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Spatial distribution and ecological niches of non-breeding planktivorous petrels
Navarro, J.; Cardador, L.; Brown, R.; Phillips, R.A. (2015). Spatial distribution and ecological niches of non-breeding planktivorous petrels. NPG Scientific Reports 5(12164): 5 pp.
In: Scientific Reports (Nature Publishing Group). Nature Publishing Group: London. ISSN 2045-2322; e-ISSN 2045-2322, more
Peer reviewed article  

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  • Navarro, J.
  • Cardador, L.
  • Brown, R.
  • Phillips, R.A.

    According to niche theory, mechanisms exist that allow co-existence of organisms that would otherwise compete for the same prey and other resources. How seabirds cope with potential competition during the non-breeding period is poorly documented, particularly for small species. Here we investigate for the first time the potential role of spatial, environmental (habitat) and trophic (isotopic) segregation as niche-partitioning mechanisms during the non-breeding season for four species of highly abundant, zooplanktivorous seabird that breed sympatrically in the Southern Ocean. Spatial segregation was found to be the main partitioning mechanism; even for the two sibling species of diving petrel, which spent the non-breeding period in overlapping areas, there was evidence from distribution and stable isotope ratios for differences in habitat use and diving depth.

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