Black Guillemots as indicators of change in the near-shore Arctic marine ecosystem
Harter, B. Britten
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This study attempted to explain an apparent inverse relationship between pack ice proximity and breeding success of Black Guillemots (Cepphus grylle) on Cooper Island, a barrier island in the western Beaufort Sea near Barrow, AK. I elucidated the first linear relationship between energy density and body size for the elusive Arctic Cod (Boreogadus saida). I discovered and ground-truthed the existence of previously unknown guillemot foraging habitat on small 50 m2 ice floes distant from the pack ice. I developed new daily metrics for quantifying the provisioning to linear (8 d – 18 d) and Post-Linear (19 d – fledge) chicks. I found daily consensus between Linear and Post-Linear chicks about the level of provisioning at the colony. Finally, I explained those daily changes with significant correlations with wind speed and direction.