All Title Author
Keywords Abstract

PLOS ONE  2013 

Ecological Segregation in Space, Time and Trophic Niche of Sympatric Planktivorous Petrels

DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0062897

Full-Text   Cite this paper   Add to My Lib

Abstract:

The principle of competitive exclusion postulates that ecologically-similar species are expected to partition their use of resources, leading to niche divergence. The most likely mechanisms allowing such coexistence are considered to be segregation in a horizontal, vertical or temporal dimension, or, where these overlap, a difference in trophic niche. Here, by combining information obtained from tracking devices (geolocator-immersion and time depth recorders), stable isotope analyses of blood, and conventional morphometry, we provide a detailed investigation of the ecological mechanisms that explain the coexistence of four species of abundant, zooplanktivorous seabirds in Southern Ocean ecosystems (blue petrel Halobaena caerulea, Antarctic prion Pachyptila desolata, common diving petrel Pelecanoides urinatrix and South Georgian diving petrel P. georgicus). The results revealed a combination of horizontal, vertical and temporal foraging segregation during the breeding season. The stable isotope and morphological analyses reinforced this conclusion, indicating that each species occupied a distinct trophic space, and that this appears to reflect adaptations in terms of flight performance. In conclusion, the present study indicated that although there was a degree of overlap in some measures of foraging behaviour, overall the four taxa operated in very different ecological space despite breeding in close proximity. We therefore provide important insight into the mechanisms allowing these very large populations of ecologically-similar predators to coexist.

