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Award Abstract #0440643

Collaborative: Geographic Structure of Adelie Penguin Populations-Demography of Population Change

NSF Org: PLR
Division Of Polar Programs
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Initial Amendment Date: September 20, 2005
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Latest Amendment Date: July 24, 2009
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Award Number: 0440643
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Award Instrument: Continuing grant
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Program Manager: Peter J. Milne
PLR Division Of Polar Programs
GEO Directorate For Geosciences
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Start Date: October 1, 2005
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End Date: September 30, 2011 (Estimated)
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Awarded Amount to Date: $701,628.00
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Investigator(s): David Ainley dainley@penguinscience.com (Principal Investigator)
Raymond Ford (Co-Principal Investigator)
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Sponsor: H.T. Harvey & Associates
983 University Avenue
Los Gatos, CA 95032-7637 (408)458-3223
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NSF Program(s): ANTARCTIC ORGANISMS & ECOSYST
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Program Reference Code(s): 0000, 9169, EGCH, OTHR
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Program Element Code(s): 5111

ABSTRACT

This project is an international collaborative investigation of geographic structuring, founding of new colonies, and population change of Adelie penguins (Pygoscelis adelia) nesting on Ross and Beaufort islands, Antarctica. The long-term changes occurring at these colonies are representative of changes throughout the Ross Sea, where 30% of all Adelie penguins reside, and are in some way related to changing climate. The recent grounding of two very large icebergs against Ross and Beaufort islands, with associated increased variability in sea-ice extent, has provided an unparalleled natural experiment affecting wild, interannual swings in colony productivity, foraging effort, philopatry and recruitment. Results of this natural experiment can provide insights into the demography and geographic population structuring of this species, having relevance Antarctic-wide in understanding its future responses to climate change as well as interpreting its amazingly well known Holocene history. This ongoing study will continue to consider the relative importance of resources that constrain or enhance colony growth (nesting habitat, access to food); the aspects of natural history that are affected by exploitative or interference competition among neighboring colonies (breeding success, foraging effort); climatic factors that influence the latter, especially sea ice patterns; and behavioral mechanisms that influence colony growth as a function of initial size and location (emigration, immigration). An increased effort will focus on understanding factors that affect over-winter survival. The hypothesis is that the age structure of Cape Crozier has changed over the past thirty years and no longer reflects the smaller colonies nearby. Based on recent analyses, it appears that the Ross Island penguins winter in a narrow band of sea ice north of the Antarctic Circle (where daylight persists) and south of the southern boundary of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current (where food abounds). More extensive winter ice takes the penguins north of that boundary where they incur higher mortality. Thus, where a penguin winters may be due to the timing of its post-breeding departure (which differs among colonies), which affects where it first encounters sea ice on which to molt and where it will be transported by the growing ice field. Foraging effort and interference competition for food suggested as factors driving the geographic structuring of colonies. The research includes a census of known-age penguins, studies of foraging effort and overlap among colonies; and identification of the location of molting and wintering areas. Information will be related to sea-ice conditions as quantified by satellite images. Demographic and foraging-effort models will be used to synthesize results. The iceberg natural experiment is an unparalleled opportunity to investigate the demographics of a polar seabird and its response to climate change. The marked, interannual variability in apparent philopatry, with concrete data being collected on its causes, is a condition rarely encountered among studies of vertebrates. Broader impacts include collaborating with New Zealand and Italian researchers, involving high school teachers and students in the fieldwork and continuing a website to highlight results to both scientists and the general public.


PUBLICATIONS PRODUCED AS A RESULT OF THIS RESEARCH

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(Showing: 1 - 10 of 25)
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David G. Ainley, Katie M. Dugger, Viola Toniolo and Ian Gaffney. "CETACEAN OCCURRENCE PATTERNS IN THE AMUNDSEN AND SOUTHERN BELLINGSHAUSEN SEA SECTOR, SOUTHERN OCEAN," Marine Mammal Science, v.23, 2007. 

DAVID G. AINLEY, GRANT BALLARDAND KATIE M. DUGGER. "COMPETITION AMONG PENGUINS AND CETACEANS REVEALS TROPHICCASCADES IN THE WESTERN ROSS SEA, ANTARCTICA," Ecology, v.87, 2006, p. 2080.

W.O. Smith, Jr., D.G. Ainley & R. Cattaneo-Vietti. "Marine Ecosystems: the Ross Sea," Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society, series B, v.362, 2007, p. 95.

Katie M. Dugger, Grant Ballard, David G. Ainley, and Kerry J. Barton.. "Flipper-band effects on the foraging behavior and survival of Adélie Penguins," Auk, v.123, 2006, p. 858.

S.L. Petersen, G.M. Branch, D.G. Ainley, P. D. Boersma, J. Cooper & E.J. Woehler. "Is flipper banding of penguins a problem?," Marine Ornithology, v.33, 2005, p. 7.

David G. Ainley, Katie M. Dugger, Viola Toniolo and Ian Gaffney. "Cetacean occurrence patterns in the Amundsen and southern Bellingshausen Sea sector, Southern Ocean," Marine Mammal Science, v.23, 2007, p. 287. 

D.G. Ainley, G. Ballard & K.M. Dugger. "Competition among penguins and cetaceans reveals trophic cascades in the Ross Sea, Antarctica.," Ecology, v.87, 2006, p. 2080.

David Ainley, Grant Ballard, Steve Ackley, Louise Blight, Joseph T. Eastman, Steven D. Emslie, Amelie Lescroel, Silvia Olmastroni, Susan E. Townsend, Cynthia T. Tynan, Peter Wilson, Eric Woehler. "Paradigm Lost, or, is top-down forcing no longer significant in the Antarctic Marine Ecosystem?," Antarctic Science, v.19, 2007, p. 283.

Ainley DG. "Letter response to Ken Frank et al. 'The ups and downs of trophic control in continental shelf ecosystems'.," Trends in Ecology and Envolution, v.22, 2007, p. 444.

G.L. Kooyman, D.G. Ainley, G. Ballard and P.J. Ponganis. "Effects of giant icebergs on two emperor penguin colonies in the Ross Sea, Antarctica," Antarctic Science, v.19, 2007, p. 31.


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BOOKS/ONE TIME PROCEEDING

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N. Karnovsky, D.G. Ainley & P. Lee. "The impact and importance of production in polynyas to top-trophic predators: three case histories.", 10/01/2005-09/01/2006, , W.O. Smith, Jr. & D.G. Barber"Polynyas",  2006, "Elsevier Publishers, London".

N. Karnovsky, D.G. Ainley & P. Lee. "The impact and importance of production in polynyas to top-trophic predators: three case histories.", 10/01/2006-09/30/2007, , W.O. Smith, Jr. & D.G. Barber"Polynyas",  207, "Elsevier Publishers, London".

157. Ainley, D., V. Toniolo, G. Ballard, K. Barton, J. Eastman, B. Karl, S. Focardi, G. Kooyman, P. Lyver, S. Olmastroni, B. S. Stewart, J. W. Testa, P. Wilson.. "Managing Ecosystem Uncertainty: Critical Habitat and Dietary Overlap of Top-Predators in the Ross Sea", 10/01/2006-09/30/2007, "CCAMLR Document",  2006, "CCAMLR document EMM 06/07. Secretariat, CCAMLR, Hobart, Australia".

Ainley, D., V. Toniolo, G. Ballard, K. Barton, J. Eastman, B. Karl, S. Focardi, G. Kooyman, P. Lyver, S. Olmastroni, B. S. Stewart, J. W. Testa, P. Wilson.. "Managing Ecosystem Uncertainty: Critical Habitat and Dietary Overlap of Top-Predators in the Ross Sea", 10/01/2007-09/30/2008, "CCAMLR EMM Report",  2006, "CCAMLR document EMM 06/07. Secretariat, CCAMLR, Hobart, Australia".

D.G. Ainley. "A letter from Cape Royds: of penguins and men", 10/01/2007-09/30/2008, , S.G. Rogers"Antarctica: Life on the Ice",  2007, "Traveler's
Tales Books, Sola House, Palo Alto CA
".

N. Karnovsky, D.G. Ainley & P. Lee. "The impact and importance of production in polynyas to top-trophic predators: three case histories", 10/01/2007-09/30/2008, , W.O. Smith, Jr. & D.G. Barber"Polynyas: Windows to the World",  2007, "Elsevier Publishers, London".

Ainley, D. & D. Siniff. "Addressing uncertainty over the importance of Antarctic toothfish as prey of seals and whales in the southern Ross Sea: A review.", 10/01/2007-09/30/2008, "CCAMLR EMM Reports",  2008, "CCAMLR Report EMM 08/xx, Hobart, Australia".

DeVries, A.L., Ainley D.G.;  Ballard G.. "Decline of the Antarctic toothfish and its predators in McMurdo Sound and the southern Ross Sea, and
recommendations for restoration", 10/01/2007-09/30/2008, "CCAMLR EMM Report",  2008, "CCAMLR Report EMM 08/xx. Hobart, Australia".

Ainley, D., V. Toniolo, G. Ballard, K. Barton, J. Eastman, B. Karl, S. Focardi, G. Kooyman, P. Lyver, S. Olmastroni, B. S. Stewart, J. W. Testa, P. Wilson.. "Managing Ecosystem Uncertainty: Critical Habitat and Dietary Overlap of Top-Predators in the Ross Sea", 10/01/2008-09/30/2009, "CCAMLR EMM Report",  2006, "CCAMLR document EMM 06/07. Secretariat, CCAMLR, Hobart, Australia".

D.G. Ainley. "A letter from Cape Royds: of penguins and men", 10/01/2008-09/30/2009, , S.G. Rogers"Antarctica: Life on the Ice",  2007, "Traveler's
Tales Books, Sola House, Palo Alto CA
".


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