Gastrointestinal bacteria play a central role in the health of animals. The bacteria that individuals acquire as they age may therefore have profound consequences for their future fitness. However, changes in microbial community structure with host age remain poorly understood. We characterised the cloacal bacteria assemblages of chicks and adults in a natural population of black-legged kittiwakes (Rissa tridactyla), using molecular methods.
Age Factors Animals Animals, Wild/growth & development Animals, Wild/microbiology Bacteria/classification Bacteria/genetics Bacteria/isolation & purification* Charadriiformes/growth & development Charadriiformes/microbiology* Cloaca/microbiology* Female Male Microbiota* Molecular Sequence Data Phylogeny