Like mother like nest: similarity in microbial communities of adult female Pied Flycatchers and their nests

Goodenough, Anne E and Stallwood, Bethan and Dandy, Shantelle and Nicholson, Thomas and Stubbs, Hannah and Coker, David (2017) Like mother like nest: similarity in microbial communities of adult female Pied Flycatchers and their nests. Journal of Ornithology, 158 (1). pp. 233-244. ISSN 0021-8375

[img] Text (Peer Reviewed Version)
Like mother like nest.pdf - Accepted Version
Restricted to Repository staff only until 30 January 2018. (Publisher Embargo).
Available under License All Rights Reserved.

Download (587kB) | Request a copy

Abstract

Microbial relationships between birds and nesting environments are complex and remain poorly understood. Past studies have focused on between-nest variation in egg/chick bacterial profiles with little attention given to the microbial relationships between adult birds and their nests. Moreover, very little microbial research has included mycology despite fungi being prevalent in nesting environments and important correlates of fitness in chicks. In this study, we identified microbes associated with feathers, skin and nests of Pied Flycatchers Ficedula hypoleuca, an internationally-declining migrant songbird. From 75 samples, we isolated 50 bacterial OTUs (Operational Taxonomic Units; dominated by Enterococcus, Sanguibacter, Pseduomonas) and 63 fungal OTUs (dominated by Penicillium, Aspergillus), many of which had not previously been isolated from birds. Although females had significantly higher non-haemolytic bacterial OTU richness and males significantly higher fungal OTU richness, there was considerable diversity in actual OTUs isolated and thus there was no “typical” female, male, or nest microbial profile. Interestingly though, we show for the first time that the microflora of individual females is significantly more similar the microflora of her own nest than the site-level average of all nests. This suggests microbes are shared within female-nest pairs such that microbial communities start to converge. This is probably a two-way interaction as gut/skin microbes were isolated from nests and plant/soil microbes were isolated from females. Convergence was not seen for males, which probably reflects the role of the female as sole nest builder and egg incubator in this species. We discuss these findings in relation to microbial transfer pathways and avian nesting behaviour.

Item Type: Article
Article Type: Article
Additional Information: The final publication is available at Springer via http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10336-016-1371-1
Uncontrolled Keywords: Avian microbiology, Bird microbes, Plumage bacteria, Ficedula hypoleuca, Nestboxes, Wild passerines
Related URLs:
Subjects: Q Science > QL Zoology > QL605 Chordates. Vertebrates > QL671-699 Birds
Q Science > QR Microbiology
Divisions: Schools and Research Institutes > School of Natural & Social Sciences
Research Priority Areas: Environmental Dynamics & Governance
Depositing User: Anne Goodenough
Date Deposited: 26 Jul 2016 13:13
Last Modified: 11 Apr 2017 00:01
URI: http://eprints.glos.ac.uk/id/eprint/3764

University Staff: Request a correction | Repository Editors: Update this record

University Of Gloucestershire

Bookmark and Share

Find Us On Social Media:

Social Media Icons Facebook Twitter Google+ YouTube Pinterest Linkedin

Other University Web Sites

University of Gloucestershire, The Park, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, GL50 2RH. Telephone +44 (0)844 8010001.