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Variation in the occurrence of marine birds at fronts in the Bering Sea


Topographically-induced flow gradients can concentrate seabird prey in several different ways, and are potentially important to marine birds in shelf ecosystems such as the south-eastern Bering Sea. We tested the hypothesis that attendance by seabirds was greater at fronts maintained by strong surface flow gradients than at fronts maintained by weak or intermittent surface flow gradients. An analysis of 62 crossings of flow gradients identified from temperature and salinity gradients showed that local increase in attendance was greater in areas of strong surface flow gradient than in an area of weak surface flow gradients. Attendance by marine birds depended on the strength of a flow gradient rather than on the presence or absence of a front. © 1987.

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