Skip to main content
Dryad logo

Data from: Does urbanization cause stress in wild birds during development? insights from feather corticosterone levels in juvenile house sparrows (Passer domesticus)

Citation

Beaugeard, Erika et al. (2018), Data from: Does urbanization cause stress in wild birds during development? insights from feather corticosterone levels in juvenile house sparrows (Passer domesticus), Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.r617g73

Abstract

Urban landscapes are associated with abiotic and biotic environmental changes that may result in potential stressors for wild vertebrates. Urban exploiters have physiological, morphological and behavioral adaptations to live in cities. However, there is increasing evidence that urban exploiters themselves can suffer from urban conditions, especially during specific life-history stages. We looked for a link between the degree of urbanization and the level of developmental stress in an urban exploiter (the house sparrow, Passer domesticus), which has recently been declining in multiple European cities (e.g. London, UK). Specifically, we conducted a large-scale study and sampled juvenile sparrows in 11 urban and rural sites to evaluate their feather corticosterone (CORT) levels. We found that juvenile feather CORT levels were positively correlated with the degree of urbanization, supporting the idea that developing house sparrows may suffer from urban environmental conditions. However, we did not find any correlation between juvenile feather CORT levels and body size, mass, or body condition. This suggests either that the growth and condition of urban sparrows are not impacted by elevated developmental CORT levels, or that urban sparrows may compensate for developmental constraints once they have left the nest. Although feather CORT levels were not correlated with baseline CORT levels, we found that feather CORT levels were slightly and positively correlated with the CORT stress response in juveniles. This suggests that urban developmental conditions may potentially have long-lasting effects on stress physiology and stress sensitivity in this urban exploiter.

Usage Notes

Location

France