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Foraging behavior links climate variability and reproduction in North Pacific albatrosses.

Thorne LH, Hazen EL, Bograd SJ, Foley DG, Conners MG, Kappes MA, Kim HM, Costa DP, Tremblay Y, Shaffer SA - Mov Ecol (2015)

Bottom Line: Climate-driven environmental change in the North Pacific has been well documented, with marked effects on the habitat and foraging behavior of marine predators.Higher trip distance and/or duration during brooding were associated with decreased reproductive success.Our results link climate variability with both albatross behavior and reproductive success, information that is critical for predicting how albatross populations will respond to future climate change.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences, Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, NY 11790 USA.

ABSTRACT

Background: Climate-driven environmental change in the North Pacific has been well documented, with marked effects on the habitat and foraging behavior of marine predators. However, the mechanistic linkages connecting climate-driven changes in behavior to predator populations are not well understood. We evaluated the effects of climate-driven environmental variability on the reproductive success and foraging behavior of Laysan and Black-footed albatrosses breeding in the Northwest Hawaiian Islands during both brooding and incubating periods. We assessed foraging trip metrics and reproductive success using data collected from 2002-2012 and 1981-2012, respectively, relative to variability in the location of the Transition Zone Chlorophyll Front (TZCF, an important foraging region for albatrosses), sea surface temperature (SST), Multivariate ENSO Index (MEI), and the North Pacific Gyre Oscillation index (NPGO).

Results: Foraging behavior for both species was influenced by climatic and oceanographic factors. While brooding chicks, both species traveled farther during La Niña conditions, when NPGO was high and when the TZCF was farther north (farther from the breeding site). Models showed that reproductive success for both species showed similar trends, correlating negatively with conditions observed during La Niña events (low MEI, high SST, high NPGO, increased distance to TZCF), but models for Laysan albatrosses explained a higher proportion of the variation. Spatial correlations of Laysan albatross reproductive success and SST anomalies highlighted strong negative correlations (>95 %) between habitat use and SST. Higher trip distance and/or duration during brooding were associated with decreased reproductive success.

Conclusions: Our findings suggest that during adverse conditions (La Niña conditions, high NPGO, northward displacement of the TZCF), both Laysan and Black-footed albatrosses took longer foraging trips and/or traveled farther during brooding, likely resulting in a lower reproductive success due to increased energetic costs. Our results link climate variability with both albatross behavior and reproductive success, information that is critical for predicting how albatross populations will respond to future climate change.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Habitat used by albatrosses relative to the location of the TZCF. Kernel density distributions (25, 50 and 95 %) are shown for brooding (a, b; extent indicated in green) and incubating (c, d; extent indicated in black) Laysan and Black-footed albatrosses, respectively. The TZCF is shown at its northermost (Nov. 4) and southermost (Feb. 25) location during the 2008/2009 incubating and brooding periods to demonstrate variability in TZCF location within these breeding stages. Note that the TZCF is located further south outside of the albatross breeding season
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Fig2: Habitat used by albatrosses relative to the location of the TZCF. Kernel density distributions (25, 50 and 95 %) are shown for brooding (a, b; extent indicated in green) and incubating (c, d; extent indicated in black) Laysan and Black-footed albatrosses, respectively. The TZCF is shown at its northermost (Nov. 4) and southermost (Feb. 25) location during the 2008/2009 incubating and brooding periods to demonstrate variability in TZCF location within these breeding stages. Note that the TZCF is located further south outside of the albatross breeding season

Mentions: In the Northwest Hawaiian Islands (hereafter NWHI), breeding Laysan (Phoebastria immutabilis) and Black-footed (P. nigripes) albatrosses show considerable interannual variability in reproductive success. Laysan and Black-footed albatrosses also exhibit spatial differences in their foraging distribution; Laysans forage farther north and west in the subarctic gyre, whereas Black-footeds forage primarily farther south and east in the subtropical gyre [29, 33, 40; Fig. 2]. We hypothesize that the proximity of the TZCF to albatross breeding sites, as influenced by large-scale climate modes, affects the behavior and reproductive success of these species. Specifically, we predict that northward displacement of the TZCF and increases in SST in albatross habitat during La Niña events are associated with increased trip distance and duration and decreased reproductive success. We posit that these effects have the greatest impact when parents are brooding small chicks. Since Laysan albatrosses use waters north of the TZCF more frequently than Black-footed albatrosses [29, 33, 40, Fig. 2], we suggest that displacement of the TZCF will have more pronounced effects on Laysan albatrosses.Fig. 2


Foraging behavior links climate variability and reproduction in North Pacific albatrosses.

