Can gut microbiota analysis be beneficial for ex-situ and in-situ conservation of threatened animal species?

Sandri, Camillo (2021) Can gut microbiota analysis be beneficial for ex-situ and in-situ conservation of threatened animal species?, [Dissertation thesis], Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna. Dottorato di ricerca in Scienze e tecnologie agrarie, ambientali e alimentari, 33 Ciclo. DOI 10.48676/unibo/amsdottorato/9979.
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Ex-situ conservation and the in-situ conservation of natural habitats are the tools to conserve biodiversity. Habitats and ecosystems have been becoming altered by human activities and a growing number of species requires form of management to ensure their survival. Conservation queries become more complex and urgent. Developing scientifically based and innovative approaches to ex-situ conservation is necessary. Recent studies underline importance of gut microbiome in animal health with implications for animal conservation and management. Animal and human studies have demonstrated that environmental factors can impact gut microbiome composition. Within this scenario, the present work focused on species belonging to different taxa, reptiles and mammals: Aldabrachelys gigantea, the giant tortoise of the Seychelles islands and Indri indri, the greatest leaving lemur of Madagascar. The Seychelles giant tortoise is vulnerable species with declining population, whereas the indri is a critically endangered species that could reach the extinction within 25 years. Both need research to help them to survive. Tortoises live for very long time and to observe how they can afford the environmental changes is very difficult. Indris, instead, are able to survive only in a small area of the Madagascar forest, with a very strong link between the species’ survival and the environment. The obtained results underline importance of environmental factors, both in-situ and ex-situ, for species conservation. Microbiome could help the organisms to respond on a short timescale and cope with, environmental changes. However, species with long generation time might not be able to adapt to fast changes but bacteria with a short generation time can adapt on a shorter timescale allowing the host to cope with fluctuating environment. Gut microbiome plays an important role in an animal’s health and has the potential to improve the management of individuals under human care for conservation purposes.

Tipologia del documento
Tesi di dottorato
Sandri, Camillo
Dottorato di ricerca
Settore disciplinare
Settore concorsuale
Parole chiave
Microbiota, tortoises, indris, controlled environment, conservation, in situ, mycobiota, soil, geophagy
Data di discussione
15 Ottobre 2021

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