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Climate as a driver of phenological change in southern seabirds


Chambers, LE and Dann, P and Cannell, B and Woehler, EJ, Climate as a driver of phenological change in southern seabirds, International Journal of Biometeorology, 58, (4) pp. 603-612. ISSN 0020-7128 (2014) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2013 Springer

DOI: doi:10.1007/s00484-013-0711-6


Seabirds are one of the most threatened groups of birds globally and, overall, their conservation status is deteriorating rapidly. Southern hemisphere countries are over-represented in the number of species of conservation concern yet long-term phenological data on seabirds in the southern hemisphere is limited. A better understanding of the implications of changes in the marine and terrestrial environments to seabird species is required in order to improve their management and conservation status. Here we conducted a meta-analysis of the phenological drivers and trends among southern hemisphere seabirds. Overall there was a general trend towards later phenological events over time (34 % of all data series, N = 47; 67 % of all significant trends), though this varied by taxa and location. The strongest trends towards later events were for seabirds breeding in Australia, the Laridae (gulls, noddies, terns) and migratory southern polar seabirds. In contrast, earlier phenologies were more often observed for the Spheniscidae (penguins) and for other seabirds breeding in the Antarctic and subantarctic. Phenological changes were most often associated with changes in oceanographic conditions, with sea-ice playing an important role for more southerly species. For some species in some locations, such as the Little Penguin Eudyptula minor in south-eastern Australia, warmer oceans projected under various climate change scenarios are expected to correspond to increased seabird productivity, manifested through earlier breeding, heavier chicks, an increased chance of double brooding, at least in the short-term.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:penguin, Eudyptula minor, sea surface temperature, southern hemisphere, seabirds
Research Division:Environmental Sciences
Research Group:Climate change impacts and adaptation
Research Field:Ecological impacts of climate change and ecological adaptation
Objective Division:Environmental Policy, Climate Change and Natural Hazards
Objective Group:Understanding climate change
Objective Field:Effects of climate change on the South Pacific (excl. Australia and New Zealand) (excl. social impacts)
UTAS Author:Woehler, EJ (Dr Eric Woehler)
ID Code:91488
Year Published:2014 (online first 2013)
Web of Science® Times Cited:18
Deposited By:IMAS Research and Education Centre
Deposited On:2014-05-20
Last Modified:2017-10-31

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