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Carotenoid diet and nestling provisioning in urban and rural great tits Parus major

Artikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift
Författare Caroline Isaksson
Staffan Andersson
Publicerad i Journal of Avian Biology
Volym 38
Nummer/häfte 5
Sidor 564-572
ISSN 0908-8857
Publiceringsår 2007
Publicerad vid Zoologiska institutionen
Sidor 564-572
Språk en
Länkar dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.0908-8857.2007...
Ämneskategorier Biologiska vetenskaper

Sammanfattning

Considering the importance of dietary constraints for the widely held view of carotenoid pigmentation as an honest quality indicator, there is surprisingly little data on carotenoid availability in different natural diets or along environmental gradients. Here we investigate the carotenoid availability in the main diet of breeding great tits Parus major, living in urban and rural environments with known differences in carotenoid pigmentation. Carotenoid availability for nestling great tits was investigated in two respects: (1) quantity and quality of diet (i.e., caterpillar abundance and their carotenoid concentration), and (2) parental feeding frequency. First, caterpillars were generally more abundant in the urban environment and the four common Lepidoptera (i.e., caterpillars) genera studied were also heavier here. Second, as determined by HPLC analysis of the caterpillar genera, carotenoid concentration was significantly lower in the urban caterpillars. Furthermore, all except one of the caterpillar genera had higher lutein/zeaxanthin ratio in urban areas, which is in accordance with earlier studies of carotenoid composition in great tit yolk. Third, parental feeding frequency was about twice as high to urban broods compared to rural broods. This result may simply reflect the higher caterpillar abundance (shorter search time) in the urban environment. Poor food quality (low carotenoid concentration) seems therefore to be compensated by quantity in the urban environment. As a consequence the carotenoid availability seems to be similar for nestlings in the two environments.

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