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The costs of mischoosing are not uniform across individuals

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Matching habitat choice is a particular form of habitat selection based on self?assessment of local performance that offers individuals a means to optimize the match of phenotype to the environment. Despite the advantages of this mechanism in terms of increased local adaptation, examples from natural populations are extremely rare. One possible reason for the apparent rarity of matching habitat choice is that it might be manifest only in those segments of a population for which the cost of a phenotype–environment mismatch is high. To test this hypothesis, we used a breeding population of sockeye salmon (Oncorhynchus nerka) exposed to size-dependent predation risk by bears, and evaluated the costs of mischoosing in discrete groups (e.g. male versus females, and ocean?age 2 versus ocean?age 3) using reproductive life span as a measure of individual performance. Bear preference for larger fish, especially in shallow water, translates into a performance trade-off that sockeye salmon can potentially use to guide their settlement decisions. Consistent with matching habitat choice, we found that salmon of similar ocean?age and size tended to cluster together in sites of similar water depth. However, matching habitat choice was only favoured in 3?ocean females – the segment of the population most vulnerable to bear predation. This study illustrates the unequal relevance of matching habitat choice to different segments of a population, and suggests that ‘partial matching habitat choice' could have resulted in an underestimation of the actual prevalence of this mechanism in nature. informacion[at]ebd.csic.es: Camacho & Hendry (2020) Matching habitat choice: it's not for everyone. Oikos DOI 10.1111/oik.06932


https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/oik.06932
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MIZUTAMA: a quick, easy, and accurate method for counting erythrocytes

MIZUTAMA: a quick, easy, and accurate method for counting erythrocytes

Hematological profiles are routinely used to assess the health status of animals. Several methods have been developed for blood-cell counting, but typically they are expensive and/or time-consuming. Here, a free image-processing software, Mizutama, developed for counting cells in photographs of blood smears is presented. Mizutama uses the thresholding method to transform original photographs into grayscale trinary images. Following a number of parameters, Mizutama searches in the image for cells of a given size, with a nucleus size relative to cytoplasm surface area. The software is not only easy, versatile, and intuitive to handle, but is also fast when counting cells in photographs. Moreover, it is highly accurate, failing to detect only c. 1.4% of avian red cells in ordinary microscopic photographs. The Mizutama application may greatly facilitate the counting of erythrocytes and other blood cells in physiological studies, saving time and money. informacion[at]ebd.csic.es: Ochoa et al (2019) MIZUTAMA: a quick, easy, and accurate method for counting erythrocytes. Physiol Biochem Zool DOI: 10.1086/702666


https://www.journals.uchicago.edu/doi/abs/10.1086/702666