Wild geese do not increase flight behaviour prior to migration

Portugal, Steven J., Green, Jonathan A., White, Craig R., Guillemette, Magella and Butler, Patrick J (2012) Wild geese do not increase flight behaviour prior to migration. Biology Letters, 8 3: 469-472. doi:10.1098/rsbl.2011.0975

Author Portugal, Steven J.
Green, Jonathan A.
White, Craig R.
Guillemette, Magella
Butler, Patrick J
Title Wild geese do not increase flight behaviour prior to migration
Journal name Biology Letters   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1744-9561
Publication date 2012-06
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1098/rsbl.2011.0975
Volume 8
Issue 3
Start page 469
End page 472
Total pages 4
Place of publication London, United Kingdom
Publisher The Royal Society Publishing
Collection year 2013
Language eng
Abstract Hypertrophy of the flight muscles is regularly observed in birds prior to long-distance migrations. We tested the hypothesis that a large migratory bird would increase flight behaviour prior to migration, in order to cause hypertrophy of the flight muscles, and upregulate key components of the aerobic metabolic pathways. Implantable data loggers were used to record year-round heart rate in six wild barnacle geese (Branta leucopsis), and the amount of time spent in flight each day was identified. Time in flight per day did not significantly increase prior to either the spring or the autumn migration, both between time periods prior to migration (5, 10 and 15 days), or when compared with a control period of low activity during winter. The lack of significant increase in flight prior to migration suggests that approximately 22 min per day is sufficient to maintain the flight muscles in condition for prolonged long-distance flight. This apparent lack of a requirement for increased flight activity prior to migration may be attributable to pre-migratory mass gains in the geese increasing workload during short flights, potentially prompting hypertrophy of the flight muscles.
Keyword Barnacle geese
Body mass increase
Endogenous control
Muscle hypertrophy
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Published online before print 16 November 2011.

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2013 Collection
School of Biological Sciences Publications
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