34 Works

Moving out of town? The status of alien plants in high-Arctic Svalbard, and a method for monitoring of alien flora in high-risk, polar environments

Jesamine Bartlett, Kristine Bakke-Westergaard, Ingrid Paulsen, Ronja Wedegartner, Florian Wilken & Virve Ravolainen
Rising human activity in the Arctic, combined with a warming climate, increases the probability of the introduction and establishment of alien plant species. While settlements are known hotspots for persistent populations, little is known about colonization of particularly susceptible natural habitats. Systematic monitoring is lacking and available survey methods vary greatly. Here we present the most comprehensive survey of alien vascular plant species in the high-Arctic archipelago of Svalbard to date, aimed at: i) providing...

Processed airborne radio-echo sounding data from the POLARGAP survey covering the South Pole, and Foundation and Recovery Glaciers, East Antarctica (2015/2016)

Fausto Ferraccioli, Rene Forsberg, Kenichi Matsuoka, Arne Olesen, Tom Jordan, Hugh Corr, Carl Robinson & Jack Kohler
During the austral summer of 2015/16, a major international collaboration funded by the European Space Agency (ESA) and with in-kind contribution from the British Antarctic Survey, the Technical University of Denmark (DTU), the Norwegian Polar Institute (NPI) and the US National Science Foundation (NSF), acquired ~38,000 line km of aerogeophysical data. The primary objective of the POLARGAP campaign was to carry out an airborne gravity survey covering the southern polar gap of the ESA gravity...

Climate change impacts on seabirds and marine mammals: the importance of study duration, thermal tolerance and generation time

Florian Orgeret, Andréa Thiebault, Kit M. Kovacs, Christian Lydersen, Mark A. Hindell, Sarah Ann Thompson, William J. Sydeman & Pierre A. Pistorius
Understanding climate change impacts on top predators is fundamental to marine biodiversity conservation, due to their increasingly threatened populations and their importance in marine ecosystems. We conducted a systematic review of the effects of climate change (prolonged, directional change) and climate variability on seabirds and marine mammals. We extracted data from 484 studies (4808 published studies were reviewed), comprising 2215 observations on demography, phenology, distribution, diet, behaviour, body condition and physiology. The likelihood of concluding...

Data from: Origins of the Greenland shark (Somniosus microcephalus): impacts of ice-olation and introgression

Ryan P. Walter, Denis Roy, Nigel E. Hussey, Björn Stelbrink, Kit M. Kovacs, Christian Lydersen, Bailey C. McMeans, Jörundur Svavarsson, Steven T. Kessel, Sebastian Biton Porsmoguer, Sharon Wildes, Cindy A. Tribuzio, Steven E. Campana, Stephen D. Petersen, R. Dean Grubbs, Daniel D. Heath, Kevin J. Hedges & Aaron T. Fisk
Herein, we use genetic data from 277 sleeper sharks to perform coalescent-based modeling to test the hypothesis of early Quaternary emergence of the Greenland shark (Somniosus microcephalus) from ancestral sleeper sharks in the Canadian Arctic-Subarctic region. Our results show that morphologically cryptic somniosids S. microcephalus and Somniosus pacificus can be genetically distinguished using combined mitochondrial and nuclear DNA markers. Our data confirm the presence of genetically admixed individuals in the Canadian Arctic and sub-Arctic, and...

Data from: Resting and daily energy expenditures during reproduction are adjusted in opposite directions in free-living birds

Jorg Welcker, John R. Speakman, Kyle H. Elliott, Scott A. Hatch & Alexander S. Kitaysky
1. Reproduction is energetically expensive, and daily energy expenditure (DEE) often peaks during the period of rearing young. The “potentiation” hypothesis predicts that high DEE needs to be sustained by a corresponding up-regulation of metabolic machinery, thus a concomitant increase of the resting metabolic rate (RMR) is expected. Alternatively, the “compensation” hypothesis predicts that DEE and RMR are regulated independently and animals may maintain low RMR to maximize the energy available for reproduction. This might...

Data from: Breeding synchrony and predator specialization: a test of the predator swamping hypothesis in seabirds

Sébastien Descamps
Reproductive synchrony is a widespread phenomenon that is predicted to be adaptive for prey with specialist predators but not for those with generalist ones. I tested this prediction in three polar seabird species characterized by different levels of predator specialization. In the Antarctic petrel, for which the only predator was highly specialized, hatching dates were highly synchronous and chicks that hatched close to the mean hatching date had a higher survival. In black-legged kittiwakes and...

