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Stress Associated With Habitat Quality And Group Living In Ravens

AutorMueller, Thomas; Selva, Nuria; Cortes-Avizanda, Ainara; Lemus, Jesús Angel; Blanco, Guillermo ; Heinrich, Bernd; Pugacewicz, Eugeniuz; Prins, Erik; Donázar, José A.
Fecha de publicación27-ago-2011
Citación8th Conference of the European Ornithologists’ Union Riga, 27–30 August 2011
ResumenMany long-lived avian species adopt life strategies that involve a gregarious way of life at juvenile and sub-adult stages and territoriality during adulthood. However, the potential associated costs of these life styles, such as stress, are poorly understood. Likewise the effects of habitat quality on stress are not well understood. We examined the effects of group living, habitat quality, sex, and parasite load on the baseline concentration of faecal stress hormone (corticosterone) metabolites in a wild population of common ravens (Corvus corax). Corticosterone concentrations were significantly higher in non-breeding gregarious ravens than in territorial adults. Among territorial birds, males showed higher stress levels than their mates. We did not find any affect of habitat quality on hormone levels. Our results suggest a key role of the social context in the stress profiles of the two population fractions, and that group living may be more energetically demanding than maintaining a territory. These findings have implications for understanding hormonal mechanisms under different life styles and may inspire further research on the link between hormone levels and selective pressures modulating gregarious and territorial strategies in long-lived birds.
URIhttp://hdl.handle.net/10261/93357
Aparece en las colecciones: (MNCN) Comunicaciones congresos
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