Responses to changes in sprat abundance of common tern breeding numbers at 12 colonies in the Firth of Forth, east Scotland

Jennings, G., McGlashan, D.J. and Furness, R.W. (2012) Responses to changes in sprat abundance of common tern breeding numbers at 12 colonies in the Firth of Forth, east Scotland. ICES Journal of Marine Science, 69(4), pp. 572-577. (doi:10.1093/icesjms/fss022)

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Abstract

Breeding numbers collected in 12 common tern Sterna hirundo colonies in the Firth of Forth, Scotland, along with sprat landings data for the area, were used to investigate how the dynamics of a shared prey resource may affect different colonies in a region. Between 1969 and 2010, breeding numbers fluctuated much more at individual colonies than across the region as a whole, with the largest colonies showing opposite trends, suggesting relocation by birds. This indicates that data from individual colonies may be less useful than regional numbers when using seabirds as indicators. Tern breeding numbers in the region were reduced when the sprat stock (Sprattus sprattus) collapsed in the early 1980s after targeted fishing, but recovered during recent decades when the stock was unfished. This should be considered for reopening the Firth of Forth sprat fishery, as well as in the management of other shared prey stocks.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Furness, Professor Robert
Authors: Jennings, G., McGlashan, D.J., and Furness, R.W.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Biodiversity Animal Health and Comparative Medicine
Journal Name:ICES Journal of Marine Science
ISSN:1054-3139
Published Online:26 February 2012

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