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Decadal-scale variation in diet forecasts persistently poor breeding under ocean warming in a tropical seabird

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abstract
Climate change effects on population dynamics of natural populations are well documented at higher latitudes, where relatively rapid warming illuminates cause-effect relationships, but not in the tropics and especially the marine tropics, where warming has been slow. Here we forecast the indirect effect of ocean warming on a top predator, Nazca boobies in the equatorial Galápagos Islands, where rising water temperature is expected to exceed the upper thermal tolerance of a key prey item in the future, severely reducing its availability within the boobies’ foraging envelope. From 1983 to 1997 boobies ate mostly sardines, a densely aggregated, highly nutritious food. From 1997 until the present, flying fish, a lower quality food, replaced sardines. Breeding success under the poor diet fell dramatically, causing the population growth rate to fall below 1, indicating a shrinking population. Population growth may not recover: rapid future warming is predicted around Galápagos, usually exceeding the upper lethal temperature and maximum spawning temperature of sardines within 100 years, displacing them permanently from the boobies’ island-constrained foraging range. This provides rare evidence of the effect of ocean warming on a tropical marine vertebrate.
subject
animal sexual behavior
birds
climate change
trophic interactions
foraging
diet
ocean temperature
population growth
contributor
Tompkins, E. (author)
Townsend, H. (author)
Anderson, D. (author)
date
2020-03-09T14:27:41Z (accessioned)
2020-03-09T14:27:41Z (available)
8/23/17 (issued)
identifier
Tompkins EM, Townsend HM, Anderson DJ (2017) Decadal-scale variation in diet forecasts persistently poor breeding under ocean warming in a tropical seabird. PLoS ONE 12(8): e0182545. (citation)
ttps://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0182545 (doi)
http://hdl.handle.net/10339/96035 (uri)
language
en (iso)
publisher
PLOS
rights
https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/ (uri)
source
PLOS ONE
title
Decadal-scale variation in diet forecasts persistently poor breeding under ocean warming in a tropical seabird
type
Article

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