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Spatiotemporal predictability of schooling and nonschooling prey of Pigeon Guillemots

January 1, 2004

Low spatiotemporal variability in the abundance of nonschooling prey might allow Pigeon Guillemots (Cepphus columba) to maintain the high chick provisioning rates that are characteristic of the species. We tested predictions of this hypothesis with data collected with beach seines and scuba and hydroacoustic surveys in Kachemak Bay, Alaska, during 1996–1999. Coefficients of variability were 20–211% greater for schooling than nonschooling prey on day, seasonal, and km scales. However, the proportion of schooling prey in chick diets explained relatively little variability in Pigeon Guillemot meal delivery rates at the scale of hours (r2 = 0.07) and weeks (r2 = 0.19). Behavioral adaptations such as flexible time budgets likely ameliorate the negative effects of high resource variability, but we propose that these adaptations are only effective when schooling prey are available at distances well below the maximum foraging range of the species.

Citation Information

Publication Year 2004
Title Spatiotemporal predictability of schooling and nonschooling prey of Pigeon Guillemots
DOI 10.1650/7330
Authors Michael A. Litzow, John F. Piatt, Alisa A. Abookire, Suzann G. Speckman, Mayumi L. Arimitsu, Jared D. Figurski
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title The Condor
Series Number
Index ID 70182051
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Alaska Science Center