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STRESS AND THE CITY: URBANIZATION AND ITS EFFECTS ON THE STRESS PHYSIOLOGY IN EUROPEAN BLACKBIRDS

STRESS AND THE CITY: URBANIZATION AND ITS EFFECTS ON THE STRESS PHYSIOLOGY IN EUROPEAN BLACKBIRDS Animals colonizing cities are exposed to many novel and potentially stressful situations. There is evidence that chronic stress can cause deleterious effects. Hence, wild animals would suffer from city life unless they adjusted their stress response to the conditions in a city. Here we show that European Blackbirds born in a city have a lower stress response than their forest conspecifics. We hand‐raised urban and forest‐living individuals of that species under identical conditions and tested their corticosterone stress response at an age of 5, 8, and 11 months. The results suggest that the difference is genetically determined, although early developmental effects cannot be excluded. Either way, the results support the idea that urbanization creates a shift in coping styles by changing the stress physiology of animals. The reduced stress response could be ubiquitous and, presumably, necessary for all animals that thrive in ecosystems exposed to frequent anthropogenic disturbances, such as those in urban areas. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Ecology Wiley

STRESS AND THE CITY: URBANIZATION AND ITS EFFECTS ON THE STRESS PHYSIOLOGY IN EUROPEAN BLACKBIRDS

Ecology , Volume 87 (8) – Aug 1, 2006

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References (60)

Publisher
Wiley
Copyright
"© Society for Community Research and Action"
ISSN
0012-9658
eISSN
1939-9170
DOI
10.1890/0012-9658(2006)87[1945:SATCUA]2.0.CO;2
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Animals colonizing cities are exposed to many novel and potentially stressful situations. There is evidence that chronic stress can cause deleterious effects. Hence, wild animals would suffer from city life unless they adjusted their stress response to the conditions in a city. Here we show that European Blackbirds born in a city have a lower stress response than their forest conspecifics. We hand‐raised urban and forest‐living individuals of that species under identical conditions and tested their corticosterone stress response at an age of 5, 8, and 11 months. The results suggest that the difference is genetically determined, although early developmental effects cannot be excluded. Either way, the results support the idea that urbanization creates a shift in coping styles by changing the stress physiology of animals. The reduced stress response could be ubiquitous and, presumably, necessary for all animals that thrive in ecosystems exposed to frequent anthropogenic disturbances, such as those in urban areas.

Journal

EcologyWiley

Published: Aug 1, 2006

Keywords: ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ;

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