Gastrointestinal and renal responses to water intake in the green-backed firecrown (Sephanoides sephanoides), a South American hummingbird

Bakken, BH; Sabat P.

Abstract

To maintain water balance, nectar-feeding vertebrates oscillate between meeting the challenges of avoiding overhydration and preventing dehydration. To understand how green-backed firecrowns (Sephanoides sephanoides) accomplish this, we examined the response of water-handling processes in the gastrointestinal tract (GIT) and kidney to different rates of water intake during the evening, night, and morning. Fractional water absorption in the GIT was independent of water intake rate (evening: 0.91 ± 0.08; morning: 0.88 ± 0.04). Consistent with this nonregulated water absorption, we found linear increases in water flux, fractional turnover of body water, and the rate of renal water loading as water intake rate increased during both the evening and morning. Despite these relationships, glomerular filtration rate (GFR) was insensitive to water loading (evening: 2.08 ± 0.56 ml/h; morning: 1.84 ± 0.68 ml/h) and less than the allometric expectation (2.92 ml/h). During the evening, fractional renal water reabsorption decreased linearly as the rate of water intake increased. At night, a period of natural fasting for hummingbirds, mean GFR was not different from zero (0.00 ± 0.05 ml/h). These findings indicate that green-backed firecrowns eliminate excess ingested water by decreasing water reabsorption in the kidney; to conserve water, it appears that hummingbirds arrest whole kidney GFR, effectively preventing urinary water losses. After discounting evaporative water losses, our results show that hummingbirds rely principally on their renal system to resolve the osmoregulatory quandary posed by nectarivory. Copyright © 2006 the American Physiological Society.

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Título según WOS: Gastrointestinal and renal responses to water intake in the green-backed firecrown (Sephanoides sephanoides), a South American hummingbird
Título según SCOPUS: Gastrointestinal and renal responses to water intake in the green-backed firecrown (Sephanoides sephanoides), a South American hummingbird
Título de la Revista: AMERICAN JOURNAL OF PHYSIOLOGY-REGULATORY INTEGRATIVE AND COMPARATIVE PHYSIOLOGY
Volumen: 291
Asunto: 3
Editorial: AMER PHYSIOLOGICAL SOC
Fecha de publicación: 2006-01-01
Página de inicio: R830
Página final: R836
Idioma: English
DOI/URL:

10.1152/ajpregu.00137.2006

Identificador: 10.1152/ajpregu.00137.2006
Notas: ISI, SCOPUS