How Do Migratory Species Stay Healthy Over the Annual Cycle? A Conceptual Model for Immune Function and For Resistance to Disease

Deborah M. Buehler*, B. Irene Tieleman, Theunis Piersma

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

52 Citations (Scopus)
436 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Migration has fascinated researchers for years and many active areas of study exist. However, the question of how migratory species stay healthy within the context of their annual cycle remains relatively unexplored. This article addresses this question using Red Knots (Calidris canutus) as a model migrant species. We review recent research on immune function in Red Knots and integrate this work with the broader eco-immunological literature to introduce a conceptual model. This model synthesizes earlier ideas about resource allocation and the costs of immunity with recent increases in our knowledge about the vertebrate immune system and then puts these concepts into the context of defense against real pathogens in environments where a myriad of factors change in time and space. We also suggest avenues for further research, which will help to test the model and better link measures of immune function to pressure from pathogens and to optimal defense against disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)346-357
Number of pages12
JournalIntegrative and Comparative Biology
Volume50
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep-2010
EventSymposium on Integrative Migration Biology -
Duration: 3-Jan-20107-Jan-2010

Keywords

  • SPARROWS PASSER-DOMESTICUS
  • KNOTS CALIDRIS-CANUTUS
  • HOUSE SPARROWS
  • EVOLUTIONARY ECOLOGY
  • REPRODUCTIVE STATE
  • NORTH-AMERICA
  • HABITAT USE
  • BIRDS
  • RESPONSES
  • IMMUNOCOMPETENCE

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