Different population responses to climate change along a gradient of life history strategies
Winners and Losers? Not all species respond in the same way.
The population responses to sea ice among species can be contrasted because species have different life strategies (i.e. different behaviors and various investments in growth, reproduction, and survival). For example, the population of emperor penguins is more sensitive to decreases in sea ice conditions than the population of snow petrels. Emperor penguins breed almost annually and their adult survival decreases during years with low sea ice conditions. On the contrary, petrels skip reproduction during years with low sea ice conditions rather than compromising their survival and future opportunities to reproduce (Jenouvrier et al. 2005).
The population responses to sea ice can be also contrasted because species use different habitat. For example, emperor penguin and adélie penguin are dependent on different aspects of the sea ice environment. During winter, emperor penguins need fast ice (i.e. sea ice locked to the coast, islets or grounded icebergs and motionless) to breed and nearby polynyas (i.e. areas of ice-free waters within sea ice cover) to feed, whereas adélie penguins nest on ice-free and snow-free land during summer and need persistent but divergent pack ice to feed (Ainley et al. 2011).
To provide general insights into the population responses to future climate change, our goal is to address fundamental comparisons:
- among species that show contrasted life history strategies (e.g. petrels versus penguins) and
- among species that use different habitats (e.g. adélie penguin versus emperor penguin).
Things become even more complex as individuals within a population may show contrasted responses to climate change (Jenouvrier 2015).
Seabirds Face Risks from Climate Change
Scientists who study birds in remote regions also confront danger
from Oceanus magazine August 2013
- Jenouvrier S. Peron C. Weimerskirch H. 2015. Extreme climate events and individual heterogeneity shape life history traits and population dynamics. Ecological Monographs, 85 :605-624.
- Jenouvrier, S. (2013). Impacts of climate change on avian populations. GLOBAL CHANGE BIOLOGY, 19(7), 2036-2057. doi: 10.1111/gcb.12195
- Barbraud C. Rolland V. Jenouvrier S. Nevoux M. Delord K. and Weimerskirch H. 2012. Southern Ocean seabirds, climate change and fisheries: a review. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 454: 285–307
- Ainley, D. Russell J. Jenouvrier S. Woehler E. Lyvers P. Fraser W. and Kooyman G. 2010. Antarctic penguin response to habitat change as Earth’s troposphere nears 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. Ecological Monographs, 80: 49–66.
- Jenouvrier S. Barbraud C. and Weimerskirch. H. 2005. Long-term contrasted responses to climate of two Antarctic seabirds species. Ecology, 86:2889-2903.