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Extrinsic factors, endocrine mechanisms, and behavioral indicators of migratory restlessness in wintering whooper swans (Cygnus cygnus).

Yang, L, Wang, W, Sun, P, Huang, S, Gao, R, Kong, D, Ru, W, Wronski, T and Zhang, G (2021) Extrinsic factors, endocrine mechanisms, and behavioral indicators of migratory restlessness in wintering whooper swans (Cygnus cygnus). Scientific Reports, 11 (1). ISSN 2045-2322

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Abstract

Extrinsic factors, endocrine mechanisms, and behavioral indicators of migratory restlessness were studied in wintering whooper swans (Cygnus cygnus) in the Sanmenxia Swan National Wetland Park in western Henan Province, central China. First, the fecal glucocorticoid metabolite (FGM) concentration was established and related to mean air temperature or photo period (day length) using simple linear or non-linear regression models. After a model selection procedure, the best fitted model revealed that an increase of FGM concentration was associated with an increase in the squared mean air temperature (R2 = 0.88). Other models showed an increasing FGM concentration to correspond with increasing values of day length, squared day length, and mean air temperature-however without statistical support. In a second step, behavioral frequencies of seven behaviors were condensed into three behavioral principal components (PCs) using principal components analysis. Behavioral PCs largely corresponded to three activity phases described for wintering whooper swans in central China and were correlated with the FGM concentration using Spearman's rank-order correlations. Results revealed a significant correlation between FGM and behavioral PC2 (positive factor loadings from vigilance and preening, negative loading from foraging). Finally, we tested for an effect of behavioral PCs on changes in winter home range size using a set of multiple linear regression models. Results of averaged model parameter estimates showed only the behavioral PC3 (positive factor loadings from fighting and calling, negative loading from locomotion) had a marginal significant effect on home range size. Results confirmed findings of previous studies on migratory restlessness in whooper swans. However, due to the small sample size (N = 15 weeks) the effect of PC3 on home range size was weak and should be viewed with caution.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: Q Science > QH Natural history
Q Science > QH Natural history > QH301 Biology
Q Science > QL Zoology
Q Science > QP Physiology
Divisions: Biological & Environmental Sciences (new Sep 19)
Publisher: Nature Publishing Group
Related URLs:
Date Deposited: 01 Jul 2021 12:05
Last Modified: 01 Jul 2021 12:15
DOI or Identification number: 10.1038/s41598-021-92031-3
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/15208

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