Rhinoceros Auklet Developmental Responses to Food Limitation: An Experimental Study

Published on Nov 1, 2008in The Condor2.804
· DOI :10.1525/cond.2008.8531
Justine Sears3
Estimated H-index: 3
(UAF: University of Alaska Fairbanks),
Scott A. Hatch29
Estimated H-index: 29
(USGS: United States Geological Survey)
Abstract Seabirds may be particularly vulnerable to neonatal food restriction because their nestling periods tend to be long and parents may not increase foraging effort during times of prey shortage. We performed a captive study of Rhinoceros Auklet (Cerorhinca monocerata) nestlings to identify adaptations for coping with food shortages, as well as possible consequences of early diet restriction on subadult morphology. We tested effects of a ~50% caloric restriction on Rhinoceros Auklet morphological allocation and levels of the stress hormone corticosterone. Rhinoceros Auklets were reared in captivity and provisioned either ~441 kJ per day or ~227 kJ per day of high-quality forage fish until fledging (n = 13 for both treatment groups). Food-restricted Rhinoceros Auklets allocated energy heavily toward skeletal growth at the expense of mass reserves, resulting in fledglings that were proportioned very differently compared to nonrestricted birds—i.e., at 42 days of age, all birds had approximately the sam...
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