To send content items to your account,
please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies.
If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account.
Find out more about sending content to .
To send content items to your Kindle, first ensure email@example.com
is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings
on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part
of your Kindle email address below.
Find out more about sending to your Kindle.
Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations.
‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi.
‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.
We investigated the efficiency of the autoregressive repeatability model (AR) for genetic evaluation of longitudinal reproductive traits in Portuguese Holstein cattle and compared the results with those from the conventional repeatability model (REP). The data set comprised records taken during the first four calving orders, corresponding to a total of 416, 766, 872 and 766 thousand records for interval between calving to first service, days open, calving interval and daughter pregnancy rate, respectively. Both models included fixed (month and age classes associated to each calving order) and random (herd-year-season, animal and permanent environmental) effects. For AR model, a first-order autoregressive (co)variance structure was fitted for the herd-year-season and permanent environmental effects. The AR outperformed the REP model, with lower Akaike Information Criteria, lower Mean Square Error and Akaike Weights close to unity. Rank correlations between estimated breeding values (EBV) with AR and REP models ranged from 0.95 to 0.97 for all studied reproductive traits, when the total bulls were considered. When considering only the top-100 selected bulls, the rank correlation ranged from 0.72 to 0.88. These results indicate that the re-ranking observed at the top level will provide more opportunities for selecting the best bulls. The EBV reliabilities provided by AR model was larger for all traits, but the magnitudes of the annual genetic progress were similar between two models. Overall, the proposed AR model was suitable for genetic evaluations of longitudinal reproductive traits in dairy cattle, outperforming the REP model.
The adult and metacercaria life stages of a new species of the microphallid genus Atriophallophorus Deblock & Rosé, 1964 are described from specimens collected at Lake Alexandrina (South Island, New Zealand). In addition to molecular analyses of ribosomal and mitochondrial genes, metacercariae of Atriophallophorus winterbourni n. sp. from the snail host Potamopyrgus antipodarum (Gray) were grown in vitro to characterize internal and external morphology of adults using light and scanning electron microscopy and histological techniques. Atriophallophorus winterbourni n. sp. is readily distinguishable from Atriophallophorus coxiellae Smith, 1973 by having a different structure of the prostatic chamber, sub-circular and dorsal to genital atrium, rather than cylindrical, fibrous, elongate and placed between the seminal vesicle and the genital atrium. The new species is most similar to Atriophallophorus minutus (Price, 1934) with regards to the prostatic chamber and the morphometric data, but possesses elongate-oval testes and subtriangular ovary rather than oval and transversely oval in A. minutus. Phylogenetic analyses including sequence data for A. winterbourni n. sp. suggested a congeneric relationship of the new species to a hitherto undescribed metacercariae reported from Australia, both forming a strongly supported clade closely related to Microphallus and Levinseniella. In addition, we provide an amended diagnosis of Atriophallophorus to accommodate the new species and confirm the sinistral interruption of the outer rim of the ventral sucker caused by the protrusion of the dextral parietal atrial scale at the base of the phallus.
This study evaluated the effects of rosuvastatin in vivo on toxoplasmosis chronic infection. Thirty-five Swiss mice were orally infected (ME-49 strain). After 50 days, the mice were separated into five groups: GI – non-infected, GII – infected, GIII – infected and treated with pyrimethamine and sulfadiazine (12.5 + 50 mg kg−1 body weight day−1), GIV and GV – infected and treated with rosuvastatin 10 and 40 mg kg−1 body weight day−1, respectively. After 21 days, we collected blood, liver, lungs, femoral biceps and brain were removed for Toxoplasma gondii DNA quantification by qPCR and histopathological analysis. GIV and GV did not present premature death or clinical changes, and the hepatic enzyme levels were lower compared to GI. Toxoplasma gondii DNA was detected mainly in brain and muscle, but the parasite load was significantly lower in GV compared to GII brains (P < 0.05). Histopathological changes were observed in brains, with T. gondii cysts as well as an inflammatory condition, including necrosis areas in GII and GIII. These data confirm active infection with tissue injury. This inflammatory condition was attenuated in the groups treated with rosuvastatin, especially R40 (GV). Our findings demonstrated the in vivo action of rosuvastatin in reducing cerebral parasitic load and indicate that this drug may interfere in chronic toxoplasmosis.
