Long‐term dietary shift and population decline of a pelagic seabird — A health check on the tropical Atlantic?

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Long‐term dietary shift and population decline of a pelagic seabird — A health check on the tropical Atlantic? / Reynolds, Silas; Hughes, Bernard; Wearn, Colin; Dickey, Roger; Brown, Judith; Weber, Nicola; Weber, Sam; Paiva, Vitor; Ramos, Jaime.

In: Global Change Biology, Vol. 25, No. 4, 04.2019, p. 1383-1394.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Harvard

Reynolds, S, Hughes, B, Wearn, C, Dickey, R, Brown, J, Weber, N, Weber, S, Paiva, V & Ramos, J 2019, 'Long‐term dietary shift and population decline of a pelagic seabird — A health check on the tropical Atlantic?', Global Change Biology, vol. 25, no. 4, pp. 1383-1394. https://doi.org/10.1111/gcb.14560

APA

Reynolds, S., Hughes, B., Wearn, C., Dickey, R., Brown, J., Weber, N., Weber, S., Paiva, V., & Ramos, J. (2019). Long‐term dietary shift and population decline of a pelagic seabird — A health check on the tropical Atlantic? Global Change Biology, 25(4), 1383-1394. https://doi.org/10.1111/gcb.14560

Vancouver

Author

Reynolds, Silas ; Hughes, Bernard ; Wearn, Colin ; Dickey, Roger ; Brown, Judith ; Weber, Nicola ; Weber, Sam ; Paiva, Vitor ; Ramos, Jaime. / Long‐term dietary shift and population decline of a pelagic seabird — A health check on the tropical Atlantic?. In: Global Change Biology. 2019 ; Vol. 25, No. 4. pp. 1383-1394.

Bibtex

@article{f28fecdd50d74e95839be2fd3c27521a,
title = "Long‐term dietary shift and population decline of a pelagic seabird — A health check on the tropical Atlantic?",
abstract = "In the face of accelerating ecological change to the world's oceans, seabirds are some of the best bio‐indicators of marine ecosystem function. However, unravelling ecological changes that pre‐date modern monitoring programmes remains challenging. Using stable isotope analysis of feathers and regurgitants collected from sooty terns (Onychoprion fuscatus) nesting at a major Atlantic colony, we reconstructed a longterm dietary time series from 1890 to the present day and show that a significant dietary shift occurred during the second half of the twentieth century coinciding with an apparent population collapse of approximately 84%. After correcting for the “Suess Effect,” δ13C in feathers declined by ~1.5‰ and δ15N by 2‰ between the 1890s and the present day, indicating that birds changed their diets markedly over the period of population decline. Isotopic niches were equally wide before and after the population collapse but isotopic mixing models suggest that birds have grown ever more reliant on nutrient‐poor squid and invertebrates as teleost fish have declinedin availability. Given that sooty terns rely heavily on associations with sub-surface predators such as tuna to catch fish prey, the rapid expansion of industrialized fisheries for these species over the same period seems a plausible mechanism. Our results suggest that changes to marine ecosystems over the past 60 years have had a dramatic impact on the ecology of the most abundant seabird of tropical oceans, and highlight the potentially pervasive consequences of large predatory fish depletion on marine ecosystem function.",
keywords = "Ascension Island, bio-indicators, carbon-13, marine ecosystem function, nitrogen-15, onychoprion fuscatus, sooty tern, South Atlantic, stable isotope, Onychoprion fuscatus",
author = "Silas Reynolds and Bernard Hughes and Colin Wearn and Roger Dickey and Judith Brown and Nicola Weber and Sam Weber and Vitor Paiva and Jaime Ramos",
year = "2019",
month = apr,
doi = "10.1111/gcb.14560",
language = "English",
volume = "25",
pages = "1383--1394",
journal = "Global Change Biology",
issn = "1354-1013",
publisher = "Wiley",
number = "4",

}

RIS

TY - JOUR

T1 - Long‐term dietary shift and population decline of a pelagic seabird — A health check on the tropical Atlantic?

AU - Reynolds, Silas

AU - Hughes, Bernard

AU - Wearn, Colin

AU - Dickey, Roger

AU - Brown, Judith

AU - Weber, Nicola

AU - Weber, Sam

AU - Paiva, Vitor

AU - Ramos, Jaime

PY - 2019/4

Y1 - 2019/4

N2 - In the face of accelerating ecological change to the world's oceans, seabirds are some of the best bio‐indicators of marine ecosystem function. However, unravelling ecological changes that pre‐date modern monitoring programmes remains challenging. Using stable isotope analysis of feathers and regurgitants collected from sooty terns (Onychoprion fuscatus) nesting at a major Atlantic colony, we reconstructed a longterm dietary time series from 1890 to the present day and show that a significant dietary shift occurred during the second half of the twentieth century coinciding with an apparent population collapse of approximately 84%. After correcting for the “Suess Effect,” δ13C in feathers declined by ~1.5‰ and δ15N by 2‰ between the 1890s and the present day, indicating that birds changed their diets markedly over the period of population decline. Isotopic niches were equally wide before and after the population collapse but isotopic mixing models suggest that birds have grown ever more reliant on nutrient‐poor squid and invertebrates as teleost fish have declinedin availability. Given that sooty terns rely heavily on associations with sub-surface predators such as tuna to catch fish prey, the rapid expansion of industrialized fisheries for these species over the same period seems a plausible mechanism. Our results suggest that changes to marine ecosystems over the past 60 years have had a dramatic impact on the ecology of the most abundant seabird of tropical oceans, and highlight the potentially pervasive consequences of large predatory fish depletion on marine ecosystem function.

AB - In the face of accelerating ecological change to the world's oceans, seabirds are some of the best bio‐indicators of marine ecosystem function. However, unravelling ecological changes that pre‐date modern monitoring programmes remains challenging. Using stable isotope analysis of feathers and regurgitants collected from sooty terns (Onychoprion fuscatus) nesting at a major Atlantic colony, we reconstructed a longterm dietary time series from 1890 to the present day and show that a significant dietary shift occurred during the second half of the twentieth century coinciding with an apparent population collapse of approximately 84%. After correcting for the “Suess Effect,” δ13C in feathers declined by ~1.5‰ and δ15N by 2‰ between the 1890s and the present day, indicating that birds changed their diets markedly over the period of population decline. Isotopic niches were equally wide before and after the population collapse but isotopic mixing models suggest that birds have grown ever more reliant on nutrient‐poor squid and invertebrates as teleost fish have declinedin availability. Given that sooty terns rely heavily on associations with sub-surface predators such as tuna to catch fish prey, the rapid expansion of industrialized fisheries for these species over the same period seems a plausible mechanism. Our results suggest that changes to marine ecosystems over the past 60 years have had a dramatic impact on the ecology of the most abundant seabird of tropical oceans, and highlight the potentially pervasive consequences of large predatory fish depletion on marine ecosystem function.

KW - Ascension Island

KW - bio-indicators

KW - carbon-13

KW - marine ecosystem function

KW - nitrogen-15

KW - onychoprion fuscatus

KW - sooty tern

KW - South Atlantic

KW - stable isotope

KW - Onychoprion fuscatus

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85061008034&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1111/gcb.14560

DO - 10.1111/gcb.14560

M3 - Article

VL - 25

SP - 1383

EP - 1394

JO - Global Change Biology

JF - Global Change Biology

SN - 1354-1013

IS - 4

ER -