Seabirds and fronts: a brief overview

Article English OPEN
Schneider, David C. (1990)
  • Publisher: Co-Action Publishing
  • Journal: Polar Research (issn: 1751-8369, eissn: 1751-8369)
  • Related identifiers: doi: 10.3402/polar.v8i1.6798
  • Subject:
    mesheuropmc: digestive, oral, and skin physiology

Oceanographic fronts are the sites of enhanced physical and biological activity, including locally concentrated feeding by marine birds. Two general hypotheses relating marine birds to fronts have been developed. The first is that enhanced primary production at fronts increases prey supply through increased animal growth, reproduction, or immigration. The second is that prey patches develop at fronts either through behavioural responses of prey to thermal or salinity gradients, or through interaction between prey behaviour and circulatory patterns. Several recent studies support the second hypothesis. The first hypothesis, that birds benefit from enhanced primary production at fronts, has yet to be evaluated. We need a better understanding of trophic mechanisms at fronts in order to determine (1) the proportion of daily energy requirements extracted by predators at fronts; (2) the proportion of natural mortality of prey populations at fronts; and (3) the probability of contact between seabirds and point source pollutants.
  • References (13)
    13 references, page 1 of 2

    Abrams, R. W. 1985: Environmental determinants of pelagic seabird distribution and abundance in the African sector of the Southern Ocean. J . Biogeogr. 12, 473-492.

    Bourne, W. R. P. 1963: A review of occanic studics of the biology of seabirds. Proc. X I I I Infernat. ornithol. Congr., 831-854.

    Bourne, W. R. P. 1981:Some factors underlying thedistribution of seabirds. Pp. 119-134 in Cooper, J. (ed.): Proceedings of the Symposium on B i r h of &heSea and Shore, 1979. South African Seahird Group, Cape Town.

    Bowman, M. & Esias, W. 1978: Oceanic Fronts in Coastal Processes. Springer-Verlag, Berlin. 114 pp.

    Briggs, K. T., Tyler, W. B., Lewis, D. B. & Carlson, D. R. 1987: Bird communities at sea off California: 1975-1983. Studies in Avian Biology 11, 1-74.

    Brown, R. G. B. 1980: Seabirds as marine animals. Pp. 1 4 9 in Burger, J . , Olla, B. L. & Winn, H. E . (eds.): Behauior of Marine Animals. Plenum Press, New York.

    Brown, R. G . B. 1988: Zooplankton patchiness and seabird distributions. Proc. X I X Internat. ornithol. Congr., 1001- 1009.

    Brown, R. G. B. & Gaskin, D. E. 1988: The pelagic ecology of Grey and Red-necked Phalarope Phalaropus fulicarius and P . lobatus in the Bay of Fundy, eastern Canada. Ibis 130, 234-250.

    Fedorov, K. N . 1986: The Physical Nature and Structure of Oceanic Fronts. Springer-Verlag, Berlin. 333 pp.

    Gaskin, D. E. & Smith, G. J. D. 1979 Observations on marine mammals, birds and environmental conditions in the Head Harbour region of the Bay of Fundy. Pp. 69-86 in Scarrett, D.J. (cd.): Evaluation of Recent Data Relative to Oil S p i h in the Passamaquoddy Area. Tech. Rep. 901. DFO and Environmcnt Canada, St. Andrews, New Brunswick.

  • Metrics
    No metrics available
Share - Bookmark