Masting and regeneration dynamics were investigated in a long-term perspective using Abies cephalonica as a study tree species. Extensive fieldwork was implemented in Parnitha National Park, Greece, following a large-scale wildfire. Annual cone production was monitored for a 5-year period in 130 tagged trees, in 13 plots with 10 individuals each, established both within the unburned part of the forest and in surviving fragments of the burned area. In the most recent masting year, a high percentage (88%) of cone-bearing trees was recorded, along with a sizeable, average cone production (40.8 cones per tree). In the intermediate, non-masting years, the corresponding values ranged from 2% to 55% and 0.08 to 5.9 cones per tree, respectively. The reproduction process is affected by both tree density and regional climatic conditions, in particular temperature during spring of the maturation year and precipitation during spring and summer of the previous year. For the first time according to our knowledge, natural regeneration was recorded for a 4-year period, in 13 permanent transects within the monitoring plots, in relation with a masting event and the additional implications of a preceding wildfire. Highest mean density of seedlings and saplings (11.4 per m2) was observed during the first spring after masting. In the non-masting years, the corresponding value ranged from 2.1 to 2.9 per m2. Seedling survival during their first summer was considerable (30–76%) but stabilized afterwards (1–3 years) at a lower level (10–20%). The particular post-masting seedling flush was followed by an extremely high mortality rate (88.6%) and cannot represent a major recruitment event.
Helminth and protozoan infections are responsible for important diseases in grazing sheep, which can be especially threatening in an autochthonous breed at risk of extinction like the Churra Galega Mirandesa Portuguese sheep breed. The aim of the present study was to determine the diversity, prevalence and burden of gastrointestinal parasites in these sheep and to assess the effects of deworming practices, cohabiting animals on the farm and feed management. Coprological qualitative and quantitative analysis (flotation, natural sedimentation and McMaster method) were used to identify and quantify gastrointestinal parasites and a questionnaire was designed and applied. A total of 512 faecal samples were collected from 49 flocks, and 49 replies to the questionnaire were received. Parasites were identified in 100% of the flocks, and in 97% of the samples. The genera or species that have been morphologically identified were: strongyle-type, Nematodirus spp., Skrjabinema spp., Moniezia expansa, Moniezia benedeni, Trichuris spp., Capillaria spp., Eimeria spp., Dicrocoelium spp. and Fasciola hepatica. This is the first report in Portugal of Skrjabinema spp. The burden of parasites’ oocysts and eggs per gram in faecal samples ranged, respectively, from 50 to 17,550 for Eimeria spp., and from 50 to 6250 for strongyle-type eggs. Factors affecting parasitic infections were evaluated using a multivariate logistic regression. Grazing time and a lack of anthelmintic treatment were positively associated with Nematodirus spp. infection. This study showed that there is a high prevalence and diversity of gastrointestinal parasites in the Churra Galega Mirandesa sheep breed.
The BW has been largely used as a selection criterion in genetic selection programmes; however, increases in BW can affect animal metabolism and metabolites. The knowledge of how genetic potential for growth affects the metabolites can give a footprint of growth metabolism. This research aimed to evaluate the effect of genetic potential for post-weaning growth (GG) on performance, carcass traits and serum metabolome of non-castrated Nellore males during the finishing phase. Forty-eight Nellore non-castrated males, with divergent potential for post-weaning growth, were selected and divided into two groups: high potential for post-weaning growth (HG; n = 24) and low potential for post-weaning growth (LG; n = 24). Animals were kept and fed for 90 days where performance and ultrasound carcass traits were evaluated. Blood samples were collected at the beginning and end of feeding period to analyse serum metabolites concentration. The hot carcass weight and dressing percentage were recorded at slaughter. The feedlot performance and carcass traits were not affected by genetic potential. The HG animals had a lower glucose (P = 0.039), glutamate (P = 0.038), glutamine (P = 0.004), greater betaine (P = 0.039) and pyruvate (P = 0.039) compared to the LG group at the beginning of feedlot. In addition, higher creatine phosphate concentrations were observed at the beginning of feeding period, compared to final, for both groups (P = 0.039). In conclusion, the genetic potential for post-weaning growth does not affect performance and carcass traits during the finishing period. Differences in metabolite concentrations can be better found at the beginning of feedlot, providing a footprint of growth metabolism, but similar metabolite concentration at the end of finishing period.
