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Trophic matches and mismatches:Can polar bears reduce the abundance of nesting snow geese in western Hudson Bay?
Oikos (2011)
  • R. F. Rockwell
  • L. J. Gormezano
  • David N. Koons, Utah State University
Abstract
Climate change driven advances in the date of sea ice breakup will increasingly lead to a loss of spring polar bear foraging opportunities on ringed seal pups creating a phenological trophic ‘mismatch’. However, the same shift will lead to a new ‘match’ between polar bears and ground nesting birds. This new match will be especially prevalent along the Cape Churchill Peninsula of western Hudson Bay where both polar bears and nesting snow geese are abundant. Easily foraged goose eggs will provide at least some of the earlier arriving polar bears with compensation for the energy deficit accrued through lost seal hunting opportunities. We examine the potential impact of changes in the extent and pattern of polar bear egg predation on snow goose abundance using projection models that account not only for increases in the temporal overlap of the two species but also for autocorrelation and stochasticity in the processes underlying polar bear onshore arrival and snow goose incubation.
Keywords
  • trophic,
  • polar bears,
  • snow geese,
  • Hudson Bay
Disciplines
Publication Date
January 1, 2011
Citation Information
Rockwell, R.F., L.J. Gormezano*, and D.N. Koons. 2011. Trophic matches and mismatches: Can polar bears reduce the abundance of nesting snow geese in western Hudson Bay? Oikos 120:696-709.