Ulf Bauchinger

Ulf Bauchinger
Jagiellonian University | UJ · Institute of Environmental Sciences

Dr. rer. nat.

About

87
Publications
10,456
Reads
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1,535
Citations
Additional affiliations
October 2012 - present
Jagiellonian University
Position
  • Research Assistant
February 2011 - February 2012
EURICE
Position
  • Program manager life science
August 2008 - January 2011
University of Rhode Island
Position
  • Research Assistant

Publications

Publications (87)
Article
Full-text available
Animal life requires hard work but the ability to endure such workload appears to be limited. Heat dissipation limit (HDL) hypothesis proposes that the capacity to dissipate the excess of body heat during hard work may limit sustained energy use. Experimental facilitations of heat loss rate via feather-clipping in free-living birds seem to support...
Article
Whole organismal declines in metabolic performance due to ageing are known to occur in virtually all higher vertebrates, the causes of such declines, however, are not fully understood. In mammals, haemoglobin concentration, haematocrit and red blood cell count begin to decrease in later life. In birds however, such knowledge on changes in haematolo...
Research Proposal
Full-text available
Ongoing advances in next-generation sequencing technologies and bioinformatics have sparked a growing interest in characterizing the taxonomic and functional diversity of microbial communities. Indeed, the number of articles describing microbial communities (i.e., using ‘microbiome’ as a search term in Web of Knowledge) from diverse habitats includ...
Article
Birds, like other vertebrates, rely on a robust antioxidant system to protect themselves against oxidative imbalance caused by energy-intensive activities such as flying. Such oxidative challenges may be especially acute for females during spring migration, since they must pay the oxidative costs of flight while preparing for reproduction; however,...
Article
Full-text available
Alterations in cell number and size are apparently associated with the body mass differences between species and sexes, but we rarely know which of the two mechanisms underlies the observed variance in body mass. We used phylogenetically informed comparisons of males and females of 19 Carabidae beetle species to compare body mass, resting metabolic...
Article
Migratory birds engage in 2 periods of endurance flight annually as they travel between summer breeding and overwintering grounds, and such endurance flights likely incur oxidative costs. These costs may differ between fall and spring migration, especially for females who must prepare for breeding and egg laying in spring. The objective of this stu...
Article
Full-text available
Activation of an immune response (IR) upon exposure to pathogens is crucial to ensure adequate organismal performance and is directly linked to survival. Fitness benefits of the response may be associated with costs in terms of increased energy expenditure and may compete for resources and compromise such fitness benefits. Trade‐offs between immune...
Article
Full-text available
en The size of the pectoral muscle is an important component of body condition in birds and has been linked to indices of fitness and migratory performance. Bauchinger et al. (2011. Journal of Ornithology 152: 507–514) developed, calibrated, and validated an aluminum “muscle meter” device that estimates the size of pectoral muscles noninvasively. T...
Article
Full-text available
Elite human and animal athletes must acquire the fuels necessary for extreme feats, but also contend with the oxidative damage associated with peak metabolic performance. Here, we show that a migratory bird with fuel stores composed of more omega-6 polyunsaturated fats (PUFA) expended 11% less energy during long-duration (6 hr) flights with no chan...
Article
Full-text available
In endotherms, growth, reproduction, and survival are highly depended on energy metabolism. Maintenance of constant body temperature can be challenging for endotherms under continuously changing environmental conditions, such as low or high ambient temperatures or limited food. Thus, many birds may drop body temperature below normothermic values du...
Article
Full-text available
As with many physiological performance traits, the capacity of endotherms to thermoregulate declines with age. Aging compromises both the capacity to conserve or dissipate heat and the thermogenesis, which is fueled by aerobic metabolism. The rate of metabolism, however, not only determines thermogenic capacity but can also affect the process of ag...
Article
Full-text available
During development, cells may adjust their size to balance between the tissue metabolic demand and the oxygen and resource supply: Small cells may effectively absorb oxygen and nutrients, but the relatively large area of the plasma membrane requires costly maintenance. Consequently, warm and hypoxic environments should favor ectotherms with small c...
Article
Full-text available
One of the key elements of an animal's Darwinian fitness is its ability to adequately respond to and cope with challenging situations. Glucocorticoid hormones, such as corticosterone, affect the organism's ability to overcome the challenge. We hypothesized that changes in the glucocorticoid response curve contribute to the evolution of increased pe...