The Rio Branco is a river with unique biogeographic and ecological features, threatened by the Brazilian Government’s plan to build a major hydroelectric dam and associated hydroway along its course. The river crosses one of Amazonia’s largest rainfall gradients and a major geomorphological boundary along a savanna/forest ecotone, marked by the Bem Querer rapids. Above the rapids, the upper Rio Branco runs through the Boa Vista sedimentary formation and crosses the crystalline rocks of the Guiana Shield, and its margins are flanked by gallery forests. Downriver, it runs through a low-lying sedimentary basin, with Amazonian floodplain forests along its margins. Here, we present the results of ∼ 15 years of ornithological research on the Branco and its major tributaries, providing baseline data and evaluating potential threats to the riverine avifauna. Our surveys included opportunistic observations and standardized surveys along the entire length of the river in 16 systematically distributed localities. We catalogued 439 bird species, 87% of which are documented by physical evidence (specimens, recordings, photographs). Forty-six percent are restricted to single habitats, suggesting a high degree of habitat specialisation. A third of the species are widely distributed along the river, whereas 45% are restricted to either the upper or the lower Rio Branco, including 40 and 30 Indicator Species, respectively. Twenty-five species are threatened at global or national levels, including two ‘Critically Endangered’, nine ‘Vulnerable’, and 14 ‘Near Threatened’. We present a list of 50 bird species that are candidates for monitoring studies. Threats to the avifauna from dam construction include permanent flooding above the dam, eliminating gallery forests, river islands, and sandy beaches, and the disruption of the flood pulse along the river, affecting river island and floodplain forest specialists, many of which are globally threatened with extinction. If built, the Bem Querer dam will wipe out the ecotone region and affect dramatically the river’s avifauna.
Tuberculosis (TB) is the leading cause of death among infectious diseases worldwide. Among the estimated cases of drug-resistant TB, approximately 60% occur in the BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa). Among Brazilian states, primary and acquired multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB) rates were the highest in Rio Grande do Sul (RS). This study aimed to perform molecular characterisation of MDR-TB in the State of RS, a high-burden Brazilian state. We performed molecular characterisation of MDR-TB cases in RS, defined by drug susceptibility testing, using 131 Mycobacterium tuberculosis (M.tb) DNA samples from the Central Laboratory. We carried out MIRU-VNTR 24loci, spoligotyping, sequencing of the katG, inhA and rpoB genes and RDRio sublineage identification. The most frequent families found were LAM (65.6%) and Haarlem (22.1%). RDRio deletion was observed in 42 (32%) of the M.tb isolates. Among MDR-TB cases, eight (6.1%) did not present mutations in the studied genes. In 116 (88.5%) M.tb isolates, we found mutations associated with rifampicin (RIF) resistance in rpoB gene, and in 112 isolates (85.5%), we observed mutations related to isoniazid resistance in katG and inhA genes. An insertion of 12 nucleotides (CCAGAACAACCC) at the 516 codon in the rpoB gene, possibly responsible for a decreased interaction of RIF and RNA polymerase, was found in 19/131 of the isolates, belonging mostly to LAM and Haarlem families. These results enable a better understanding of the dynamics of transmission and evolution of MDR-TB in the region.
Diabetes mellitus is a global epidemic, characterised as a heterogeneous group of metabolic disorders associated with high risk of CVD. Green banana biomass, which is composed of resistant starches (RS) and cannot be hydrolysed by amylases, delays gastric emptying and modulates insulin sensitivity, thus contributing to improve metabolic disorders. The aim of the present study was to investigate the effects of consumption of RS from green banana biomass on body composition, fasting plasma glucose, glycated Hb (HbA1c) and homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance in subjects with pre-diabetes or type 2 diabetes on top of treatment. Middle-aged subjects (n 113) of both sexes with pre-diabetes (HbA1c: 5·7–6·4 %) or diabetes (HbA1c ≥ 6·5 %) were randomised to receive nutritional support plus green banana biomass (40 g) (RS: approximately 4·5 g, G1, n 62) or diet alone (G2, n 51) for 24 weeks. Body composition, biochemical analyses and dietary intake were evaluated at the beginning and end of the study. In the experimental group (G1), consumption of RS was associated with reduction in HbA1c (P = 0·0001), fasting glucose (P = 0·021), diastolic blood pressure (P = 0·010), body weight (P = 0·002), BMI (P = 0·006), waist and hip circumferences (P < 0·01), fat mass percentage (P = 0·001) and increase in lean mass percentage (P = 0·011). In controls (G2), reductions were observed in waist and hip circumferences (P < 0·01), HbA1c (P = 0·002) and high-density lipoprotein-cholesterol (P = 0·020). In pre-diabetes or diabetes, non-significant differences were observed in the percentage reduction in HbA1c and fasting glucose in exploratory analyses. Our results indicate that the consumption of bioactive starches is a good dietary strategy to improve metabolic control and body composition.
