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Chippenham, United Kingdom

Bridgens R.,66 High Street
Disability and Health Journal | Year: 2015

Throughout the 30 years of postpolio syndrome (PPS) research, there have been many puzzling anomalies in the data and not enough information to make sense of them. It is therefore welcome that Winberg et al have examined physical activity in relation to life satisfaction, sex and age. They hypothesized that activity would decrease with age and found the opposite. This result is not so surprising as Ostlund et al found that vitality was associated with older age and that younger age was associated with more pain, increasing physical fatigue, decreasing sleep quality and reducing activity. This commentary will examine past postpolio research with unexpected results in order to describe a subgroup of patients who may be more susceptible to overusing muscles and have particular exercise and activity needs. © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Mainwaring M.C.,Lancaster University | Hartley I.R.,Lancaster University | Bearhop S.,University of Exeter | Brulez K.,University of Birmingham | And 6 more authors.
Journal of Biogeography | Year: 2012

Aim The laying of eggs and the building of a nest structure to accommodate them are two of the defining characteristics of members of the class Aves. Nest structures vary considerably across avian taxa and for many species the structure of the completed nest can have important consequences both for parents and their offspring. While nest characteristics are expected to vary adaptively in response to environmental conditions, large-scale spatial variation in nest characteristics has been largely overlooked. Here, we examine the effects of latitudinal variation in spring temperatures on nest characteristics, including insulatory properties, and reproductive success of blue tits, Cyanistes caeruleus, and great tits, Parus major. Location Great Britain. Methods Nests and reproductive data were collected from seven study sites, spread over 5° of latitude. The nest insulatory properties were then determined before the nests were separated into nest base material and cup lining material. Results As spring temperatures increased with decreasing latitude, the mass of the nest base material did not vary in either species, while the mass of the cup lining material and nest insulatory properties decreased in both species. This suggests that in response to increasing temperatures the breeding female reduces the mass of the cup lining material, thereby maintaining an appropriate microclimate for incubating and brooding. The mean first egg date of both species advanced with decreasing latitude and increasing spring temperatures, although clutch size and brood size at hatching and fledging did not vary. Main conclusions This is the first study to demonstrate that the nest-construction behaviour of birds varies in response to large-scale spatial variation in ambient temperatures. Therefore, nest composition reliably indicates environmental conditions and we suggest that studies of nest structure may be sentinels for the early signs of rapid climate change. © 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

du Feu C.R.,66 High Street | du Feu R.,Lancaster University
Ringing and Migration | Year: 2014

Suggestions have been made for sexing Marsh Tits using wing length (adjusted for age) as the sole criterion. Data from a long-term, single-site study are presented here and indicate that nearly 10% of Marsh Tits will be incorrectly sexed using this criterion. Further summary data are presented from the BTO national ringing data set. The merits and problems of assigning sex of birds based on the wing-length criterion are discussed. Potential biases in sex-based analyses are described and recommendations for assigning sex are made. © 2014 © 2014 British Trust for Ornithology.

Du Feu C.R.,66 High Street
Avian Biology Research | Year: 2012

Cleaning passerine nestboxes after birds have fledged is widely thought to remove parasites such as fleas. Experiments are now described that examine the value of cleaning such nests after use.

Maccoll A.D.C.,University of Nottingham | du Feu C.R.,66 High Street | Wain S.P.,54 The Pines
Ibis | Year: 2014

Woodland birds have experienced widespread population declines across Europe, resulting partly from a decrease in management practices such as coppicing. Increasing fuelwood demand may reverse the decline of coppicing, making it timely to attempt a fuller understanding of its effects. Here, the impact of coppicing on year-round habitat use by adults and juveniles of 16 songbird species was quantified from a quasi-experimental study over 32 years (1978-2009) in Treswell Wood, Nottinghamshire, UK. Habitat use was inferred using capture rates from more than 10 000 h of mist-netting (> 25 000 captures) and detailed information on coppicing. Capture rates varied with coppice age in different ways: (1) increases as coppice aged (e.g. Marsh Tit Poecile palustris, juvenile Eurasian Treecreepers Certhia familiaris); (2) declines as coppice aged (e.g. Eurasian Blue Tit Cyanistes caeruleus, Great Tit Parus major); (3) peaks in capture rates at intermediate coppice age (i.e. 5-15 years) (e.g. Garden Warbler Sylvia borin, Willow Warbler Phylloscopus trochilus, adult Treecreepers); and (4) a peak at intermediate ages, followed by a decline, before an increase in use again at the oldest coppice ages (i.e. > 20 years) (e.g. Common Blackbird Turdus merula, Eurasian Blackcap Sylvia atricapilla, Eurasian Bullfinch Pyrrhula pyrrhula). Responses to coppice age were similar in different seasons, although Willow Tits Poecile montana showed little preference during breeding but avoided older coppice at other times. Juveniles and adults often differed in their responses to coppice age. The analyses reveal patterns in habitat use that are relevant to woodland management and conservation policy. They suggest that a mosaic of age structures in woodland is beneficial to a wide range of woodland species, and that management should consider the requirements of all age-classes of birds at different times of year. © 2014 British Ornithologists' Union.

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