Spatial distribution and ecological niches of non-breeding planktivorous petrels

Navarro, Joan; Cardador, Laura; Brown, Ruth; Phillips, Richard A.. 2015 Spatial distribution and ecological niches of non-breeding planktivorous petrels. Scientific Reports, 5, 12164.

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According to niche theory, mechanisms exist that allow co-existence of organisms that would otherwise compete for the same prey and other resources. How seabirds cope with potential competition during the non-breeding period is poorly documented, particularly for small species. Here we investigate for the first time the potential role of spatial, environmental (habitat) and trophic (isotopic) segregation as niche-partitioning mechanisms during the non-breeding season for four species of highly abundant, zooplanktivorous seabird that breed sympatrically in the Southern Ocean. Spatial segregation was found to be the main partitioning mechanism; even for the two sibling species of diving petrel, which spent the non-breeding period in overlapping areas, there was evidence from distribution and stable isotope ratios for differences in habitat use and diving depth.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
Programmes: BAS Programmes > BAS Programmes 2015 > Ecosystems
ISSN: 2045-2322
Date made live: 12 Aug 2015 10:58 +0 (UTC)

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