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Dynamic fine-scale sea icescape shapes adult emperor penguin foraging habitat in East Antarctica

Citation

Labrousse, S and Fraser, AD and Sumner, M and Tamura, T and Pinaud, D and Wienecke, B and Kirkwood, R and Ropert-Coudert, Y and Reisinger, R and Jonsen, I and Porter-Smith, R and Barbraud, C and Bost, C-A and Ji, R and Jenouvrier, S, Dynamic fine-scale sea icescape shapes adult emperor penguin foraging habitat in East Antarctica, Geophysical Research Letters, 46, (20) pp. 11206-11218. ISSN 0094-8276 (2019) [Refereed Article]


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Copyright Statement

Copyright 2019 American Geophysical Union

DOI: doi:10.1029/2019GL084347

Abstract

The emperor penguin, an iconic species threatened by projected sea ice loss in Antarctica, has long been considered to forage at the fast ice edge, presumably relying on large/yearly persistent polynyas as their main foraging habitat during the breeding season. Using newly developed fine-scale sea icescape data and historical penguin tracking data, this study for the first time suggests the importance of less recognized small openings, including cracks, flaw leads and ephemeral short-term polynyas, as foraging habitats for emperor penguins. The tracking data retrieved from 47 emperor penguins in two different colonies in East Antarctica suggest that those penguins spent 23% of their time in ephemeral polynyas and did not use the large/yearly persistent, well-studied polynyas, even if they occur much more regularly with predictable locations. These findings challenge our previous understanding of emperor penguin breeding habitats, highlighting the need for incorporating fine-scale seascape features when assessing the population persistence in a rapidly changing polar environment.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:emperor penguin, sea ice, iceberg, fast ice, polynya, foraging ecology
Research Division:Biological Sciences
Research Group:Ecology
Research Field:Behavioural Ecology
Objective Division:Environment
Objective Group:Ecosystem Assessment and Management
Objective Field:Ecosystem Assessment and Management of Antarctic and Sub-Antarctic Environments
UTAS Author:Fraser, AD (Dr Alex Fraser)
UTAS Author:Sumner, M (Mr Michael Sumner)
UTAS Author:Tamura, T (Dr Takeshi Tamura)
ID Code:137266
Year Published:2019
Deposited By:CRC-Antarctic Climate & Ecosystems
Deposited On:2020-02-06
Last Modified:2020-05-26
Downloads:0

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