Inter-population synchrony in adult survival and effects of climate and extreme weather in non-breeding areas of Atlantic puffins

Reiertsen, T.K.; Layton-Matthews, K.; Erikstad, K.E.; Hodges, K.; Ballesteros, M.; Anker-Nilssen, T.; Barrett, R.T.; Benjaminsen, S.; Bogdanova, M.; Christensen-Dalsgaard, S.; Daunt, F.; Dehnhard, N.; Harris, M.P.; Langset, M.; Lorentsen, S.-H.; Newell, M.; Bråthen, V.S.; Støyle-Bringsvor, I.; Systad, G.-H.; Wanless, S.. 2021 Inter-population synchrony in adult survival and effects of climate and extreme weather in non-breeding areas of Atlantic puffins. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 676. 219-231.

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Seabirds are undergoing drastic declines globally and spend the non-breeding season at sea, making it challenging to study the drivers of their survival. Harsh weather and changes in climate conditions can have large impacts on seabird population dynamics through increased mortality. The intensity and persistence of extreme events are forecasted to increase with global warming. As shared conditions can induce population synchrony, multi-population studies of key demographic parameters are imperative to explore the influence of climate change. We used long-term mark-recapture data and position data to determine non-breeding stop-over areas of 5 Atlantic puffin (Fratercula arctica) populations over a latitudinal gradient in the Northeast Atlantic (56°11’-70°23’N). We investigated synchrony in adult survival in relation to shared stop-over areas. We quantified effects of extreme extra-tropical cyclones (ETCs) specific to populations’ stop-over areas and the North Atlantic Oscillation on adult survival. Populations with overlapping stop-over areas exhibited temporal synchrony in survival rates. Winter ETCs negatively influenced survival in 1 population, which was the one most exposed to extreme weather, but did not directly influence adult survival in the other 4 populations. Synchrony among populations with shared stop-over areas highlights the importance of these areas for adult survival, a key life-history rate. However, extreme weather was not identified as a driving factor for the majority of study populations. This suggests other factors in these areas, likely related to bottom-up trophic interactions, as environmental drivers of synchrony in the survival of Atlantic puffins.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
UKCEH and CEH Sections/Science Areas: Biodiversity (Science Area 2017-)
UKCEH Fellows
ISSN: 0171-8630
Additional Information. Not used in RCUK Gateway to Research.: Open Access paper - full text available via Official URL link.
Additional Keywords: mark-recapture, synchrony, North Atlantic Oscillation, extreme weather, extra-tropical cyclones, seabirds, Fratercula arctica
NORA Subject Terms: Ecology and Environment
Date made live: 18 Oct 2021 14:34 +0 (UTC)

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