Flaws and pitfalls in the chemical analysis of feathers: bad news-good news for avian chemoecology and toxicology.

@article{Bortolotti2010FlawsAP,
  title={Flaws and pitfalls in the chemical analysis of feathers: bad news-good news for avian chemoecology and toxicology.},
  author={Gary R. Bortolotti},
  journal={Ecological applications : a publication of the Ecological Society of America},
  year={2010},
  volume={20 6},
  pages={1766-74}
}
Ecologists have frequently used biochemical assays as proxies for processes or phenomena too difficult to explore by traditional means of investigation. Feathers have been subjected to a number of chemical analyses to study such things as their elemental composition, contaminants, and hormones. The reliance on standard methodology of using concentrations to express quantities of chemical substances is seriously problematic because it creates artifacts by ignoring the physiology of feathers… CONTINUE READING

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