The demographic impact of extreme events: stochastic weather drives survival and population dynamics in a long-lived seabird

Published on Sep 1, 2008in Journal of Animal Ecology4.364
· DOI :10.1111/j.1365-2656.2008.01422.x
Morten Frederiksen33
Estimated H-index: 33
Francis Daunt37
Estimated H-index: 37
+ 1 AuthorsSarah Wanless61
Estimated H-index: 61
1. Most scenarios for future climate change predict increased variability and thus increased frequency of extreme weather events. To predict impacts of climate change on wild populations, we need to understand whether this translates into increased variability in demographic parameters, which would lead to reduced population growth rates even without a change in mean parameter values. This requires robust estimates of temporal process variance, for example in survival, and identification of weather covariates linked to interannual variability. 2. The European shag Phalacrocorax aristotelis (L.) shows unusually large variability in population size, and large-scale mortality events have been linked to winter gales. We estimated first-year, second-year and adult survival based on 43 years of ringing and dead recovery data from the Isle of May, Scotland, using recent methods to quantify temporal process variance and identify aspects of winter weather linked to survival. 3. Survival was highly variable for all age groups, and for second-year and adult birds process variance declined strongly when the most extreme year was excluded. Survival in these age groups was low in winters with strong onshore winds and high rainfall. Variation in first-year survival was not related to winter weather, and process variance, although high, was less affected by extreme years. A stochastic population model showed that increasing process variance in survival would lead to reduced population growth rate and increasing probability of extinction. 4. As in other cormorants, shag plumage is only partially waterproof, presumably an adaptation to highly efficient underwater foraging. We speculate that this adaptation may make individuals vulnerable to rough winter weather, leading to boom-and-bust dynamics, where rapid population growth under favourable conditions allows recovery from periodic large-scale weather-related mortality. 5. Given that extreme weather events are predicted to become more frequent, species such as shags that are vulnerable to such events are likely to exhibit stronger reductions in population growth than would be expected from changes in mean climate. Vulnerability to extreme events thus needs to be accounted for when predicting the ecological impacts of climate change.
  • References (63)
  • Citations (146)
📖 Papers frequently viewed together
25.4k Citations
5,524 Citations
3,469 Citations
78% of Scinapse members use related papers. After signing in, all features are FREE.
#1Michael P. HarrisH-Index: 49
#2Sarah WanlessH-Index: 61
Last. David A. Elston (Macaulay Institute)H-Index: 40
view all 3 authors...
During 1993, about half the adult Shags Phalacrocorax aristotelis alive on the Isle of May, southeastern Scotland, failed to breed. The proportion not breeding was highest (66%) for individuals aged 14–21 years and lowest (12%) for those aged 3–6 years. In February 1994, a prolonged spell of onshore winds resulted in a wreck of these adults such that overwinter survival was reduced from the normal 88% to 14.7%. The age-specific pattern of survival over this winter differed from previous years, w...
14 CitationsSource
At the beginning of May 1982, a westerly gale destroyed or damaged 49% of 761 Shag Phalacrocorax aristotelis nests on the exposed west side of the Isle of May, southeast Scotland; 518 nests on the sheltered east side acted as controls against which to assess subsequent effects of the gale on Shag reproduction and recruitment. On sites affected by the gale, 90% of pairs rebuilt their nest and laid a second clutch, on average 18 days after the loss of the first one. First-time breeders nested clos...
32 CitationsSource
#1Sarah Wanless (Nature Conservancy Council)H-Index: 61
#2Michael P. HarrisH-Index: 49
Last. J. A. MorrisH-Index: 9
view all 3 authors...
We used radio-tracking techniques to determine the foraging range and feeding locations used by individual Shags Phalacrocorax aristotelis during chick rearing on the Isle of May, Scotland. The mean (±s.d.) foraging range was 7.o±1.9 km (maximum 17 km) and there were no significant sex or year differences. All feeding sites were within 7 km of land. Most (> 90%) were either within 2 km of the colony or in two discrete areas 5–13 km to the north and west. Use of the areas varied between years wit...
93 CitationsSource
#1Francis DauntH-Index: 37
#2Vsevolod Afanasyev (BAS: British Antarctic Survey)H-Index: 28
Last. Sarah WanlessH-Index: 61
view all 5 authors...
In most long-lived animal species, juveniles survive less well than adults. A potential mechanism is inferior foraging skills but longitudinal studies that follow the development of juvenile foraging are needed to test this. We used miniaturized activity loggers to record daily foraging times of juvenile and adult European shags Phalacrocorax aristotelis from fledging to the following spring. Juveniles became independent from their parents 40 days post-fledging. They compensated for poor foragin...
65 CitationsSource
#1Stanley C. SolomonH-Index: 94
#2D. QinH-Index: 6
Last. H. L. MillerH-Index: 5
view all 8 authors...
977 Citations
#1Eystein JansenH-Index: 60
Last. De ZhangH-Index: 1
view all 16 authors...
3,188 Citations
#1Stanley C. SolomonH-Index: 94
#2D. QinH-Index: 6
Last. M. TignorH-Index: 5
view all 8 authors...
Foreword Preface Summary for Policymakers Technical Summary 1. Historical Overview of Climate Changes Science 2. Changes in Atmospheric Constituents and Radiative Forcing 3. Observations: Atmosphic Surface and Climate Change 4. Observations: Changes in Snow, Ice and Frozen Ground 5. Observations: Ocean Climate Change and Sea Level 6. Palaeoclimate 7. Coupling Between Changes in the Climate System and Biogeochemistry 8. Climate Models and their Evaluation 9. Understanding and Attributing Climate ...
