Event Title

The Effect of Capture Method on Microbial Abundance in Plumage of Eastern Yellow Robins (Eopsaltria australis)

Presentation Type

Poster

Location

Schimmel/Conrades Science Center Atrium

Start Date

20-4-2016 6:00 PM

End Date

20-4-2016 7:30 PM

Disciplines

Microbiology

Abstract

Bird plumage is an ecosystem of microfauna that live in symbiosis with the avian host. Since most of these microbes are soil-dwelling Bacilli, it is assumed that birds with more soil contact will have higher microbial loads. While pursuing avian microbiology research in Victoria, Australia, we questioned if capture method influenced microbial loads and therefore skewed our data. We expected microbial abundance on birds captured with mist nets, a device used to catch birds in flight, will have lower abundance than those captured with snap traps, a tool which restrains the bird in the soil. We compared the abundance of Bacillus spp. on Eastern Yellow Robins (Eopsaltria australis) captured in both trap types. After statistical analyses, the data was found to significant overall (p = 0.004), but when comparing data from specific parts of the bird, capture method was only a significant factor on the back (p = 0.039; p = 0.055 and 0.125 on tail and venter, respectively). We assume that our methodologies have created a detection limit in our data, leaving our results inclusive to whether or not method of capture is a factor in microbial abundance.

Faculty Mentor

Laura Tuhela-Reuning

 
Apr 20th, 6:00 PM Apr 20th, 7:30 PM

The Effect of Capture Method on Microbial Abundance in Plumage of Eastern Yellow Robins (Eopsaltria australis)

Schimmel/Conrades Science Center Atrium

Bird plumage is an ecosystem of microfauna that live in symbiosis with the avian host. Since most of these microbes are soil-dwelling Bacilli, it is assumed that birds with more soil contact will have higher microbial loads. While pursuing avian microbiology research in Victoria, Australia, we questioned if capture method influenced microbial loads and therefore skewed our data. We expected microbial abundance on birds captured with mist nets, a device used to catch birds in flight, will have lower abundance than those captured with snap traps, a tool which restrains the bird in the soil. We compared the abundance of Bacillus spp. on Eastern Yellow Robins (Eopsaltria australis) captured in both trap types. After statistical analyses, the data was found to significant overall (p = 0.004), but when comparing data from specific parts of the bird, capture method was only a significant factor on the back (p = 0.039; p = 0.055 and 0.125 on tail and venter, respectively). We assume that our methodologies have created a detection limit in our data, leaving our results inclusive to whether or not method of capture is a factor in microbial abundance.