A big storm in a small body: seasonal changes in body mass, hormone concentrations and leukocyte profile in the little auk (Alle alle)

Katarzyna Wojczulanis-Jakubas , Dariusz Jakubas , Olivier Chastel , Izabela Kulaszewicz


Birds undergo pronounced physiological changes during the reproduction, which may be linked to their parental efforts. Examining these changes may supply information about the birds’ energy expenditure during the particular phases of breeding and help to understand birds’ decisions about their subsequent parental investments. In this study, we measured a number of variables, i.e. body mass (scaled mass index, SMI), baseline corticosterone (CORT) and prolactin (PRL) concentrations and leucocyte profile [basically heterophils-to-lymphocytes (H/L) ratio], during the prelaying, incubation and chick rearing periods in 191 little auks (Alle alle), small Arctic seabirds. We expected the changes in the physiological variables to reflect the energy demands, i.e. the highest levels during chick rearing, moderate ones during incubation and the lowest ones prior to egg laying. Unexpectedly, we found SMI to be the highest during the incubation period, whereas lower and similar to each other values were recorded during the prelaying and chick rearing periods. Also, CORT unexpectedly peaked in the prelaying period, declined during incubation and remained at the incubation level during the chick rearing period. In accordance with our expectations, the PRL concentration was five times higher during the incubation than the chick rearing period and H/L ratio followed the pattern of the CORT changes. Consequently, there is no straightforward interpretation of the observed patterns of changes. Evidently, there are factors other than parental efforts per se that account for the dynamics of physiological changes. We found no sex differences in any of the variables investigated, which indicates that male and female parental investments are very similar.
Author Katarzyna Wojczulanis-Jakubas (FB / DVEZ)
Katarzyna Wojczulanis-Jakubas,,
- Department of Vertebrate Ecology and Zoology
, Dariusz Jakubas (FB / DVEZ)
Dariusz Jakubas,,
- Department of Vertebrate Ecology and Zoology
, Olivier Chastel
Olivier Chastel,,
, Izabela Kulaszewicz (FB / DVEZ)
Izabela Kulaszewicz ,,
- Department of Vertebrate Ecology and Zoology
Journal seriesPolar Biology, ISSN 0722-4060, (A 30 pkt)
Issue year2015
Publication size in sheets0.5
Keywords in Englishavian physiology, body mass, Little Auk, corticosterone, heterophils-to-lymphocytes ratio, parental investments, prolactin
URL http://link.springer.com/content/pdf/10.1007%2Fs00300-015-1687-y.pdf
Languageen angielski
LicenseOther; published final; Uznanie Autorstwa (CC-BY); with publication
Score (nominal)30
ScoreMinisterial score = 25.0, 20-12-2017, ArticleFromJournal
Ministerial score (2013-2016) = 30.0, 20-12-2017, ArticleFromJournal
Publication indicators WoS Impact Factor: 2015 = 1.711 (2) - 2015=1.917 (5)
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