MEPS 297:283-296 (2005) - doi:10.3354/meps297283
Effect of wintering area and climate on the survival of adult Atlantic puffins Fratercula arctica in the eastern Atlantic
Michael P. Harris1,*, Tycho Anker-Nilssen2, Robin H. McCleery3, Kjell Einar Erikstad4, Deryk N. Shaw5, Vladimir Grosbois6,7,8
ABSTRACT: Despite contrasting population trends ranging from 3 to +11% per annum, the annual survival rates of Atlantic puffins Fratercula arctica in the 5 colonies spanning the species range in the east Atlantic were virtually identical over a 10 to 15 yr period, giving no support to the hypothesis that variation in population growth rates is driven by adult survival. The extent to which survival varied among years differed markedly between colonies. Similarities between colonies in the patterns of inter-annual variation in survival did not reflect similarities in wintering areas, as indicated by recoveries of ringed birds, nor the geographic proximity of the colonies. However, survival in 4 of the 5 colonies correlated with sea surface temperatures around each colony 2 yr earlier. The relationship between survival and sea temperature was positively correlated with the effects of sea temperature on recruitment of the Atlantic puffins main prey species, the lesser sandeel Ammodytes marinus, the herring Clupea harengus and the capelin Mallotus villosus.
KEY WORDS: Adult survival · North Atlantic Oscillation · Sea surface temperature · Population regulation
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