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Pygoscelid penguins at the W.A.P. - An abundance shift in sympatric breeding species

Claus M.E. (2010) Pygoscelid penguins at the W.A.P. - An abundance shift in sympatric breeding species. Bachelor's Thesis, Biology.

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Climate change at the Western Antarctic Peninsula includes increased mean annual temperature and snow accumulation, retreat of glaciers and shortening of the seasonal ice cover. These changes in the physical environment influence the biological environment and cause a shift in plankton species and krill stocks to decline. Because krill is a key item of prey to predators in higher trophic level of the food web, a decline in krill abundance impacts its predators. Such an impact is demonstrated best for Pygoscelid penguins breeding near Palmer Station, West Antarctic Peninsula. The abundance of Adélie penguins has been rapidly declining whereas numbers of it congeners, the Chinstrap and Gentoo penguins have risen. Because krill stocks are declining and the Adélie penguin is a specialist feeder, it has a disadvantage to the other brush-tailed species. As sea ice covers are declining it becomes extremely difficult for ice-dependent Adélie penguins and especially their young to achieve their food requirements during the winter.

Item Type: Thesis (Bachelor's Thesis)
Degree programme: Biology
Thesis type: Bachelor's Thesis
Language: English
Date Deposited: 15 Feb 2018 07:45
Last Modified: 15 Feb 2018 07:45

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