1 April 2008 Using Plasma-Lipid Metabolites to Index Changes in Lipid Reserves of Free-Living Lesser Scaup (Aythya Affinis)
Michael J. Anteau, Alan D. Afton
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Understanding daily lipid-reserve changes in migrating wild birds is important for habitat assessment and species conservation. Plasma-lipid metabolites have been used to estimate rates of lipid accumulation or catabolism in small-bodied wild birds (<75 g), but this has not been validated for larger-bodied wild birds such as waterfowl. We developed an index for detecting whether individual birds accumulate or catabolize lipid reserves by regressing plasma-lipid metabolite levels (triglyceride and β-hydroxybutyrate) and known one-day mass changes (daily mass change) of 22 free-living Lesser Scaup (Aythya affinis; a larger-bodied species with typical mass range 600–1,000 g). Triglyceride and β-hydroxybutyrate predicted 75% of the variation in daily mass change (F = 28.85, df = 2 and 19, P < 0.001). Triglyceride was positively correlated (P = 0.029) with mass change, and β-hydroxybutyrate was negatively correlated (P < 0.001) with mass change (daily mass change = −54.49 11.82 [triglyceride] − 28.65 [β-hydroxybutyratelog]). Our results indicate that triglyceride and β-hydroxybutyrate can estimate one-day changes in mass of free-living wild Lesser Scaup, which provides an index to daily changes in lipid reserves and should be useful for assessing quality of migration habitat.

Michael J. Anteau and Alan D. Afton "Using Plasma-Lipid Metabolites to Index Changes in Lipid Reserves of Free-Living Lesser Scaup (Aythya Affinis)," The Auk 125(2), 354-357, (1 April 2008). https://doi.org/10.1525/auk.2008.06255
Received: 2 December 2006; Accepted: 1 July 2007; Published: 1 April 2008
Aythya affinis
lesser scaup
mass change
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