Alaska Science Center
Testing for individual variation in breeding success
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Product Type: Journal Article
Authors: Hatch, S. A.
I measured the breeding success of Northern Fulmars (Fulmarus glacialis) in 6 consecutive years at a colony on the Semidi Islands, western Gulf of Alaska and tabulated the frequency distribution of number of years successful in a sample of 244 nest sites at which breeding occurred in all 6 years. A consistently higher probability of success occurred in some sites than in others. The problem arises as to how to test the statistical significance of such an outcome. Two approaches are presented that differ in the assumptions and methods used to calculate an expected frequency distribution. The potential for reaching different conclusions using those methods underscores the importance of choosing an appropriate model for annual variation when testing for individual variation.