Evidence of age-related improvement in the foraging efficiency of Adélie penguins

Amélie Lescroël, Grant Ballard, Melanie Massaro, Katie Dugger, Scott Jennings, Annie Pollard, Elizabeth Porzig, Annie Schmidt, Arvind Varsani, David Grémillet, David Ainley

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    Age variation in reproductive performance is well-documented but the mechanisms underlying this variation remain unclear. Foraging efficiency is likely to be a key source of demographic variation as it determines the amount of energy that can be invested in fitness-related activities. Evidence of age-related changes in the foraging efficiency of adult seabirds is scarce and inconsistent. We investigated the effects of age on the foraging efficiency of breeding Adélie penguins, a relatively short-lived seabird species, in order to gain a broader perspective on the processes driving variation in ageing rates. We found support for a positive effect of age, either linear or levelling off at old ages, on both our proxies for daily catch rate and catch per unit effort. Across all age classes, males were more performant foragers than females. We found no strong evidence for differing ageing patterns between sexes or individual quality levels, and no evidence for senescence. We infer that continuous individual improvement could be responsible for a larger amount of the variation in foraging efficiency with age at our study site, compared with selective disappearance of underperforming phenotypes. The different results reported by other studies highlight the need to conduct longitudinal studies across a range of species in different environments.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Article number3375
    JournalScientific reports
    Volume9
    Issue number1
    DOIs
    StatePublished - Dec 1 2019

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    Spheniscidae
    Proxy
    Breeding
    Longitudinal Studies
    Demography
    Phenotype

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • General

    Cite this

    Lescroël, A., Ballard, G., Massaro, M., Dugger, K., Jennings, S., Pollard, A., ... Ainley, D. (2019). Evidence of age-related improvement in the foraging efficiency of Adélie penguins. Scientific reports, 9(1), [3375]. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-019-39814-x

    Evidence of age-related improvement in the foraging efficiency of Adélie penguins. / Lescroël, Amélie; Ballard, Grant; Massaro, Melanie; Dugger, Katie; Jennings, Scott; Pollard, Annie; Porzig, Elizabeth; Schmidt, Annie; Varsani, Arvind; Grémillet, David; Ainley, David.

    In: Scientific reports, Vol. 9, No. 1, 3375, 01.12.2019.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Lescroël, A, Ballard, G, Massaro, M, Dugger, K, Jennings, S, Pollard, A, Porzig, E, Schmidt, A, Varsani, A, Grémillet, D & Ainley, D 2019, 'Evidence of age-related improvement in the foraging efficiency of Adélie penguins' Scientific reports, vol. 9, no. 1, 3375. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-019-39814-x
    Lescroël A, Ballard G, Massaro M, Dugger K, Jennings S, Pollard A et al. Evidence of age-related improvement in the foraging efficiency of Adélie penguins. Scientific reports. 2019 Dec 1;9(1). 3375. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-019-39814-x
    Lescroël, Amélie ; Ballard, Grant ; Massaro, Melanie ; Dugger, Katie ; Jennings, Scott ; Pollard, Annie ; Porzig, Elizabeth ; Schmidt, Annie ; Varsani, Arvind ; Grémillet, David ; Ainley, David. / Evidence of age-related improvement in the foraging efficiency of Adélie penguins. In: Scientific reports. 2019 ; Vol. 9, No. 1.
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