Advertisement

Polar Biology

, Volume 35, Issue 6, pp 867–874 | Cite as

Locomotor development in the Svalbard rock ptarmigan (Lagopus muta hyperborea)

  • John J. Lees
  • Karl-Arne Stokkan
  • Lars P. Folkow
  • Jonathan R. CoddEmail author
Original Paper

Abstract

Juvenile animals often suffer from high levels of predation. Development of an effective and efficient locomotor system is therefore likely to be crucial towards ensuring their survival. However, our understanding of locomotor efficiency, at least in terms of energetic cost in young animals is poor. We performed this study as Svalbard rock ptarmigan, Lagopus muta hyperborea must rapidly develop the ability to locomote prior to the onset of their first winter, during which conditions are extreme. To aid survival, adult ptarmigan deposit large winter fat stores, whilst at the same time males exhibit a reduced metabolic cost of locomotion. Sub-adult males, however, are unable to fully acquire fat stores during their first winter and the maturity of their locomotor systems is unknown. Here, we investigate the energetics and kinematics of terrestrial locomotion in sub-adult male birds using flow-through respirometry and high-speed video recordings, respectively. We demonstrate that in terms of running speed and metabolic cost, sub-adult ptarmigan develop a mature functioning locomotor system prior to the onset of winter. This research indicates that achieving a mature locomotor system allows young males to emerge from the winter with the ability to compete for territories and mates during the breeding season.

Keywords

Ontogeny Energetics Biomechanics Arctic 

Notes

Acknowledgments

We would like to thank Magnus Folkow, Hans Lian, Hans-Arne Solvang and John Ness for technical assistance and animal husbandry during these experiments. We would also like to acknowledge Robert Nudds for statistical advice. This research was funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Science Research Council (BBSRC) (G01138/1) grant to J. Codd. J. Lees was supported by a Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) PhD doctoral training award.

Conflict of interest

No conflicts of interest, financial or otherwise are declared by the authors.

Supplementary material

300_2011_1131_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (68 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (PDF 67 kb)

