Citation: Sandvik, H., T K. Reiertsen, K. E. Erikstad, T. Anker-Nilssen, R. T. Barrett, S.-H. Lorentsen, G. H. Systad, and M. S. Myksvoll (2013) The role of ocean warming in the the decline of kittiwakes in Norway [abstract of a talk given by H. Sandvik at the 43rd Annual Meeting of the GfÖ in Potsdam]. Verhandlungen der Gesellschaft für Ökologie, 43, 186–187.

Abstract: Population dynamics of seabirds can be rather sensitive to climatic and oceanographic conditions. Climatic fluctuations may affect population dynamics both via reproduction and survival. More than 25% of the European population of black-legged kittiwake (Rissa tridactyla) nests in Norway. However, the Norwegian population has been declining drastically during the past decades, and is now listed as endangered in the Norwegian Red List.
   Using long-term population data from five Norwegian breeding colonies, we investigate which role the oceanic climate plays in the decline. We applied stochastic population modelling in order to explore the effect of changing sea surface temperature on kittiwake population dynamics. We found that the colonies differ in their specific responses to climate spatio-temporally as well as in terms of life-history stages affected and variances explained. However, the slopes estimated are negative in all colonies, indicating population decreases in warmer years.
   Based on population viability analyses and warming scenarios, we estimated extinction probabilities of the colonies. The projected warming trends during the next century significantly increase extinction risks of all colonies investigated.

Related publications: This study has now been published in Climate Research.


[back / tilbake]