Document Detail

Corticosterone levels of Atlantic puffins vary with breeding stage and sex but are not elevated in poor foraging years.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  22732081     Owner:  NLM     Status:  Publisher    
Corticosterone (CORT) levels in seabirds fluctuate across breeding stages and in different foraging conditions. Here we use a ten-year data set to examine whether CORT levels in Atlantic puffins differ in years with high or low availability of capelin, the preferred forage species. Female puffins had higher CORT levels than males, possibly related to cumulative costs of egg production and higher parental investment. Puffins had higher CORT levels and body mass during pre-breeding than during chick rearing. Yearly mean chick growth rates were higher in years when adults had higher body mass and in years where adults brought chicks a lower percentage of non-fish (invertebrates/larval fish) food. Unlike most results from seabird species with shorter chick-rearing periods, higher CORT levels in puffins were not associated with lower capelin abundance. Puffins may suppress CORT levels to conserve energy in case foraging conditions improve later in the prolonged chick-rearing period. Alternatively, CORT levels may be lowest both when food is very abundant (years not in our sample) or very scarce (e.g., 2009 in this study), and increase when extra foraging effort will increase foraging efficiency (most years in this study). If these data primarily represent years with medium to poor foraging, it is possible that CORT responses to variation in foraging conditions are similar for puffins and other seabirds.
M E Rector; A-L Kouwenberg; S I Wilhelm; G J Robertson; D W McKay; M G Fitzsimmons; C R Baker; M L Cameron-Macmillan; C J Walsh; A E Storey
Publication Detail:
Type:  JOURNAL ARTICLE     Date:  2012-6-22
Journal Detail:
Title:  General and comparative endocrinology     Volume:  -     ISSN:  1095-6840     ISO Abbreviation:  -     Publication Date:  2012 Jun 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2012-6-26     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0370735     Medline TA:  Gen Comp Endocrinol     Country:  -    
Other Details:
Languages:  ENG     Pagination:  -     Citation Subset:  -    
Copyright Information:
Copyright © 2012. Published by Elsevier Inc.
Cognitive and Behavioural Ecology Graduate Program, Memorial University, St. John's, NL, Canada A1B 3X9.
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