Oceanography and seabird foraging: within-season impacts of increasing sea-surface temperature on the Great Barrier Reef

Weeks, S. J., Steinberg, C. and Congdon, B. C. (2013) Oceanography and seabird foraging: within-season impacts of increasing sea-surface temperature on the Great Barrier Reef. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 490 247-254. doi:10.3354/meps10398


Author Weeks, S. J.
Steinberg, C.
Congdon, B. C.
Title Oceanography and seabird foraging: within-season impacts of increasing sea-surface temperature on the Great Barrier Reef
Journal name Marine Ecology Progress Series   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0171-8630
1616-1599
Publication date 2013-01
Year available 2013
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.3354/meps10398
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 490
Start page 247
End page 254
Total pages 8
Place of publication Oldendorf, Germany
Publisher Inter-Research
Collection year 2014
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Previously we have demonstrated that prey availability to seabirds of the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) decreases in direct association with within-season increases in sea-surface temperature, independent of prevailing El Niño conditions. These negative impacts occur throughout the GBR and affect multiple seabird species. Currently, the oceanic processes driving these impacts or the potential for them to occur in other marine systems are unknown. Here, we use satellite and in situ data obtained during a thermal stress event to identify the within-season links between ocean dynamics and seabird foraging success on the southern GBR. In February 2006, a major mesoscale eddy formed coastward of the East Australian Current flow, adjacent to our study site. In mid-February, strengthening of this eddy caused an intrusion of cool, dense waters at depth across the GBR shelf. This intrusion intensified vertical stratification and caused a pronounced warming of sea-surface layers. Prey availability to seabirds significantly decreased during this period and remained low until eddy intensity decreased and surface waters cooled. Prey availability increased following this episode, clearly indicating that loss of prey was associated with a short-term vertical and/or horizontal redistribution of forage-fish, or subsurface predators, rather than an overall decrease in productivity linked to seasonal-scale El Niño processes.
Keyword El Nino
Eddy dynamics
Wedge-tailed shearwater
Ardenna pacifica
Great Barrier Reef
Sea-surface temperature
East Australia Current
Climate change
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: School of Geography, Planning and Environmental Management Publications
Official 2014 Collection
 
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