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1 August 2007 CORTICOSTERONE LEVELS IN RELATION TO CHANGE OF MATE IN BLACK-LEGGED KITTIWAKES
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Abstract

Abstract. In birds, changing mates generally results in decreased breeding success. Although costs and benefits of pair break-up have been well studied, endocrine mechanisms associated with mate change are poorly known. We measured baseline and stress-induced corticosterone levels in relation to mate change in Black-legged Kittiwakes (Rissa tridactyla). Baseline corticosterone levels were higher in kittiwakes breeding with a new mate than in kittiwakes that did not change mate. Stress-induced corticosterone levels were not influenced by change of mate. Elevated baseline corticosterone levels in birds breeding with a new mate could result from the social stress associated with pair break-up or mirror a higher energetic demand resulting from a lack of coordination between new pair members. Our results emphasize the usefulness of corticosterone levels in elucidating the effects of mate change on the energetic demands of reproduction in free-living birds.

FREDERIC ANGELIER, BØRGE MOE, CELINE CLEMENT-CHASTEL, CLAUS BECH, and OLIVIER CHASTEL "CORTICOSTERONE LEVELS IN RELATION TO CHANGE OF MATE IN BLACK-LEGGED KITTIWAKES," The Condor 109(3), 668-674, (1 August 2007). https://doi.org/10.1650/8227.1
Received: 27 September 2006; Accepted: 1 March 2007; Published: 1 August 2007
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