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The effects of ecosystem changes on the reproductive success and feeding behaviour of the common guillemot, Uria aalge
Kylberg, E. (2006) Examensarbete 2006:2, Department of Systems Ecology, Stockholm University
Abstract
During recent decades, fish stocks in the Baltic Sea have undergone considerable changes. Cod has decreased in abundance and sprat is more abundant than ever before. In response to this increased abundance, the size of sprat, Sprattus sprattus, has declined. The seabird, guillemot (Uria aalge), feeds almost entirely on sprat and the change in sprat stock could potentially change the reproductive success, feeding behaviour and adult time budget of the guillemot. The results from this study indicate a correlation between the reproductive success of the guillemot and the weight of Baltic sprat. Changes in mean fledging date also seem to have occurred, as well as the number of feeds chicks receive every day. Thus, changes in fish stocks appear to have cascaded through the food web and impacted the bird community.

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