How will habitat changes arising from climate change impact the Emperor penguin population? (2017)
Type of ContentTheses / Dissertations
Degree NamePostgraduate Certificate in Antarctic Studies
PublisherUniversity of Canterbury
Climate change is rapidly changing the environment of Antarctica through warmer air and ocean temperatures, changes in sea-ice distribution, and associated cascades in the food web. Emperor penguins need the marine ecosystem and sea-ice for survival, hence are extremely sensitive to habitat changes. The climatic changes occurring will alter the predictability of their habitat and have a range of effects on the survival of emperor penguin populations. Environmental change is complex, and its impacts on organisms are difficult to predict but numerous studies have identified sea-ice as a main critical factor in the future survival of the emperor penguin. Sea-ice has flow on effects in a variety of life aspects. These include loss of suitable habitat at latitudes lower than 70°S which will force populations to move southward, alterations in primary production that will shift food web dynamics, and impacts on reproductive success. A lack of long term population data limits the accuracy of predictions and more research is needed in order to better understand how the population will change.
RightsAll Rights Reserved
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