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Growth and Development of Prefledging Canada Geese and Lesser Snow Geese: Ecological Adaptation or Physiological Constraint?

Shannon S. Badzinski, C. Davison Ankney, James O. Leafloor and Kenneth F. Abraham
The Auk
Vol. 119, No. 1 (Jan., 2002), pp. 221-227
DOI: 10.2307/4090027
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4090027
Page Count: 7
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Growth and Development of Prefledging Canada Geese and Lesser Snow Geese: Ecological Adaptation or Physiological Constraint?
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Abstract

Neonate, gosling, and adult Canada Geese (Branta canadensis interior) and Lesser Snow Geese (Chen caerulescens caerulescens) were collected to evaluate if growth rates and developmental patterns differed interspecifically and to determine if such differences were better explained by physiology of the growth process or by ecological conditions historically experienced by those two species. Patterns of growth and development of Canada and Lesser Snow goose goslings were similar to those reported for other Arctic geese, but differences in relative growth rates and developmental patterns of external structures, digestive organs, and skeletal muscles were observed between these two species. As compared to Canada Geese, body parts associated with locomotion and acquisition or processing of food generally increased at relatively faster rates and were more developed relative to adult size in Lesser Snow Geese. Relative rates of increase for carcass protein and body mass in these two species did not support a physiological constraint on growth. Rates and patterns of growth and development were better explained as adaptations to ecological factors, such as growing season and nesting or brood rearing conditions, historically experienced by these two species. /// Colectamos neonatos, polluelos y adultos de Branta canadensis interior (Ganso Canadiense) y Chen caerulescens caerulescens (Ganso de la Nieve Menor) para evaluar si las tasas de crecimiento y los patrones de desarrollo difieren entre especies, y para determinar si tales diferencias eran mejor explicadas por la fisiología del proceso de crecimiento o por las condiciones ecológicas experimentadas históricamente por estas dos especies. Los patrones de crecimiento y desarrollo de B. c. interior y Ch. c. caerulescens fueron similares a aquellos informados para otros gansos del Ártico, pero se observation diferencias entre estas dos especies en las tasas relativas de crecimiento y patrones de desarrollo de estructuras externas, órganos digestivos y músculos esqueléticos. Comparado con B. c. interior, las partes del cuerpo asociadas con locomoción y con adquisición y procesamiento de alimento generalmente incrementaron a tasas relativamente más rapidas y se encontraron más desarrolladas en relación al tamaño del adulto en Ch. c. caerulescens. Las tasas relativas de incremento de proteínas de la carcaza y masa corporal en estas dos especies no apoyaron la noción de una limitante fisiológica en el crecimiento. Las tasas y los patrones de crecimiento y desarrollo fueron mejor explicados como adaptaciones a factores ecológicos experimentados históricamente por estas dos especies, tales como la estación de crecimiento y las condiciones de anidamiento y cría de los pichones.

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