The meso-scale response of subarctic North Pacific seabird community structure to lower trophic level abundance and diversity

Henry, MF, Batten, SD, Hyrenbach, KD, Morgan, KH and Sydeman, WJ 2007 The meso-scale response of subarctic North Pacific seabird community structure to lower trophic level abundance and diversity. UNSPECIFIED.

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Understanding the mechanisms that structure communities and influence biodiversity are fundamental goals of ecology. To test the hypothesis that the abundance and diversity of upper-trophic level predators (seabirds) is related to the underlying abundance and diversity of their prey (zooplankton) and ecosystem-wide energy availability (primary production), we initiated a monitoring program in 2002 that jointly and repeatedly surveys seabird and zooplankton populations across a 7,500 km British Columbia-Bering Sea-Japan transect. Seabird distributions were recorded by a single observer (MH) using a strip-width technique, mesozooplankton samples were collected with a Continuous Plankton Recorder, and primary production levels were derived using the appropriate satellite parameters and the Vertically Generalized Production Model (Behrenfeld and Falkowski 1997). Each trophic level showed clear spatio-temporal patterns over the course of the study. The strongest relationship between seabird abundance and diversity and the lower trophic levels was observed in March/April ('spring') and significant relationships were also found through June/July ('summer'). No discernable relationships were observed during the September/October ('fall') months. Overall, mesozooplankton abundance and biomass explained the dominant portion of seabird abundance and diversity indices (richness, Simpson's Index, and evenness), while primary production was only related to seabird richness. These findings underscore the notion that perturbations of ocean productivity and lower trophic level ecosystem constituents influenced by climate change, such as shifts in timing (phenology) and synchronicity (match-mismatch), could impart far-reaching consequences throughout the marine food web.

Item Type: Publication - Book
Additional Information. Not used in RCUK Gateway to Research.: The Changing North Pacific: Previous Patterns, Future Projections and Ecosystem Impacts. p. 114. 2007. 16. PICES Annual Meeting, Victoria, BC (Canada), 26 Oct-5 Nov 2007 Book Monograph; Conference; Summary
Additional Keywords: Article Subject Terms: Indexing in process
Depositing User: Miss Gemma Brice
Date made live: 26 Mar 2014 14:09
Last Modified: 06 Mar 2017 17:57

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