Importance de la glace de mer pour les oiseaux marins arctiques

Authors: Cusset, Fanny
Advisor: Massé, Guillaume; Fort, Jérôme
Abstract: In the Arctic, sea ice sets the clock for marine productivity. This includes two consecutive pulses of primary producers, sea-ice algae and phytoplankton, that constitute the basis of marine food webs and provide the energy transferred to higher trophic levels. As such, any change affecting Arctic sea-ice will have strong implications on the phenology of primary producers, and cascading effects on all other trophic levels. Previous studies demonstrated the potential of Highly Branched Isoprenoid biomarkers (HBIs) to quantify the relative contributions of the two pools of primary producers to higher trophic levels. Here, we combined HBIs with stable isotopesto (i) evaluate if and how much arctic seabird rely on sea ice, and (ii) determine if changes in sea ice affect their feeding ecology and reproductive performance. We focused on two Arctic species exhibiting contrasting ecologies: the thick-billed murre (Uria lomvia) and the northern fulmar (Fulmarus glacialis). For each species, 60 eggs were collected on Prince Leopold Island (Canadian Arctic) during years of highly contrasting ice conditions (2010-2013). Eggs were analysed for HBI distributions, isotopic (carbon and nitrogen) and energetic compositions. Results showed that murres were closely linked to sea ice and heavily relied on ice-associated prey. Sea ice presence was beneficial for murres’ reproductive performance, with larger and more energetic eggs laid during icier years. In contrast, fulmars did not exhibit a clear association with sympagic communities. Even large changes in sea ice did not seem to affect their feeding ecology or their reproductive performance. Murres therefore appear more vulnerable to changes and may become the losers of future climate shifts in the Arctic, while more resilient species such as fulmars might make the most of the situation. Overall, our study emphasises the importance of combining different biomarkers to better understand the importance of sympagic resources for top predators within changing Arctic marine ecosystems
Document Type: Mémoire de maîtrise
Issue Date: 2019
Open Access Date: 18 October 2019
Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11794/36971
Grantor: Université Laval
Collection:Thèses et mémoires

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