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Environmental drivers of oceanic foraging site fidelity in central place foragers

Foo, D, Hindell, M ORCID: 0000-0002-7823-7185, McMahon, C, Goldsworthy, S and Bailleul, F 2020 , 'Environmental drivers of oceanic foraging site fidelity in central place foragers' , Marine Biology, vol. 167, no. 6 , pp. 1-13 , doi: 10.1007/s00227-020-03685-y.

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Abstract

Finding food is crucial to the survival and reproductive success of individuals. Fidelity to previous profitable foraging sites may bring benefits to individuals as they can allocate more time to foraging rather than searching for prey. We studied how environmental conditions influence when lactating long-nosed fur seals (Arctocephalus forsteri) adopt a risky (low fidelity) or conservative (high fidelity) foraging strategy at two intra-annual temporal scales when foraging in a highly variable oceanic environment. Core foraging areas (CFAs; n = 534; 30 × 30 km cells) of consecutive foraging trips were obtained from geolocation tracks of 12 females from summer to winter in 2016 (n = 5) and 2017 (n = 7). We used the spatial variability (standard deviation) of CFAs between or among oceanic foraging trips as a proxy for individual foraging site fidelity (IFSF). Over the entire oceanic foraging period (n = 12), IFSF in the latitudinal axis increased with stronger sea-surface temperature gradient (SSTgrad), but decreased with greater SSTgrad and sea-surface height gradient variability. Over a period of two consecutive oceanic foraging trips (n = 66), IFSF decreased with greater SSTgrad variability in the earlier foraging trip. LNFS show evidence that they use IFSF as a strategy to potentially optimise food acquisition, and that this behaviour is influenced by mesoscale oceanographic parameters.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Foo, D and Hindell, M and McMahon, C and Goldsworthy, S and Bailleul, F
Keywords: fur seal, foraging
Journal or Publication Title: Marine Biology
Publisher: Springer-Verlag
ISSN: 0025-3162
DOI / ID Number: 10.1007/s00227-020-03685-y
Copyright Information:

Copyright 2020 Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature

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