Effect of nestling status and brood size on concentration of corticosterone of free-living kittiwake chicks

John H. Brewer, Kathleen M. O'Reilly, C. Loren Buck

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

Vertebrates respond to perceived stressors through increased plasma concentrations of glucocorticoids. However, there is considerable variation within and across species in the circumstances and degree to which glucocorticoid levels are elevated. We measured baseline and acute stress-induced levels of corticosterone of free-living, black-legged kittiwake chicks (Rissa tridactyla) across four consecutive breeding seasons in the northern Gulf of Alaska to determine the effect of hatching order and brood size on corticosterone levels of chicks. We sampled 12- to 15-day-old chicks from intact broods (i.e., no brood reduction) at three colonies from 2002-2005 (n=164). Baseline and stress-induced levels of corticosterone did not vary by hatching order or brood size. These results suggest that the adrenocortical function of kittiwake chicks from broods that survive intact through 12-15 days is not affected by either hatching order or brood size.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)19-24
Number of pages6
JournalGeneral and Comparative Endocrinology
Volume166
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2010
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Black-legged kittiwakes
  • Brood hierarchy
  • Corticosterone
  • Nestling status
  • Rissa tridactyla

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Endocrinology

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