Allocation of body reserves during winter in eider Somateria mollissima as preparation for spring migration and reproduction

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http://hdl.handle.net/10138/309618

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Laursen , K , Moller , A P , Haugaard , L , Öst , M & Vainio , J 2019 , ' Allocation of body reserves during winter in eider Somateria mollissima as preparation for spring migration and reproduction ' , Journal of Sea Research , vol. 144 , pp. 49-56 . https://doi.org/10.1016/j.seares.2018.11.005

Title: Allocation of body reserves during winter in eider Somateria mollissima as preparation for spring migration and reproduction
Author: Laursen, Karsten; Moller, Anders Pape; Haugaard, Lars; Öst, Markus; Vainio, Jouni
Contributor: University of Helsinki, Tvärminne Zoological Station
Date: 2019-02
Language: eng
Number of pages: 8
Belongs to series: Journal of Sea Research
ISSN: 1385-1101
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10138/309618
Abstract: Capital breeders, such as the eider duck Somateria mollissima, accumulate resources before the start of breeding. Eiders preferentially feed on blue mussels Mytilus edulis to build up body condition during winter. We explored how body condition and gizzard mass of wintering eiders relate to mussel quality and quantity, winter climate and body condition of females at the breeding grounds. Body condition during winter (defined as scaled body mass index) of eiders increased during winter and the magnitude of the effect depended on age and mussel quality. Gizzard mass of eiders increased during winter with effects of mussel quality, mussel stocks and sex. Body condition in winter of adult females increased from the first half of January to the second half of February on average by 1.5%, equal to c. 96 g. During the same period gizzard mass of adult females increased by 12.2%, i.e., a nearly ten-fold increase compared to that observed in body condition in winter. Body condition of females at the breeding grounds in Finland (defined as body condition at hatching) was significantly positively correlated with gizzard mass in winter, but not significantly correlated with body condition in winter. Thus, eiders allocate body reserves to increase gizzard mass but less so to increase body condition in winter. This can be considered an adaptive migratory strategy of these eiders, whereby large winter (pre-migratory) gizzards increase food processing capacity, making it possible for eiders to arrive at the breeding grounds with superior body condition and a high reproductive potential.
Subject: Blue mussel
Gizzard mass
Mussel quality
Mussel stocks
Body condition in winter
Somateria mollissima
Winter climate
WADDEN SEA
INCOME DICHOTOMY
MASS
SIZE
STRATEGIES
SURVIVAL
SUCCESS
NUMBERS
QUALITY
SITE
1181 Ecology, evolutionary biology
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