Interannual variation in pup production and the timing of breeding in benthic foraging Australian fur seals

Gibbens, John and Arnould, John P.Y 2009, Interannual variation in pup production and the timing of breeding in benthic foraging Australian fur seals, Marine mammal science, vol. 25, no. 3, pp. 573-587.

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Title Interannual variation in pup production and the timing of breeding in benthic foraging Australian fur seals
Author(s) Gibbens, John
Arnould, John P.Y
Journal name Marine mammal science
Volume number 25
Issue number 3
Start page 573
End page 587
Total pages 15
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell
Place of publication Malden, MA
Publication date 2009-07
ISSN 0824-0469
1748-7692
Keyword(s) Australian fur seal
Arctocephalus pusillus doriferus
otariid
reproduction
breeding
phenology
oceanography
interannual variation
El Niño
benthic foraging
Summary ¯Large interannual variations in reproductive success caused by fluctuations in oceanography and prey availability are common to many species of air breathing epipelagic predators. In contrast, little is known about variation in benthic foragers such as Australian fur seals (Arctocephalus pusillus doriferus). Between 1997 and 2007, pup production was assessed in 9 yr, while the timing of breeding and adult female condition was assessed in 5 yr at Kanowna Island in Bass Strait, southeastern Australia. Pup production was variable ( ¯x = 1,726 ± 42, range = 1,386–2,301), but without temporal trend, as was median birth date ( ¯x = 23 November±1, range = 21–25 November) and pupping synchrony (period of 90% births: ¯x = 28 ± 2 d, range = 23–31 d). Pup production was negatively correlated with median birth date and positively correlatedwith female condition,winter sea-surface temperature (SST) and zonal wind strength within Bass Strait. Pup production was also negatively correlated with SST in the previous summer within Bass Strait and in the eastern Great Australian Bight upwelling region. The results suggest that the reproductive success of Australian fur seals is influenced by oceanography but less so than in otariids foraging epipelagically in major upwellings. Despite spanning several El Niño events, no correlation between pup production and the Southern Oscillation Index was observed.
Language eng
Field of Research 060207 Population Ecology
Socio Economic Objective 970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
HERDC collection year 2009
Copyright notice ©2008, Wiley-Blackwell
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30028503

Document type: Journal Article
Collection: School of Life and Environmental Sciences
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