50 Works

Data from: Mercury exposure in an endangered seabird: long-term changes and relationships with trophic ecology and breeding success

William Mills, Paco Bustamante, Rona McGill, Orea Anderson, Stuart Bearhop, Yves Cherel, Stephen Votier & Richard Phillips
Mercury (Hg) is an environmental contaminant which, at high concentrations, can negatively influence avian physiology and demography. Albatrosses (Diomedeidae) have higher Hg burdens than all other avian families. Here, we measure total Hg (THg) concentrations of body feathers from adult grey-headed albatrosses (Thalassarche chrysostoma) at South Georgia. Specifically, we: (i) analyse temporal trends at South Georgia (1989–2013) and make comparisons with other breeding populations; (ii) identify factors driving variation in THg concentrations; and, (iii) examine...

Data from: Contrasting drivers of reproductive ageing in albatrosses

Hannah Froy, Sue Lewis, Daniel H. Nussey, Andrew G. Wood & Richard A. Phillips
1.Age-related variation in reproductive performance is ubiquitous in wild vertebrate populations and has important consequences for population and evolutionary dynamics. 2.The ageing trajectory is shaped by both within-individual processes, such as improvement and senescence, and by the among-individual effects of selective appearance and disappearance. To date, few studies have compared the role of these different drivers among species or populations. 3.In this study, we use nearly 40 years of longitudinal monitoring data to contrast the...

Data from: Individuality in northern lapwing migration and its link to timing of breeding

Götz Eichhorn, Willem Bil & James W. Fox
We tracked eight adult northern lapwings, Vanellus vanellus, (six females and two males) from a Dutch breeding colony by light-level geolocation year-round, three of them for multiple years. We show that birds breeding virtually next to each other may choose widely separated wintering grounds, stretching from nearby the colony west towards the UK and Ireland, and southwest through France into Iberia and Morocco. However, individual lapwings appeared relatively faithful to a chosen wintering area, and...

Data from: Global biogeographic patterns in bipolar moss species

Elisabeth Machteld Biersma, Jennifer A. Jackson, Jaakko Hyvonen, Satu Koskinen, Katrin Linse, Howard Griffiths & Peter Convey
A bipolar disjunction is an extreme, yet common, biogeographic pattern in non-vascular plants, yet its underlying mechanisms (vicariance or long-distance dispersal), origin and timing remain poorly understood. Here, combining a large-scale population dataset and multiple dating analyses, we examine the biogeography of four bipolar Polytrichales mosses, common to the Holarctic (temperate and polar Northern Hemisphere regions) and the Antarctic region (Antarctic, sub-Antarctic, southern South America) and other Southern Hemisphere (SH) regions. Our data reveal contrasting...

Data from: Changing measurements or changing movements? Sampling scale and movement model identifiability across generations of biologging technology

Leah R. Johnson, Philipp H. Boersch-Supan, Richard A. Phillips & Sadie J. Ryan
1. Animal movement patterns contribute to our understanding of variation in breeding success and survival of individuals, and the implications for population dynamics. 2. Over time, sensor technology for measuring movement patterns has improved. Although older technologies may be rendered obsolete, the existing data are still valuable, especially if new and old data can be compared to test whether a behavior has changed over time. 3. We used simulated data to assess the ability to...

Data from: Influence of device accuracy and choice of algorithm for species distribution modelling of seabirds: a case study using black-browed albatrosses

Petra Quillfeldt, Jan O. Engler, Janet R. D. Silk, Richard A. Phillips & Janet R.D. Silk
Species distribution models (SDM) based on tracking data from different devices are used increasingly to explain and predict seabird distributions. However, different tracking methods provide different data resolutions, ranging from < 10m to >100km. To better understand the implications of this variation, we modeled the potential distribution of black-browed albatrosses Thalassarche melanophris from South Georgia that were simultaneously equipped with a Platform Terminal Transmitter (PTT) (high resolution) and a Global Location Sensor (GLS) logger (coarse...

Data from: RAD sequencing resolves fine-scale population structure in a benthic invertebrate: implications for understanding phenotypic plasticity

David L.J. Vendrami, Luca Telesca, Hannah Weigand, Martina Weiss, Katie Fawcett, Katrin Lehman, Melody S. Clark, Florian Leese, Carrie McMinn, Heather Moore & Joseph I. Hoffman
The field of molecular ecology is transitioning from the use of small panels of classical genetic markers such as microsatellites to much larger panels of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) generated by approaches like RAD sequencing. However, few empirical studies have directly compared the ability of these methods to resolve population structure. This could have implications for understanding phenotypic plasticity, as many previous studies of natural populations may have lacked the power to detect genetic differences,...

Data from: Combined bottom-up and top-down pressures drive catastrophic population declines of Arctic skuas in Scotland

Allan Perkins, Norman Ratcliffe, Dave Suddaby, Brian Ribbands, Claire Smith, Pete Ellis, Eric Meek & Mark Bolton
1. Understanding drivers of population change is critical for effective species conservation. In the northeast Atlantic Ocean, recent changes amongst seabird communities are linked to human and climate change impacts on foodwebs. Many species have declined severely, with food shortages and increased predation reducing productivity. Arctic skua Stercorarius parasiticus, a kleptoparasite of other seabirds, is one such species. 2. The aim of the study was to determine relative effects of bottom-up and top-down pressures on...

Data from: Bayesian inference of a historical bottleneck in a heavily exploited marine mammal

Joe I Hoffman, Suzie M Grant, Jaume Forcada & Caleb D Phillips
Emerging Bayesian analytical approaches offer increasingly sophisticated means of reconstructing historical population dynamics from genetic data, but have been little applied to scenarios involving demographic bottlenecks. Consequently, we analysed a large mitochondrial and microsatellite dataset from the Antarctic fur seal Arctocephalus gazella, a species subjected to one of the most extreme examples of uncontrolled exploitation in history when it was reduced to the brink of extinction by the sealing industry during the late eighteenth and...

Comparing Glacial-Geological Evidence and Model Simulations of Ice Sheet Change since the Last Glacial Period in the Amundsen Sea Sector of Antarctica

J.S. Johnson, D. Pollard, P.L. Whitehouse, S.J. Roberts, D.H. Rood & J.M. Schaefer
Since the Last Glacial Maximum ~20,000 years ago, the Antarctic Ice Sheet has undergone extensive changes, resulting in a much smaller present-day configuration. Improving our understanding of basic physical processes that played important roles during that retreat is critical to providing more robust model projections of future retreat and sea-level rise. Here, a limited-area nested ice sheet model was applied to the last deglacial retreat of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet in the Amundsen Sea...

Data from: Connectivity in the cold: the comparative population genetics of vent-endemic fauna in the Scotia Sea, Southern Ocean.

Christopher N. Roterman, Jon T. Copley, Katrin T. Linse, Paul A. Tyler & Alex D. Rogers
We report the first comparative population genetics study for vent fauna in the Southern Ocean using cytochrome C oxidase I and microsatellite markers. Three species are examined: the kiwaid squat lobster, Kiwa tyleri, the peltospirid gastropod Gigantopelta chessoia and a lepetodrilid limpet, Lepetodrilus sp. collected from vent fields 440 km apart on the East Scotia Ridge (ESR) and from the Kemp Caldera on the South Sandwich Island Arc, ~95 km eastwards. We report no differentiation...

Data from: Evolutionary factors affecting the cross-species utility of newly developed microsatellite markers in seabirds

Yoshan Moodley, Juan F. Masello, Gopi K. Munimanda, Theresa L. Cole, Marco R. Thali, Rachael Alderman, Richard J. Cuthbert, Manuel Marin, Melanie Massaro, Joan Navarro, Richard A. Phillips, Peter G. Ryan, Cristián G. Suazo, Yves Cherel, Henri Weimerskirch, Petra Quillfeldt & Luciano Calderon
Microsatellite loci are ideal for testing hypotheses relating to genetic segregation at fine spatio-temporal scales. They are also conserved among closely related species, making them potentially useful for clarifying interspecific relationships between recently diverged taxa. However, mutations at primer binding sites may lead to increased nonamplification, or disruptions that may result in decreased polymorphism in nontarget species. Furthermore, high mutation rates and constraints on allele size may also with evolutionary time, promote an increase in...

Data from: The influence of preceding dive cycles on the foraging decisions of Antarctic fur seals

Takashi Iwata, Kentaro Q. Sakamoto, Ewan W. J. Edwards, Ian J. Staniland, Philip N. Trathan, Yusuke Goto, Katsufumi Sato, Yasuhiko Naito & Akinori Takahashi
The foraging strategy of many animals is thought to be determined by their past experiences. However, few empirical studies have investigated whether this is true in diving animals. We recorded three-dimensional movements and mouth-opening events from three Antarctic fur seals during their foraging trips to examine how they adapt their behaviour based on past experience—continuing to search for prey in the same area or moving to search in a different place. Each dive cycle was...

Data from: Contrasting responses of male and female foraging effort to year-round wind conditions

Sue Lewis, Richard A. Phillips, Sarah J. Burthe, Sarah Wanless & Francis Daunt
1. There is growing interest in the effects of wind on wild animals, given evidence that wind speeds are increasing and becoming more variable in some regions, particularly at temperate latitudes. Wind may alter movement patterns or foraging ability, with consequences for energy budgets and, ultimately, demographic rates. 2. These effects are expected to vary among individuals due to intrinsic factors such as sex, age or feeding proficiency. Furthermore, this variation is predicted to become...

Data from: Seabird diversity hotspot linked to ocean productivity in the Canary Current Large Marine Ecosystem

W. James Grecian, Matthew J. Witt, Martin J. Attrill, Stuart Bearhop, Peter H. Becker, Carsten Egevang, Robert W. Furness, Brendan J. Godley, Jacob González-Solís, David Grémillet, Matthias Kopp, Amélie Lescroël, Jason Matthiopoulos, Samantha C. Patrick, Hans-Ulrich Peter, Richard A. Phillips, Iain J. Stenhouse & Stephen C. Votier
Upwelling regions are highly productive habitats targeted by wide-ranging marine predators and industrial fisheries. In this study, we track the migratory movements of eight seabird species from across the Atlantic; quantify overlap with the Canary Current Large Marine Ecosystem (CCLME) and determine the habitat characteristics that drive this association. Our results indicate the CCLME is a biodiversity hotspot for migratory seabirds; all tracked species and more than 70% of individuals used this upwelling region. Relative...

Data from: Dwarf brooder versus giant broadcaster: combining genetic and reproductive data to unravel cryptic diversity in an Antarctic brittle star

Quentin Jossart, Chester Sands & Mary A. Sewell
Poecilogony, or multiple developmental modes in a single species, is exceedingly rare. Several species described as poecilogenous were later demonstrated to be multiple (cryptic) species with a single developmental mode. The Southern Ocean is known to harbor a high proportion of brooders (Thorson's Rule) but with an increasing number of counter examples over recent years. Here we evaluated poecilogony versus crypticism in the brittle star Astrotoma agassizii across the Southern Ocean. This species was initially...

Data from: Quantifying Susceptibility of Marine Invertebrate Biocomposites to Dissolution in Reduced pH

Matthew Chadwick, Elizabeth M. Harper, Anaëlle Lemasson, John I. Spicer & Lloyd S. Peck
Ocean acidification threatens many ecologically and economically important marine calcifiers. The increase in shell dissolution under the resulting reduced pH is an important and increasingly recognised threat. The biocomposites that make up calcified hardparts have a range of taxon-specific compositions and microstructures, and it is evident that these may influence susceptibilities to dissolution. Here, we show how dissolution (thickness loss) under both ambient and predicted end-century pH (≈7.6) varies between seven different bivalve mollusc and...

Evidence for an Allee effect in a declining fur seal population

Rebecca Nagel, Claire Stainfield, Cameron Fox-Clarke, Camille Toscani, Jaume Forcada & Joseph Hoffman
Allee effects play an important role in the dynamics of many populations and can increase the risk of local extinction. However, some authors have questioned the weight of evidence for Allee effects in wild populations. We therefore exploited a natural experiment provided by two adjacent breeding colonies of contrasting density to investigate the potential for Allee effects in an Antarctic fur seal (Arctocephalus gazella) population that is declining in response to climate-change induced reductions in...

Southern Ocean procellariform blood and feather stable isotope data

T.W. Bodey, E.J. Ward, R.A. Phillips, R.A.R. McGill & S. Bearhop
This dataset comprises the delta-13C and delta-15N stable isotopic information from two tissue samples (whole blood and mantle feathers) from 16 adults of 8 species of Southern Ocean procellariform collected at Bird Island, South Georgia during the austral summer 2001-2002. There have been numerous long-term research projects carried out at Bird Island under the auspices of the British Antarctic Survey, and this data represents one very small component that has been used to examine inter-specific...

Data from: Geographic structure in the Southern Ocean circumpolar brittle star Ophionotus victoriae (Ophiuridae) revealed from mtDNA and single nucleotide polymorphism data

Matthew P. Galaska, Chester J. Sands, Scott R. Santos, Andrew R. Mahon & Kenneth M. Halanych
Marine systems have traditionally been thought of as “open” with few barriers to gene flow. In particular, many marine organisms in the Southern Ocean purportedly possess circumpolar distributions that have rarely been well verified. Here, we use the highly abundant and endemic Southern Ocean brittle star Ophionotus victoriae to examine genetic structure and determine whether barriers to gene flow have existed around the Antarctic continent. Ophionotus victoriae possesses feeding planktotrophic larvae with presumed high dispersal...

Data from: Species tree of a recent radiation: the subfamily Delphininae (Cetacea, Mammalia)

Ana R. Amaral, Jennifer A. Jackson, Luciana M. Moller, Luciano B. Beheregaray & M. Manuela Coelho
Lineages undergoing rapid radiations provide exceptional opportunities for studying speciation and adaptation, but also represent a challenge for molecular systematics because retention of ancestral polymorphisms and the occurrence of hybridization can obscure relationships among lineages. Dolphins in the subfamily Delphininae are one such case. Non-monophyly, rapid speciation events, and discordance between morphological and molecular characters have made the inference of phylogenetic relationships within this subfamily very difficult. Here we approach this problem by applying multiple...

Data from: An integrated approach to historical population assessment of the great whales: case of the New Zealand southern right whale

Jennifer A. Jackson, Emma L. Carroll, Tim D. Smith, Alex N. Zerbini, Nathalie J. Patenaude & C. Scott Baker
Accurate estimation of historical abundance provides an essential baseline for judging the recovery of the great whales. This is particularly challenging for whales hunted prior to twentieth century modern whaling, as population-level catch records are often incomplete. Assessments of whale recovery using pre-modern exploitation indices are therefore rare, despite the intensive, global nature of nineteenth century whaling. Right whales (Eubalaena spp.) were particularly exploited: slow swimmers with strong fidelity to sheltered calving bays, the species...

Data from: Population structure and phylogeography of the Gentoo Penguin (Pygoscelis papua) across the Scotia Arc

Hila Levy, Gemma V. Clucas, Alex D. Rogers, Adam D. Leaché, Kate L. Ciborowski, Michael J. Polito, Heather J. Lynch, Michael J. Dunn & Tom Hart
Climate change, fisheries pressure on penguin prey, and direct human disturbance of wildlife have all been implicated in causing large shifts in the abundance and distribution of penguins in the Southern Ocean. Without mark-recapture studies, understanding how colonies form and, by extension, how ranges shift is challenging. Genetic studies, particularly focused on newly established colonies, provide a snapshot of colonisation and can reveal the extent to which shifts in abundance and occupancy result from changes...

Data from: Age-related variation in non-breeding foraging behaviour and carry-over effects on fitness in an extremely long-lived bird

Thomas A. Clay, Elizabeth J. Pearmain, Rona A.R. McGill, Andrea Manica, Richard A. Phillips & Rona A. R. McGill
1. Senescence has been widely documented in wild vertebrate populations, yet the proximate drivers of age-related declines in breeding success, including allocation trade-offs and links with foraging performance, are poorly understood. For long-lived, migratory species, the non-breeding period represents a critical time for investment in self-maintenance and restoration of body condition, which in many species is linked to fitness. However, the relationships between age, non-breeding foraging behaviour and fitness remain largely unexplored. 2. We performed...

Data from: Predicting ecological responses in a changing ocean: the effects of future climate uncertainty

Jennifer J. Freer, Julian C. Partridge, Geraint A. Tarling, Martin A. Collins & Martin J. Genner
Predicting how species will respond to climate change is a growing field in marine ecology, yet knowledge of how to incorporate the uncertainty from future climate data into these predictions remains a significant challenge. To help overcome it, this review separates climate uncertainty into its three components (scenario uncertainty, model uncertainty, and internal model variability) and identifies four criteria that constitute a thorough interpretation of an ecological response to climate change in relation to these...

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