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  Avian malaria prevalence in Blackcaps along a Central European migratory divide

Hasselmann, T. (2017). Avian malaria prevalence in Blackcaps along a Central European migratory divide. Master Thesis, Universität zu Lübeck, Lübeck.

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Hasselmann, Timo, Author
Liedvogel, Miriam1, Referee           
Affiliations:
1Max Planck Research Group Behavioural Genomics, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology, Max Planck Society, ou_2129640              

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 Abstract: Avian migration is one of the biggest mysteries in science. Every year, small birds migrate hundreds of kilometers to their wintering ground in autumn and in spring they migrate back to their breeding ground. Especially fascinating are young birds on their first migration who – despite no prior knowledge of their goal –master these journeys with amazing precision. To successfully migrate, they need to undergo extreme physiological adaptations to survive this journey. Blackcaps (Sylvia atricapilla) small songbirds that migrate individually at night show a variety of different migratory phenotypes across their breeding distribution. In Austria, they exhibit a so-called migratory divide. Austrian blackcap populations on either side of the divide show clearly different migratory directions, they migrate south east and south west. The migratory divide is the area inbetween, where both phenotypes breed and possibly interbreed. When the birds migrate, so do the parasites that infect them. Between the avian host and the avian malaria parasite, there is a two-way interaction; the parasite has an influence on the bird‟s condition and thereby on the success of the bird‟s migration. A change in environment due to avian migration has an influence on the parasite‟s reproductive cycle. In this study, I am investigating these interactions by looking at the communities of avian malaria parasites in blackcaps across a migratory divide. I want to answer the question: Do avian malaria communities differ in disparate migratory populations of the host? To address this question I am studying the haemosporidian infections in blackcaps across Austria by using a nested PCR-based molecular method in combination with Sanger sequencing. My results reveal an overall prevalence of 89.2% and a presence of all three haemosporidian parasite genera. I found a significant correlation between avian malaria infection and the elevation of the host‟s breeding ground, but could not find a link between differences in migratory phenotype and avian malaria infection.

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Language(s): eng - English
 Dates: 2017-11-182017-11-18
 Publication Status: Published in print
 Pages: 82
 Publishing info: Lübeck : Universität zu Lübeck
 Table of Contents: Table of Content
1. Abstract ........................................................................................................................................... 3
1.1 English...................................................................................................................................... 3
1.2 Deutsch .................................................................................................................................... 4
2. Introduction ..................................................................................................................................... 5
2.1 Blackcaps ................................................................................................................................. 5
2.2 Blackcap migration .................................................................................................................. 5
2.3 Sample collection .................................................................................................................... 7
2.4 Avian Malaria in migrating blackcaps ...................................................................................... 8
2.5 Avian Malaria ........................................................................................................................... 9
2.5.1 Haemoproteidae ........................................................................................................... 10
2.5.2 Plasmodiidae ................................................................................................................. 10
2.5.3 Leucocytozoidae ............................................................................................................ 11
2.5.4 Consequences of infection ............................................................................................ 11
Objectives of my study ...................................................................................................................... 12
3. Materials and methods ................................................................................................................. 13
3.1 Field methods ........................................................................................................................ 13
3.2 Methods to investigate Avian Malaria .................................................................................. 13
3.3 Investigation of avian malaria ............................................................................................... 14
3.3.1 DNA Extraction .............................................................................................................. 14
3.3.2 Nested PCR .................................................................................................................... 15
3.3.3 Agarose-Gelelectrophoresis .......................................................................................... 17
3.3.4 Sanger sequencing ......................................................................................................... 18
3.3.5 Data analysis .................................................................................................................. 19
3.4 Statistical analysis .................................................................................................................. 20
3.4.1 Distance matrices .......................................................................................................... 21
3.4.2 Mantel test .................................................................................................................... 22
3.4.3 Non-parametric MANOVA ............................................................................................. 23
3.4.4 Non-metric multidimensional scaling............................................................................ 24
3.4.5 Species richness analysis ............................................................................................... 25
3.4.6 Pearson’s correlation coefficient ................................................................................... 27
3.4.7 Spearman’s rank correlation rho ................................................................................... 27
4. Results ........................................................................................................................................... 28
4.1 Prevalence ............................................................................................................................. 28
4.2 Investigation of distance effects ........................................................................................... 30
2
4.1 Species Richness Analysis ...................................................................................................... 32
4.2 NMDS and MANOVA ............................................................................................................ 32
4.3 Host specificity and lineage similarity ................................................................................... 33
4.4 Association between elevation and avian malaria infection ................................................ 34
4.5 Comparison with neighbouring countries ............................................................................. 36
4.6 Recaptures ............................................................................................................................. 36
5. Discussion ...................................................................................................................................... 39
5.1 Avian Malaria between migratory populations .................................................................... 39
5.2 Avian malaria and elevation .................................................................................................. 40
5.3 Prevalence of Avian Malaria .................................................................................................. 40
5.4 Avian Malaria in surrounding countries ................................................................................ 43
5.5 Prevalence in recaptures ....................................................................................................... 44
5.6 Conclusion ............................................................................................................................. 46
6. Acknowledgement ......................................................................................................................... 47
7. References ..................................................................................................................................... 48
8. Abbreviations ................................................................................................................................ 53
9. Supplementary material ................................................................................................................ 54
9.1 Additional information on the sampling sites ....................................................................... 54
9.2 Material ................................................................................................................................. 55
9.2.1 Machines ....................................................................................................................... 55
9.2.2 Software ........................................................................................................................ 56
9.2.3 Pipettes .......................................................................................................................... 56
9.2.4 Consumables ................................................................................................................. 57
9.2.5 Chemicals, reagents, kits ............................................................................................... 58
9.3 R-Code for analysing the data ............................................................................................... 59
9.4 Results ................................................................................................................................... 76
10. Declatation of Authorship ......................................................................................................... 82
 Rev. Type: -
 Identifiers: Other: Dipl/12913
 Degree: Master

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