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Type of publication: Journal Article
Type of document: Full Paper

Year: 2017

Authors: Pohlin, F; Brabender, K; Fluch, G; Stalder, G; Petit, T; Walzer, C

Title: Seasonal Variations in Heart Rate Variability as an Indicator of Stress in Free-RangingPregnantPrzewalski's Horses (E-ferus przewalskii) within theHortobagy National Park in Hungary

Source: Front Physiol. 2017; 8:664

Authors Vetmeduni Vienna:

Fluch Gerhard
Pohlin Friederike
Stalder Gabrielle
Walzer Christian

Vetmed Research Units
Research Institute of Wildlife Ecology, Conservation Medicine
Research Institute of Wildlife Ecology

Ecosystems with seasonal fluctuations in climate and food availability present physiological challenges to resident mammals and may cause "stress." The two predominant physiological responses to stressors are (1) the activation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis and (2) the modulation of the autonomic nervous system. To date, the primary indicator for "stress" in wildlife- and zoo animal research are glucocorticoid levels. By measuring the autonomic regulation of cardiac activity, particularly the vagal tone, heart rate variability (HRV) is presently emerging as a suitable indicator of "stress" in farm- and domestic animal research.

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