Data from: Implications of the circumpolar genetic structure of polar bears for their conservation in a rapidly warming Arctic

Elizabeth Peacock, Sarah A. Sonsthagen, Martyn E. Obbard, Andrei Boltunov, Eric V. Regehr, Nikita Ovsyanikov, Jon Aars, Stephen N. Atkinson, George K. Sage, Andrew G. Hope, Eve Zeyl, Lutz Bachmann, Dorothee Ehrich, Kim T. Scribner, Steven C. Amstrup, Stanislav Belikov, Erik W. Born, Andrew E. Derocher, Ian Stirling, Mitchell K. Taylor, Øystein Wiig, David Paetkau & Sandra L. Talbot
We provide an expansive analysis of polar bear (Ursus maritimus) circumpolar genetic variation during the last two decades of decline in their sea-ice habitat. We sought to evaluate whether their genetic diversity and structure have changed over this period of habitat decline, how their current genetic patterns compare with past patterns, and how genetic demography changed with ancient fluctuations in climate. Characterizing their circumpolar genetic structure using microsatellite data, we defined four clusters that largely...

Data from: Hidden survival heterogeneity of three common eider populations in response to climate fluctuations

Loreleï Guéry, Sébastien Descamps, Roger Pradel, Sveinn Are Hanssen, Kjell Einar Erikstad, Geir W. Gabrielsen, H. Grant Gilchrist & Joël Bêty
(1) Understanding how individuals and populations respond to fluctuations in climatic conditions is critical to explain and anticipate changes in ecological systems. Most such studies focus on climate impacts on single populations without considering inter- and intra-population heterogeneity. However, comparing geographically dispersed populations limits the risk of faulty generalizations and helps to improve ecological and demographic models. (2) We aimed to determine whether differences in migration tactics among and within populations would induce inter- or...

Data from: Temporal variation in habitat selection breaks the catch-22 of spatially contrasting predation risk from multiple predators

Karen Lone, Atle Mysterud, Terje Gobakken, John Odden, John Linnell & Leif Egil Loe
Predator avoidance depends on prey being able to discern how risk varies in space and time, but this is made considerably more complicated if risk is simultaneously present from multiple predators. This is the situation for an increasing number of mammalian prey species, as large carnivores recover or are reintroduced in ecosystems on several continents. Roe deer Capreolus capreolus in southern Norway illustrate a case in which prey face two predators with contrasting patterns of...

Data from: No selection on immunological markers in response to a highly virulent pathogen in an Arctic breeding bird

Pierre Legagneux, Lisha L. Berzins, Mark Forbes, Naomi Jane Harms, Holly L. Hennin, H. G. Gilchrist, Sophie Bourgeon, Joël Bêty, Catherine Soos, Oliver P. Love, Jeffrey T. Foster, Sébastien Descamps & Gary Burness
In natural populations, epidemics provide opportunities to look for intense natural selection on genes coding for life history and immune or other physiological traits. If the populations being considered are of management or conservation concern, then identifying the traits under selection (or ‘markers’) might provide insights into possible intervention strategies during epidemics. We assessed potential for selection on multiple immune and life history traits of Arctic breeding common eiders (Somateria mollissima) during annual avian cholera...

Personality-specific carry-over effects on breeding

Steph Harris, Stephanie M Harris, Sebastien Descamps, Lynne Sneddon, Milena Cairo, Philip Bertrand & Samantha Patrick
Carry-over effects describe the phenomenon whereby an animal’s previous conditions influence its subsequent performance. Carry-over effects are unlikely to affect individuals uniformly, but the factors modulating their strength are poorly known. Variation in the strength of carry-over effects may reflect individual differences in pace-of-life: slow-paced, shyly behaved individuals are thought to favour allocation to self-maintenance over current reproduction, compared to their fast-paced, boldly behaved conspecifics (the pace-of-life syndrome hypothesis). Therefore, detectable carry-over effects on breeding...

Data collected during the KV Svalbard cruise in 2007

Edmond Hansen & Paul Dodd
Current profiles and hydrographic data collected by the Norwegian Polar Institute during the KV Svalbard cruise in 2007 in the Fram Strait.

