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Title: A blood-based multi-biomarker approach reveals different physiological responses of common kestrels to contrasting environments
Authors: Giovanetti, Laura
Caliani, Ilaria
Damiani, Gianluca
Dell'Omo, Giacomo
Costantini, David 
Casini, Silvia
Issue Date: 2024
The increase of urbanization and agricultural activities is causing a dramatic reduction of natural environments. As a consequence, animals need to physiologically adjust to these novel environments, in order to exploit them for foraging and breeding. The aim of this work was to compare the physiological status among nestling common kestrels Falco tinnunculus that were raised in nest-boxes located in more natural, rural, or urban areas in a landscape with a mosaic of land uses around Rome in Central Italy. A blood-based multi-biomarker approach was applied to evaluate physiological responses at multiple levels, including antioxidant concentrations, immunological functions, genotoxicity, and neurotoxicity. We found lower concentrations of glutathione and GSH:GSSG ratio values and higher proportions of monocytes in urban birds compared to the other areas. We also found higher DNA damage and inhibition of butyrylcholinesterase activity in rural birds compared to urban and natural areas. Finally, we found similar values among study areas for respiratory burst, complement system, bactericidal capacity, and plasma non-enzymatic antioxidant capacity. These results suggest that (i) city life does not necessarily cause physiological alterations in kestrels compared to life in other habitats, and (ii) environmental pressures are likely to differ in typology and intensity across habitats requiring specific responses that a multi-biomarker approach can help to detect. Further studies are needed to assess which factors are responsible for the physiological differences among city, rural, and natural birds, and whether these differences are consistent across time and space.
ISSN: 0311-8363
DOI: 10.1016/j.envres.2024.118674
Rights: Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International
Appears in Collections:A1. Articolo in rivista

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