TITLE

Diet-tissue discrimination factors of carbon and nitrogen stable isotopes in blood of Snowy Owl ()

AUTHOR(S)
Therrien, J.-F.; Fitzgerald, G.; Gauthier, G.; Bêty, J.
PUB. DATE
April 2011
SOURCE
Canadian Journal of Zoology;Apr2011, Vol. 89 Issue 4, p343
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
Analysis of carbon (13C/12C) and nitrogen (15N/14N) stable isotope ratios (hereafter δ13C and δ15N, respectively) in animal tissues is a powerful tool in food-web studies. However, isotopic ratios of prey are not transmitted directly to a consumer, as a diet-tissue discrimination factor (denoted Δ) occurs between sources and consumer's tissues. An accurate assessment of the diet of a consumer with stable isotopes thus requires that the Δ13C and Δ15N of the studied species are known. Our aim was to establish Δ13C and Δ15N values in the Snowy Owl ( (L., 1758)). Moreover, we assessed the potential effect of ethanol preservation of blood samples on δ13C and δ15N values. We kept four captive adult Snowy Owls on a pure diet of mice for ≥6 weeks. We then collected mouse muscle and blood samples from the owls and analyzed their δ13C and δ15N values. Δ13C and Δ15N values (mean ± SE) for owl blood were +0.3‰ ± 0.2‰ and +1.9‰ ± 0.1‰, respectively. These values are the first discrimination factors ever reported in Strigiformes and are lower, for Δ15N, than those obtained in terrestrial carnivores and other bird species, including falcons. Preservation in ethanol did not significantly affect δ13C and δ15N values.
ACCESSION #
65537039

 

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