Data from: Long-term mark-recapture and growth data for large-sized migratory brown trout (Salmo trutta) from Lake Mjøsa, Norway

Chloé Rebecca Nater, S. Jannicke Moe, Atle Rustadbakken, L. Asbjørn Vøllestad, Espen Lund, Tore Qvenild, Ola Hegge & Per Aass
This data package contains two unique publicly available time series of individual-based data originating from a 51-year mark-recapture study of a land-locked population of large-sized migratory brown trout (Salmo trutta) in Norway: the Hunder trout. In the period 1966-2015, nearly 14,000 adult Hunder trout have been captured and individually marked during their spawning migration from Lake Mjøsa to the river Gubrandsdalslågen. Almost a third of those individuals were later recaptured alive during a later spawning...

Sea ice reduction drives genetic differentiation among Barents Sea polar bears

Simo Njabulo Maduna, Jon Aars, Ida Fløystad, Cornelya Klutsch, Eve Zeyl Fiskebeck, Øystein Wiig, Dorothee Ehrich, Magnus Andersen, Lutz Bachmann, Andrew Derocher, Tommi Nyman, Hans Geir Eiken & Snorre Hagen
Loss of Arctic sea ice due to climate change is predicted to reduce both genetic diversity and gene flow in ice-dependent species, with potential negative consequences for their long-term viability. Here, we tested for the population-genetic impacts of reduced sea ice cover on the polar bear (Ursus maritimus) sampled across two decades (1995–2016) from the Svalbard Archipelago, Norway, an area that is affected by rapid sea ice loss in the Arctic Barents Sea. We analysed...

Data from: Extreme diversity in the songs of Spitsbergen’s bowhead whales

Kathleen M. Stafford, Christian Lydersen, Oystein Wiig & Kit M. Kovacs
Almost all mammals communicate using sound, but few species produce complex songs. Two baleen whales sing complex songs that change annually, though only the humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) has received much research attention. This study focuses on the other baleen whale singer, the bowhead whale (Balaena mysticetus). Members of the Spitsbergen bowhead whale population produced 184 different song types over a 3-year period, based on duty-cycled recordings from a site in Fram Strait in the...

Data from: Large-scale oceanographic fluctuations drive Antarctic petrel survival and reproduction

Sebastien Descamps, Arnaud Tarroux, Svein Håkon Lorentsen, Oliver P. Love, Øystein Varpe & Nigel G. Yoccoz
Polar Regions are experiencing environmental changes at unprecedented rates. These changes can spread throughout entire food webs from lower trophic levels to apex predators. As many top predators forage over large areas, these indirect effects may be associated with large-scale patterns of climate variability. Using global climate indices that are known to impact the Southern Ocean ecosystem (the El Niño Southern Oscillation and Antarctic Oscillation Indices) we assessed their efficacy to predict variation in the...

Data from: Mid-winter temperatures, not spring temperatures, predict breeding phenology in the European starling Sturnus vulgaris

Tony D. Williams, Sophie Bourgeon, Allison Cornell, Laramie Ferguson, Melinda Fowler, Raime B. Fronstin & Oliver P. Love
In many species, empirical data suggest that temperatures less than 1 month before breeding strongly influence laying date, consistent with predictions that short lag times between cue and response are more reliable, decreasing the chance of mismatch with prey. Here we show in European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) that mid-winter temperature ca 50–90 days before laying (8 January–22 February) strongly (r2 = 0.89) predicts annual variation in laying date. Mid-winter temperature also correlated highly with relative...

Data from: Multiple stressors in a top predator seabird: potential ecological consequences of environmental contaminants, population health and breeding conditions

Jan Ove Bustnes, Sophie Bourgeon, Eliza H. K. Leat, Ellen Magnusdottir, Hallvard Strøm, Sveinn A. Hanssen, Aevar Petersen, Kristin Olafsdottir, Katrine Borgå, Geir W. Gabrielsen & Robert W. Furness
Environmental contaminants may have impacts on reproduction and survival in wildlife populations suffering from multiple stressors. This study examined whether adverse effects of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) increased with poor population health and breeding conditions in three colonies (60–74°N) of great skua (Stercorarius skua) in the north-eastern Atlantic (Shetland, Iceland and Bjørnøya [Bear Island]). POPs (organochlorines [OCs] and polybrominated diphenyl ethers [BDEs]) were measured in plasma of incubating birds (n = 222), concentrations differing nearly...