Article
Glucocorticoids (GCs) are metabolic hormones that promote catabolic processes, which release stored energy and support high metabolic demands such as during prolonged flights of migrating birds. Dietary antioxidants (e.g. anthocyanins) support metabolism by quenching excess reactive oxygen species produced during aerobic metabolism and also by acti...
Article
Oxidative stress, the imbalance of reactive oxygen species and antioxidant capacity, may cause damage to biomolecules pivotal for cellular processes (e.g., DNA). This may impair physiological performance and, therefore, drive life-history variation and aging rate. Because aerobic metabolism is supposed to be the main source of such oxidative risk,...
Article
The locomotor performance achieved in a challenging situation depends not only on physiological limitations, such as the aerobic exercise capacity, but also on behavioral characteristics, such as adequate stress coping. The stress response is mediated largely by the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, through modulated release of glucocortic...
Article
Cellulose is an abundant source of carbon, accounting for more than 50% of foliage and 90% of woody tissues of plants. Despite the diversity of species that include living or dead plant tissue in their diets, the ability to digest cellulose through self-produced enzymatic machinery is considered rare in the animal kingdom. The majority of animals s...
Article
Acclimation to lower temperatures decreases energy expenditure in ectotherms but increases oxygen consumption in most endotherms, when dropped below thermoneutrality. Such differences should be met by adjustments in oxygen transport through blood. Changes in hematological variables in correspondence to that in metabolic rates are, however, not full...
Article
Full-text available
Stable isotope-based methods have proved to be immensely valuable for ecological studies ranging in focus from animal movements to species interactions and community structure. Nevertheless, the use of these methods is dependent on assumptions about the incorporation and turnover of isotopes within animal tissues, which are oftentimes not explicitl...
Article
Physical aerobic activity is oxygen demanding, but - particularly for birds - there is still little understanding of how blood contributes to oxygen supply under various activity levels. In a two-factorial experimental design, we investigated the long-term effect of daily flight training and the immediate effect of a short exercise bout on a set of...
Poster
The evolution of endothermy in birds and mammals is associated with a relatively high and constant body temperature over a wide range of ambient temperature. Endotherms evolved different energy conservation strategies to reduce energy expenditure and maintain energy stores. For instance, some endotherms exhibit seasonal or daily variation in their...
Article
Reactive oxygen species (ROS) are inescapable byproducts of energy metabolism and may cause costly damage to biomolecules. Organisms have evolved different means to counter oxidative stress, such as modulation of ROS production, neutralization of produced ROS through free radical scavenging and the repair or removal of the damaged structures. A pos...
Article
Environmental cues, such as photoperiod, regulate the timing of major life-history events like breeding through direct neuroendocrine control. Less known is how supplementary environmental cues (e.g., nest sites, food availability) interact to influence key hormones and behaviors involved in reproduction, specifically in migratory species with gona...
Article
Habitats on land with low oxygen availability provide unique niches inhabited by numerous species. The occupation of such hypoxic niches by animals is hypothesized to come at a cost linked to the limitations of aerobic metabolism and thus energy budget but may also provide benefits through physical protection from predators and parasitoids or reduc...
Article
Thermoregulation constitutes an important share of the energy budget of endotherms. Elevated thermoregulatory requirements must be met by oxygen supply through the blood, as heat is produced mainly via aerobic processes. In contrast to mammal studies, it remains unclear whether elevated thermoregulatory needs are followed by changes in haematologic...
Article
The rate at which organisms metabolize resources and consume oxygen is tightly linked to body mass. Typically, there is a negative allometric relationship between metabolic rates and body mass (mass-scaling exponent b<1). The origin of this pattern remains one of the most intriguing and hotly debated topics in evolutionary physiology. A decrease in...
Article
The origin of the allometric relationship between standard metabolic rate (MR) and body mass (M), often described as MR=aM (b) , remains puzzling and interpretation of the mass-scaling exponent, b may depend on the methodological approach, shapes of residuals, coefficient of determination (r(2) ) and sample size. We investigated the mass scaling of...
Article
The evolution of current terrestrial life was founded by major waves of land invasion coinciding with high atmospheric oxygen content. These waves were followed by periods with substantially reduced oxygen concentration and accompanied by evolution of novel traits. Reproduction and development are limiting factors for evolutionary water-land transi...
Article
The tight association between ambient temperature (T) and metabolic rate (MR) is a common occurrence in ectotherms, but the determinants of this association are not fully understood. This study examined whether the relationship between MR and T is the same among individuals, as predicted by the Universal Temperature Dependence hypothesis, or whethe...
