggs, and will deposit larger amounts of antioxidants in larger eggs). Mller and Mousseau hypothesized that because they had fewer antioxidants left to mop up dangerous free radicals, these birds would most adversely affected by exposure to radiation around Chernobyl.

According to Mller and Mousseau: We found that bird species differed in their response to radiation from Chernobyl. The strongest declines in population density with radiation level were found for species with carotenoid-based plumage, long-distance migration and dispersal, and large eggs for their body size. All four of these factors are associated with antioxidant levels, suggesting that reduced antioxidant levels may cause population declines when species are exposed to radiation.

Among the brightly colou

Contact: Becky Allen
Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

Page: 1 2

Related biology news :

1. Overbearing colored light may reveal a second mechanism by which birds interpret magnetic signals
2. Art and music for the birds
3. What determines the speed at which birds fly?
4. Aphids make chemical weapons to fight off killer ladybirds
5. Study investigates divorce among Galapagos seabirds
6. Duetting birds with rhythm present a greater threat
7. Land conversion and climate threaten land birds
8. Some forest birds can survive in agricultural countryside with limited habitat conservation
9. Tropical birds have slow pace of life compared to northern species, study finds
10. Mother birds engineer their offspring
11. Personality-gene makes songbirds curious

Post Your Comments:

(Date:6/22/2016)... LOS ANGELES , June 22, 2016 ... of identity management and verification solutions, has ... cutting edge software solutions for Visitor Management, ... ® provides products that add functional ... The partnership provides corporations and venues with ...
(Date:6/21/2016)... 21, 2016 NuData Security announced today that ... of principal product architect and that Jon ... customer development. Both will report directly to ... moves reflect NuData,s strategic growth in its product ... customer demand and customer focus values. ...
(Date:6/16/2016)... FRANCISCO , June 16, 2016 ... size is expected to reach USD 1.83 ... by Grand View Research, Inc. Technological proliferation and ... banking applications are expected to drive the market ... ) , The development of advanced ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/27/2016)... -- Global demand for enzymes is forecast to grow ... billion.  This market includes enzymes used in industrial ... animal feed, and other markets) and specialty applications ... beverages will remain the largest market for enzymes, ... containing enzymes in developing regions.  These and other ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... ... June 27, 2016 , ... ... innovative medical technologies, services and solutions to the healthcare market. The company's primary ... various distribution, manufacturing, sales and marketing strategies that are necessary to help companies ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... DIEGO , June 24, 2016 ... more sensitively detects cancers susceptible to PARP inhibitors ... circulating tumor cells (CTCs). The new test has ... HRD-targeted therapeutics in multiple cancer types. ... targeting DNA damage response pathways, including PARP, ATM, ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 23, 2016   Boston Biomedical , an ... designed to target cancer stemness pathways, announced that ... Orphan Drug Designation from the U.S. Food and ... cancer, including gastroesophageal junction (GEJ) cancer. Napabucasin is ... inhibit cancer stemness pathways by targeting STAT3, and ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: