MEPS
Marine Ecology Progress Series

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How do marine heatwaves impact seabirds?

Image: Mayumi Arimitsu

How do marine heatwaves impact seabirds?
Extreme heatwaves have had dramatic impacts on marine ecosystems worldwide, and they are increasing in frequency and magnitude. The effect of these periodic heating events on seabirds has been manifested in a variety of biological and behavioural responses, including die-offs, reproductive failures, reduced survival, shifts in phenology of breeding or migration, and shifts in distribution at sea. However, the actual mechanisms by which heating events exert their effects on seabirds are not well understood. For example, how does ocean heating reduce prey availability or quality to cause starvation or breeding failure? How are impacts modulated by the duration and spatial extent of heatwaves? How, and to what degree, can seabirds buffer against heatwave impacts? What are the physiological effects of heating on seabirds and their prey?


This Theme Section was inspired by the “heatwave impacts” symposium at the 3rd World Seabird Conference held in October 2021. The organizers welcome the submission of any studies that demonstrate impacts on seabirds from marine heatwaves and propose specific mechanisms that could explain how ocean heating precipitates changes in seabird biology and behaviour.


If you wish to contribute your work to this Theme Section, please select the “HEAT” Section when you submit your manuscript online and mention in your cover letter that you are interested to have your work included in this Theme Section.


For questions, contact Christine Paetzold (Managing Editor) .


Organizers: John F. Piatt, William J. Sydeman, Peter Dann, Bradley C. Congdon


Editors: John F. Piatt, Robert M. Suryan, William J. Sydeman, Mayumi L. Arimitsu, Sarah Ann Thompson, Rory P. Wilson, Kyle H. Elliott


Status: Submissions are closed.


Important notice: Submissions to this Theme Section after 1 November 2022 are not affected by the changes in MEPS Open Access pricing. Pre-November prices will apply along with a 20% discount.


Individual Theme Section articles are published 'Advance View' as soon as they are ready. Once the Theme Section is completed, they will be fully published in a regular volume of MEPS and given a volume number and page range. Theme Section literature cites within the articles will also be updated at that time.



Schoen SK, Arimitsu ML, Marsteller CE, Piatt JF
Lingering impacts of the 2014-2016 northeast Pacific marine heatwave on seabird demography in Cook Inlet, Alaska (USA)
MEPS HEAT: AV1 | Full text in pdf format