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Influence de la variabilité climatique, de l’abondance de proies, de la densité-dépendance et de l'hétérogénéité individuelle chez des prédateurs supérieurs longévifs : de l’individu à la population

Abstract : A fundamental endeavor in population ecology is to identify the drivers of population dynamics. The main objective of this thesis is to determine what are the demographic and population responses of superior marine predators to the fluctuations of their prey abundance, to climatic variations, to density-dependence while taking into account inter and intra individual heterogeneity (age, experience, sex, quality or strategy). To do this, we analysed long-term individual and population-based monitoring of long-lived seabirds and phylogenetically close apical predators in two contrasting biomes: the south polar skua Catharacta maccormicki at Pointe Géologie archipelago, Antarctica, and the brown skua Catharacta lonnbergi on the sub-Antarctic Kerguelen Archipelago. We will use direct abundance of their respective prey: Adélie penguin Pygoscelis adeliae and emperor penguin Aptenodytes forsteri in Antarctica, and the blue petrel Halobaena caerulea and the thin-billed prion Pachyptila belcheri prion in Kerguelen islands. These datasets provide a unique opportunity to simultaneously disentangle and quantify the different sources of variability driving variation in natural populations occupying one of the highest trophic levels of the Antarctic and sub-Antarctic food webs. We found variation in several vital traits of both populations influenced by individual performance and latent individual heterogeneity. We discuss the mechanisms by which climatic variability, prey abundance, and population density can differentially affect the different age classes of each age class, and the potential consequences of future environmental changes.
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Nathan Pacoureau. Influence de la variabilité climatique, de l’abondance de proies, de la densité-dépendance et de l'hétérogénéité individuelle chez des prédateurs supérieurs longévifs : de l’individu à la population. Ecologie, Environnement. Université de La Rochelle, 2018. Français. ⟨NNT : 2018LAROS026⟩. ⟨tel-02125078⟩

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