Oecologia

, Volume 125, Issue 4, pp 483–488

Effect of sea-ice extent on adult survival of an Antarctic top predator: the snow petrel Pagodroma nivea

  • Christophe Barbraud
  • Henri Weimerskirch
  • Christophe Guinet
  • Pierre Jouventin

DOI: 10.1007/s004420000481

Cite this article as:
Barbraud, C., Weimerskirch, H., Guinet, C. et al. Oecologia (2000) 125: 483. doi:10.1007/s004420000481

Abstract.

The snow petrel Pagodroma nivea is an obligate associate of sea-ice and one of the most abundant seabird species of the Southern Ocean. Time- and sex-specific annual variation in adult survival was estimated using capture-mark-recapture of petrels nesting at Pétrels Island, Terre Adélie, 1981–1997. On the basis of a regression analysis, 44% of the variation was linked inversely to the latitudinal extent of sea-ice during winter (June) in the region offshore of the study colony, where this population is likely to spend the non-breeding season. Monthly sea-surface temperature anomalies tended to influence adult survival but the relationship was not statistically significant. Why sea-ice extent should have such a critical effect on this species is yet to be explained, but the relationship, in the context of environmental warming and the consequent potential loss of Antarctic sea-ice, is an important one for this species.

Seabirds Sea-ice Snow petrel Southern Ocean Survival

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christophe Barbraud
    • 1
  • Henri Weimerskirch
    • 1
  • Christophe Guinet
    • 1
  • Pierre Jouventin
    • 2
  1. 1.Centre d'Etudes Biologiques de Chizé, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, 79360 Beauvoir sur Niort, France
  2. 2.Centre d'Ecologie Fonctionnelle et Evolutive, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, 34293 Montpellier, France
  3. 3.Present address: Tour du Valat, Le Sambuc, 13200 Arles, France, e-mail: barbraud@tour-du-valat.com; Tel.: +33-4-90972013; Fax: +33-4-90972019