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Open Access Publications from the University of California

On Climate Variability and Reproductive Success of a Central Pacific Albatross

The data associated with this publication are within the manuscript.

Breeding colonies of Mōlī (Phoebastria immutabilis) have shown reproductive declines in association with oceanographic and environmental variables such as the El Niño Southern Oscillation and North Pacific Gyre Oscillation. Reproductive responses to environmental extremes such as those associated with short-term climate events may provide clues to how the species will respond to long-term changes in global climate. This study examines reproductive success of Mōlī on Sand Island, Pihemanu, the largest breeding colony in the world, and finds that different colonies may respond differently to oceanographic variables such as the North Pacific Gyre Oscillation. Further study of the North Pacific Gyre Oscillation and its role in the position of the Transition Zone Chlorophyll front are necessary to more fully understand the dynamics of reproductive success throughout breeding colonies on islands in the subtropics.

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