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Tuesday, January 30 • 6:00pm - 9:00pm
Poster Display. Diet Composition Influences Plasma-Lipid Metabolites Concentrations in Lesser Scaup (Aythya Affinis)

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AUTHORS: Eric J. Smith, Western Illinois University; Christopher N. Jacques, Western Illinois University; Heath M. Hagy, US Fish & Wildlife Service; Michael J. Anteau, United States Geological Survey

ABSTRACT: Lipid reserves are important energy stores for endurance flights and egg production in wild birds.  Plasma-lipid metabolites have been useful in assessing habitat quality for avian species during migration, particularly for wetland-obligate species.  Such physiological measures of body condition can provide information about whether individuals are catabolizing or accumulating lipid reserves.  Comparing known daily mass changes with plasma-lipid metabolite concentrations provides a quantitative method to index spatial and temporal changes in lipid reserves, and thus provides a reliable technique for assessing habitat quality during migration.  However, there is little information regarding the effects of diet composition on metabolite concentrations.  Our study objective was to quantify the relationship of plasma-lipid metabolite concentrations (free triglycerides and ß-hydroxybutyrate; hereafter TRIG and BOHB) and diet composition.  During spring migration 2016-2017, we captured and held wild lesser scaup (Aythya affinis; n = 59) in short-term captivity to control for feeding rates, amount and type (diet) of ingesta.  Scaup were assigned to one of three diet types (i.e., amphipods = lipid + protein; chironomids = protein; and corn = high carbohydrate), and force-fed timed meals for the duration of captivity (~ 24 hrs.).  We obtained plasma samples from birds upon completion of a diet trial, froze at -20 C, and later analyzed by endpoint (TRIG) and kinetic (BOHB) assays using established protocols.  Preliminary analysis suggests that diet composition influences TRIG and BOHB concentrations, though examining other variables (i.e., daily mass change) will be explored prior to conclusion.  We will have our results completed for dissemination at the time of the conference. 

Tuesday January 30, 2018 6:00pm - 9:00pm CST
Ballroom C & Foyer

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