Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: The use of fatty acid signature analysis to investigate diets of North Sea seabirds
Author: Owen, Ellie
ISNI:       0000 0004 2682 9423
Awarding Body: University of Aberdeen
Current Institution: University of Aberdeen
Date of Award: 2009
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Full text unavailable from EThOS. Please try the link below.
Access from Institution:
The aim of this thesis was to advance our understanding of the foraging needs of three North Sea seabirds by using fatty acids analysis, a new tool for seabird ecologists.  The first two chapters describe methodological advances in the form of a method for sampling adipose tissue via live biopsy, a simple method for extracting lipids from a variety of seabird tissues and appropriate statistical analysis for detecting differences in fatty acid profiles between groups of ecological interest.  Different tissue types were investigated as sources of fatty acids for addressing a range of ecological questions. The remaining chapters present results using fatty acid analysis to investigate the diet of the three study species the black-legged kittiwake (Rissa tridactyla), common guillemot (Uria aalge) and northern fulmar (Fulmarus glacialis), focussing on areas of research which have been difficult to explore using conventional techniques.  Diet outside the main breeding season is one such area and fatty acid profiles showed that kittiwake and guillemot sexes fed on similar diets before breeding but male and female fulmars used different foraging strategies.  This sex effect did not persist into the chick-rearing period with males and females of all three species feeding on similar diets.  Distinct seasonal shifts in fatty acid profiles were observed and adult and chick diets were shown to differ in the single prey loading species, the guillemot.  The final chapter presents some of the first evidence suggesting a link between individual variation in diet choice and potential fitness consequences in fulmars.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Sea birds