Global phenological insensitivity to shifting ocean temperatures among seabirds

TitleGlobal phenological insensitivity to shifting ocean temperatures among seabirds
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2018
AuthorsKeogan, Katharine, Daunt Francis, Wanless Sarah, Phillips Richard A., Walling Craig A., Agnew Philippa, Ainley David G., Anker-Nilssen Tycho, Ballard Grant, Barrett Robert T., Barton Kerry J., Bech Claus, Becker Peter, Berglund Per-Arvid, Bollache Loïc, Bond Alexander L., Bouwhuis Sandra, Bradley Russell W., Burr Zofia M., Camphuysen Kees, Catry Paulo, Chiaradia Andre, Christensen-Dalsgaard Signe, Cuthbert Richard, Dehnhard Nina, Descamps Sébastien, Diamond Tony, Divoky George, Drummond Hugh, Dugger Katie M., Dunn Michael J., Emmerson Louise, Erikstad Kjell Einar, Fort Jérôme, Fraser William, Genovart Meritxell, Gilg Olivier, González-Solís Jacob, Granadeiro José Pedro, Grémillet David, Hansen Jannik, Hanssen Sveinn A., Harris Mike, Hedd April, Hinke Jefferson, Igual José Manuel, Jahncke Jaime, Jones Ian, Kappes Peter J., Lang Johannes, Langset Magdalene, Lescroël Amélie, Lorentsen Svein-Håkon, Lyver Phil O. ’B., Mallory Mark, Moe Børge, Montevecchi William A., Monticelli David, Mostello Carolyn, Newell Mark, Nicholson Lisa, Nisbet Ian, Olsson Olof, Oro Daniel, Pattison Vivian, Poisbleau Maud, Pyk Tanya, Quintana Flavio, Ramos Jaime A., Ramos Raül, Reiertsen Tone Kirstin, Rodríguez Cristina, Ryan Peter, Sanz-Aguilar Ana, Schmidt Niels M., Shannon Paula, Sittler Benoit, Southwell Colin, Surman Christopher, Svagelj Walter S., Trivelpiece Wayne, Warzybok Pete, Watanuki Yutaka, Weimerskirch Henri, Wilson Peter R., Wood Andrew G., Phillimore Albert B., and Lewis Sue
JournalNature Climate Change
Pagination313 - 318
Date PublishedJan-04-2018
Keywordsclimate change, conservation status, Ocean Sciences, ocean temperatures, phenology, seabirds

Reproductive timing in many taxa plays a key role in determining breeding productivity, and is often sensitive to climatic conditions. Current climate change may alter the timing of breeding at different rates across trophic levels, potentially resulting in temporal mismatch between the resource requirements of predators and their prey. This is of particular concern for higher-trophic-level organisms, whose longer generation times confer a lower rate of evolutionary rescue than primary producers or consumers. However, the disconnection between studies of ecological change in marine systems makes it difficult to detect general changes in the timing of reproduction. Here, we use a comprehensive meta-analysis of 209 phenological time series from 145 breeding populations to show that, on average, seabird populations worldwide have not adjusted their breeding seasons over time (−0.020 days yr−1) or in response to sea surface temperature (SST) (−0.272 days °C−1) between 1952 and 2015. However, marked between-year variation in timing observed in resident species and some Pelecaniformes and Suliformes (cormorants, gannets and boobies) may imply that timing, in some cases, is affected by unmeasured environmental conditions. This limited temperature-mediated plasticity of reproductive timing in seabirds potentially makes these top predators highly vulnerable to future mismatch with lower-trophic-level resources.

Short TitleNature Clim Change