The role of ecological and environmental conditions on the nesting success of waders in sub‑Arctic Sweden



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Machín, Paula and Fernández‑Elipe, Juan and Hungar, Johannes and Angerbjörn, Anders and Klaassen, Raymond H. G. and Aguirre de Miguel, José Ignacio (2019) The role of ecological and environmental conditions on the nesting success of waders in sub‑Arctic Sweden. Polar Biology, 42 (8). pp. 1571-1579. ISSN 0722-4060, ESSN: 1432-2056

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Waders that breed in the sub-Arctic are one of the groups most threatened by climate change. At the same time, wader breeding success also can vary as a function of fuctuations in the numbers of predators and rodents (an alternative prey for the predators). How climate change could infuence these foodweb interactions remains poorly studied. In this study, we analysed the efects of ecological (e.g. vole/lemming and predator abundance) and environmental factors (e.g. snow cover) on the breeding success of waders in sub-Arctic Lapland. We monitored more than 500 wader nests during six breeding seasons, which spanned a full rodent cycle and one year of exceptionally late snow melt. Nest predation rate, and thus wader breeding success, did not vary as a function of predator or rodent abundance. However, predation rate was exceptionally high in the year with a late snow melt. More variability in climate is expected for the future, where more precipitation and cold spring temperatures resulting in late snow melt will be more frequent, infuencing the rodent and predator numbers, and therefore wader breeding success in the sub-Arctic. Snow would limit the number of open areas for nesting and hence predators would then be able to fnd these nests more easily. Additionally, predators might concentrate their eforts on alternative prey if snow has reduced their capacity to fnd other food sources. And, ultimately, changes in the rodent fuctuations could afect the fnal outcome of predators.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:Snow; Predation; Survival; Breeding; Year diferences
Subjects:Medical sciences > Biology > Ecology
Medical sciences > Biology > Mammals
ID Code:57311
Deposited On:10 Oct 2019 09:57
Last Modified:10 Oct 2019 09:57

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