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Data from: Linking oceanographic conditions, migratory schedules and foraging behaviour during the non‐breeding season to reproductive performance in a long‐lived seabird

Citation

Desprez, Marine et al. (2019), Data from: Linking oceanographic conditions, migratory schedules and foraging behaviour during the non‐breeding season to reproductive performance in a long‐lived seabird, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.pb209db

Abstract

1. Studies of the mechanisms underlying climate-induced population changes are critically needed to better understand and accurately predict population responses to climate change. Long-lived migratory species might be particularly vulnerable to climate change as they are constrained by different climate conditions and energetic requirements during the breeding and non-breeding seasons. Yet, most studies primarily focus on the breeding season of these species lifecycle. Environmental conditions experienced in the non-breeding season may have downstream effects on the other stages of the annual lifecycle. Not investigating such effects may potentially lead to erroneous inferences about population dynamics. 2. Combining demographic and tracking data collected between 2006 and 2013 at Kerguelen Island on a long-lived migratory seabird, the Black-Browed Albatross (Thalassarche melanophris), we investigated the links between sea surface temperature during the non-breeding season and behavioural and phenological traits (at-sea behaviour and migratory schedules) while accounting for different responses between birds of different sex and reproductive status (previously failed or successful breeders). We then explored if variation in the foraging behaviour and timing of spring migration influenced subsequent reproductive performance. 3. Our results showed that foraging activity and migratory schedules varied by both sex and reproductive status suggesting different energetic requirements and constraints among individuals. Higher sea surface temperatures during late winter, assumed to reflect poor winter conditions, were associated with an earlier departure from the wintering grounds and an extended pre-breeding period. However, an earlier spring migration and an earlier return to Kerguelen grounds were associated with a lower breeding success. 4. Our results highlighted that behaviour during some periods of the non-breeding season, particularly towards the end of the wintering period and the pre-breeding period had a significant effect on the subsequent reproductive success. Therefore, caution needs to be given to all stages of the annual cycle when predicting the influence of climate on population dynamics.

Usage Notes

Funding

National Science Foundation, Award: 1246407

References