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David D. Gustine

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Influenza A viruses (IAVs) are maintained in wild waterbirds and have the potential to infect a broad range of species, including wild mammals. The Arctic Coastal Plain of Alaska supports a diverse suite of species, including waterfowl that are common hosts of IAVs. Mammals co-occur with geese and other migratory waterbirds during the summer breeding season, providing a plausible mechanism for interclass transmission of IAVs. To estimate IAV seroprevalence and identify the subtypes to which geese, loons, Arctic foxes (Vulpes lagopus), caribou (Rangifer tarandus), and polar bears (Ursus maritimus) are potentially exposed, we used a blocking enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (bELISA) and a hemagglutination inhibition...
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Arctic caribou (Rangifer tarandus) have the longest terrestrial migration of any ungulate but little is known about the spatial and seasonal variation of minerals in summer forages and the potential impacts of mineral nutrition on the foraging behavior and nutritional condition of arctic caribou. We investigated the phenology, availability, and mechanistic relationships of calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, sodium, potassium, iron, manganese, copper, and zinc in three species of woody browse, three species of graminoids, and one forb preferred by caribou over two transects bisecting the ranges of the Central Arctic (CAH) and Western Arctic (WAH) caribou herds in Alaska. Transects traversed three ecoregions (Coastal...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Ecosphere
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Ruminant populations are often limited by how well individuals are able to acquire nutrients for growth, maintenance, and reproduction. Nutrient supply to the animal is dictated by the concentration of nutrients in feeds and the efficiency of digesting those nutrients (i.e., digestibility). Many different methods have been used to measure digestibility of forages for wild herbivores, all of which rely on collecting rumen fluid from animals or incubation within animals. Animal-based methods can provide useful estimates, but the approach is limited by the expense of fistulated animals, wide variation in digestibility among animals, and contamination from endogenous and microbial sources that impairs the estimation...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Canadian Journal of Zoology
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Nutritional condition is an important determinant of productivity and survival in caribou (Rangifer tarandus). We used samples of excreta (n  =  1,150) to estimate diet composition from microhistology and 2 isotopic proxies of protein status for 2 ecotypes of caribou in 4 herds in late winter (2006–2008). Isotopes of nitrogen (δ15N in parts per thousand [‰]) from excreta samples (urea, diet, and body N) were used to estimate indexes of protein status: the proportion of urea N derived from body N (p-UN) and the difference between the δ15N of the body and urinary urea (Δbody-urea). We examined dietary and terrain characteristics, δ15N, p-UN, and Δbody-urea by ecotype, herd, year, and foraging site. Multiple regression...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Journal of Mammalogy
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Behavioral differences within a population can allow use of a greater range of resources among individuals. The brown bear (Ursus arctos) is a generalist omnivore that occupies diverse habitats and displays considerable plasticity in food use. We evaluated whether brown bear foraging that resulted in deviations from a proposed optimal diet influenced body condition and, in turn, denning duration in Lake Clark National Park and Preserve, Alaska. To assess assimilated diet, we used sectioned guard hair samples (n = 23) collected in autumn to determine stable carbon and nitrogen isotope ratios. To index proportional contributions of meat and vegetation to assimilated diets, we compared the carbon (δ13C) and nitrogen...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Polar Biology
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