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Effects of snow cover on the timing and success of reproduction in high-Arctic pink-footed geese Anser brachyrhynchus

journal contribution
posted on 01.01.2007, 00:00 authored by J Madsen, M Tamstorf, Marcel KlaassenMarcel Klaassen, N Eide, C Glahder, F Rigét, H Nyegaard, F Cottaar
During four breeding seasons, 2003–2006, we studied the relationship between snow cover and nesting performance in pink-footed geese (Anser brachyrhynchus) in a key breeding site on Svalbard. Snow cover in late May, i.e., at the time of egg laying of geese, was derived from MODIS satellite images. Snow cover had a profound cascading effect on reproductive output via the number of nesting pairs and timing of nesting, which affected nest success, while there was only a tendency for a negative effect on clutch size. Hence, we estimated a five-fold difference in the number of young produced (to post-hatching) between years with little snow and years with high snow cover. The results from the study area correlated with whole-population productivity estimates recorded in autumn. Thus, snow cover derived from MODIS satellite images appears to provide a useful indicator of the breeding conditions in the Arctic.

History

Journal

Polar biology

Volume

30

Issue

11

Pagination

1363 - 1372

Publisher

Springer

Location

Berlin, Germany

ISSN

0722-4060

eISSN

1432-2056

Language

eng

Publication classification

C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2007, Springer-Verlag