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Patterns of use and distribution of king eiders and black scoters during the annual cycle in northeastern Bristol Bay, Alaska
Schamber, J.L.; Flint, P.L.; Powell, A.N. (2010). Patterns of use and distribution of king eiders and black scoters during the annual cycle in northeastern Bristol Bay, Alaska. Mar. Biol. (Berl.) 157(10): 2169-2176. hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s00227-010-1481-x
In: Marine Biology. Springer: Heidelberg; Berlin. ISSN 0025-3162, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keyword
    Marine

Authors  Top 
  • Schamber, J.L.
  • Flint, P.L.
  • Powell, A.N.

Abstract
    Northeastern Bristol Bay, Alaska, which includes three large estuaries, is used by multiple sea duck species during the annual cycle. Limited aerial surveys indicate that this area supports tens of thousands of king eiders and black scoters during spring migration and the autumn molt. Existing satellite telemetry data were used to assess the temporal patterns of habitat use and spatial distribution of king eiders and black scoters in northeastern Bristol Bay throughout the annual cycle. King eiders used northeastern Bristol Bay during all months of the annual cycle and black scoters used the area during spring through fall. Both species exhibited a similar seasonal pattern of use that corresponded with the timing of life-cycle stages. Abundance of both species was highest during spring migration and the autumn molting period and lowest during summer. Use by king eiders did not occur during all winter months in every year of the study. King eiders were more broadly distributed than black scoters and were located farther from shore in deeper water. Core use areas had minimal overlap, suggesting a degree of spatial segregation between species and a preference for different habitats in northeastern Bristol Bay. Further study of potential variation in invertebrate community structure that may correlate with the observed interspecific spatial segregation in habitat use is needed to determine preferred forage and describe habitat requirements for each species. Such information is necessary to assess the potential impact that future anthropogenic or environmental changes may have on habitat quality of northeastern Bristol Bay and demography of Pacific sea duck populations that use this area.

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