Article
Patterns of physiological flexibility in response to fasting are well established, but much less is known about the contribution of water deprivation to the observed effects. We investigated body composition and energy and water budget in three groups of zebra finches: birds with access to food and water, food-deprived birds having access to drinki...
Poster
Full-text available
The optimal cell size theory proposes that the changes in cell size may have important consequences for the physiological performance of organisms. Small cells provide the larger area of plasma membranes for resource assimilation, however, on the other hand, large cells spend less energy on maintaining ion gradients across membranes. This comparati...
Article
Full-text available
Feeding on plant material is common among animals, but how different animals overcome the dietary deficiencies imposed by this feeding strategy is not well understood. Microorganisms are generally considered to play a vital role in the nutritional ecology of plant feeding animals. Commonly microbes living inside animal bodies are considered more im...
Article
Full-text available
Respiratory gas exchange in insects occurs via a branching tracheal system. The entrances to the air-filled tracheae are the spiracles, which are gate-like structures in the exoskeleton. The open or closed state of spiracles defines the three possible gas exchange patterns of insects. In resting insects, spiracles may open and close over time in a...
Article
Full-text available
Age-specific differences in individual performance are reported in a number of taxa and are particularly well documented in humans. However, such data are generally lacking for birds, the taxon showing exceptionally long life in relation to body size. Here, we studied differences in vertical flight performance among three distinctive age classes (0...
Article
Full-text available
According to the temperature-size rule (TSR), ectotherms developing under cold conditions experience slower growth as juveniles but reach a larger size at maturity. Whether temperature alone causes this phenomenon is unknown, but oxygen limitation can play a role in the temperature-size relationship. Oxygen may become limited under warm conditions...
Article
The acquisition and maintenance of symbiont-host associations is considered an important prerequisite for the successful colonisation of land by animals because symbionts allowed the hosts to dwell on low-quality food sources. Digestive tract symbionts are suggested to either enhance digestive efficiency of cellulose or supply the host with nutrien...
Article
Birds lose feathers, whether during molt or by accident, and replace them by processes that are energetically demanding. We hypothesized that house sparrows, Passer domesticus biblicus, use behavioral means to save energy when feathers are lost, and tested the general prediction that house sparrows growing new feathers adjust their behavior to mini...
Article
Full-text available
Managing oxidative stress is an important physiological function for all aerobic organisms, particularly during periods of prolonged high metabolic activity, such as long-distance migration across ecological barriers. However, no previous study has investigated the oxidative status of birds at different stages of migration and whether that oxidativ...
Article
Full-text available
During migration, many songbirds encounter large ecological barriers, like deserts and seas that require substantial fuel to cross and can lead to dehydration during passage. If muscle is not catabolized to generate metabolic water, birds must seek free water on a subsequent stopover to replenish the water lost. Yet, no work has examined if birds c...
Article
Exercise is known to have a strong effect on neuroproliferation in mammals ranging from rodents to humans. Recent studies have also shown that fatty acids and other dietary supplements can cause an upregulation of neurogenesis. It is not known, however, how exercise and diet interact in their effects on adult neurogenesis. We examined neuronal recr...
Article
An advantage of huddling in the cold is that the individual animals involved can maintain body temperature while saving energy. Since house sparrows Passer domesticus biblicus store little fat, but inhabit relatively cold climates, we tested the hypothesis that they huddle at night. While recording body temperature and body mass of 18 house sparrow...
Chapter
Full-text available
Phenotypic flexibility in organ size is common in animals during fasting and is especially remarkable in birds during their migrations. This phenotypic flexibility is often explained in relation to changes in functional demands in response to environmental change. A new hypothesis suggests that the rate of tissue-specific degradation during fasting...
Article
Full-text available
Life-history theory predicts that animals face a trade-off in energy allocation between performing strenuous exercise, such as migratory flight, and mounting an immune response. We experimentally tested this prediction by studying immune function in European starlings, Sturnus vulgaris, flown in a wind tunnel. Specifically, we predicted that consti...
Article
Full-text available
Seasonal adjustments to muscle size in migratory birds may result from preparatory physiological changes or responses to changed workloads. The mechanisms controlling these changes in size are poorly understood. We investigated some potential mediators of flight muscle size (myostatin and insulin-like growth factor, IGF1) in pectoralis muscles of w...
