Citation: Sandvik, H., R. T. Barrett, K. E. Erikstad, M. S. Myksvoll, F. VikebÝ, N. G. Yoccoz, T. Anker‑Nilssen, S.‑H. Lorentsen, T. K. Reiertsen, J. Skarðhamar, M. Skern‑Mauritzen, and G. H. Systad (2016) Modelled drift patterns of fish larvae link coastal morphology to seabird colony distribution. Nature Communications, 7, article 11599, 8 pp.

DOI: 10.1038/ncomms11599 [what’s a doi?].

Key words: Breeding site, central-place foraging, colonial breeding, food availability, ichthyoplankton, predictability.

The article’s Fig 2(a):
larval density along the Norwegian coastAbstract: Colonial breeding is an evolutionary puzzle, as the benefits of breeding in high densities are still not fully explained. Although the dynamics of existing colonies are increasingly understood, few studies have addressed the initial formation of colonies, and empirical tests are rare. Using a high-resolution larval drift model, we here document that the distribution of seabird colonies along the Norwegian coast can be explained by variations in the availability and predictability of fish larvae. The modelled variability in concentration of fish larvae is, in turn, predicted by the topography of the continental shelf and coastline. The advection of fish larvae along the coast translates small-scale topographic characteristics into a macroecological pattern, viz. the spatial distribution of top-predator breeding sites. Our findings provide empirical corroboration of the hypothesis that seabird colonies are founded in locations that minimize travel distances between breeding and foraging locations, thereby enabling optimal foraging by central-place foragers.

Full text: © 2016 The Authors. If you accept (i) the conditions specified in the Creative Commons "Attribution" 4.0 licence, and (ii) that printouts have to be made on recycled paper, you may download the article here (pdf, 1.0 MB).

Supplementary material: The Supplementary Figure 1 and the Supplementary Tables 1–4 are available here (pdf, 4.6 MB).
   Tables presenting (1) full information on the characteristics of all coastal grid cells included in models, and (2) gridded particle counts as estimated by the larval drift models, are available from the Dryad Digital Repository at doi:10.5061/dryad.3jr62 [what’s Dryad?]. The particle counts are available for (a) generic particles, (b) cod eggs and larvae, and (c) herring larvae.


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