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Body condition of shorebirds upon arrival at their Siberian breeding grounds

Tulp, I. and Schekkerman, H. and Klaassen, R.H.G. and Ens, B.J. and Visser, G.H. (2009) Body condition of shorebirds upon arrival at their Siberian breeding grounds. Polar Biology, 32, 481-491. ISSN 0722-4060.

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00300-008-0543-8

Abstract

Arctic breeding shorebirds carry substantial body stores on their long-distance migrations from their non-breeding grounds. Upon arrival at the breeding area the remains of these stores can be used for egg formation, insurance against poor feeding conditions or rebuilding organs. We quantified body condition (body mass, total body water, lean body mass and fat mass estimated using the deuterium dilution method) in seven shorebird species caught upon arrival in the Siberian Arctic. Arrival condition was compared with incubation condition in a subset of species. After correction for structural size, body mass was significantly lower at arrival than during incubation in most of the species (but 3–18% above lean mass). Fat index (fat mass/lean mass) varied between 5.1 and 13.2%. Fat stores were estimated to enable survival for 0.6 days for the smallest and 2.5 days for the largest species. We discuss possible functions of arrival stores: insurance, egg-formation or rebuilding organs.

Item Type:Article
Institutes:Nederlands Instituut voor Ecologie (NIOO)
ID Code:6165
Deposited On:10 Jun 2010 02:00
Last Modified:24 Apr 2012 16:45

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