Seabird diversity hotspot linked to ocean productivity in the Canary Current Large Marine Ecosystem
Open access.© 2016 The Authors. Published by the Royal Society under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/, which permits unrestricted use, provided the original author and source are credited.
Upwelling regions are highly productive habitats targeted by wide-ranging marine predators 42 and industrial fisheries. In this study, we track the migratory movements of 8 seabird species 43 from across the Atlantic; quantify overlap with the Canary Current Large Marine Ecosystem 44 (CCLME); and determine the habitat characteristics that drive this association. Our results 45 indicate the CCLME is a biodiversity hotspot for migratory seabirds; all tracked species and 46 >70% of individuals used this upwelling region. Relative species richness peaked in areas 47 where sea surface temperature averaged between 15 and 20°C, and correlated positively with 48 chlorophyll a, revealing the optimum conditions driving bottom-up trophic effects for 49 seabirds. Marine vertebrates are not confined by international boundaries, making 50 conservation challenging. However, by linking diversity to ocean productivity, our research 51 reveals the significance of the CCLME for seabird populations from across the Atlantic, 52 making it a priority for conservation action.
This is the author accepted manuscript. The final version is available from the Royal Society via the DOI in this record.
Vol. 12 (8), article 20160024