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The persistence of the snow petrel in Dronning Maud Land for over 37000 years
Responsible organisation
2010 (English)In: Polar Biology, ISSN 1432-2055, Vol. 34, no 4, 609-613 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Two samples of snow petrel Pagodroma nivea mumiyo (solidified stomach oil) from Heimefrontfjella (74°34′36″S, 11°13′24″W) in Dronning Maud Land, Antarctica, were radiocarbon dated at 37,400 ± 1,500 and 3,120 ± 70 years old (dates are corrected for the ‘reservoir effect’). The age of the older sample provides further evidence that snow petrel colonies have existed in the mountain peaks of Dronning Maud Land since before the last glacial maximum (approx. 20,000–16,000 years ago). This finding also pushes back the estimated timing of establishment of snow petrel breeding colonies in this part of the continent by several thousand years. The variation in the accumulation rates of these two samples (1.6 and 35.2 mm per millennium, respectively) supports previous observations that mumiyo accumulation rates are highly variable and probably relate to site-specific factors affecting accumulation and degradation of the oil. Studies that help us understand historical bird population distributions in continental Antarctica can significantly aid the development and refinement of models that explain glacial advancement and retreat, the relationship between sea ice and population viability and, perhaps, predict species responses to future climate shifts. nivea mumiyo (solidified stomach oil) from Heimefrontfjella (74°34′36″S, 11°13′24″W) in Dronning Maud Land, Antarctica, were radiocarbon dated at 37,400 ± 1,500 and 3,120 ± 70 years old (dates are corrected for the ‘reservoir effect’). The age of the older sample provides further evidence that snow petrel colonies have existed in the mountain peaks of Dronning Maud Land since before the last glacial maximum (approx. 20,000–16,000 years ago). This finding also pushes back the estimated timing of establishment of snow petrel breeding colonies in this part of the continent by several thousand years. The variation in the accumulation rates of these two samples (1.6 and 35.2 mm per millennium, respectively) supports previous observations that mumiyo accumulation rates are highly variable and probably relate to site-specific factors affecting accumulation and degradation of the oil. Studies that help us understand historical bird population distributions in continental Antarctica can significantly aid the development and refinement of models that explain glacial advancement and retreat, the relationship between sea ice and population viability and, perhaps, predict species responses to future climate shifts.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2010, 31 October 2010. Vol. 34, no 4, 609-613 p.
Keyword [en]
SWEDARP 1991/92, snow petrels, Antarctica, Dronning Maud Land, radiocarbon dating, seabird colonies, South Pole skua, nest occupancy
Research subject
SWEDARP, SWEDARP 1991/92
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:polar:diva-1621DOI: 10.1007/s00300-010-0912-yOAI: oai:DiVA.org:polar-1621DiVA: diva2:569759
Note

Source: Polardok by Swedish Polar Research Secretariat

Available from: 2012-11-15 Created: 2012-11-15 Last updated: 2015-09-24

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