References

  1. Blix AS (2005) Arctic animals and their adaptations to life on the edge. Tapir Academic Press, TrondheimGoogle Scholar
  2. Breitwisch R, Diaz M, Lee R (1987) Foraging efficiencies and techniques of juvenile and adult northern mockingbirds (Mimus polyglottos). Behaviour 101:225–235CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Brody S (1945) Bioenergetics and growth. Reinhold, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  4. Carrier DR (1996) Ontogenetic limits on locomotor performance. Physiol Zool 69:467–488Google Scholar
  5. Dial KP, Jackson BE (2011) When hatchlings outperform adults: locomotor development in Australian brush turkeys (Alectura lathami, Galliformes). Proc R Soc B 278:1610–1616PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Fedak MA, Rome L, Seeherman HJ (1981) One-step N2-dilution technique for calibrating open-circuit V02 measuring systems. Am Physiol Soc 51:772–776Google Scholar
  7. Goldstein DL (1988) Estimates of daily energy-expenditure in birds—the time-energy budget as an integrator of laboratory and field studies. Am Zool 28:829–844Google Scholar
  8. Grammeltvedt R, Steen JB (1978) Fat deposition in Spitzbergen ptarmigan (Lagopus mutus hyperboreus). Arctic 31:496–498Google Scholar
  9. Herrel A, Gibb AC (2006) Ontogeny of performance in vertebrates. Physiol Biochem Zool 79:1–6PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Jackson BE, Segre P, Dial KP (2009) Precocial development of locomotor performance in a ground-dwelling bird (Alectoris chukar): negotiating a three-dimensional terrestrial environment. Proc R Soc B 276:3457–3466PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Kram R, Taylor CR (1990) Energetics of running: a new perspective. Nature 346:265–267PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Lack D (1954) The natural regulation of animal numbers. Oxford University Press, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  13. Lees JJ, Nudds RL, Stokkan K-A, Folkow LP, Codd JR (2010) Reduced metabolic cost of locomotion in Svalbard rock ptarmigan (Lagopus muta hyperborea) during winter. PLoS ONE 5(11):e15490Google Scholar
  14. Lighton JRB (2008) Measuring metabolic rates: a manual for scientists. Oxford University Press, New YorkCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Marchetti K (1989) Differences in the foraging of juvenile and adult birds: the importance of developmental constraints. Biol Rev 64:51CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Metcalfe NB, Monaghan P (2001) Compensation for a bad start: grow now, pay later? Trends Ecol Evol 16:254–260PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Mortensen A, Unander S, Kolstad M, Blix AS (1983) Seasonal changes in body composition and crop content of Spitzbergen ptarmigan Lagopus mutus hyperboreus. Ornis Scand 14:144–148CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Nudds RL, Folkow LP, Lees JJ, Tickle PG, Stokkan K-A, Codd JR (2011) Evidence for energy savings from aerial running in the Svalbard rock ptarmigan (Lagopus muta hyperborea). Proc R Soc B 278:2654–2661PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Parker H, Ottesen H, Knudsen E (1985) Age determination in Svalbard ptarmigan Lagopus mutus hyperboreus. Polar Res 3:125–126CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Pedersen HC, Steen JB, Andersen R (1983) Social organization and territorial behaviour in a Willow ptarmigan population. Ornis Scand 14:263–272CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Pedersen AO, Overrein O, Unander S, Fuglei E (2005) Svalbard Rock Ptarmigan (Lagopus mutus hyperboreus) a status report. Norsk Polarinstitutt 125:1–20Google Scholar
  22. Prestrud P, Nilssen K (1992) Fat deposition and seasonal variation in body composition of Arctic foxes in Svalbard. J Wildl Manage 56:221–233CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Prestrud P, Nilssen K (1995) Growth, size, and sexual dimorphism in Arctic foxes. J Mammal 76:522–530CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Recher HF, Recher JA (1969) Comparative foraging efficiency of adult and immature little blue herons (Florida caerulea). Anim Behav 17:320–322CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Reierth E, Stokkan K-A (1998) Activity rhythm in high Arctic Svalbard ptarmigan (Lagopus mutus hyperboreus). Can J Zool 76:2031–2039Google Scholar
  26. Reimers E (1982) Winter mortality and population trends of reindeer on Svalbard, Norway. Arct Alp Res 14:295–300CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Reimers E, Ringberg T (1983) Seasonal changes in body weights of Svalbard reindeer from birth to maturity. Acta Zool Fenn 175:69–72Google Scholar
  28. Ricklefs RE (1973) Patterns of growth in birds. 2. Growth-rate and mode of development. Ibis 115:177–201CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Ricklefs RE (1979a) Adaptation, constraint, and compromise in avian postnatal development. Biol Rev Camb Philos Soc 54:269–290PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Ricklefs RE (1979b) Patterns of growth in birds. 5. A comparative study of development in the starling, common tern, and Japanese quail. Auk 96:10–30Google Scholar
  31. Ricklefs RE, Shea RE, Choi IH (1994) Inverse relationship between functional maturity and exponential growth rate of avian skeletal muscle: a constraint on evolutionary response. Evolution 48:1080–1088CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Rubenson J, Heliams DB, Lloyd DG, Fournier PA (2004) Gait selection in the ostrich: mechanical and metabolic characteristics of walking and running with and without an aerial phase. Proc R Soc B 271:1091–1099PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Sahlman T, Segelbacher G, Hoglund J (2009) Islands in the ice: colonisation routes for rock ptarmigan to the Svalbard archipelago. Ecography 32:840–848CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Steen JB, Unander S (1985) Breeding biology of the Svalbard rock ptarmigan Lagopus mutus hyperboreus. Ornis Scand 16:191–197CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Stokkan K-A, Sharp PJ, Unander S (1986) The annual breeding cycle of the high-Arctic Svalbard ptarmigan (Lagopus mutus hyperboreus). Gen Comp Endocrinol 61:446–451PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Stokkan K-A, Sharp PJ, Dunn IC, Lea RW (1988) Endocrine changes in photostimulated willow ptarmigan (Lagopus lagopus lagopus) and Svalbard ptarmigan (Lagopus mutus hyperboreus). Gen Comp Endocrinol 70:169–177PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Stokkan K-A, Lindgard K, Reierth E (1995) Photoperiodic and ambient temperature control of the annual body mass cycle in Svalbard ptarmigan. J Comp Physiol [B] 165:359–365Google Scholar
  38. Tickle PG, Richardson MF, Codd JR (2010) Load carrying during locomotion in the barnacle goose (Branta leucopsis): the effect of load placement and size. Comp Biochem Physiol A Mol Integr Physiol 156(3):309–317Google Scholar
  39. Tolkamp BJ, Emmans GC, Yearsley J, Kyriazakis I (2002) Optimization of short-term animal behaviour and the currency of time. Anim Behav 64:945–953CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Unander S, Steen JB (1985) Behavior and social-structure in Svalbard rock ptarmigan Lagopus mutus hyperboreus. Ornis Scand 16:198–204CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Wassersug RJ, Sperry DG (1977) Relationship of locomotion to differential predation on Pseudacris triseriata (Anura: Hylidae). Ecology 58:830–839CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Watson A (1965) A population study of Ptarmigan (Lagopus mutus) in Scotland. J Anim Ecol 34:135–172CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • John J. Lees
    • 1
  • Karl-Arne Stokkan
    • 2
  • Lars P. Folkow
    • 2
  • Jonathan R. Codd
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Faculty of Life SciencesUniversity of ManchesterManchesterUK
  2. 2.Department of Arctic and Marine BiologyUniversity of TromsöTromsöNorway

Personalised recommendations