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Title: Influence of reproduction on stable isotope ratios: nitrogen and carbon isotope discrimination between mothers, foetuses, and milk in the fin whale, a capital breeder
Author: Borrell Thió, Assumpció
Aguilar, Àlex
Gómez Campos, Encarna
Keywords: Isòtops estables en ecologia
Stable isotopes in ecological research
Issue Date: 3-Feb-2016
Publisher: The University of Chicago Press
Abstract: In mammals, the influence of gestation and lactation on the tissue stable-isotope ratios of females, fetuses, and milk remains poorly understood. Here we investigate the incidence of these events on δ13C and δ15N values in fin whales sampled off northwestern Spain between 1983 and 1985. The effect of gestation on tissue stable-isotope ratios was examined in the muscle of pregnant females (n = 13) and their fetuses (n = 10) and that of lactation in the muscle of nursing females (n = 21) and their milk (n = 25). Results suggest that fetuses are enriched compared to their mothers in both 15N (Δ15N = 1.5 ) and 13C (Δ13C =1.1 ), while, compared to muscle, milk is enriched in 15N (Δ15N = 0.3 ) but depleted in 13C (Δ13C = −0.62 ). This pattern is consistent with that previously observed for other species that, like the fin whale, rely on endogenous energy during reproduction, and it substantiates a general difference in the physiological processing of nitrogen and carbon balances between income and capital breeders. These findings are relevant to the understanding of the energetic balance of mammals during gestation and lactation and are central when inferences on trophic ecology are drawn from isotopic values of reproductive females.
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It is part of: Physiological and Biochemical Zoology, 2016, vol. 89, num. 1, p. 41-50
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ISSN: 1522-2152
Appears in Collections:Articles publicats en revistes (Biologia Evolutiva, Ecologia i Ciències Ambientals)
Articles publicats en revistes (Institut de Recerca de la Biodiversitat (IRBio))

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