Document Detail

Are stress hormone levels a good proxy of foraging success? An experiment with king penguins, Aptenodytes patagonicus.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  19684217     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
In seabirds, variations in stress hormone (corticosterone; henceforth CORT) levels have been shown to reflect changing marine conditions and, especially, changes in food availability. However, it remains unclear how CORT levels can be mechanistically affected by these changes at the individual level. Specifically, the influence of food acquisition and foraging success on CORT secretion is poorly understood. In this study, we tested whether food acquisition can reduce baseline CORT levels (;the food intake hypothesis') by experimentally reducing foraging success of King Penguins (Aptenodytes patagonicus). Although CORT levels overall decreased during a foraging trip, CORT levels did not differ between experimental birds and controls. These results demonstrate that mass gain at sea is not involved in changes in baseline CORT levels in this species. The overall decrease in CORT levels during a foraging trip could result from CORT-mediated energy regulation (;the energy utilisation hypothesis'). Along with other evidence, we suggest that the influence of foraging success and food intake on CORT levels is complex and that the ecological meaning of baseline CORT levels can definitely vary between species and ecological contexts. Therefore, further studies are needed to better understand (1) how baseline CORT levels are functionally regulated according to energetic status and energetic demands and (2) to what extent CORT can be used to aid in the conservation of seabird populations.
Frédéric Angelier; Mathieu Giraudeau; Charles-André Bost; Fabrice Le Bouard; Olivier Chastel
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't    
Journal Detail:
Title:  The Journal of experimental biology     Volume:  212     ISSN:  1477-9145     ISO Abbreviation:  J. Exp. Biol.     Publication Date:  2009 Sep 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2009-08-17     Completed Date:  2009-12-15     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0243705     Medline TA:  J Exp Biol     Country:  England    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  2824-9     Citation Subset:  IM    
Centre d'Etudes Biologiques de Chizé, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, 79360, Villiers en Bois, France.
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MeSH Terms
Body Composition
Corticosterone / blood*
Feeding Behavior*
Spheniscidae / anatomy & histology,  metabolism*,  physiology
Reg. No./Substance:

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