Trophic segregation of Falkland Islands seabirds: insights from stable isotope analysis

Weiss, F., Furness, R.W., McGill, R.A.R. , Strange, I.J., Masello, J.F. and Quillfeldt, P. (2009) Trophic segregation of Falkland Islands seabirds: insights from stable isotope analysis. Polar Biology, 32(12), pp. 1753-1763. (doi:10.1007/s00300-009-0674-6)

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Seabird colonies provide rare opportunities to study trophic segregation in an entire bird community. We here present data on nitrogen and carbon isotope ratios of eight species of seabirds from New Island, Falkland Islands, and compare trophic levels (TL) and foraging distributions. We included adult feathers representing the interbreeding season, as well as chick feathers or down representing the breeding season. The stable isotope ratios indicated differences in feeding areas and TLs between species, consistent with the data of previous conventional diet analyses and observations at sea. We further reviewed conventional and stable isotope seabird community studies calculating the means and ranges of TLs observed across these studies. The mean TL (3.7) of the seabird community on New Island was at the lower end of the mean value range (3.5–4.5), but not significantly different, from the reviewed seabird communities. Seabirds on New Island had a range of 1.3 TLs, which is on the upper end of ranges within a community (0.4–1.5), indicating strong trophic structuring

Item Type:Articles
Keywords:Stable isotopes, Seabird colonies, Trophic level, Falkland Islands, Dietary segregation
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:McGill, Dr Rona and Furness, Professor Bob
Authors: Weiss, F., Furness, R.W., McGill, R.A.R., Strange, I.J., Masello, J.F., and Quillfeldt, P.
Subjects:Q Science > QL Zoology
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Biodiversity Animal Health and Comparative Medicine
Journal Name:Polar Biology
ISSN (Online):1432-2056
Published Online:07 July 2009

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