Project Information
COLLABORATIVE: Adelie Penguin Response to Climate Change at the Individual, Colony and Metapopulation Levels
While changes in populations typically are tracked to gauge the impact of climate or habitat change, the process involves the response of individuals as each copes with an altered environment. In a study of Adelie penguins that spans 13 breeding seasons, results indicate that only 20% of individuals within a colony successfully raise offspring, and that they do so because of their exemplary foraging proficiency. Moreover, foraging appears to require more effort at the largest colony, where intraspecific competition is higher than at small colonies, and also requires more proficiency during periods of environmental stress. When conditions are particularly daunting, emigration dramatically increases, countering the long-standing assumption that Adélie penguins are highly philopatric. The research project will 1) determine the effect of age, experience and physiology on individual foraging efficiency; 2) determine the effect of age, experience, and individual quality on breeding success and survival in varying environmental and competitive conditions at the colony level; and 3) develop a comprehensive model for the Ross-Beaufort Island metapopulation dynamics. Broader impacts include training of interns, continuation of public outreach through the highly successful project website, development of classroom materials and other standards-based instructional resources.
Person Role
Ainley, David Investigator
Dugger, Katie Investigator
Antarctic Organisms and Ecosystems Award # 0944411
Antarctic Organisms and Ecosystems Award # 0944358
AMD - DIF Record(s)
Data Management Plan
None in the Database
  1. Grémillet, D., Lescroël, A., Ballard, G., Dugger, K. M., Massaro, M., Porzig, E. L., & Ainley, D. G. (2018). Energetic fitness: Field metabolic rates assessed via 3D accelerometry complement conventional fitness metrics. Functional Ecology, 32(5), 1203–1213. (doi:10.1111/1365-2435.13074)
  2. Abrams, P. A., Ainley, D. G., Blight, L. K., Dayton, P. K., Eastman, J. T., & Jacquet, J. L. (2016). Necessary elements of precautionary management: implications for the Antarctic toothfish. Fish and Fisheries, 17(4), 1152–1174. (doi:10.1111/faf.12162)
  3. Le Bot, T., Lescroël, A., & Grémillet, D. (2018). A toolkit to study seabird–fishery interactions. ICES Journal of Marine Science, 75(5), 1513–1525. (doi:10.1093/icesjms/fsy038)