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Faroe Islands

Jones E.P.,University of York | Jones E.P.,Uppsala University | Jensen J.-K.,I Geilini 37 | Magnussen E.,Sudan University of Science and Technology | And 4 more authors.
Biological Journal of the Linnean Society | Year: 2011

Faroe house mice are a 'classic' system of rapid and dramatic morphological divergence highlighted by J. S. Huxley during the development of the Modern Synthesis. In the present study, we characterize these charismatic mice using modern molecular techniques, examining specimens from all Faroe islands occupied by mice. The aims were to classify the mice within the modern house mouse taxonomy (i.e. as either Mus musculus domesticus or Mus musculus musculus) using four molecular markers and a morphological feature, and to examine the genetic diversity and possible routes of colonization using mitochondrial (mt) control region DNA sequences and microsatellite data (15 loci). Mice on the most remote islands were characterized as M. m. domesticus and exhibited exceptionally low genetic diversity, whereas those on better connected islands were more genetically diverse and had both M. m. musculus and M. m. domesticus genetic elements, including one population which was morphologically M. m. musculus-like. The mtDNA data indicate that the majority of the mice had their origins in south-western Norway (or possibly southern Denmark/northern Germany), and probably arrived with the Vikings, earlier than suggested by Huxley. The M. m. musculus genetic component appears to derive from recent mouse immigration from Denmark. © 2011 The Linnean Society of London. Source

Wojczulanis-Jakubas K.,University of Gdansk | Jakubas D.,University of Gdansk | Kosmicka A.,University of Gdansk | Jensen J.-K.,I Geilini 37
Wilson Journal of Ornithology | Year: 2014

Although abnormal or injured legs are not uncommon in Hydrobatidae, they are rarely investigated. We aimed in this study to estimate the frequency of leg abnormalities and determine health status (expressed by leucocyte profile) in molecularly sexed European Storm-Petrels (Hydrobates p. pelagicus) captured on the Faroe Islands. We found that 2.4% of individuals captured during the breding season had some leg abnormalities. Half of the birds with abnormalities had puffinosis-like changes, while the rest were missing some part of the leg. Both types of abnormalities were recorded in the two sexes with similar frequency. The proportion of the birds with leg abnormalities seems to be relatively low compared to other Procellariiformes, and stable over time. Despite the apparent disability of the birds with leg abnormalities, we found no significant effect of abnormality status on the leucocyte profile. © 2014 by the Wilson Ornithological Society. Source

Petersen A.,Brautarland 2 | Jensen J.-K.,I Geilini 37 | Jenkins P.,Natural History Museum in London | Bloch D.,Foroya Natturugripasavn | Ingimarsson F.,Natural History Museum of Kopavogur
Acta Chiropterologica | Year: 2014

The bats recorded from Iceland, the Faroe Islands, the Shetland Islands, the Orkney Islands, and North Sea installations are reviewed to the end of 2012. In total 12 species have been positively identified, while a considerable proportion of all records are sightings of unidentified bats. Eight of the species are European in origin and four originate from the New World. The largest number of species (8) has been recorded in Iceland, but the greatest number of individuals (180) has been found in Orkney. The bat invasion on the Faroe Islands in 2010 is without precedence, when 70 observations of a minimum of 45 individuals were noted. Most bat observations in the study area occurred in the autumn, with fewer in the spring. Most observations were of single animals, but there were also sightings of up to 12 individuals. There has been a marked increase in bat records in the past three decades. We discuss whether this is a real increase, or due to improved communications, increased public awareness, increased shipping, changes in weather patterns and/or the effects of climate change. All factors appear to be involved. © Museum and Institute of Zoology PAS. Source

Jakubas D.,University of Gdansk | Wojczulanis-Jakubas K.,University of Gdansk | Jensen J.-K.,I Geilini 37
Acta Ornithologica | Year: 2014

Body size differentiation may have developed in response to environmental gradients. A pattern of large individuals prevailing in colder areas is often observed and is explained by the heat conservation hypothesis (Bergmann's rule). To understand patterns driving body size variation in a pelagic seabird, the European Storm Petrel Hydrobates pelagicus, we examined the relationship between wing length, body mass and environmental variables in breeding areas (sea surface temperature, air temperature and wind speed). As this species has been divided into two subspecies: Mediterranean H. p. melitensis and Atlantic H. p. pelagicus, we performed the analyses at different scales (species, Atlantic subspecies and regional North Atlantic). At the species and subspecies scales, there was a longitudinal increase in wing length from west to east. At the subspecies and regional scale, we found a latitudinal increase in this variable from south to north. This result and the significant increase of wing length with decreasing sea surface and air temperatures are concordant with Bergmann's rule. In addition, body mass at the species and subspecies scales decreased with increasing wind speed, what may have a functional implication (small body mass may increase manoeuvrability over waves in conditions of stronger wind). Both genetic (two subspecies differing in body size) and environmental factors seem to be important forces driving intercolony variation in body size. Our study on sexual size dimorphism (SSD) revealed that in 156 molecularly sexed adults from the Faeroes, wing and tail length, and body mass exhibited female-biased SSD, while head-bill length showed male-biased SSD. The best discriminant function for sexing based on body measurements correctly classified 75% of individuals. Considering low correctness of proposed functions and geographical variation of body size, use of alternative methods (e.g. molecular tools) is recommended for sex discrimination in the European Storm Petrel. Source

Harris M.P.,UK Center for Ecology and Hydrology | Leopold M.F.,Wageningen IMARES | Jensen J..-K.,I Geilini 37 | Meesters E.H.,Wageningen IMARES | Wanless S.,UK Center for Ecology and Hydrology
Ibis | Year: 2015

Most mortality of Atlantic Puffins occurs outside the breeding season but little is known about the species' diet at that timeThe stomach contents of 176 Puffins shot legally for food around the Faroe Islands between October and January in three winters were examinedThe remains of 20 species of fish, six species of crustacea and single species of polychaete, chaetognathid and squid were identifiedThe most frequently recorded prey in terms of frequency of occurrence were 0 group (< 1 year old) Lesser Sandeel Ammodytes marinus (82% of stomachs), followed by mesopelagic fish (52%), nereid worms (41%), Silver Rockling Gaidropsarus argentatus (36%), crustacea (35%), large sandeel (32%) and other large fish (32%)In terms of calculated biomass, nereids (41%), large sandeel (23%) and other large fish (17%) made up the bulk of the diet but the latter two prey types were most important in energetic terms (46% despite accounting for only 9% of items)Stomach contents collected on the same day and location were significantly more similar than those collected on different dates and locations, suggesting that during the winter, Puffins are generalists, taking any prey they encounter. © 2015 British Ornithologists' Union. Source

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