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Proceedings of the Royal Society B-Biological Sciences 277, 1684 (2010) 1087-1092
Foraging in an oxidative environment: relationship between {delta}13C values and oxidative status in Adelie penguins.
Michaël Beaulieu1, Yan Ropert-Coudert1, Yvon Le Maho1, André Ancel1, François Criscuolo1

The alternation of short/coastal and long/pelagic foraging trips has been proposed as a strategy for seabirds to reconcile self-feeding and parental care. Both types of foraging trips may result in different foraging efforts and diet qualities, and consequently are likely to modify the oxidative status of seabirds. We examined the relationship between the oxidative status of Adélie penguins and (i) the duration of their foraging trips and (ii) their plasma delta(13)C values reflecting their spatial distribution. The oxidative status did not correlate with the foraging trip duration but with the delta(13)C values: high values being associated with high levels of oxidative damage. This relationship is likely to be related to the prey properties of penguins as both parameters are largely determined by the diet. Two non-exclusive hypotheses can be proposed to explain this relationship: (i) penguins foraging in coastal areas feed on a diet enriched in (13)C and depleted in antioxidant compounds; (ii) birds with low antioxidant capacity are constrained to forage in coastal areas. Our study is the first to show that the adoption of different foraging strategies is associated with different levels of oxidative stress. However, further studies are needed to investigate the underlying mechanisms of this intriguing relationship.
1 :  DEPE-IPHC - Département Ecologie, Physiologie et Ethologie
Sciences de l'environnement/Biodiversité et Ecologie

Sciences du Vivant/Biodiversité/Evolution
foraging – stable isotope – oxidative stress – seabirds