Thorne LH, Hazen EL, Bograd SJ, Foley DG, Conners MG, Kappes MA, Kim HM, Costa DP, Tremblay Y, Shaffer SA - Mov Ecol (2015)

Habitat used by albatrosses relative to the location of the TZCF. Kernel density distributions (25, 50 and 95 %) are shown for brooding (a, b; extent indicated in green) and incubating (c, d; extent indicated in black) Laysan and Black-footed albatrosses, respectively. The TZCF is shown at its northermost (Nov. 4) and southermost (Feb. 25) location during the 2008/2009 incubating and brooding periods to demonstrate variability in TZCF location within these breeding stages. Note that the TZCF is located further south outside of the albatross breeding season
© Copyright Policy - OpenAccess
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License 1 - License 2
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4590278&req=5

Fig2: Habitat used by albatrosses relative to the location of the TZCF. Kernel density distributions (25, 50 and 95 %) are shown for brooding (a, b; extent indicated in green) and incubating (c, d; extent indicated in black) Laysan and Black-footed albatrosses, respectively. The TZCF is shown at its northermost (Nov. 4) and southermost (Feb. 25) location during the 2008/2009 incubating and brooding periods to demonstrate variability in TZCF location within these breeding stages. Note that the TZCF is located further south outside of the albatross breeding season
Mentions: In the Northwest Hawaiian Islands (hereafter NWHI), breeding Laysan (Phoebastria immutabilis) and Black-footed (P. nigripes) albatrosses show considerable interannual variability in reproductive success. Laysan and Black-footed albatrosses also exhibit spatial differences in their foraging distribution; Laysans forage farther north and west in the subarctic gyre, whereas Black-footeds forage primarily farther south and east in the subtropical gyre [29, 33, 40; Fig. 2]. We hypothesize that the proximity of the TZCF to albatross breeding sites, as influenced by large-scale climate modes, affects the behavior and reproductive success of these species. Specifically, we predict that northward displacement of the TZCF and increases in SST in albatross habitat during La Niña events are associated with increased trip distance and duration and decreased reproductive success. We posit that these effects have the greatest impact when parents are brooding small chicks. Since Laysan albatrosses use waters north of the TZCF more frequently than Black-footed albatrosses [29, 33, 40, Fig. 2], we suggest that displacement of the TZCF will have more pronounced effects on Laysan albatrosses.Fig. 2

Bottom Line: Climate-driven environmental change in the North Pacific has been well documented, with marked effects on the habitat and foraging behavior of marine predators.Higher trip distance and/or duration during brooding were associated with decreased reproductive success.Our results link climate variability with both albatross behavior and reproductive success, information that is critical for predicting how albatross populations will respond to future climate change.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences, Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, NY 11790 USA.

ABSTRACT

Background: Climate-driven environmental change in the North Pacific has been well documented, with marked effects on the habitat and foraging behavior of marine predators. However, the mechanistic linkages connecting climate-driven changes in behavior to predator populations are not well understood. We evaluated the effects of climate-driven environmental variability on the reproductive success and foraging behavior of Laysan and Black-footed albatrosses breeding in the Northwest Hawaiian Islands during both brooding and incubating periods. We assessed foraging trip metrics and reproductive success using data collected from 2002-2012 and 1981-2012, respectively, relative to variability in the location of the Transition Zone Chlorophyll Front (TZCF, an important foraging region for albatrosses), sea surface temperature (SST), Multivariate ENSO Index (MEI), and the North Pacific Gyre Oscillation index (NPGO).

Results: Foraging behavior for both species was influenced by climatic and oceanographic factors. While brooding chicks, both species traveled farther during La Niña conditions, when NPGO was high and when the TZCF was farther north (farther from the breeding site). Models showed that reproductive success for both species showed similar trends, correlating negatively with conditions observed during La Niña events (low MEI, high SST, high NPGO, increased distance to TZCF), but models for Laysan albatrosses explained a higher proportion of the variation. Spatial correlations of Laysan albatross reproductive success and SST anomalies highlighted strong negative correlations (>95 %) between habitat use and SST. Higher trip distance and/or duration during brooding were associated with decreased reproductive success.

Conclusions: Our findings suggest that during adverse conditions (La Niña conditions, high NPGO, northward displacement of the TZCF), both Laysan and Black-footed albatrosses took longer foraging trips and/or traveled farther during brooding, likely resulting in a lower reproductive success due to increased energetic costs. Our results link climate variability with both albatross behavior and reproductive success, information that is critical for predicting how albatross populations will respond to future climate change.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus