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Marine Ecology Progress Series

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MEPS 454:285-307 (2012)  -  DOI:

Effects of climate change and fisheries bycatch on Southern Ocean seabirds: a review

Christophe Barbraud1,*, Virginie Rolland1,2, Stéphanie Jenouvrier1,3, Marie Nevoux1,4, Karine Delord1, Henri Weimerskirch1

1Centre d’Etudes Biologiques de Chizé, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Villiers en Bois, 79360 Beauvoir-sur-Niort, France
2Department of Wildlife Ecology and Conservation, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida 32611, USA
3Biology Department, MS-34, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Woods Hole, Massachusetts 02543, USA
4Mammal Research Institute, Department of Zoology & Entomology, University of Pretoria, Pretoria 0002, South Africa

ABSTRACT: Over the last century, major climate changes and intense human exploitation of natural living resources have occurred in the Southern Ocean, potentially affecting its ecosystems up to top marine predators. Fisheries may also directly affect seabirds through bycatch and additional food resources provided by discards. The past 20 yr of research has seen an increasing number of studies investigating the effects of climate change and fisheries activities on Southern Ocean seabirds. Here, we review these studies in order to identify patterns in changes in distribution, phenology, demography and population dynamics in response to changes in climate and fisheries bycatch. Shifts in distribution and breeding phenology were documented in parallel to increases in sea-surface temperatures and changes in sea-ice cover. Above all warm sea-surface temperatures negatively affected demographic parameters, although exceptions were found. Relationships suggest non-linear effects of sea-ice cover on demographic parameters and population dynamics, with optimum sea-ice cover conditions appearing to be the rule. Fishing efforts were mainly negatively related to survival rates, and only for a few species positively related to breeding success. A handful of studies found that chronic mortality of immature birds due to fisheries negatively affected populations. Climate factors and fisheries bycatch may simultaneously affect demographic parameters in a complex way, which can be integrated in population models to project population trajectories under future climate or fisheries scenarios. Needed are studies that integrate other environmental factors, trophic levels, foraging behaviour, climate−fisheries interactions, and the mechanisms underlying phenotypic plasticity, such as some pioneering studies conducted elsewhere.

KEY WORDS:Seabirds · Bycatch · Population dynamics · Demography · Distribution · Phenology · Sea ice · Sea-surface temperature

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Cite this article as: Barbraud C, Rolland V, Jenouvrier S, Nevoux M, Delord K, Weimerskirch H (2012) Effects of climate change and fisheries bycatch on Southern Ocean seabirds: a review. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 454:285-307.

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