Over the last 20 years the analysis of stable isotope ratios of carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, hydrogen and sulphur have gradually become a formidable tool for the animal ecologists (Hobson and Wassenaar, 1997; Marra et al., 1998; Inger and Bearhop, 2008). In particular many studies have been developed on tracking the movement and the diet of birds in time and space, fundamental to understanding their ecology, but also inherently difficult to determine. The aim of this study was to deepen the origin and behaviour of migratory bird species crossing the Trentino area, an Italian alpine region, during the post-nuptial migration period, and monitored by a long term study by ringing activities (Progetto Alpi, Pedrini et al. 2008). About 800 samples of feathers from 48 local bird species were collected during 2010 – 2012 years. Analysis of d13C, d15N, d18O and dD were performed on these samples using an Isotope Ratio Mass Spectrometer (IRMS) interfaced with an Elemental Analyser or a pyrolyser after a pre-treatment of the feathers (cleaning with diethyl ether:methanol 2:1, equilibration to ambient humitity for 4 days and, for d18O and dD a final drying step wth P2O5 for another 4 days). A first survey of the obtained data is presented in this work. As expected, the first statistical elaboration/’look’ of them confirmed that 13C can be used to trace the importance of different carbon pools to a consumer (e.g. C3, C4 or CAM plants, marine algae) whereas d15N vary as a function of a variety of biological, geochemical and anthropogenic processes and is a very effective tracer of trophic level. In particular, it was interesting to note that the specie Loxia curvirostra showed particularly high d13C and low d15N values probably due to the eating of conifer seeds and whereas the specie Motacilla flava, that bases its diet primarily on worms and insects, presented high d15N values. On the other hand d18O values mainly depends by geographical/diet factors whereas dD values are strongly affected by the geographical characteristics of the regions in which the birds grown or emigrated. The specie Troglodytes troglodytes, which is mainly sedentary, showed the higher dD values, whereas Carduelis spinus, which during autumn migrates from the north of Europe to the Mediterranean area, presented the lower values. As regards d18O, interesting was the very high values presented by Anthus pratensis specie. Further elaborations/studies by adopting a multi-isotope approach could surely increase the resolution of migratory origins.
|Citation:||Bontempo, L.; Ceppa, F.A.; Pedrini, P.; Tenan, S.; Camin, F. (2013). Stable isotopes (C, N, O, H) of feathers collected in an Italian alpine region, during postbreeding migration. In: European Geosciences Union General Assembly 2013, Wien, 07–12 April 2013. url: https://meetingorganizer.copernicus.org/EGU2013/EGU2013-7579.pdf handle: http://hdl.handle.net/10449/22149|
|Organization unit:||Food Quality and Nutrition Department # CRI_2011-JAN2016|
|Authors:||Bontempo, L.; Ceppa, F.A.; Pedrini, P.; Tenan, S.; Camin, F.|
|Title:||Stable isotopes (C, N, O, H) of feathers collected in an Italian alpine region, during postbreeding migration|
|Scientific Disciplinary Area:||Settore BIO/07 - Ecologia|
|Appears in Collections:||03 - Conference object|