Oxidative damage and anti-oxidant capacity in two migratory bird species at a stop-over site
Faculty of Sciences. Biology
Comparative biochemistry and physiology : C : toxicology & pharmacology. - Oxford, 2000, currens
, p. 363-371
We quantified in the garden warbler (Sylvia borin) and the barn swallow (Hirundo rustica), two long-distance migratory songbirds, the early oxidative damage (ROMs) and plasma anti-oxidant capacity (OXY) variation of individuals caught at a stop-over site after a sustained flight across the sea, during spring migration. Our main goal was to quantify the oxidative damage and anti-oxidant capacity variation in these two migratory species in relation to fat and muscle stores. The birds were sampled in Ponza, a small island along the migratory route of these species. The levels of ROMs and OXY did not show any differences between the two species and in general were higher in individuals with higher fat and protein stores. Nevertheless, the balance between ROMs and OXY was better in individuals in good condition. These patterns were similar in both species. No sex differences emerged for both ROMs and OXY in the barn swallow, the only species that could be sexed. Both markers of oxidative stress did not show any significant variation across a 30-min restrained experiment. These data are the first of this kind in wild birds in a migratory context and suggest that individuals in better condition are exposed to lower oxidative stress, providing an indirect evidence of the oxidative cost caused by prolonged flights.