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Diurnal cycle of Isospora spp. oocyst shedding in Eurasian blackbirds (Turdus merula)

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Diurnal fluctuations in the appearance of parasites have been recognized for more than 60 years but have been largely ignored in studies examining the role of parasites in connection with evolutionary aspects of behaviour, ecology, and population dynamics. The disregard of diurnal fluctuations, however, can influence the reliability and interpretation of data. I examined shedding of Isospora spp. oocysts in faeces of naturally infected, free-living Eurasian blackbirds (Turdus merula L., 1758). Adult birds and nestlings shed coccidian oocysts (Isospora spp.) predominantly in the afternoon. The results are in agreement with earlier studies on coccidian oocyst shedding in other bird species. They are discussed with regard to these studies and to practical implications for future investigators in this field.

Bien que connues depuis plus de 60 ans, les variations journalières dans l'apparition des parasites sont en grande partie ignorées dans les études qui traitent du rôle des parasites en rapport avec les aspects évolutifs du comportement, de l'écologie et de la dynamique des populations. Cependant, la négligence des fluctuations journalières peut influencer la fiabilité et l'interprétation des données. Le présent travail examine l'évacuation d'oocystes d'Isospora spp. dans les fèces de merles noirs (Turdus merula L., 1758) sauvages infectés naturellement. Les oiseaux adultes et les oisillons au nid évacuent les oocystes de coccidies (Isospora spp.) surtout en après-midi. Ces résultats s'accordent avec d'autres observations antérieures sur l'évacuation d'oocystes de coccidies chez d'autres espèces d'oiseaux. La discussion examine les résultats en relation avec les études antérieures et en tire les implications pratiques pour les recherches futures dans le domaine.[Traduit par la Rédaction]

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: May 1, 2004

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  • Published since 1929, this monthly journal reports on primary research contributed by respected international scientists in the broad field of zoology, including behaviour, biochemistry and physiology, developmental biology, ecology, genetics, morphology and ultrastructure, parasitology and pathology, and systematics and evolution. It also invites experts to submit review articles on topics of current interest.
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