Metabolic and ventilatory acclimatization to cold stress in house sparrows (Passer domesticus).Physiol Biochem Zool. 2005 Jul-Aug; 78(4):579-89.PB
Passerines that overwinter in temperate climates undergo seasonal acclimatization that is characterized by metabolic adjustments that may include increased basal metabolic rate (BMR) and cold-induced summit metabolism (M(sum)) in winter relative to summer. Metabolic changes must be supported by equivalent changes in oxygen transport. While much is known about the morphology of the avian respiratory system, little is known about respiratory function under extreme cold stress. We examined seasonal variation in BMR, M(sum), and ventilation in seasonally acclimatized house sparrows from Wisconsin. BMR and M(sum) increased significantly in winter compared with summer. In winter, BMR increased 64%, and M(sum) increased 29% over summer values. The 64% increase in winter BMR is the highest recorded for birds. Metabolic expansibility (M(sum)/BMR) was 9.0 in summer and 6.9 in winter birds. The metabolic expansibility of 9.0 in summer is the highest yet recorded for birds. Ventilatory accommodation under helox cold stress was due to changes in breathing frequency (f), tidal volume, and oxygen extraction efficiency in both seasons. However, the only significant difference between summer and winter ventilation measures in helox cold stress was f. Mean f in helox cold stress for winter birds was 1.23 times summer values.