Effects of sea temperature and stratification changes on seabird breeding success

Carroll, M. J., Butler, A., Owen, E., Ewing, S. R., Cole, T., Green, J. A., Soanes, L. M., Arnould, J. P. Y., Newton, S. F., Baer, J., Daunt, F., Wanless, S., Newell, M. A., Robertson, G. S., Mavor, R. A. and Bolton, M. 2015, Effects of sea temperature and stratification changes on seabird breeding success, Climate research, vol. 66, no. 1, pp. 75-89, doi: 10.3354/cr01332.

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Title Effects of sea temperature and stratification changes on seabird breeding success
Author(s) Carroll, M. J.
Butler, A.
Owen, E.
Ewing, S. R.
Cole, T.
Green, J. A.
Soanes, L. M.
Arnould, J. P. Y.ORCID iD for Arnould, J. P. Y. orcid.org/0000-0003-1124-9330
Newton, S. F.
Baer, J.
Daunt, F.
Wanless, S.
Newell, M. A.
Robertson, G. S.
Mavor, R. A.
Bolton, M.
Journal name Climate research
Volume number 66
Issue number 1
Start page 75
End page 89
Total pages 15
Publisher Inter-Research
Place of publication Oldendorf, Germany
Publication date 2015-10-06
ISSN 0936-577X
Keyword(s) Black-legged kittiwake
Potential energy anomaly
Rissa tridactyla
Tracking data
Summary As apex predators in marine ecosystems, seabirds may primarily experience climate change impacts indirectly, via changes to their food webs. Observed seabird population declines have been linked to climate-driven oceanographic and food web changes. However, relationships have often been derived from relatively few colonies and consider only sea surface temperature (SST), so important drivers, and spatial variation in drivers, could remain undetected. Further, ex - plicit climate change projections have rarely been made, so longer-term risks remain unclear. Here, we use tracking data to estimate foraging areas for 11 black-legged kittiwake Rissa tridac - ty la colonies in the UK and Ireland, thus reducing reliance on single colonies and allowing calculation of colony-specific oceanographic conditions. We use mixed models to consider how SST, the potential energy anomaly (indicating density stratification strength) and the timing of seasonal stratification influence kittiwake productivity. Across all colonies, higher breeding success was associated with weaker stratification before breeding and lower SSTs during the breeding season. Eight colonies with sufficient data were modelled individually: higher productivity was associated with later stratification at 3 colonies, weaker stratification at 2, and lower SSTs at one, whilst 2 colonies showed no significant relationships. Hence, key drivers of productivity varied among colonies. Climate change projections, made using fitted models, indicated that breeding success could decline by 21 to 43% between 1961-90 and 2070-99. Climate change therefore poses a longer-term threat to kittiwakes, but as this will be mediated via availability of key prey species, other marine apex predators could also face similar threats.
Language eng
DOI 10.3354/cr01332
Field of Research 060207 Population Ecology
060205 Marine and Estuarine Ecology (incl Marine Ichthyology)
060201 Behavioural Ecology
0401 Atmospheric Sciences
Socio Economic Objective 970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2015, Inter-Research
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30080474

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