The flight energetics of barnacle geese (Branta leucopsis) underwild and captive conditions

Barnacle Goose (Branta leucopsis) Science Article 2


Experimental data on the relationship between mean heart rate (fH) and mean rate of oxygen consumption (VO2) ofcaptive barnacle geese during flights in a wind tunnel are reviewed in terms of their capacity to predict the mean VO2 of wildbarnacle geese, based on recordings of their fH during autumn migratory flights between Spitsbergen (78 deg N) and Scotland(55 deg N). fH increased linearly with simultaneously recorded VO2 in a single barnacle goose flying in the wind tunnel (VO2 =1.42 fH-304, r2 = 0.82, P<0.001, N = 12 flights). The mean fH of wild migratory barnacle geese was 253 beats min-1.Substitution of this value into the above calibration equation results in an unrealistically low value for mean migratory VO2 ofonly 55 ml min-1. Factors such as difference in heart mass, selective tissue perfusion, environmental temperature and formationflight may account for some of the difference in fH between the captive and wild geese.

C. M. Bishop, S. Ward, A. J. Woakes, P. J. Butler, Acta Zoologica Sinica 52(Supplement): 627-632, 2006

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