Stable isotope analyses of feather amino acids identify penguin migration strategies at ocean basin scales
Polito, Michael J.
Hinke, Jefferson T.
Houghton, Leah A.
Thorrold, Simon R.
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Identifying the at-sea distribution of wide ranging 20 marine predators is critical to understanding their ecology. Advances in electronic tracking devices and intrinsic biogeochemical markers have greatly improved our ability to track animal movements on ocean-wide scales. Here we show that, in combination with direct tracking, stable carbon isotope analysis of essential amino acids in tail feathers provides the ability to track the movement patterns of two, wide-ranging penguin species over ocean basin scales. In addition, we use this isotopic approach across multiple breeding colonies in the Scotia Arc to evaluate migration trends at a regional scale that would be logistically challenging using direct tracking alone.
Author Posting. © The Author(s), 2017. This is the author's version of the work. It is posted here by permission of The Royal Society for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Biology Letters 13 (2017): 20170241, doi:10.1098/rsbl.2017.0241.
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