References

[1]  Pianka ER (2000) Evolutionary ecology. Addison Wesley, San Francisco, USA.
[2]  Gause GF (1973) The struggle for existence. Williams and Wilkins, Baltimore, Maryland, USA.
[3]  Grant PR (1975) The classical case of character displacement. J Evol Biol 8: 237–337.
[4]  MacArthur R (1958) Population ecology of some warblers of northeastern coniferous forests. Ecology 39: 599–619.
[5]  Hutchinson G (1959) Homage to Santa Rosalia, or why are there so many different kinds of animals? Am Nat 93: 145–159.
[6]  Croxall JP, Prince PA (1980) Food, feeding ecology and ecological segregation of seabirds at South Georgia. Biol J Linn Soc 14: 103–131.
[7]  Grémillet D, Dell’Omo G, Ryan P, Peters G, Ropert-Coudert Y, et al. (2004) Offshore diplomacy or how seabirds mitigate intra-specific competition: a case study based on GPS tracking of Cape gannets from neighbouring colonies. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 268: 265–279.
[8]  Phalan B, Phillips RA, Silk JRD, Afanasyev V, Fukuda A, et al. (2007) Foraging behaviour of four albatross species by night and day. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 340: 271–286.
[9]  Cherel Y, Le Corre M, Jaquemet S, Ménard F, Richard P, et al. (2008) Resource partitioning within a tropical seabird community: new information from stable isotopes. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 366: 281–291.
[10]  Masello JF, Mundry R, Poisbleau M, Demongin L, Voigt CC, et al. (2010) Diving seabirds share foraging space and time within and among species. Ecosphere 1: art19.
[11]  Navarro J, Forero MG, González-Solís J, Igual JM, Bécares J, et al. (2009) Foraging segregation between two closely related shearwaters breeding in sympatry. Biol Letters 5: 545–548.
[12]  Schreiber E, Burger J (2001) Biology of Marine Birds. CRC Press, Florida, USA.
[13]  Brooke MDL (2004) Albatrosses and petrels across the world. Oxford University Press, Oxford, UK.
[14]  Weimerskirch H, Jouventin P, Stahl J (1986) Comparative ecology of the six albatross breeding on the Crozet islands. Ibis 128: 195–213.
[15]  Phillips RA, Silk JRD, Phalan B, Catry P, Croxall JP (2004) Seasonal sexual segregation in two Thalassarche albatross species: competitive exclusion, reproductive role specialization or foraging niche divergence? Proc R Soc B 271: 1283–1291.
[16]  Phillips RA, Silk JRD, Croxall JP (2005) Foraging and provisioning strategies of the light-mantled sooty albatross at South Georgia: competition and co-existence with sympatric pelagic predators. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 285: 259–270.
[17]  Forero MG, Bortolotti GR, Hobson KA, Donazar JA, Bertelloti M (2004) High trophic overlap within the seabird community of Argentinean Patagonia: a multiscale approach. J Anim Ecol 73: 789–801.
[18]  Phillips RA, Croxall JP, Silk JRD, Briggs DR (2008) Foraging ecology of albatrosses and petrels from South Georgia: two decades of insights from tracking technologies. Aquat Conserv 17: S6–S21.
[19]  Wilson RP (2010) Resource partitioning and niche hyper-volume overlap in free-living Pygoscelid penguins. Funct Ecol 24: 646–657.
[20]  Guinet C, Cherel Y, Ridoux V, Jouventin P (1996) Consumption of marine resources by seabirds and seals in Crozet and Kerguelen waters - changes in relation to consumer biomass 1962–65. Antarc Sci 8: 23–30.
[21]  Cherel Y, Phillips RA, Hobson KA, McGill R (2006) Stable isotope evidence of diverse species-specific and individual wintering strategies in seabirds. Biol Letters 2: 301–303.
[22]  Stowasser G, Atkinson A, McGill RAR, Phillips RA, Collins MA, et al. (2012) Food web dynamics in the Scotia Sea in summer: A stable isotope study. Deep-Sea Res II 59–60: 1–14.
[23]  Phillips RA, McGill RAR, Dawson DA, Bearhop S (2011) Sexual segregation in distribution, diet and trophic level of seabirds: insights from stable isotope analysis. Mar Biol 10: 2199–2208.
[24]  Croxall JP, Prince PA, Reid K (1997) Dietary segregation of krill-eating South Georgia seabirds. J Zool 242: 531–556.
[25]  Prince PA (1980) The food and feeding ecology of blue petrel (Halobaena caerulea) and dove prion (Pachyptila desolata). J Zool 190: 59–76.
[26]  Reid K, Croxall JP, Edwards TM, Hill HJ, Prince PA (1997) Diet and feeding ecology of the diving petrels Pelecanoides georgicus and P.urinatrix at South Georgia. Polar Biol 17: 17–24.
[27]  Cherel Y, Bocher P, De Broyer C, Hobson K (2002) Food and feeding ecology of the sympatric thin-billed Pachyptila belcheri and Antarctic P. desolata prions at Iles Kerguelen. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 228: 263–281.
[28]  Bocher P, Cherel Y, Hobson KA (2000) Complete trophic segregation between South Georgian and common diving petrels during breeding at Iles Kerguelen. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 208: 249–264.
