MEPS 593:189-194 (2018)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/meps12580

INTRODUCTION
Seabird responses to a changing Bering Sea

Alexander S. Kitaysky1,*, George L. Hunt Jr.2

1Department of Biology and Wildlife, Institute of Arctic Biology, University of Alaska Fairbanks, Fairbanks, AK 99775-7000, USA
2School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences, University of Washington, Box 355020, Seattle, WA 98195, USA
*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: The eastern Bering Sea is well known for its spatial and temporal variability. Significant inter-annual changes in the abundance of zooplankton and forage fish are related to the timing of sea ice retreat. In this Theme Section, studies explore how different species and communities of seabirds inhabiting the region respond to contrasting patterns of spring sea-ice-retreat and summer temperatures. Data from the pelagic realm are used to explore climate-linked variability in the responses of seabird distributions to years with early and late sea-ice-retreat. Colony-based studies, relying on bird-borne data loggers and physiological parameters, examine how long-term changes in the foraging and migratory behaviors of individuals during cold and warm years may affect birds breeding on the Pribilof Islands (Alaska, USA). A unique aspect of this Theme Section is the availability of both colony-based and pelagic studies of seabirds that overlap in space and time. This body of work aims to provide an overview of seabird responses to oceanographic variability in the eastern Bering Sea, spanning a period of 100 yr and an immense oceanographic region.


KEY WORDS: Climate change · Ship surveys · Logger technology · Historical ecophysiology · Food-web stability · Nutritional stress


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Cite this article as: Kitaysky AS, Hunt GL Jr (2018) Seabird responses to a changing Bering Sea. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 593:189-194. https://doi.org/10.3354/meps12580

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