Data from: Breeding synchrony and predator specialization: a test of the predator swamping hypothesis in seabirds
Descamps, Sébastien (2019), Data from: Breeding synchrony and predator specialization: a test of the predator swamping hypothesis in seabirds, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.63q3v2r
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 Brünnich’s guillemots, whose predators were generalists, breeding was less synchronous and there was no fitness advantage in hatching close to the mean. This study emphasizes the potential importance of the relative timing of reproduction for individual fitness and supports the hypothesis that the adaptive value of breeding synchrony depends on the predator functional response.