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Effects of competitive pressure and habitat heterogeneity on niche partitioning between Arctic and boreal congeners

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DOI

  • Anne-Sophie Bonnet-Lebrun, British Antarctic Survey, NERC Natural Environment Research Council, NERC British Antarctic Survey
  • ,
  • Thomas Larsen, Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History (Genetics)
  • ,
  • Morten Frederiksen
  • Derren Fox, British Antarctic Survey, NERC Natural Environment Research Council, NERC British Antarctic Survey
  • ,
  • Fabrice le Bouard, British Antarctic Survey, NERC Natural Environment Research Council, NERC British Antarctic Survey
  • ,
  • Aude Boutet, British Antarctic Survey, NERC Natural Environment Research Council, NERC British Antarctic Survey
  • ,
  • Þorkell Lindberg Þórarinsson, Northeast Iceland Nature Research Centre
  • ,
  • Yann Kolbeinsson, Northeast Iceland Nature Research Centre
  • ,
  • Tanguy Deville, British Antarctic Survey, NERC Natural Environment Research Council, NERC British Antarctic Survey
  • ,
  • Norman Ratcliffe, British Antarctic Survey, NERC Natural Environment Research Council, NERC British Antarctic Survey

The rapidly changing climate in the Arctic is expected to have a major impact on the foraging ecology of seabirds, owing to changes in the distribution and abundance of their prey but also that of competitors (e.g. southerly species expanding their range into the Arctic). Species can respond to interspecific competition by segregating along different niche axes. Here, we studied spatial, temporal and habitat segregation between two closely related seabird species: common guillemot Uria aalge (a temperate species) and Brünnich's guillemot Uria lomvia (a true Arctic species), at two sympatric sites in Iceland that differ in their total population sizes and the availability of marine habitats. We deployed GPS and temperature-depth recorders to describe foraging locations and behaviour of incubating and chick-rearing adults. We found similar evidence of spatial segregation at the two sites (i.e. independent of population sizes), although segregation in environmental space was only evident at the site with a strong habitat gradient. Unexpectedly, temporal (and, to a limited extent, vertical) segregation appeared only at the least populated site. Overall, our results show complex relationships between the levels of inferred competition and that of segregation.

OriginalsprogEngelsk
TidsskriftScientific Reports
Vol/bind11
Nummer1
Sider (fra-til)22133
ISSN2045-2322
DOI
StatusUdgivet - 11 nov. 2021

Bibliografisk note

© 2021. The Author(s).

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