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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Connectivity of West Coast Marine Sanctuaries: Tracking Sooty Shearwaters Throughout Dynamic Upwelling Ecosystems in the California Current System


We propose that as a super-abundant, top-level-predator, Sooty Shearwaters are an ideal California Current Ecosystem (CCE) bioindicator species. Sooty Shearwaters dominate the CCE avifauna during the spring-summer 'upwelling season' and depend on massive amounts of energy-dense forage fishes (anchovy, sardine, krill). We hypothesize that Sooty Shearwater distribution (and abundance), and residency patterns, are related to upwelling dynamics (i.e., offshore transport, upwelling retention, wind-stress curl) that structure and control bottom-up productivity and energy transfer through the CCE foodweb.

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