Alberto Velando

Alberto Velando
University of Vigo | UVIGO · Department of Ecology and Animal Biology

PhD

About

186
Publications
45,739
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5,215
Citations
Introduction
Alberto Velando currently works at the Animal Ecology Group at University of Vigo. Alberto does research in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology- One of his projects is 'Life-history consequences of the social environment during early life .'

Publications

Publications (186)
Article
Even though personality is a major determinant of individual survival, the development of animal personality traits is still poorly understood. Beyond an individual's genetic background, personality may be shaped by the conditions experienced during embryonic development. Light is a salient and variable ecological factor that can affect organismal...
Article
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Androgens are a group of steroid hormones that have long been proposed as a mechanism underpinning intergenerational plasticity. In birds, maternally allocated egg testosterone, one of the main androgens in vertebrates, affects a wide variety of offspring phenotypic traits but the mechanisms underlying this form of intergenerational plasticity are...
Article
Light is a salient and variable ecological factor that can impact developmental trajectories of vertebrate embryos, yet whether prenatal light environment can act as an anticipatory cue preparing organisms to cope with postnatal conditions is still unclear. In asynchronous birds, last-laid eggs are particularly exposed to sunlight as parental incub...
Article
The transmission of detrimental mutations in animal mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) to the next generation is avoided by a high level of mtDNA content in mature oocytes. Thus, this maternal genetic material has the potential to mediate adaptive maternal effects if mothers change mtDNA level in oocytes in response to their environment or body condition. H...
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Background Sexual signals produced by males play a central role in sexual selection, but the relationship between these traits and the quality of the bearer are often ambiguous. Secondary sexual traits may represent genetic quality of the bearer, resulting in positive relationships with physiological state, or may be costly to produce, showing trad...
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In many animals, recent evidence indicates that the gut microbiome may be acquired during early development, with possible consequences on newborns' health. Thus, it has been hypothesized that a healthy microbiome protects telomeres and genomic integrity against cellular stress. However, the link between the early acquired microbiome and telomere d...
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Cognitive abilities may be crucial for individuals to respond appropriately to their social and natural environment, thereby increasing fitness. However, the role of cognitive traits in sexual selection has received relatively little attention. Here, we studied 1) whether male secondary sexual traits (colour, courtship, and nest) reflect their cogn...
Article
In wild animals, telomere attrition during early development has been linked with several fitness penalties throughout life. Telomerase enzyme can elongate telomeres, but it is generally assumed that its activity is suppressed in most somatic tissues upon birth. However, recent evidence suggests that this may not be the rule for long-lived bird spe...
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An organism may increase its fitness by changing its reproductive strategies in response to environmental cues, but the possible consequences of those changes for the next generation have rarely been explored. By using an experiment on the three‐spined stickleback (Gasterosteus aculeatus), we studied how changes in the onset of breeding photoperiod...
Article
Gulls are highly opportunistic seabirds, and the exploitation of fishery discards led to many population increases worldwide. We investigated the importance of fish in the diet of yellow-legged and Audouin’s gulls and assessed the influence of fishery discards in their feeding ecology. We collected pellets in four islands along the western Iberian...
Article
It is often assumed that the transfer of maternal glucocorticoids (GCs; e.g., corticosterone or cortisol) to offspring is an inevitable cost associated with adverse or stressful conditions experienced by mothers. However, recent evidence indicates that maternal GCs may adaptively programme particular physiological and molecular pathways during deve...
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Early environment often has profound effects on phenotypic development that last throughout the lifetime. It has been suggested that unpredictable environments may favor cognitive abilities. However, cognitive challenges during development may result in life-history trade-offs, because complex neural reorganization required for coping with these ch...
Article
During embryonic life, individuals should adjust their phenotype to the conditions that they will encounter after birth, including the social environment, if they have access to (social) cues that allow them to forecast future conditions. In birds, evidence indicates that embryos are sensitive to cues from clutch mates, but whether embryos adjust t...
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Sexual segregation in trophic ecology is widespread among sexually dimorphic marine vertebrates. The degree of such segregation can change throughout the annual cycle, however, year-round data on seabird inter-sexual differences is scarce. Here we investigated sexual trophic segregation in yellow-legged gulls Larus michahellis evaluating two hypoth...
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En las especies con múltiples reproducciones, la inversión en reproducción a menudo disminuye el mantenimiento somático y la supervivencia, generando así un compromiso entre la reproducción actual y las oportunidades para reproducirse en el futuro. En esta pequeña reseña de nuestros estudios mostramos cómo este compromiso modula los conflictos de f...
