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Avian thermoregulation in the heat: resting metabolism, evaporative cooling and heat tolerance in Sonoran Desert doves and quail.
J Exp Biol 2015; 218(Pt 22):3636-46JE

Abstract

Birds in subtropical deserts face significant thermoregulatory challenges because environmental temperatures regularly exceed avian body temperature. To understand the differing susceptibility of desert birds to increasing temperatures, we examined thermoregulatory performance and estimated heat tolerance limits (HTLs) for three Sonoran Desert nesting bird species - Gambel's quail, mourning doves and white-winged doves. Using flow-through respirometry we measured daytime resting metabolism, evaporative water loss and real-time body temperature at air temperatures (T(air)) from 30°C to 66°C. We found marked increases in resting metabolism at the upper critical temperature (T(uc)), which was significantly lower in the quail (T(air)=41.1°C) than in both dove species (T(air)=45.9-46.5°C). Gambel's quail maintained low resting metabolic rates and low rates of evaporative water loss at their T(uc) (0.71 W and 1.20 g H2O h(-1), respectively), but were more sensitive to increasing air temperature, reaching their HTL at T(air) of 52°C. Mourning doves and white-winged doves maintained low resting metabolic rates (0.66 and 0.94 W), but higher rates of evaporative water loss (1.91 and 2.99 g H2O h(-1)) at their T(uc) and reached their HTL at T(air) of 58-60°C. Mass-specific evaporative water loss in white-winged doves (147 g) and mourning doves (104 g) was 45% and 30% greater, respectively, than the rate observed in Gambel's quail (161 g) at Tair of 48°C. Higher rates of evaporation and higher T(uc) made the doves exceptionally heat tolerant, allowing them to maintain body temperatures at least 14°C below air temperatures as high as 60°C (140°F).

Authors+Show Affiliations

Department of Biology, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM 87131, USA ericsm@unm.edu.Department of Biology, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM 87131, USA.Department of Biology, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM 87131, USA Department of Biology, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA 01003, USA.Department of Biology, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM 87131, USA.

Pub Type(s)

Comparative Study
Journal Article
Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

Language

eng

PubMed ID

26582934

Citation

Smith, Eric Krabbe, et al. "Avian Thermoregulation in the Heat: Resting Metabolism, Evaporative Cooling and Heat Tolerance in Sonoran Desert Doves and Quail." The Journal of Experimental Biology, vol. 218, no. Pt 22, 2015, pp. 3636-46.
Smith EK, O'Neill J, Gerson AR, et al. Avian thermoregulation in the heat: resting metabolism, evaporative cooling and heat tolerance in Sonoran Desert doves and quail. J Exp Biol. 2015;218(Pt 22):3636-46.
Smith, E. K., O'Neill, J., Gerson, A. R., & Wolf, B. O. (2015). Avian thermoregulation in the heat: resting metabolism, evaporative cooling and heat tolerance in Sonoran Desert doves and quail. The Journal of Experimental Biology, 218(Pt 22), pp. 3636-46. doi:10.1242/jeb.128645.
Smith EK, et al. Avian Thermoregulation in the Heat: Resting Metabolism, Evaporative Cooling and Heat Tolerance in Sonoran Desert Doves and Quail. J Exp Biol. 2015;218(Pt 22):3636-46. PubMed PMID: 26582934.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Avian thermoregulation in the heat: resting metabolism, evaporative cooling and heat tolerance in Sonoran Desert doves and quail. AU - Smith,Eric Krabbe, AU - O'Neill,Jacqueline, AU - Gerson,Alexander R, AU - Wolf,Blair O, PY - 2015/11/20/entrez PY - 2015/11/20/pubmed PY - 2017/1/19/medline KW - Body temperature KW - Evaporative water loss KW - Heat tolerance limit KW - Resting metabolic rate KW - Thermoregulation KW - Upper critical temperature SP - 3636 EP - 46 JF - The Journal of experimental biology JO - J. Exp. Biol. VL - 218 IS - Pt 22 N2 - Birds in subtropical deserts face significant thermoregulatory challenges because environmental temperatures regularly exceed avian body temperature. To understand the differing susceptibility of desert birds to increasing temperatures, we examined thermoregulatory performance and estimated heat tolerance limits (HTLs) for three Sonoran Desert nesting bird species - Gambel's quail, mourning doves and white-winged doves. Using flow-through respirometry we measured daytime resting metabolism, evaporative water loss and real-time body temperature at air temperatures (T(air)) from 30°C to 66°C. We found marked increases in resting metabolism at the upper critical temperature (T(uc)), which was significantly lower in the quail (T(air)=41.1°C) than in both dove species (T(air)=45.9-46.5°C). Gambel's quail maintained low resting metabolic rates and low rates of evaporative water loss at their T(uc) (0.71 W and 1.20 g H2O h(-1), respectively), but were more sensitive to increasing air temperature, reaching their HTL at T(air) of 52°C. Mourning doves and white-winged doves maintained low resting metabolic rates (0.66 and 0.94 W), but higher rates of evaporative water loss (1.91 and 2.99 g H2O h(-1)) at their T(uc) and reached their HTL at T(air) of 58-60°C. Mass-specific evaporative water loss in white-winged doves (147 g) and mourning doves (104 g) was 45% and 30% greater, respectively, than the rate observed in Gambel's quail (161 g) at Tair of 48°C. Higher rates of evaporation and higher T(uc) made the doves exceptionally heat tolerant, allowing them to maintain body temperatures at least 14°C below air temperatures as high as 60°C (140°F). SN - 1477-9145 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/26582934/Avian_thermoregulation_in_the_heat:_resting_metabolism_evaporative_cooling_and_heat_tolerance_in_Sonoran_Desert_doves_and_quail_ L2 - http://jeb.biologists.org/cgi/pmidlookup?view=long&pmid=26582934 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -