Document Detail

Minke whales maximise energy storage on their feeding grounds.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  23325860     Owner:  NLM     Status:  In-Data-Review    
Seasonal trends in energy storage of the minke whale (Balaenoptera acutorostrata), a capital breeder, were investigated in Iceland, a North Atlantic feeding ground. The aim was to better understand the energy acquisition strategies of minke whales and the energetic costs that different reproductive classes face during the breeding season. We modelled total blubber volume, using blubber thickness and morphometric measurements of individual whales. Blubber volume was influenced by body length, and was higher for pregnant females than mature whales. Blubber volume increased linearly through the feeding season at the same rate for mature (mean ± s.e.m.=0.0028±0.00103 m(3) day(-1); N=61 male, 5 female) and pregnant whales (0.0024±0.00100 m(3) day(-1); N=49), suggesting that minke whales aim to maximise energy storage while on the feeding grounds. The total amount of blubber accumulated over the feeding season (0.51±0.119 m(3) for mature and 0.43±0.112 m(3) for pregnant whales), together with energy stored as muscle and intra-abdominal fats, constitutes the total amount of energy available for reproduction (fetus development and lactation) on the breeding grounds, as well as migration, daily field metabolic rates, growth and body maintenance. No seasonal variation was observed for immature whales (N=4 male, 12 female), suggesting that they are investing most of their excess energy into growth rather than reproduction, in order to reach the length of sexual maturity faster and start reproducing earlier. Our novel modelling approach provides insight into large whale bioenergetics and life history strategies, as well as the relationship between single-site measurement of blubber thickness and total blubber volume.
Fredrik Christiansen; Gísli A Víkingsson; Marianne H Rasmussen; David Lusseau
Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  The Journal of experimental biology     Volume:  216     ISSN:  1477-9145     ISO Abbreviation:  J. Exp. Biol.     Publication Date:  2013 Feb 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2013-01-17     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0243705     Medline TA:  J Exp Biol     Country:  England    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  427-36     Citation Subset:  IM    
Institute of Biological and Environmental Sciences, University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen AB24 2TZ, UK.
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