• Acronyme :
  • Référence :
  • Domaine de recherche :
  • Région :
    Arctique, Groenland
  • Site :
    Site du CEFE:
  • Responsable du projet :
    Gremillet David

Responses of Arctic marine birds to environmental constraints in the context of climate change

It is essential to reach a better understanding of ecological processes
in the Arctic, as this ecoregion is hit severely by the consequences of
global change. In this context, we study the ecophysiology of
little auks (Alle alle), which are the most abundant seabirds of
the Arctic, and acknowledged ecological indicators of changing marine
ecosystems in this polar region. Via a long-term study of little auks breeding in
East Greenland (Liverpool Land), in place since 2005, but also through
specific experimental and modelling approaches, as well as through a
panarctic network of collaborattions, we test the following
hypotheses: (1) Arctic climate change is impacting the trophic
status, the foraging ecology, the reproductive output, the body
condition and
the multi-annual survival of adult little auks during the breeding
season. (2) Ongoing climate change impacts the migratory
ecophysiology of little auks in the North Atlantic. (3) Flight and
diving energetics condition the functional ecology of little auks – among the
world’s smallest diving marine homeotherms. (4) Climate change is
generating thermal stress for
arctic seabirds, with impacts on their reproductive performances. (5)
Environmental contamination impacts little auk
ecophysiology, behaviour and breeding success, with long-term population
effects. (6). The pan-arctic seabird community functions as a natural
monitoring network for both legacy and emerging contaminants.All of our
work participates in the Circumpolar Biodiversity Monitoring Programme
(CBMP) of the working group Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna
(CAFF) of the Arctic Council, and therefore corresponds to the
expectations of arctic peoples in terms of environmental research.