Title Dietary isotopic discrimination in gentoo penguin
Author Polito, M.J.; Abel, S.; Tobias, C.R.; Emslie, S.D.
Author Affil Polito, M.J., University of North Carolina, Department of Biology and Marine Biology, Wilmington, NC. Other: Henry Doorly Zoo
Source Polar Biology, 34(7), p.1057-1063. Publisher: Springer-Verlag, Berlin, Germany. ISSN: 0722-4060
Publication Date July 2011
Notes In English. NSF grants ANT-0125098 and ANT-0739575. 34 refs. GeoRef Acc. No: 309871
Index Terms Southern Ocean; Aves; biochemistry; C- 13/C-12; carbon; Chordata; diet; ecology; experimental studies; feathers; feeding; isotope ratios; isotopes; laboratory studies; N-15/N-14; Neornithes; nitrogen; Sphenisciformes; stable isotopes; Tetrapoda; Vertebrata
Abstract Feathers are used commonly for stable isotope analysis to assess the foraging ecology and migration patterns of birds. However, these studies often require knowledge of species-specific feather isotopic discrimination factors (the differences in isotopic ratios between a species' diet and feathers), which can be influenced by a species' physiological state during molt. In this study, we determined the isotopic discrimination factors (Delta 13Cdiet-feather and Delta 15Ndiet-feather) between adult gentoo penguin (Pygoscelis papua) diet and feathers in a controlled study. In addition, we tested whether molt duration or the magnitude of voluntary dietary reduction during molt influenced isotopic discrimination, as previous studies have found that nutritional stress can exaggerate 15N enrichment and in some cases lead to 13C depletion in feathers. Contrary to this hypothesis, we found no effect of molt duration or dietary reduction on discrimination factors, suggesting that isotopic discrimination is not linearly related to these measures of fasting intensity in penguins. Furthermore, we found that the range of Delta 15Ndiet-feather found in several species of penguins, which fast while they molt, was similar to discrimination factors in fish-eating birds, which do not fast during molt. It is likely that species- specific metabolic adaptations that limit nutritional stress while fasting and variation in their relative reliance on endogenous vs. dietary pools during feather growth may confound the use of Delta 15Ndiet- feather as a general measure of nutritional stress when comparing among species.
URL http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s00300-011-0966-5
Publication Type journal article
Record ID 91550