This study aimed to calculate economic values (EVs) and economic selection indices for milk production systems in small rural properties. The traits 305-d milk yield in kg (MY), fat (FP) and protein (PP) percentage, daily fat (FY) and protein (PY) yield, cow live weight in kg (LW), calving interval (CI), and logarithm of daily somatic cell count (SCC) in milk were considered the goals and selection criteria. The production systems were identified from 29 commercial properties based on the inventory of revenues and costs and of zootechnical field data. Later, bioeconomic models were developed to calculate the productive performance, revenues, and costs concerning milk production to estimate EVs, which were calculated as the difference in annual profit with dairy production resulting from a change in one unit of the trait while keeping the others constant and dividing the value by the number of cows. After the EVs were known, ten economic selection indices were estimated for each system so they could be compared by modifying the selection criteria and calculating the relative importance of each selection criteria, the accuracy of the economic selection index, and response expected to the selection in USD, among other parameters. One of the systems detected was called less intensive (LS) and was characterized by having ten cows in lactation that produced 13·5 l/d and consumed 1·8 kg of concentrate/d. The second system detected was called more intensive (IS) and had 22 cows in lactation that produced 17·5 l/d and consumed 3·4 kg of concentrate/d. Monthly profits per cows in lactation of USD 2·60 and USD 68·77 were recorded for LS and IS, respectively. The EVs of the traits MY, FP, and PP were all positive, while for the other traits they were all negative in all situations. The best economic selection indices were those featuring selection criteria MY, LW, and CI, while the trait LW had the greatest importance in both systems. These results indicate that animal frame must be controlled in order to maximize the system's profit.
Protein is the most costly nutrient in fish feed, and while diets offered in the early stages of development typically have high levels of CP, they do not always correspond to the real requirements of the animals. Thus, research that seeks to learn the true nutritional requirements of fish is fundamental to improving commercial fish culture. The present study evaluated the protein requirements of Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) under larviculture. Fish performance, gene expression for digestive enzymes and their enzymatic activity and stress response to air exposure were analyzed. Four experimental diets differing in CP level were formulated: 30%, 36%, 42% and 48%. Fish larvae were fed the experimental diets during development and sampled 10, 20 and 30 days after the beginning of the experiment for performance, gene expression and enzymatic activity. At sampling time 30, stress resistance was also evaluated by means of an air exposure test. At sampling time 10, CP levels between 36% and 48% could be used for a better performance. During this period, pepsinogen expression was greater for 30% CP, intermediate for 42% and lower for 36% and 48%. After this initial period, diets of between 30% and 42% CP are recommended for better performance. At sampling time 20, gene expression for digestive enzymes and their enzymatic activity were similar for all diets tested. At sampling time 30, the diet of 42% CP induced both greater pepsinogen expression and pepsin activity. Survival after the air exposure test after 30 days of feeding was influenced by CP level in the diet, with the highest survival being for fish fed with 36% CP. Taken together, the present results demonstrate that dietary CP influences digestive enzyme gene expression and activity, and suggest that the best CP levels for Nile tilapia larviculture vary depending on larval stage.
