|Is sulfur limiting the intake rate of red knots on Loripes lucinalis?|
Oortwijn, T. (2017). Is sulfur limiting the intake rate of red knots on Loripes lucinalis?. MSc Thesis. NIOZ Royal Institute for Sea Research: Texel. 14 pp.
In optimal foraging organisms gain as much as possible energy over time. Therefore food choices have to be made, because the energy that can be gained in a certain time differs per food type. The maximum intake rate of certain food types can be limited by for example a handling or digestive constraint. The maximum intake rate on an important prey species by red knots in their winter habitat is limited by a toxicity. The small bivalve species Loripes lucinalis contains sulfur which presumably shapes the toxin constraint, by causing diarrhea when eating too much of them. In this study an experiment is performed to test whether it is the sulfur or not, by starving Loripes to reduce their sulfur content and score the maximum intake rate of captive knots on both starved and fresh Loripes. Unfortunately the analysis on sulfur content is not finished yet when writing this, but the results support the hypothesis. The maximum intake rate of the red knots on the starved Loripes was higher than on fresh Loripes, also when corrected for the drop in weight of the individual Loripes due to the starvation treatment. Introduction