Sophie Smout, Anna Rindorf, Sarah Wanless, Francis Daunt, Michael P. Harris and Jason Matthiopoulos Seabirds maintain offspring provisioning rate despite fluctuations in prey abundance: a multi-species functional response for guillemots in the North Sea Journal of Applied Ecology 50
Our results suggest guillemot chicks obtain adequate calorific intake from their parents despite fluctuating prey abundances, conferring some resilience in the face of environmental variation. The parameterized multi-species functional response model can be used to estimate levels of severe prey shortage that compromise provisioning. It also enables us to interpret predator consumption rates so that these can be used as a metric of prey availability. Further, quantifying trophic links between marine prey and apex predators is needed to support the development of multi-species models in which the predators can be included. Such models are needed as tools to effectively manage the marine ecosystem, taking into account the objectives of fishing, conservation and the need to maintain Good Environmental Status.
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