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Body mass changes in a biparental incubator: the Redshank Tringa totanus

Author:
  • Gunnar Gunnarsson
  • Richard Ottvall
  • Henrik Smith
Publishing year: 2010
Language: English
Pages: 179-184
Publication/Series: Journal für Ornithologie1852-12-31+01:002004-01-01+01:00
Volume: 151
Issue: 1
Document type: Journal article
Publisher: Springer

Abstract english

Incubation is a period of high energetic costs and accordingly body mass losses are often detected. Why birds lose body mass during incubation is not well understood; suggestions are that it is either a consequence of energetic constraints or adaptations to an optimal mass trajectory. We studied body mass changes through the incubation period in the Common Redshank Tringa totanus, a biparental incubator, on southern Gotland in the Baltic Sea. In contrast to what has been found in other biparental incubators, body mass of both sexes decreased linearly through the incubation period. The estimated mean body mass loss was 6.7 g (SE 1.7), corresponding to ca. 5% of initial body mass at incubation start. Hatching success in males was not related to body mass and size. In contrast, reproductive success, measured as successful production of fledged juveniles, in males was negatively related to body mass during incubation and positively related to body size. This finding supports the theory that body mass loss might follow an optimal mass trajectory, possibly to increase agility through the chick-rearing stage. However, energy constraints causing body mass loss cannot be ruled out; in fact, it is not unlikely that body mass may change due to a combination of both adaptation and stress.

Keywords

  • Environmental Sciences
  • Ecology
  • Stress
  • Redshank
  • Incubation
  • Adaptation
  • Body mass

Other

Published
  • BECC
  • ISSN: 1439-0361
Henrik Smith
E-mail: henrik [dot] smith [at] biol [dot] lu [dot] se

Professor

Biodiversity

+46 46 222 93 79

+46 70 978 20 56

E-C313

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Director

Centre for Environmental and Climate Research (CEC)

+46 46 222 93 79

+46 70 978 20 56

C313

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Centre for Animal Movement Research
Evolutionary Ecology, Department of Biology
Ecology building S-223 62 Lund Sweden