Uncoupling basal and summit metabolic rates in white-throated Sparrows: Digestive demand drives maintenance costs, but changes in muscle mass are not needed to improve thermogenic capacity
Author ORCID Identifier
http://orcid.org/0000-0001-8235-6411 : Oliver Love
Physiological and Biochemical Zoology
Basal metabolic rate, Body composition, Diet, Metabolic performance, Summit metabolic rate, Temperature, Zonotrichia albicollis
Avian basal metabolic rate (BMR) and summit metabolic rate (Msum) vary in parallel during cold acclimation and acclimatization, which implies a functional link between these variables. However, evidence suggests that these parameters may reflect different physiological systems acting independently. We tested this hypothesis in white-throated sparrows (Zonotrichia albicol-lis) acclimated to two temperatures (28° and 28°C) and two diets (0% and 30% cellulose). We expected to find an uncoupling of Msum and BMR where Msum, a measure of maximal shivering heat production, would reflect muscle and heart mass variation and would respond only to temperature, while BMR would reflect changes in digestive and excretory organs inresponse to daily food intake, responding to both temperature and diet. We found that the gizzard, liver, kidneys, and intestines responded to treatments through a positive relationship with food intake. BMR was 15% higher in cold-acclimated birds and, as expected, varied with food intake and the mass of digestive and excretory organs. In contrast, although Msum was 19% higher in cold-acclimated birds, only heart massresponded totemperature(118%inthecold). Pectoral muscles did not change in mass with temperature but were 8.2% lighter on the cellulose diet. Nevertheless, Msum varied positively with the mass of heart and skeletal muscles but only in cold-acclimated birds. Our results therefore suggest that an upregulation of muscle metabolic intensity is required for cold acclimation. This study increases support for the hypothesis that BMR and Msum reflect different physiological systems responding in parallel to constraints associated with cold environments.
Barceló, Gonzalo; Love, Oliver P.; and Vézina, François. (2017). Uncoupling basal and summit metabolic rates in white-throated Sparrows: Digestive demand drives maintenance costs, but changes in muscle mass are not needed to improve thermogenic capacity. Physiological and Biochemical Zoology, 90 (2), 153-165.