Nutrient allocation for egg production in six atlantic seabirds

Alexander L. Bond, Antony W. Diamond

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Citations (Scopus)


How species allocate nutrients to egg production is an important question in contaminant analyses. Seabird eggs are sampled frequently in such studies, so it is important to know the source of nutrients in these eggs if the source of the contaminants is to be traced. We used a stable-isotope approach to evaluate the relative importance of locally derived nutrients (income breeding) and stored nutrient reserves (capital breeding) in six species of Atlantic seabirds (Arctic Tern, Sterna paradisaea Pontoppidan, 1763; Common Tern, Sterna hirundo L., 1758; Atlantic Puffin, Fratercula arctica (L., 1758); Common Murre, Uria aalge (Pontoppidan, 1763); Razorbill, Alca torda L., 1758; Leach's Storm-Petrel, Oceano-droma leucorhoa (Vieillot, 1818)) breeding in the Bay of Fundy. We found that all species either were income breeders or adopted an intermediate strategy whereby varying proportions of locally derived nutrients were incorporated into eggs. Each species' migratory behaviour is likely a main factor in determining the amount of endogenous nutrients used in egg formation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1095-1102
Number of pages8
JournalCanadian Journal of Zoology
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2010


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