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137266 - Dynamic fine-scale sea icescape shapes adult emperor penguin foraging habitat.pdf (22.72 MB)
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Dynamic fine-scale sea icescape shapes adult emperor penguin foraging habitat in East Antarctica

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journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-20, 10:38 authored by Labrousse, S, Alexander FraserAlexander Fraser, Michael SumnerMichael Sumner, Tamura, T, Pinaud, D, Wienecke, B, Kirkwood, R, Ropert-Coudert, Y, Reisinger, R, Jonsen, I, Porter-Smith, R, Barbraud, C, Bost, C-A, Ji, R, Jenouvrier, S
The emperor penguin, an iconic species threatened by projected sea ice loss in Antarctica, has long been considered to forage at the fast ice edge, presumably relying on large/yearly persistent polynyas as their main foraging habitat during the breeding season. Using newly developed fine-scale sea icescape data and historical penguin tracking data, this study for the first time suggests the importance of less recognized small openings, including cracks, flaw leads and ephemeral short-term polynyas, as foraging habitats for emperor penguins. The tracking data retrieved from 47 emperor penguins in two different colonies in East Antarctica suggest that those penguins spent 23% of their time in ephemeral polynyas and did not use the large/yearly persistent, well-studied polynyas, even if they occur much more regularly with predictable locations. These findings challenge our previous understanding of emperor penguin breeding habitats, highlighting the need for incorporating fine-scale seascape features when assessing the population persistence in a rapidly changing polar environment.

History

Publication title

Geophysical Research Letters

Volume

46

Issue

20

Pagination

11206-11218

ISSN

0094-8276

Department/School

Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies

Publisher

Amer Geophysical Union

Place of publication

2000 Florida Ave Nw, Washington, USA, Dc, 20009

Rights statement

Copyright 2019 American Geophysical Union

Repository Status

  • Open

Socio-economic Objectives

Assessment and management of coastal and estuarine ecosystems

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