Junge Säbelschnäbler (Recurvirostra avosetta L.) in unterschiedlichen Klimazonen: physiologische und ethologische Anpassungen an ökologische Bedingungen in Norddeutschland und Südspanien
Compared to other wader species, the breeding distribution of the Avocet (Recurvirostra avosetta) covers a wide latitudinal range from north-western Europe to southern Africa. Within this area they are exposed to a wide range of climatic conditions. This offers the opportunity for intraspecific comparisons of morphology, thermoregulatory behaviour and energy expenditure (measured using doubly labeled water, DLW) of their self feeding precocial chicks growing up under contrasting climatic conditions. This study aims to investigate morphological, physiological and behavioural adaptations of chicks to climatic conditions at the Wadden Sea coast in northern Germany, the northern border of the species range, and in the Bay of Cadiz in southern Spain. The results indicate that Avocets chicks did not develop any particular morphological or physiological adaptations to unfavourable climatic conditions in northern breeding areas. A high degree of behavioural and physiological flexibility allows them to adjust their energy budget and growth rate to different climatic conditions.
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