Polar Biology

, Volume 18, Issue 2, pp 116–127 | Cite as

Seabird species associations and affinities to areas covered with sea ice in the northern Greenland and Barents Seas

  • Fridtjof Mehlum


Species associations and affinity to sea ice among arctic marine birds were studied during ship transects in the northern Greenland and Barents Seas in the period 1980–1984. Associations were investigated at the scale of visual contact, and the sampling units were 10-min periods, corresponding to a transect length of 1.5–3 km. In the Greenland Sea, three or four of the most abundant species, fulmar (Fulmarus glacialis), little auk (Alle alle), Brünnich's guillemot (Uria lomvia) and kittiwake Rissa tridactyla, composed a recurrent group in all years. In the Barents Sea, fulmars, Brünnich's guillemots and kittiwakes were most often clustered. A positive association with sea ice was found in more than one cruise in three seabird species: black guillemots, ivory gulls and little auks, whereas seven other species showed negative association with ice in more than one cruise. The observed species associations and affinities to sea ice reflect similarities in diet among the species involved.


Positive Association Negative Association Abundant Species Sampling Unit Recurrent Group 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Fridtjof Mehlum
    • 1
  1. 1.Norwegian Polar Institute, P.O. Box 5072 Majorstua, N-0301 Oslo, Norway Fax: 47-22 95 95 02; e-mail: mehlum@npolar.noNO

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