Human activity can influence the gut microbiota of Darwin's finches in the Galapagos Islands

Sarah A. Knutie, Jaime A. Chaves, Kiyoko M. Gotanda

Producción científica: Contribución a una revistaArtículorevisión exhaustiva

34 Citas (Scopus)

Resumen

The gut microbiota of animal hosts can be influenced by environmental factors, such as unnatural food items that are introduced by humans. Over the past 30 years, human presence has grown exponentially in the Galapagos Islands, which are home to endemic Darwin's finches. Consequently, humans have changed the environment and diet of Darwin's finches, which in turn, could affect their gut microbiota. In this study, we compared the gut microbiota of two species of Darwin's finches, small ground finches (Geospiza fuliginosa) and medium ground finches (Geospiza fortis), across sites with and without human presence, where finches prefer human-processed and natural food, respectively. We predicted that: (a) finch microbiota would differ between sites with and without humans due to differences in diet, and (b) gut microbiota of each finch species would be most similar where finches have the highest niche overlap (areas with humans) compared to the lowest niche overlap (areas without humans). We found that gut bacterial community structure differed across sites and host species. Gut bacterial diversity was most distinct between the two species at the site with human presence compared to the site without human presence, which contradicted our predictions. Within host species, medium ground finches had lower bacterial diversity at the site with human presence compared to the site without human presence and bacterial diversity of small ground finches did not differ between sites. Our results show that the gut microbiota of Darwin's finches is affected differently across sites with varying human presence.

Idioma originalInglés
Páginas (desde-hasta)2441-2450
Número de páginas10
PublicaciónMolecular Ecology
Volumen28
N.º9
DOI
EstadoPublicada - may. 2019

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