Oregon State University
OREGON STATE UNIVERSITY
ANTARCTIC ORGANISMS & ECOSYST
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While changes in populations typically are tracked to gauge the impact of climate or habitat change, the process involves the response of individuals as each copes with an altered environment. In a study of Adelie penguins that spans 13 breeding seasons, results indicate that only 20% of individuals within a colony successfully raise offspring, and that they do so because of their exemplary foraging proficiency. Moreover, foraging appears to require more effort at the largest colony, where intraspecific competition is higher than at small colonies, and also requires more proficiency during periods of environmental stress. When conditions are particularly daunting, emigration dramatically increases, countering the long-standing assumption that Adélie penguins are highly philopatric. The research project will 1) determine the effect of age, experience and physiology on individual foraging efficiency; 2) determine the effect of age, experience, and individual quality on breeding success and survival in varying environmental and competitive conditions at the colony level; and 3) develop a comprehensive model for the Ross-Beaufort Island metapopulation dynamics. Broader impacts include training of interns, continuation of public outreach through the highly successful project website penguinscience.com, development of classroom materials and other standards-based instructional resources.
PUBLICATIONS PRODUCED AS A RESULT OF THIS RESEARCH
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LaRue, Michelle, A., David G. Ainley, Matt Swanson, Katie M. Dugger, Phil O?B. Lyver, Kerry Barton, and Grant Ballard.. "Climate change winners: receding ice fields facilitate colony expansion and altered dynamics in an Adélie penguin metapopulation," PLOS One, v.8, 2013, p. 1-7.
Amy L. Whitehead, Phil O?B. Lyver, Grant Ballard, Kerry Barton, Brian J. Karl, Katie M. Dugger, Scott Jennings, Amelie Lescroël, Peter R. Wilson, and David G. Ainley. "Factors driving Adelie penguin chick size, mass and condition at colonies of differing size in the Southern Ross Sea.," Marine Ecology Progress Series, v.523, 2015, p. 199.
Dugger, K. M., G. Ballard, D.G. Ainley, P.O'B Lyver, and C. Schine. "Adélie penguins coping with environmental change: results from a natural experiment at the edge of their breeding range," Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution, v.2, 2014, p. 68.