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Human activities and changing environmental conditions are the main drivers of ecosystem change. One major change near the western Iberian coast has been the collapse of the Atlanto-Iberian sardine Sardina pilchardus stock, with important cascading effects on marine top predators. We investigated the effect of long-term changes in fishery landings,...
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It is often assumed that embryos are isolated from external influences, but recent studies indicate that environmental stressors during prenatal stages can exert long-term negative effects on fitness. A potential mechanism by which predation risk may lastingly shape life-history traits and phenotypes is via effects on telomeres. However, whether pr...
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Trade-offs between the expression of sexual signals and the maintenance of somatic and germline tissues are expected when these depend upon the same resources. Despite the importance of sperm DNA integrity, its trade-off with sexual signalling has rarely been explored. We experimentally tested the trade-off between carotenoid-based sexual colourati...
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During development in fluctuating environments, phenotypes can be adjusted to the conditions that individuals will probably encounter later in life. As developing embryos have a limited capacity to fully capture environmental information, theory predicts that they should integrate relevant information from all reliable sources, including the social...
Poster
This poster shows the preliminary results of the paper "Anthropogenic food resources, sardine decline and environmental conditions have triggered a dietary shift of an opportunistic seabird over the last 30 years on the northwest coast of Spain" https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10113-020-01609-6
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It has been proposed that animals usually restrain their growth because fast growth leads to an increased production of mitochondrial reactive oxygen species (mtROS), which can damage mitochondrial DNA and promote mitochondrial dysfunction. Here, we explicitly test whether this occurs in a wild bird by supplementing chicks with a mitochondria-targe...
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Most studies of climate change impacts focus on the effects of summer temperatures, which can immediately impact fitness of breeders, but winter temperatures are expected to have a greater impact on development and growth of animals with long‐lasting consequences. Exposure to warmer temperatures can increase cellular oxidative damage in ectotherms....
Article
Microplastic particles are abundant marine pollutants that are ingested by many seabirds. Some seabirds re-gurgitate non-digestible materials in the form of pellets and their analysis may be useful to study the abundance of plastic debris at the local scale. Here, we aimed to provide baseline data for the presence of microplastics in pellets regurg...
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The resolution of family conflicts over parental care involves elaborate behavioral interactions where signals and information exchange play a central role. Usually, the focus is on offspring begging and adult signals and their effect on parental provisioning. Yet, despite offspring of many animal species display structural ornaments during parenta...
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It has recently been hypothesized that stress exposure (e.g. via glucocorticoid secretion) may dysregulate the bacterial gut microbiome, a crucial ‘organ’ in animal health. However, whether stress exposure (e.g. via glucocorticoid secretion) affects the bacterial gut microbiome of natural populations is unknown. We have experimentally altered the b...
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Predation risk is an important environmental factor for animal populations, expected to trigger maternal effects to prepare offspring for living in an environment with predators. Yet, evidence of adaptive anticipatory maternal effects in wild animals is still weak. Here, we explored this question in a wild colony of yellow-legged gulls, Larus micha...
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Environmental drivers, including anthropogenic impacts, affect vital rates of organisms. Nevertheless, the influence of these drivers may depend on the physical features of the habitat and how they affect life history strategies depending on individual covariates such as age and sex. Here, the long-term monitoring (1994-2014) of marked European sha...
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Background Conditions experienced by a female during early life may affect her reproductive strategies and maternal investment later in life. This effect of early environmental conditions is a potentially important mechanism by which animals can compensate for the negative impacts of climate change. In this study, we experimentally tested whether t...
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To fully understand the evolution of sexual dimorphism, it is necessary to study how genetic and developmental systems function to generate sex-specific phenotype as well as sex-specific selection. Males and females show different patterns of energy storage and mitochondrial metabolism from early stages of life, and this may underlie sex-specific d...
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Recent data suggest that, in animals living in social groups, stress-induced changes in behavior have the potential to act as a source of information, so that stressed individuals could themselves act as stressful stimuli for other individuals with whom they interact repeatedly. Such form of cross-over of stress may be beneficial if it enhances ada...
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In many bird populations, individuals show remarkable differences in feather colouration, which are often linked to individual differences in physiological traits, but the mechanisms maintaining this covariation are still unclear. Here, we investigate the variability of the melanic colouration in yellow-legged gull (Larus michahellis) chicks. In th...
