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Title: Physiological ecology of breeders and sabbaticals in a pelagic seabird
Authors: Giudici, Alessandro
Navarro, Joan
Juste de Santa Ana, María Candelaria 
González-Solís, Jacob
UNESCO Clasification: 240113 Fisiología animal
240109 Crecimiento animal
Keywords: Shearwater Calonectris-Diomedea
Northern Shovelers
Nutrient Reserves
Great Tits, et al
Issue Date: 2010
Journal: Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology 
Abstract: In long-lived seabirds, intermittent nonbreeding years in an adult life, the so called 'sabbatical years', are common. However, proximal causes that make animals decide whether to breed or not to breed are poorly known. In this study we assessed different components of the physiological state of a long-lived pelagic seabird, the Cory's shearwaters Calonectris diomedea, during the pre-laying period to understand which components are influencing breeding decisions. We analyzed plasma biochemistry, haematocrit, leukocyte counts and stable isotope (delta N-15 and delta C-13) values in blood and claws. We also recorded body mass, ectoparasite loads and fault bars in primary and tail feathers. All parameters were compared between breeders and sabbaticals and between males and females. Among all biochemical variables analyzed we found triglyceride levels in plasma to be significantly greater in breeders than in sabbaticals and in females than males. H/L ratio was lower in breeders than in sabbaticals and greater in males than females. These results suggest the ability to store fat and the immunological condition are important components compromising breeding decisions. Our study also suggests that H/L ratio can be used as a good predictor of the breeding decisions.
ISSN: 0022-0981
DOI: 10.1016/j.jembe.2010.04.002
Source: Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology [ISSN 0022-0981], v. 389 (1-2), p. 13-17. (Enero 2010)
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