Data from: Mercury exposure, stress and prolactin secretion in an Arctic seabird: an experimental study

Sabrina Tartu, Paco Bustamante, Frédéric Angelier, Ádám Z. Lendvai, Børge Moe, Pierre Blévin, Claus Bech, Geir W. Gabrielsen, Jan Ove Bustnes & Olivier Chastel
Life-history theory predicts that long-lived organisms should reduce parental effort under inclement environmental conditions in order to favour long-term survival. Seabirds are long-lived top predators often exposed to environmental endocrine disrupting chemicals such as mercury (Hg). Hg-contaminated birds show disrupted parental behaviour. Avian parental behaviour is governed by two key hormones in birds: corticosterone (CORT, a glucocorticoid hormone) and prolactin (PRL, a pituitary hormone involved in parental care). Any disruption of these hormones may alter...

Data from: Transferability of biotic interactions: temporal consistency of arctic plant-rodent relationships is poor

Eeva M. Soininen, John-Andre Henden, Virve T. Ravolainen, Nigel G. Yoccoz, Kari Anne Brathen, Siw T. Killengreen & Rolf A. Ims
Variability in biotic interaction strength is an integral part of food web functioning. However, the consequences of the spatial and temporal variability of biotic interactions are poorly known, in particular for predicting species abundance and distribution. The amplitude of rodent population cycles (i.e. peak phase abundances) has been hypothesized to be determined by vegetation properties in tundra ecosystems. We assessed the spatial and temporal predictability of food and shelter plants effects on peak phase small...

Data from: Mind the wind: microclimate effects on incubation effort of an arctic seabird

Christoffer Høyvik Hilde, Christophe Pélabon, Loreleï Guéry, Geir Wing Gabrielsen & Sébastien Descamps
The energetic costs of reproduction in birds strongly depend on the climate experienced during incubation. Climate change and increasing frequency of extreme weather events may severely affect these costs, especially for species incubating in extreme environments. In this 3-year study, we used an experimental approach to investigate the effects of microclimate and nest shelter on the incubation effort of female common eiders (Somateria mollissima) in a wild Arctic population. We added artificial shelters to a...

GPS and Time-Depth Recorder tracking data of chinstrap penguins (Pygoscelis antarcticus) breeding at the South Orkney Islands, from 2011 to 2016

Philip Trathan, Andrew Lowther & Fabrizio Manco
This dataset captures information from GPS and Time-Depth Recorder (TDR) tracking of 221 chinstrap penguins from 4 sites at the South Orkney Islands (Cape Geddes at Laurie Island, Powell Island, Monroe Island and Signy Island). Monitoring was carried out during incubation and brood between the months of December and February from 2011 to 2016. GPS data are available at 4 minute intervals whilst birds are at the sea surface and dive data every second. Tags...

Processed airborne radio-echo sounding data from the ICEGRAV survey covering the Recovery Catchment and interior Dronning Maud Land, East Antarctica (2012/2013)

Fausto Ferraccioli, Hugh Corr, Tom Jordan, Rene Forsberg, Kenichi Matsuoka, Anja Diez, Arne Olesen, Maria Ghidella, Andres Zakrajsek, Carl Robinson & Owen King
During the austral summer of 2012/13 a major international collaboration between Danish, US, UK, Norwegian and Argentinian scientists collected ~29,000 line km (equivalent to 464,317 km2) of aerogeophysical data over 132 hours of flight time and covering the previously poorly surveyed Recovery Glacier and Recovery Subglacial Lakes, as well as the area of Coats Land inboard from Halley VI using airborne survey systems mounted in Twin Otter aircraft. Our aircraft was equipped with dual-frequency carrier-phase...

Data collected during the KV Svalbard cruise in 2008

Edmond Hansen & Paul Dodd
Current profiles and hydrographic data collected by the Norwegian Polar Institute during the KV Svalbard cruise in 2008 in the Fram Strait.

Data from: To breed or not to breed: endocrine response to mercury contamination by an Arctic seabird

Sabrina Tartu, Aurélie Goutte, Paco Bustamante, Frédéric Angelier, Børge Moe, Céline Clément-Chastel, Claus Bech, Geir Wing Gabrielsen, Jan Ove Bustnes & Olivier Chastel
Mercury, a ubiquitous toxic element, is known to alter expression of sex steroids and to impair reproduction across vertebrates but the mechanisms underlying these effects are not clearly identified. We examined whether contamination by mercury predicts the probability to skip reproduction in black-legged kittiwakes (Rissa tridactyla) from Svalbard. We also manipulated the endocrine system to investigate the mechanism underlying this relationship. During the pre-laying period, we injected exogenous GnRH (gonadotropin-releasing hormone) to test the ability...

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