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Mesoscale patterns of altitudinal tenancy in migratory wood warblers inferred from stable carbon isotopes

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dc.contributor.author Graves, Gary R. en
dc.contributor.author Romanek, Christopher S. en
dc.date.accessioned 2010-02-24T19:47:43Z
dc.date.available 2010-02-24T19:47:43Z
dc.date.issued 2009
dc.identifier.citation Graves, Gary R. and Romanek, Christopher S. 2009. "<a href="https://repository.si.edu/handle/10088/8696">Mesoscale patterns of altitudinal tenancy in migratory wood warblers inferred from stable carbon isotopes</a>." <em>Ecological Applications</em>. 19 (5):1264&ndash;1273. <a href="https://doi.org/10.1890/08-0934.1">https://doi.org/10.1890/08-0934.1</a> en
dc.identifier.issn 1051-0761
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10088/8696
dc.description.abstract We analyzed carbon isotope ratios (delta C-13) of liver and pectoral muscle of Black-throated Blue Warblers (Dendroica caerulescens) to provide a mesoscale perspective on altitudinal tenancy in the Appalachian Mountains, North Carolina, USA. Movements of males are poorly understood, particularly the degree to which yearlings (first breeding season) and older males (second or later breeding season) wander altitudinally during the breeding season. Liver and muscle delta C-13 values of warblers exhibited significant year and altitude effects, but yearling and older males were isotopically indistinguishable. Liver delta C-13 values increased with altitude at the rate of similar to 0.5 parts per thousand per 1000 m. The altitudinal lapse rate of muscle delta C-13 (similar to 1.1 parts per thousand per 1000 m) was nearly identical to the average rate of increase reported in several groups of C-3 plants (similar to 1.1 parts per thousand per 1000 m). This suggests that the majority of males foraged within relatively narrow altitudinal zones during the breeding season. We caution, however, that the discrimination of altitudinal trends in carbon isotope ratios depends on relatively large multiyear samples. Given the scatter in data, it is unlikely that individuals can be accurately assigned to a particular altitude from carbon isotope values. Rapid adjustment of liver and muscle delta C-13 values to local altitudinal environments is consistent with the results of experimental dietary studies that show carbon turnover rates are relatively rapid in small migratory passerines. In a broader context, carbon isotope data have been increasingly used as proxies for wintering habitat use of Nearctic-Neotropical migratory passerines. However, tissues with high metabolic rates are unlikely to retain much isotopic signal of wintering habitat use by the time migrants reach their breeding territories. en
dc.relation.ispartof Ecological Applications en
dc.title Mesoscale patterns of altitudinal tenancy in migratory wood warblers inferred from stable carbon isotopes en
dc.type Journal Article en
dc.identifier.srbnumber 78908
dc.identifier.doi 10.1890/08-0934.1
rft.jtitle Ecological Applications
rft.volume 19
rft.issue 5
rft.spage 1264
rft.epage 1273
dc.description.SIUnit NMNH en
dc.description.SIUnit NH-Vertebrate Zoology en
dc.citation.spage 1264
dc.citation.epage 1273


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