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The Use of Seabirds as Indicators of Changes in the Marine Environment Through Provisioning and Population Trends

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dc.contributor.advisor Jacobs, Shoshanah
dc.contributor.advisor Cottenie, Karl Cunningham, Joshua 2017-09-13T12:50:07Z 2017-09-13T12:50:07Z 2017-08 2017-08-18 2017-09-13
dc.description.abstract Seabirds are considered strong bioindicators of marine health and changes in seabird ecology can reflect issues in the surrounding marine environment. In this thesis, seabird ecology was examined at several scales to see if seabirds could indicate changes in the marine ecosystem. In Chapter 1, rhinoceros auklet (Cerorhinca monocerata) chick diets were used to detect changes in prey availability among and within years. Changes in diet within years was likely due to prey life-history traits, while changes among years were reflective of changes in the surrounding marine environment. Chapter 2 compared the population trends of seabirds on Middleton Island to colonies in the Gulf of Alaska for evidence of population synchrony. Seabird populations declined across the Gulf of Alaska, potentially due to the 1977 warm water regime shift. However, populations of select seabirds on Middleton Island contrasted their species’ large-scale population trends, suggesting that local factors played important roles in the population trends of these seabirds. These results demonstrate how seabirds can indicate large changes in their environment (population declines), but how using individual colonies, such as Middleton Island, may not detect these large changes in the marine environment due to local influence. Together these chapters demonstrate the value of seabirds as bioindicators and their ability of to detect changes in the marine environment at varying scales. The result of this thesis strengthens our knowledge of seabird biology and ecology, and their ability to be bioindicators of marine environments. en_US
dc.description.sponsorship Northern Scientific Training Program (NSTP) en_US
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.subject Seabirds en_US
dc.subject Marine Environment en_US
dc.subject Forage Fish en_US
dc.subject Gulf of Alaska en_US
dc.subject Population Synchrony en_US
dc.subject Rhinoceros Auklet en_US
dc.subject Dive Behaviour en_US
dc.subject Population Trends en_US
dc.title The Use of Seabirds as Indicators of Changes in the Marine Environment Through Provisioning and Population Trends en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US Integrative Biology en_US Master of Science en_US Department of Integrative Biology en_US
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