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Departure fuel loads in time-minimizing migrating birds can be explained by the energy costs of being heavy

journal contribution
posted on 2023-10-26, 03:18 authored by Marcel KlaassenMarcel Klaassen, A Lindström
Lindstrom and Alerstam presented a model that predicts optimal departure fuel loads as a function of the rate of fuel deposition in time-minimizing migrants. The basis of the model is that the coverable distance per unit of fuel deposited, diminishes with increasing fuel load. This is an effect of the increasing flight costs associated with increasing body mass. Lindstrom and Alerstam (1992) found that birds left at lower fuel loads than their model predicted for which they considered various ecological explanations. Alternatively, we hypothesize that the difference between prediction and empirical data might be a result of extra resting metabolic and transport costs associated with an increase in fuel load during stopover. We develop a new version of the Lindstrom and Alerstam (1992) model taking fuel load associated costs during stopover into account. We fit empirical data from rufous hummingbirds Selasphorus rufus and bluethroats Luscinia svecica to this new model. Estimated fuel-load costs are discussed in relation to knowledge presently available on variations in basal metabolic costs and transport costs with body mass. We show that fuel-load costs within a reasonable range can explain the observed departure fuel loads when migrating birds are time minimizers.

History

Journal

Journal of theoretical biology

Volume

183

Pagination

29-34

Location

Amsterdam, The Netherlands

ISSN

0022-5193

Language

eng

Publication classification

C Journal article, C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

1996, Elsevier

Issue

1

Publisher

Elsevier

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