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Changes in wind pattern alter albatross distribution and life-history traits
Weimerskirch, H.; Louzao, M.; de Grissac, S.; Delord, K. (2012). Changes in wind pattern alter albatross distribution and life-history traits. Science (Wash.) 335(6065): 211-214. https://hdl.handle.net/10.1126/science.1210270
In: Science (Washington). American Association for the Advancement of Science: New York, N.Y. ISSN 0036-8075, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keyword
    Marine

Authors  Top 
  • Weimerskirch, H.
  • Louzao, M.
  • de Grissac, S.
  • Delord, K.

Abstract
    Westerly winds in the Southern Ocean have increased in intensity and moved poleward. Using long-term demographic and foraging records, we show that foraging range in wandering albatrosses has shifted poleward in conjunction with these changes in wind pattern, while their rates of travel and flight speeds have increased. Consequently, the duration of foraging trips has decreased, breeding success has improved, and birds have increased in mass by more than 1 kilogram. These positive consequences of climate change may be temporary if patterns of wind in the southern westerlies follow predicted climate change scenarios. This study stresses the importance of foraging performance as the key link between environmental changes and population processes.

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