Sugarcane is an important forage source for dairy cows in tropical countries. However, it provides limited digestible fiber and energy intake, and fat supplementation can be a way to increase energy density and decrease dietary, non-fiber carbohydrates concentrations. We aimed to evaluate the performance, digestion and metabolism of dairy cows in early lactation fed different concentrations of soybean oil (SBO) in sugarcane-based diets. Fourteen primiparous (545±17.2 kg of BW) and eight multiparous (629±26.7 kg BW) Holstein dairy cows were used according to a randomized block design. After calving, diets were randomly assigned to cows within the two parity groups. Diets were formulated with increasing concentrations of SBO (g/kg dry matter (DM)): control (0), low (LSBO; 15.7), medium (MSBO; 44.3) and high (HSBO; 73.4). The study was performed from calving until 84 days in milk, divided into three periods of 28 days each. Dry matter intake (DMI) was affected quadratically in response to SBO addition with the greatest and lowest values of 19.0 and 16.0 kg/day for LSBO and HSBO diets, respectively. The digestibility of potentially digestible NDF was quadratically affected by SBO with the greatest value of 623 g/kg for LSBO diet. Both milk and energy-corrected milk (ECM) production were quadratically affected by SBO inclusion, with greatest ECM values of 27.9 and 27.3 for LSBO and MSBO, respectively. Soybean oil inclusion linearly decreased milk fat concentration by 13.2% from control to HSBO. The CLA t10,c12-18:2 was observed in milk fat only for MSBO and HSBO diets. Soybean oil inclusion did not affect plasma glucose or serum concentrations of total proteins, globulins, albumin, urea nitrogen, beta-hydroxybutyrate, non-esterified fatty acids or insulin. Serum concentrations of total cholesterol, triglycerides and low-density lipoprotein increased with SBO supplementation. Soybean oil inclusion in sugarcane-based diets for early lactation dairy cows from 15.7 to 44.3 g/kg DM can improve energy intake and performance; however, at 44.3 g/kg DM milk fat concentration and ECM decreased. Soybean oil inclusion at 73.4 g/kg DM adversely affected energy intake, fiber digestion and performance of early lactation dairy cows and is not recommended.
Lactose percentage (LP) in milk is currently determined in most herd-testing schemes, and globally, it is usually routinely recorded in the framework of the official milk recording procedures. However, few studies have investigated the phenotypic and genetic variability of this component. Data used in the present paper consisted of 59 811 test-day records from 4355 Holstein cows in 266 herds. Heritabilities of LP and lactose yield (LY) were estimated through single-trait repeatability animal models, whereas genetic and phenotypic correlations of LP and LY with milk composition and production traits, somatic cell score and milk freezing point were estimated using bivariate models. Fixed effects included in the analyses were herd-test-date, season of calving, parity, stage of lactation and the interaction between parity and stage of lactation. Random effects were animal additive genetic, within and across lactation permanent environment and the residual. Lactation curves of LP and LY increased from parturition to the peak of lactation and decreased thereafter, mirroring the typical curve of milk yield. Lactose percentage was greater in first- than later-parity cows. Heritabilities of LP and LY were 0.43±0.03 and 0.14±0.02, respectively, and LP and protein percentage were the most repeatable traits. Genetic correlations (ra) of LP with somatic cell score, LY and milk freezing point were −0.22±0.08, 0.28±0.08 and −0.46±0.05, respectively. Genetic relationships of LY with milk yield (ra=0.97±0.00), fat percentage (ra=−0.71±0.06), protein percentage (ra=−0.57±0.06) and protein yield (ra=0.64±0.06) were moderate to strong. Results suggest that milk LP could be considered in breeding strategies to accelerate the gain of correlated low heritable traits. Further research is needed to evaluate the feasibility of including LP in the selection index of Italian Holstein population to address country-specific needs and market demands.
Studies on threatened species in highly modified and unprotected landscapes are necessary for the development of appropriate conservation policies. This is particularly important for species with large home ranges, such as the giant armadillo Priodontes maximus, whose occurrence in anthropogenic landscapes is poorly known despite its categorization as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List. We searched and surveyed for the giant armadillo within human-modified areas in central Brazil using direct and indirect methods across a wide region dominated by diverse farming environments and scattered remnants of natural vegetation. During a 14-year period (2003–2016), we located 54 records of the species, including three road-kills and two instances of poaching. Most of the occurrence points (83%) were in native vegetation, with 17% in anthropogenic environments (pastures and roads). We confirmed the presence of the giant armadillo within a wide, intensely human-altered region. These findings indicate that Cerrado and Atlantic Forest remnants in modified landscapes in central Brazil play an important role as refuges for this armadillo species. In addition to habitat loss, road-kills and poaching persist as threats to the giant armadillo. Conservation actions are necessary to minimize human impacts and facilitate the persistence of the giant armadillo in this region. Policies that both deter illegal deforestation and strengthen incentives for the protection of natural vegetation remnants and restoration of biological corridors such as gallery forests would aid conservation of the giant armadillo in this area.
