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King eider wing molt: inferences from stable isotope analyses

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dc.contributor.author Knoche, Michael J.
dc.date.accessioned 2015-11-04T01:46:16Z
dc.date.available 2015-11-04T01:46:16Z
dc.date.issued 2004-12
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/11122/6131
dc.description Thesis (M.S.) University of Alaska Fairbanks, 2004 en_US
dc.description.abstract The western North American population of the king eider is thought to have declined by over 50% between 1974 and 1996 without an apparent cause. The non-breeding period of king eiders consists of 80-100% of their annual cycle if not impossible by observation. I used stable carbon and nitrogen isotope values of feathers and muscle to examine the wing molt and migration ecology of king eiders in 2003. Eider primary feathers were isotopically homogenous along the length of the feather, implying invariable diets during wing molt. Captive eiders in their hatch-year did not fractionate nitrogen isotopes, potentially indicating preferential protein allocation associated with growth. Six percent of female eiders sampled molted primary feathers on their breeding grounds, which had not been previously substantiated. Tissue samples from both genders corroborated dietary shifts inherent in switching from a marine to terrestrial diet. Carbon isotopes of feathers from satellite-transmittered males were correlated with longitude of their known wing molt locations indicating that the gradient of carbon isotopes can be used to draw inferences about molt location of eiders. en_US
dc.language.iso en_US en_US
dc.title King eider wing molt: inferences from stable isotope analyses en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US
dc.type.degree ms en_US
dc.identifier.department Department of Biology and Wildlife en_US


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