Citation: Sandvik, H., K. E. Erikstad, R. T. Barrett, and N. G. Yoccoz (2005)
The effect of climate on adult survival in five species of North Atlantic seabirds.
Journal of Animal Ecology, 74, 817–831.
[what’s a doi?].
Key words: Adult mortality, Barents Sea, fish stock biomass,
North Atlantic Oscillation, sea surface temperature.
1. In long-lived species, adult survival is an important life-history trait. Better knowledge
of the effects of non-catastrophic climate variation on the adult survival of longlived
seabirds is therefore needed. However, documentation of such effects is still rare.
2. Using capture–mark–resighting data, we modelled the annual survival rates of five
species of seabirds, the common guillemot (Uria aalge), BrŘnnich’s guillemot (Uria lomvia),
razorbill (Alca torda), Atlantic puffin (Fratercula arctica) and black-legged kittiwake
(Rissa tridactyla). The data spanned 14 years of observation at a colony on Horn°ya,
off Northern Norway in the western Barents Sea.
3. A method of taking into account ring-loss of marked individuals is proposed. This
approach made it possible to keep many observations which otherwise would have to be
4. The estimated survival rates were higher and less variable than most estimates for the
same species from other colonies. There was extensive resighting heterogeneity. Ignoring
this effect would have underestimated breeding life span by more than 50% in some
5. The analysis presented is the first study to document a correlation between the North
Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) index and adult survival in North Atlantic seabirds. Other
environmental variables considered were sea surface temperatures (SST) and prey
stocks. In most of the species, models incorporating climatological variables were considerably
better supported than models with constant survival, time-dependent survival
or prey effects. SSTs tended to explain more of the variability in seabird survival than
did the NAO.
6. The importance of prey availability was evident in some of the species, but climate
was generally a better predictor of survival. Nevertheless, the evidence suggests that
meteorological parameters affect seabird mortality only indirectly, possibly through the
food chain. This conclusion rests on the observations that most NAO effects are lagged,
and that survival rates decreased with increasing SSTs.
Full text: © 2005 British Ecological Society. If you accept (i) that further reproduction,
and all further use other than for personal research, is subject to permission from the publisher
and (ii) that printouts have to be made on recycled paper,
you may download
the article here (pdf, 0.2 MB).
Supplementary material: A pdf file containing Tables A1 and A2 can be
downloaded here (0.1 MB).
Note (added after proof): Grosbois & Thompson
(2005) have shown
adult survival of fulmars (Fulmarus glacialis) to be influenced by the NAO.
The statement that our analysis
"is the first study to document a correlation between the NAO index and adult survival
in North Atlantic seabirds" should thus be modified to "one of the first studies".
[back / tilbake]