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Multi-Element Analysis of Blood Samples in a Passerine Species : Excesses and Deficiencies of Trace Elements in an Urbanization Study [Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution]

par Frédéric Magné - publié le

Urbanization is a growing phenomenon characterized by a complete restructuring of natural areas. In urban bird populations, a reduced offspring survival and body condition and an overall lower breeding success are often observed compared to populations inhabiting more natural habitats. Higher pollution levels and poorer quality of natural resources in cities are two environmental factors frequently mentioned in the literature to explain the differences between urban and non-urban populations. Pollution and poor quality of food may lead to an excess of non-essential elements such as Pb or Cd or to deficiencies of essential elements such as Cu or Zn, which may explain some of the impacts, notably on immunity, observed in urbanization studies. The present study compared the breeding parameters, brood body mass and condition, and haptoglobin levels, a marker of inflammatory immunity, in two urban and two forest populations of Great tits in Eastern France, together with a multi-element analysis (25 non-essential and essential trace elements) of blood samples from 13-day-old nestlings from the four populations.(...)

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