The study found that the intestinal bacteria of birds changed during migration

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The study found that the intestinal bacteria of birds changed during migration < / P > < p > in a new study in molecular ecology, researchers used tiny radio trackers to track the movement of birds migrating between the Bahamas and Michigan. They found that the intestinal bacteria of the same bird individuals were different in the two places. To find out, scientists had to get close to a lot of bird droppings</ p> < p > “we have seen in other animals that the microbiome can be affected by the residence of their host. Many birds migrate, and they experience different environments at different stages of the migration cycle. We don’t know how these different environments affect the microbiome of birds,” said field museum And heather Skeen, a doctoral student at the University of Chicago. He is the main author of the paper on molecular ecology, CO authored with John Bates and Shannon Hackett of the field museum, Nathan Cooper of the Smithsonian Institute of conservation biology and Peter Marra of Georgetown University</ p>

The study found that the intestinal bacteria of birds changed during migration(1) < / P > < p > Hackett, deputy curator of Field Museum, said: “This study shows that even in the basic aspects of bird biology, such as migration, we can learn a lot from the combination of old and new technologies, such as field investigation and tracking of bird breeding, migration and overwintering habitats, as well as newer radio telemetry technology and next-generation DNA sequencing technology.” < / P > < p > although thousands of birds migrate, Skeen and her colleagues only focus on one species in this study — Kirtland’s warbler, which is one of the rarest birds in the world. Kirtland’s warblers is a small yellow breasted songbird that winters in the Bahamas, migrates to northern Michigan in the spring, and only breeds in young short leaf pine forests. They lived in the early 20th century Almost extinct, there were only 167 male birds in the wild by 1987, but their population has stabilized due to a lot of protection work in the breeding site. < / P > < p > < img SRC = ‘ https://static.cnbetacdn.com/thumb/article/2021/0928/a47c4549dcd9109.jpg ‘/ > < / P > < p > nevertheless, they are still a rare animal in the bird world. This rarity, coupled with their influence on breeding grounds Their extreme pickiness makes them an ideal target for this study, Skeen said “We chose Kirtland’s warbler because there are few bird species. You can track individual birds from their non breeding grounds and then catch them in their breeding grounds. Trying to track extremely common and widely distributed bird individuals such as Robin is like looking for a needle in a haystack; for Kirtland’s warbler, the available haystacks are much smaller and less expensive In a much smaller geographical area. ” < / P > < p > it is understood that the researchers first conducted a field trip in the Bahamas, where they lured Kirtland’s warbler with recorded bird calls and installed tiny radio tracking devices on them. The birds themselves were small, about half an ounce, so the weight of the geographic locator was less than half a gram. After installing the tracker, Skeen and her colleagues put the birds in wax paper bags In a few minutes. The birds quickly turned the bag into their own private toilet. Then, the birds were released, which enabled Skeen to enter the bag to collect fecal samples. < / P > < p > a few months later, when the birds migrated from the Bahamas to Michigan, Skeen and her colleagues used a large network of automatic radio towers, the Motus wildlife tracking system, to find them Exactly the same individuals as the birds they sampled in the Bahamas. Skeen said: “There are 12 radio towers distributed in the bird breeding area in Michigan. When our bird tracker sends a signal near a tower, we will use a handheld radio antenna to drive within the range to find the bird. Once we receive the signal, we get out of the car and walk around and try to attract them with the recording of birds’ songs.” When the bird flew into the net set by the researchers, the scientists repeated the paper bag procedure before releasing the bird again. < / P > < p > < img SRC = ‘ https://static.cnbetacdn.com/thumb/article/2021/0928/124da31daf14a64.jpg ‘/ > < / P > < p > the researchers used nearly 200 bird dung samples and samples of the same bird individuals from the Bahamas and Michigan to test the bacteria in bird dung Genetic analysis. They found that the bacteria in the feces of Michigan are different from those in the feces of Bahamas. More importantly, there are different bacteria in the digestive tract of the same bird, depending on their location when collecting feces. < / P > < p > Skeen said: “One of the most important parts of this study is that we can recapture birds in different parts of the annual cycle at different locations. We compare the same population and the same individual one-to-one and how their microbiome changes. If we test different bird individuals, we can’t be sure whether the changes we see are caused by the location, or They are just differences between populations. Because we observe exactly the same birds, these results are more convincing. “< / P > < p > this study found that the microbiome of birds is different in different places, even in the same body, which can help scientists understand the working principle of bird microbiome. Skeen pointed out: “We know that the microbiome of birds is different from that of most mammals, but we don’t know how or why.” In most mammals, the species of intestinal bacteria are closely related to the species and evolutionary history of animals, but for birds, these connections seem to be relatively loose. On the contrary, previous studies have shown that the intestinal microbiome of birds has more to do with where they live than what species they are. “In our study, we found that some bacterial groups may be temporary – birds get bacteria from their food, they pull them out and disappear. These bacteria don’t settle in birds, they go in and out.” Skeen said. < / P > < p > Skeen also pointed out that the climate crisis may make the intestinal microbiome particularly important because animals try to survive in a changing environment. Skeen said: “The intestinal microbiome of animals is an additional level of molecular diversity. With the global climate change changing the ecosystem, the intestinal microbiome may be one of the ways for animals to adapt to the changing environment. The intestinal microbiome has its own unique ecosystem, and its discovery time is ripe.”