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Eggs in the freezer: energetic consequences of nest site and nest design in Arctic breeding shorebirds

Tulp, Ingrid and Hans, Schekkerman and De Leeuw, Joep (2012). Eggs in the freezer: energetic consequences of nest site and nest design in Arctic breeding shorebirds. PloS one. 7:6, 1-9
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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0038041

Abstract

Birds construct nests for several reasons. For species that breed in the Arctic, the insulative properties of nests are very important. Incubation is costly there and due to an increasing surface to volume ratio, more so in smaller species. Small species are therefore more likely to place their nests in thermally favourable microhabitats and/or to invest more in nest insulation than large species. To test this hypothesis, we examined characteristics of nests of six Arctic breeding shorebird species. All species chose thermally favourable nesting sites in a higher proportion than expected on the basis of habitat availability. Site choice did not differ between species. Depth to frozen ground, measured near the nests, decreased in the course of the season at similar non-species-specific speeds, but this depth increased with species size. Nest cup depth and nest scrape depth (nest cup without the lining) were unrelated to body mass (we applied an exponent of 0.73, to account for metabolic activity of the differently sized species). Cup depth divided by diameter 2 was used as a measure of nest cup shape. Small species had narrow and deep nests, while large species had wide shallow nests. The thickness of nest lining varied between 0.1 cm and 7.6 cm, and decreased significantly with body mass. We reconstruct the combined effect of different nest properties on the egg cooling coefficient using previously published quantitative relationships. The predicted effect of nest cup depth and lining depth on heat loss to the frozen ground did not correlate with body mass, but the sheltering effect of nest cup diameter against wind and the effects of lining material on the cooling coefficient increased with body mass. Our results suggest that small arctic shorebirds invest more in the insulation of their nests than large species.

Authors/Creators:Tulp, Ingrid and Hans, Schekkerman and De Leeuw, Joep
Title:Eggs in the freezer: energetic consequences of nest site and nest design in Arctic breeding shorebirds
Series/Journal:PloS one (1932-6203)
Year of publishing :2012
Volume:7
Number:6
Page range:1-9
Number of Pages:9
Publisher:Public Library of Science
ISSN:1932-6203
Language:English
Publication Type:Journal article
Refereed:Yes
Article category:Scientific peer reviewed
Version:Published version
Full Text Status:Public
Agris subject categories.:L Animal production > L20 Animal ecology
M Aquatic sciences and fisheries > M40 Aquatic ecology
Subjects:(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 1 Natural sciences > 106 Biological Sciences (Medical to be 3 and Agricultural to be 4) > Zoology
(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 1 Natural sciences > 106 Biological Sciences (Medical to be 3 and Agricultural to be 4) > Ecology
(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 1 Natural sciences > 106 Biological Sciences (Medical to be 3 and Agricultural to be 4) > Behavioural Sciences Biology
Keywords:birds, Arctic shorebirds, nests, nests insulation, nest site, nest design
URN:NBN:urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-e-1748
Permanent URL:
http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-e-1748
Additional ID:
Type of IDID
Web of Science (WoS)000305340000009
DOI10.1371/journal.pone.0038041
ID Code:10850
Department:(NL, NJ) > Department of Aquatic Resources
Deposited By: SLUpub Connector
Deposited On:09 Jan 2014 15:23
Metadata Last Modified:02 Dec 2014 11:03

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