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Heat loss and site-dependent fecundity in chinstrap penguins (Pygoscelis antarctica)

AuthorsFerrer, Miguel ; Belliure, Josabel; Mínguez, Eduardo; Casado, Eva ; Bildstein, Keith
Nest location
Nest selection
Site dependent fecundity
Pygoscelis antarctica
Issue Date2014
CitationPolar Biology 37: 1031- 1039 (2014)
AbstractWe study the effects of heat loss and nest site quality on fecundity in a chinstrap penguin (Pygoscelis antarctica) colony on Deception Island, Antarctica. During the austral summers of 1990-1991, 1993-1994, and 1995-1996, 441 randomly selected nests were analyzed. Penguins breeding in the center of subcolonies hatched significantly earlier and had larger broods and than those nesting near or at the edge of the subcolonies. These differences, however, were significantly affected by interaction between year and nest location, being highly significant in colder years, when peripheral nests produce fewer young. Analysis of the rate of heat loss showed that penguins breeding at the edge of subcolonies lost heat twice as rapidly as those breeding in the interior of the subcolony. In a re-occupation experiment, evacuated center nests were re-occupied almost ten times as rapidly as edge nests. An analysis of mean fecundity in the period 1991-1996 and mean wind chill suggested that most of the variability in fecundity among years was related to differences in the rate of heat loss. Subcolonies tend to be as circular as possible, thereby decreasing the proportion of edge nests as the size of subcolony increases. Our results support the site-dependent fecundity hypothesis. © 2014 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.
Identifiersdoi: 10.1007/s00300-014-1498-6
issn: 0722-4060
Appears in Collections:(EBD) Artículos
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