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Phenotypic plasticity, the ability of an organism to express different phenotypes depending on the environment, provides an important mechanism by which an animal population can persist under rapid climate change. We experimentally tested both life-history and transcriptional responses of an ecological model species, the three-spined stickleback, t...
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Alien predators exert severe effects on island ecosystems, and their eradication from island habitats may therefore be necessary to conserve the native biota. Efforts are being made to eradicate the American mink (Neovison vison) from the Atlantic Islands of Galicia National Park (NW Spain), a protected site inhabited by vulnerable island fauna. We...
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Non-native invasive species are one of the most serious threats to biodiversity and are considered the leading cause of extinction of several bird taxa, including seabirds. Introduced American mink (Neovison vison) have caused devastating effects on island populations of several colonial seabird species. In this study, we investigated the direct an...
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In many bird species that practice parental care, siblings often compete for resources and care provided by their parents, although their strategies differ according to hatching rank and condition. Differences in offspring strategies are generally attributed to hatching order and maternal effects, which are difficult to separate because these effec...
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Ardeola is the scientific journal of the Spanish Ornithological Society. We analyse historical changes in citation, topics and foreign authorship of articles published in Ardeola from its first publication in 1954 up to last year, 2015, to test to what extent the persistence of the journal during the last 61 years has been due to support of authors...
Article
Full-text available
Ardeola is the scientific journal of the Spanish Ornithological Society. We analyse historical changes in citation, topics and foreign authorship of articles published in Ardeola from its first publication in 1954 up to last year, 2015, to test to what extent the persistence of the journal during the last 61 years has been due to support of authors...
Article
Full-text available
An animal’s personality may be an adaptive behavioral response of individuals to consistent differences in physiology and life-history. Studying the relationship between behavior and other fitness-related traits within the pace-of-life syndrome (POLS) framework, which explains the integration of different traits using the concept of a fast-slow lif...
Data
Appendix S1. Sampling of monitored sticklebacks. Appendix S2. Male–male competition experiment. Table S1. Results from the linear mixed model of body mass of male sticklebacks. Table S2. Variance components, heritability and environmental effects from univariate animal models. Table S3. Results from the random regression animal models of relati...
Article
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Background: Secondary sexual traits and mating preferences may evolve in part because the offspring of attractive males inherit attractiveness and other genetically correlated traits such as fecundity and viability. A problem regarding these indirect genetic mechanisms is how sufficient genetic variation in the traits subject to sexual selection i...
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Seabirds are colonial vertebrates that despite their great potential for long-range dispersal and colonization are reluctant to establish in novel locations, often recruiting close to their natal colony. The foundation of colonies is therefore a rare event in most seabird species and little is known about the colonization process in this group. The...
Chapter
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In this study, we analysed the viability of seabird populations, specifically the European shag, after the invasion of the American mink. In the last decade the shags at Cíes islands, the southernmost archipelago of the Park, experienced a population collapse in parallel with a similar reduction in its level of heterozygosity. Data from marked indi...
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The environment can play an important role in the evolution of senescence because the optimal allocation between somatic maintenance and reproduction depends on external factors influencing life expectancy. The aims of this study were to experimentally test whether environmental conditions during early life can shape senescence schedules, and if so...
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Telomeres are sensitive to damage induced by oxidative stress, and thus it is expected that dietary antioxidants may support the maintenance of telomere length in animals, particularly those with a fast rate of life (e.g. fast metabolism, activity and growth). We tested experimentally the effect of antioxidant supplements on telomere length during...
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Loss of genetic diversity is thought to lead to increased risk of extinction in endangered populations due to decreasing fitness of homozygous individuals. Here, we evaluated the presence of inbreeding depression in a long-lived seabird, the European shag (Phalacrocorax aristotelis), after a severe decline in population size by nearly 70%. During t...
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Predation is a strong selective force that promotes the evolution of anti-predator behaviours and camouflage in prey animals. However, the independent evolution of single traits cannot explain how observed phenotypic variations of these traits are maintained within populations. We studied genetic and phenotypic correlations between anti-predator be...
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Large oil spills are dramatic perturbations on marine ecosystems, and seabirds are one of the worst affected organisms in such events. It has been argued that oil spills may have important long-term consequences on marine organisms, but supporting evidence remains scarce. The European shag (Phalacrocorax aristotelis) was strongly impacted at popula...