Glycosylated haemoglobin: a new measure of condition in birds
1995 (English)In: Proceedings of the Royal Society of London, no 260, 299-303 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract: The influence of condition on time of breeding and reproductive success has been discussed since Darwin first suggested a relation in 1871. We used a novel method to investigate the influence of condition on the timing of breeding and reproductive success by measuring a relatively inert physiological parameter - the amount of glycosylated haemoglobin - in blood samples taken from the collared flycatcher Ficedula albicollis. The percentage of glycosylated haemoglobin (%HbG) was assumed to be proportional to the average blood glucose level, during the 3-5 weeks before the blood sampling. The %HbG was influenced neither by sex nor age. Date of arrival at the breeding ground was negatively correlated with %HbG so that early-arriving birds had significantly higher %HbG than those arriving later. Clutch size, corrected for the effect of laying date, correlated positively with %HbG in females, as did the number of fledged young, corrected for the effect of laying date, for both sexes. We found no correlation between body mass and the %HbG. We suggest that prebreeding condition influences the timing of breeding and subsequent reproductive performance and that %HbG can be used as an indicator of prebreeding-condition in migrating birds.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
1995. no 260, 299-303 p.
Immunology Zoology Ecology
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-21863OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-21863DiVA: diva2:49636