Alaska Science Center
Did the 1982-1983 El Nino-Southern Oscillation affect seabirds in Alaska?
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Product Type: Journal Article
Authors: Hatch, S. A.
The occurrence of widespread adult mortality in summer suggested a possible effect of ENSO on Alaskan seabirds in 1983. However, an overview of breeding performance in that year and recently preceding years revealed that: (a) some subsurface-foraging seabirds were unaffected during the 1983 event, (b) annual variation in the breeding success of one surface-foraging species showed no consistent relationship to warm-water anomalies in the Gulf of Alaska, and (c) there may be marked regional differences in the effect of a given set of oceanographic conditions. These points are all in need of further understanding before the question of ENSO effects on high latitude seabirds can be resolved with confidence.