Beneficial effects of probiotics have been reported on body weight, lipid and carbohydrate metabolism, inflammatory state and oxidative stress in healthy subjects and in many metabolic and inflammatory diseases. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of Bifidobacterium lactis HN019 on inflammatory state and nitro-oxidative stress in patients with and without the metabolic syndrome (MetS). The usual diets of the thirty-three subjects were supplemented with probiotic milk for 90 d. Inflammatory markers and oxidative measurements were performed. In relation to the baseline values, subjects in both groups showed a decrease in homocysteine (P=0·02 and P=0·03, respectively), hydroperoxides (P=0·02 and P=0·01, respectively) and IL-6 levels (P=0·02). Increases in adiponectin (P=0·04) and nitric oxide metabolites (NOx, P=0·001) levels were only seen in the group with the MetS in relation to the baseline values, whereas only the individuals without the MetS had increases in total radical-trapping antioxidant parameter levels (P=0·002). In conclusion, B. lactis HN019 have several beneficial effects on inflammatory and oxidative biomarkers in healthy subjects and the MetS patients. Patients with the MetS showed a specific improvement in adiponectin and NOx levels, whereas a specific favourable effect was shown in the antioxidant defenses in healthy subjects. If the results obtained in the present study are confirmed, supplementation of fermented milk with probiotics in healthy subjects and patients with the MetS must be further discussed.
This study evaluated the effects of diet containing taro flour on hormone levels and the seminiferous tubules morphology of rats. After weaning, the male rats were divided into two groups (n=12 each): control group (CG) treated with control diet and taro group (TG), fed with 25% taro flour for 90 days. Food, caloric intake, mass and body length were evaluated at experiment end. Testis followed the standard histological processing. Immunostaining was performed using an anti-vimentin antibody to identify Sertoli cells. In histomorphometry, total diameter, total area, epithelial height, luminal height and luminal area were analyzed. The testosterone levels were performed using the radioimmunoassay method. Group TG presented (P<0.05): increase in mass, body length, testicular weight, histomorphometric parameters and hormonal levels. Food intake, calorie and Sertoli cells not presented statistical differences. The taro promoted increase in the testicles parameters and hormones.
Human strongyloidiasis is caused by helminth Strongyloides stercoralis. It has a worldwide distribution, often neglected and cause of severe morbidity. The parasitological diagnosis is hindered by the low and irregular amount of larvae in feces. The goal of the present study was to detect IgG and IgG immune complex using conventional serum samples and saliva as alternative samples. We collected samples from 60 individuals, namely: group I composed of 30 healthy individuals; and group II composed of 30 individuals eliminating S. stercoralis larvae in feces. We calculated the area under the curve, general index of diagnostic accuracy, Kappa index and determined the correlations between different diagnostic tests. The detection of IgG levels was performed by an immunoenzymatic assay with alkaline extract of S. venezuelensis larvae as antigen. Positivity of anti-S. stercoralis IgG in serum samples from group I was 3·3%, and from group II 93·3%. The detection of immune complex indicated that group I exhibited 3·3% and group II 56·7%. In the saliva samples, IgG detection was 26·7% for group I and 43·3% for group II. Immune complex was detected in 20% of group I, and 30% of group II. IgG immune complex in conventional serum samples and saliva as alternative samples can be considered biomarkers for the diagnosis of active strongyloidiasis.
Abies cephalonica cone and seed morphometric characteristics as well as seed germination behaviour were investigated during an 8-year-long diachronic study (2007–2015). The research was carried out in Parnitha National Park, in the part of this Greek endemic, silver fir population that was spared from an unprecedented wildfire (2007). A statistically significant interannual and among-tree variation of cone traits has been identified, except for cone diameter. Cone length is correlated to the number of seeds per cone, while the percentage of empty seeds has been consistently high, with extreme values of 29.3 and 81.8% in a masting (2015) and lean crop (2009) year, respectively. There is also a considerable proportion of dead (including infected) and non-germinated seeds, and the eventual germinable fraction is well below 25% with spikes in masting years (39.4 and 60.9% in 2010 and 2015, respectively). Untreated seeds have been tested at a wide range of constant and alternating temperatures and germination is completed within 4–5 weeks at T ≥ 15°C and ca 15 weeks at 5–10°C. A chilling pretreatment of 4–8 weeks (at 2–4°C) concludes germination at 15–20°C within 2 weeks. A significant white light requirement has been observed for untreated seeds at 15–20°C, while germination was light indifferent at lower or higher temperatures. Data obtained in this study confirm the present, field seed germination during springtime; we may also predict an earlier germination (late autumn to mid-winter) in forest gaps, under the predicted, warmer conditions in the future.