8,327 CitationsSource
#1Res Altwegg (UCT: University of Cape Town)H-Index: 31
#2Michael SchaubH-Index: 43
Last. Alexandre Roulin (UNIL: University of Lausanne)H-Index: 47
view all 3 authors...
Theory predicts that temporal variability plays an im- portant role in the evolution of life histories, but empirical studies evaluating this prediction are rare. In constant environments, fitness can be measured by the population growth rate l, and the sensitivity of l to changes in fitness components estimates selection on these traits. In variable environments, fitness is measured by the stochastic growth rate ls, and stochastic sensitivities estimate selection pressure. Here we examine age-s...
48 CitationsSource
#1S. edited SolomonH-Index: 1
3,330 Citations
#1Vladimir Grosbois (University of Antwerp)H-Index: 21
#2Pierre-Yves Henry (CNRS: Centre national de la recherche scientifique)H-Index: 22
Last. Marcel M. Lambrechts (CNRS: Centre national de la recherche scientifique)H-Index: 38
view all 7 authors...
In some hole nesting passerine species, long-term monitoring data are available for several geographically independent populations. Climate forcing can then be documented and predictions made on the scale of distribution ranges. Several demographic studies of Paridae report dramatic impacts of wintertime climatic factors. However, these studies were undertaken in populations located in the northern parts of the species’ ranges. Studies on the survival of Paridae in their southern ranges are nece...
41 CitationsSource
Cited By146
#1Nicolas Dubos (University of Paris)H-Index: 2
#2Loïs Morel (University of Rennes)H-Index: 1
Last. Franco AndreoneH-Index: 26
view all 11 authors...
Seasonality exerts strong pressures on biodiversity patterns. Yet, temporal beta-diversity is poorly studied in tropical systems, and the drivers of variability in amphibian activity and seasonality remain largely unknown. We quantified intra- and interannual variation in temporal beta-diversity relying on a nine-year, year-round survey (51 species, n > 23,000) performed in a protected area (Betampona, Madagascar). We assessed the dependence on climate of beta-diversity and abundance using a dis...
#1Christopher R. Field (UMD: University of Maryland, College Park)H-Index: 6
#1Christopher R. Field (UMD: University of Maryland, College Park)
Last. Chris S. Elphick (UConn: University of Connecticut)H-Index: 26
view all 8 authors...
#1Julie A. O. Miller (Glas.: University of Glasgow)
#2Robert W. FurnessH-Index: 71
Last. Jason Matthiopoulos (Glas.: University of Glasgow)H-Index: 29
view all 4 authors...
#1Anthony Caravaggi (UCC: University College Cork)H-Index: 5
#2Richard J. Cuthbert (RSPB: Royal Society for the Protection of Birds)H-Index: 28
Last. Alexander L. Bond (RSPB: Royal Society for the Protection of Birds)H-Index: 22
view all 5 authors...
Conservation of Albatrosses and Petrels; Darwin Initiative; Overseas Territories Environment Programme; Royal Naval Birdwatching Society; RSPB; South African National Antarctic Programme
4 CitationsSource
Sexual dimorphism in the Laysan albatross (Phoebastria immutabilis) on Guadalupe Island was evaluated during the breeding seasons of 2015–2018 by measuring and comparing 10 morphological attributes: cranial length, bill length, nostril length, cranial width, bill height, bill width, tarsus length, closed wing length, opened wing length, and wingspan length in reproductive adults (n = 135). Males were larger than females across all traits (Student’s t-test, p 0.05) or maximum trip distance (GLMM,...
#1Jeffrey A. Manning (U of S: University of Saskatchewan)H-Index: 5
#2Philip D. McLoughlin (U of S: University of Saskatchewan)H-Index: 24
#1Henri Weimerskirch (CNRS: Centre national de la recherche scientifique)H-Index: 86
#2Aurélien Prudor (CNRS: Centre national de la recherche scientifique)H-Index: 6
In the context of climate change, how extreme climatic events, such as cyclones, will affect the foraging abilities of marine vertebrates is still poorly known. During the course of a study on the foraging behaviour of two tropical seabirds, red-footed boobies and great frigatebirds, several cyclones have affected their breeding grounds and foraging zones, allowing us to study their response to extreme wind conditions. We examined whether adults and young naive birds were able to predict the arr...
1 CitationsSource
#1Maite LouzaoH-Index: 19
#2Ruairí GallagherH-Index: 1
Last. Almudena FontánH-Index: 12
view all 8 authors...
Abstract Changing environmental conditions can have non-linear effects from populations to ecosystems, which could increase following the strengthening of human activities. Investigating the potential role of threshold responses to increasing extreme events could help elucidate the mechanisms conferring resilience to populations and ecosystems, since extreme events could have a higher impact than mean changes in ecological systems. Among the potential impacts of extreme climatic events, the asse...
2 CitationsSource
#1Cecilia SoldatiniH-Index: 10
#2Yuri V. Albores‐Barajas (UABC: Autonomous University of Baja California)
Last. Giacomo Dell'OmoH-Index: 33
view all 7 authors...
Increasingly variable, extreme, and nonpredictable weather events are predicted to accompany climate change, and such weather events will especially affect temperate, terrestrial environments. Yet,...
1 CitationsSource