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Experimental manipulation of temperature reduce ectoparasites in nests of blue tits [Dataset]

AuthorsCastaño-Vázquez, Francisco; Martínez, Javier ; Merino, Santiago ; Lozano, Marco
KeywordsBlue tit
Relative humidity
Issue Date2018
CitationCastaño-Vázquez, Francisco ; Martínez, Javier ; Merino, Santiago ; Lozano, Marco ; 2018 ; Experimental manipulation of temperature reduce ectoparasites in nests of blue tits [Dataset] ; DIGITAL.CSIC
AbstractSeveral models predict changes in the distributions and incidences of diseases associated with climate change. However, studies that investigate how microclimatic changes may affect host–parasite relationships are scarce. Here, we experimentally increased the temperature in blue tit Cyanistes caeruleus nest boxes during their breeding season to determine its effects on the parasitic abundance (i.e. of nest-dwelling ectoparasites, blood-sucking flying insects and hemoparasites) in nests and the host condition of nestlings and adults. The temperature was increased using heat mats placed underneath the nest material, which resulted in an average temperature increase of 3ºC and a reduction in relative humidity of about six units. The abun¬dance of mites Dermanyssus gallinoides and blowfly pupae Protocalliphora azurea was significantly reduced in heated nest boxes. Although not statistically significant, a lower prevalence of flea larvae Ceratophyllus gallinae was also found in heated nests. However, heat treatment did not affect hemoparasite infection of adult blue tits or the body condition of adult and nestling blue tits. In conclusion, heat treatment in blue tit nests reduced nest-dwelling ectoparasites yet without any apparent benefit for the host.
ReferencesExperimental manipulation of temperature reduce ectoparasites in nests of blue tits. Journal of Avian Biology (2018)
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