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The importance of nest characteristics for birds breeding in the extreme climate conditions of polar regions, has been greatly understudied. Nest parameters, like nest orientation, exposure and insulation, could strongly influence microclimate and protection against precipitation of the nest, thereby affecting breeding success. A burrow nesting seabird, the Wilson's storm-petrel (Oceanites oceanicus) is an excellent model species to investigate the importance of nest characteristics, as it is the smallest endotherm breeding in the Antarctic. Here, we investigated the effects of nest parameters such as internal nest dimensions, nest micro-topography and thermal properties of the nest burrow and the influence of weather conditions on breeding output, measured as hatching success, chick survival, and chick growth. We collected data during the austral summers of 2017 and 2018, on King George Island, maritime Antarctica. Our results showed that the thermal microclimate of the nest burrow was significantly improved by a small entrance size, a low nest height, and insulation and tended to be enhanced by a low wind exposition index and an eastern nest site orientation. In addition, an eastern nest site orientation significantly reduced the chance of snow blocking. However, the relationships between nest characteristics and breeding output were complex and might be affected by other parameters like food availability and parental quality. The relation between chick growth and nest air temperature remained especially indistinct. Nevertheless, our results indicate that nest characteristics that enhance the thermal microclimate and reduce the risk of snow blocking favoured both hatching success and chick survival. Due to climate change in the Antarctic, snowfall is expected to increase in the future, which will likely enhance the importance of nest characteristics that determine snow blocking. Additionally, despite global warming, thermally favourable nest burrows will likely still be advantageous in the highly variable and challenging Antarctic climate.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: PloS one
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Animal behavior associated with the nest; includes construction, effects of size and material; behavior of the adult during the nesting period and the effect of the nest on the behavior of the young.
A phylum of fungi that produce their sexual spores (basidiospores) on the outside of the basidium. It includes forms commonly known as mushrooms, boletes, puffballs, earthstars, stinkhorns, bird's-nest fungi, jelly fungi, bracket or shelf fungi, and rust and smut fungi.
A republic in the Greater Antilles in the West Indies. Its capital is Port-au-Prince. With the Dominican Republic it forms the island of Hispaniola - Haiti occupying the western third and the Dominican Republic, the eastern two thirds. Haiti belonged to France from 1697 until its rule was challenged by slave insurrections from 1791. It became a republic in 1820. It was virtually an American protectorate from 1915 to 1934. It adopted its present constitution in 1964 and amended it in 1971. The name may represent either of two Caribbean words, haiti, mountain land, or jhaiti, nest. (From Webster's New Geographical Dictionary, 1988, p481 & Room, Brewer's Dictionary of Names, 1992, p225)
A tricarbocyanine dye that is used diagnostically in liver function tests and to determine blood volume and cardiac output.
A state of elevated cardiac output due to conditions of either increased hemodynamic demand or reduced cardiac oxygen output. These conditions may include ANEMIA; ARTERIOVENOUS FISTULA; THYROTOXICOSIS; PREGNANCY; EXERCISE; FEVER; and ANOXIA. In time, compensatory changes of the heart can lead to pathological form of high cardiac output and eventual HEART FAILURE.
Food is any substance consumed to provide nutritional support for the body. It is usually of plant or animal origin, and contains essential nutrients, such as carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins, or minerals. The substance is ingested by an organism ...