Linking theory and data to forecast population dynamics of partially migratory seabird populations in the face of global change.

  • World Seabird Conference 2021 3rd (Contributor)
  • Ana Payo-Payo (Contributor)
  • Graeme Paton (Other)



The effects of global change, including changes in seasonality and increased frequency and intensity of extreme events, might be expected to drive novel eco-evolutionary dynamics in seabird populations that are seasonally mobile. Identifying life-history traits, stages and locations that control the persistence and growth rates of seabird populations is crucial for conservation, but remains an open challenge. General theory and empirical data that incorporates dynamic variation in seasonal movement, and identifies fundamental principles of such systems, is still lacking. We devised full-annual-cycle models that capture key dimensions of demographic structure in a seasonally varying environment. First, we conceptualize movement through two variable vital rates: seasonal movement and its associated survival probability, and derive population growth rate and associated elasticities for stereotypical long-lived seabird species considering different levels of movement plasticity. Second, we evaluate the impacts of extreme climatic events in key life-history traits of a seasonally mobile metapopulation of European shags (Phalacrocorax aristotelis). We show that seasonal movement and its plasticity can substantially affect population persistence and growth rate, with effects comparable with survival or fecundity. Further, we quantify selection on key vital rates of migrants vs residents under extreme and benign conditions and explored its potential eco-evolutionary implications in the face of global change. Overall, we extend demographic and evolutionary theory and empirical studies by encompassing variable seasonal movement and revisiting its implications to understand and forecast open population dynamics under global change.
Ana Payo-Payo¹, Paul Acker¹, Greta Bocedi¹, Justin Travis¹, Sarah Burthe², Francis Daunt³, Jane Reid¹
¹University of Aberdeen, ²Centre of Ecology and Hidrology, ³Center of Ecology and Hidrology
Date made available1 Jan 2021
PublisherUnderline Science Inc.

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