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Title: Spatio-temporal patterns of northern gannet abundance in a migratory and wintering area
Authors: Louzao, Maite; Fernandez-Martin, Pilar; Weidberg, Nicolas and Begona Santos, M.; Gonzalez-Quiros, Rafael
Abstract: In marine ecosystems, seabird populations are well monitored, thus allowing their use as indicators of system fluctuations at multiple spatio-temporal scales. Population abundance estimates are essential features of any conservation and management measures and initiatives. Population abundances can be used to delineate the distribution range and foraging grounds of species during both breeding and non-breeding periods, with multi-annual monitoring allowing for the inspection of the temporal variability within key marine areas. Taking advantage of long-term monitoring schemes, we examined the annual abundance patterns of the northern gannet Morus bassanus in its southern European migratory flyway. Here, the presence of a topographical feature (i.e. a submarine canyon system) could influence physical processes (e.g. upwelling, alongshore currents, and riverine inputs), thus oceanographically differentiating canyon and shelf ecosystems within a spatially restricted marine area. We assessed seasonal and long-term trend fluctuations of monthly northern gannet abundance using Generalized Additive Mixed Models, yielding only a strong seasonal effect. Moreover, we jointly tested the effect of the phenology and the spatial domain (canyon versus shelf) on northern gannet abundance using Generalised Linear Mixed Models, accounting for the excess of zeros. Northern gannet abundance was higher during the pre-winter and post-winter migration, corresponding to its southward and northward movements in the NE Atlantic, respectively. The effect of the canyon was only detected during the post-winter migration. By age, adult northern gannets were more abundant in some periods of the year (from October to March, including the pre-winter migration, the wintering and the post-winter migration), whereas juveniles and immatures were especially abundant during the pre-winter period. Our results could provide quantitative baseline information of northern gannet spatio-temporal patterns in a migratory and wintering area important for both research and conservation efforts, given the high conservation value of the area within the Natura 2000 network.
Keywords: Wintering area; Migratory flyway; Submarine canyon; Phenology; Northern gannets; MORUS-BASSANUS; FEEDING LOCATIONS; SEABIRDS; BAY; SEA; VARIABILITY; WESTERN; BISCAY; DIETS
Issue Date: 2020
Type: Article
DOI: 10.1016/j.zool.2020.125776
ISSN: 0944-2006
Funder: Spanish Institute of Oceanography
University of Oviedo
COSTAS (Spanish Ministry of Education and Science)German Research Foundation (DFG)National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia [MEC-06-CTM2006-05588]
RADIALES project
LOTOFPEL project (Plan Nacional de I+D +I) [CTM 2010-16053]
COSTAS project (Spanish Ministry of Education and Science)German Research Foundation (DFG)National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia [MEC-06-CTM2006-05588]
Juan de la Cierva post-doctoral contract [JCI-2010-07639]
Marie Curie Career Integration Grant [PCIG09-GA-2011-293774]
Ramon y Cajal postdoctoral contractSpanish Government [RYC-2012-09897]
CONPELHAB project (Marie Curie Career Integration Grant) [PCIG09-GA-2011-293774]
Appears in Publication types:Artículos científicos

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