Article
Full-text available
In migratory birds, seasonal factors interacting at different stages of the annual cycle can influence individual life histories. These have been well documented for Nearctic-Neotropical birds. Yet, seasonal interactions between the wintering, migration, and breeding periods have not been demonstrated for Palearctic-African passerine migrants. We t...
Article
Full-text available
During migration, birds undergo alternating periods of fasting and re-feeding that are associated with dynamic changes in body mass (m(b)) and in organ size, including that of the digestive tract. After arrival at a migratory stopover site, following a long flight, a bird must restore the tissues of its digestive tract before it can refuel. In the...
Article
Full-text available
Migrating blackcaps (Sylvia atricapilla) were used to test the predictions that (1) the rebuilding of the digestive tract, as reflected by mass-specific consumption of food on the first 2-3 days of a stopover, is faster in birds with access to drinking water than in birds without, and (2) that adipose tissue and pectoral muscles grow faster and to...
Article
Full-text available
The pectoral muscle is the biggest organ within a passerine bird. It provides flight locomotion and is known to act as a protein source during periods with increased protein demands or decreased protein availability. The mass of the flight muscle is dynamic and changes during juvenile growth, reproduction, seasonal acclimatization, fasting and migr...
Article
For birds that migrate long distances, maximizing the rate of refueling at stopovers is advantageous, but ambient conditions may adversely influence this vital process. We simulated a 3-day migratory stopover for garden warblers (Sylvia borin) and compared body temperatures (T(b)) and rates of refueling under conditions of a heat wave (T(a)=40 °C b...
Article
Full-text available
Phenotypic flexibility in organ size of migratory birds is typically explained in functional terms in accordance with the principal of economic design. However, proposed functional hypotheses do not adequately explain differences in phenotypic flexibility between organs during fasting and in-flight starvation. We show that the extent of phenotypic...
Article
Full-text available
Stable isotopes are an important tool for physiological and behavioral ecologists, although their usefulness depends on a thorough understanding of the dynamics of isotope incorporation into tissue(s) over time. In contrast to hair, claws, and feathers, most animal tissues continuously incorporate carbon (and other elements), and so carbon isotope...
Article
We tested three hypotheses regarding the cues that elicit facultative hypothermia in Japanese quail (Coturnix japonica): H(1)) Ambient temperature (T(a)), alone, influences the onset and depth of hypothermia; H(2)) Fasting, alone, influences the onset and depth of hypothermia; H(3)) T(a) acts synergistically with fasting to shape the use of hypothe...
Article
Full-text available
Carbon turnover differs between tissues within an animal, but the extent to which ecologically relevant increases in metabolism affect carbon turnover rates is largely unknown. We tested the energy expenditure and protein turnover hypotheses that predict increased carbon turnover, either in association with increased daily energy expenditure, or in...
Article
Full-text available
Almost all of the internal organs of migrating birds undergo pronounced mass changes, but the digestive tract changes most and fastest. The masses of the small intestine and the liver may be reduced by as much as 50% during migratory flight, indicating extreme phenotypic flexibility. Birds must rebuild these organs during stopovers to facilitate ra...
Article
Full-text available
Stable isotopes are an important tool for physiological and behavioral ecologists, although their usefulness depends on a thorough understanding of the dynamics of isotope incorporation into tissue(s) over time. In contrast to hair, claws, and feathers, most animal tissues continuously incorporate carbon (and other elements), and so carbon isotope...
Article
Long-distance migratory passerines initiate testicular recrudescence during spring migration to meet the demands of timely reproduction upon immediate arrival on the breeding grounds. The degree of testicular development is known to depend on environmental factors like stopover habitat quality; reproductive performance may be strongly impacted by t...
Article
Long-distance migrants face the challenge of a short window for reproduction that requires optimal timing and full functional gonads. Male garden warblers (Sylvia borin) meet these demands by initiating testicular recrudescence during spring migration, enabling them to reproduce immediately after arrival at the breeding grounds. In a combined field...
Article
Wild birds and especially migratory species can become long-distance vectors for a wide range of microorganisms. The objective of the current paper is to summarize available literature on pathogens causing human disease that have been associated with wild bird species. A systematic literature search was performed to identify specific pathogens know...
Article
In birds, gonadal size varies between fully functional and maximally sized during reproduction and a regressed state with limited function during the non-reproductive periods. Recent findings show that testicular mass of the long-distance migratory garden warbler begins to increase during spring migration. Therefore, we sampled garden warblers duri...