[29]  Cherel Y, Bocher P, Trouvé C, Weimerskirch H (2002) Diet and feeding ecology of blue petrels Halobaena caerulea at Iles Kerguelen, Southern Indian Ocean. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 228: 283–299.
[30]  Bocher P, Labidoire B, Cherel Y (2000) Maximum dive depths of common diving petrels (Pelecanoides urinatrix) during the annual cycle at Mayes Island, Kerguelen. J Zool 251: 517–524.
[31]  Chastel O (1994) Maximum diving depths of common diving petrels Pelecanoides urinatrix at Kerguelen Islands. Polar Biol 14: 211–213.
[32]  Chastel O, Bried J (1996) Diving ability of Blue Petrels and Thin-billed Prions. The Condor 98: 627–629.
[33]  Prince P, Jones M (1992) Maximum dive depths attained by South Georgia diving petrels Pelecanoides georgicus at Bird Island, South Georgia. Antarct Sci 4: 433–434.
[34]  Masello JF, Mundry R, Poisbleau M, Demongin L, Voigt CC, et al. (2012) Impact of miniature geolocation loggers on a small petrel, the thin-billed prion Pachyptila belcheri. Mar Biol 159: 1809–1816.
[35]  Hunter I, Croxall JP, Prince PA (1982) The distribution and abundance of burrowing seabirds (Procellariiformes) at Bird Island, South Georgia: I. Introduction and methods. British Antarctic Survey Bulletin 56: 49–67.
[36]  Phillips RA, Silk JRD, Croxall JP, Afanasyev V, Briggs DR (2004) Accuracy of geolocation estimates for flying seabirds. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 266: 265–272.
[37]  Ramos R, González-Solís J (2012) Trace me if you can: the use of intrinsic biogeochemical markers in marine top predators. Front Ecol Environ 10: 258–266.
[38]  Inger R, Bearhop S (2008) Applications of stable isotope analyses to avian ecology. Ibis 150: 447–461.
[39]  Pennycuick CJ (2008) Modelling the flying bird. Theoretical Ecology Series. Academic Press, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
[40]  Aguzzi J, Costa C, Furushima Y, Chiesa J (2011) Company J, et al (2011) Behavioural rhythms of hydrocarbon seep fauna in relation to internal tides. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 418: 47–56.
[41]  Batschelet E (1981) Circular statistics in biology. Academic Press, London, UK.
[42]  Luque S (2007) Diving behaviour Analysis in R. R News. 7: 8–14.
[43]  Luque S, Fried R (2011) Recursive filtering for zero offset correction of diving depth time series with GNU R package diveMove. PLoS ONE 6: e15850.
[44]  Veit RR, Ilverman ED, Everson I (1993) Aggregation patterns of pelagic predators and their principal prey, Antarctic Krill, near South Georgia. J Anim Ecol 62: 551–564.
[45]  Schmidt K, Atkinson A, Petzke K-J, Voss M, Pond D (2006) Protozoans as a food source for Antarctic krill, Euphausia superba: Complementary insights from stomach content, fatty acids, and stable isotopes. Limnol Oceanogr 51: 2409–2427.
[46]  Schmidt K, Atkinson A, Stiibing D, Mcclelland J, Montoya J, et al. (2003) Trophic relationships among Southern Ocean copepods and krill?: Some uses and limitations of a stable isotope approach. Limnol Oceanogr 48: 277–289.
[47]  Burger AE, Wilson RP (1988) Capillary-tube depth gauges for diving animals: an assessment of their accuracy and applicability. J Ornithol 59: 345–354.
[48]  Elliott KH, Gaston AJ (2009) Accuracy of Depth Recorders. Waterbirds 32: 183–191.
[49]  Regular P, Davoren G, Hedd A, Montevecchi W (2010) Crepuscular foraging by a pursuit-diving seabird: tactics of common murres in response to the diel vertical migration of capelin. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 415: 295–304.
[50]  Passos C, Navarro J, Giudici A, González-Solís J (2010) Effects of an extra mass on the pelagic behaviour of a seabird. Auk 127: 100–107.
[51]  Shepard E, Ahmed M, Southall E, Witt M, Metcalfe J, et al. (2006) Diel and tidal rhythms in diving behaviour of pelagic sharks identified by signal processing of archival tagging data. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 328: 205–213.
[52]  Martin GR, Prince PA (2001) Visual Fields and Foraging in Procellariiform Seabirds: Sensory Aspects of Dietary Segregation. Brain Behav Evol 57: 33–38.
[53]  Brooke MDL (1989) Determination of the absolute visual threshold of a nocturnal seabird, the common diving petrel Pelecanoides urinatrix. Ibis 131: 290–300.
[54]  Cherel Y, Hobson KA (2007) Geographical variation in carbon stable isotope signatures of marine predators: a tool to investigate their foraging areas in the Southern Ocean. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 329: 281–287.
[55]  Phillips RA, Bearhop S, McGill RAR, Dawson DA (2009) Stable isotopes reveal individual variation in migration strategies and habitat preferences in a suite of seabirds during the nonbreeding period. Oecologia 160: 795–806.
[56]  Atkinson A, Siegel V, Pakhomov E, Rothery P (2004) Long-term decline in krill stock and increase in salps within the Southern Ocean. Nature 432: 100–103.

Full-Text

comments powered by Disqus