Volume 45, No. 1

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Time lags associated with effects of oceanic conditions on seabird breeding in the Salish Sea region of the northern California Current System


1Department of Biology, Andrews University, 4280 Administration Drive, Berrien Springs, Michigan 49104-0410, USA
2Department of Mathematics, Andrews University, 4260 Administration Drive, Berrien Springs, Michigan 49104-0350, USA (


SMITH, R.S., WELDON, L.M., HAYWARD, J.L. & HENSON, S.M. 2017. Time lags associated with effects of oceanic conditions on seabird breeding in the Salish Sea region of the northern California Current System. Marine Ornithology 45: 39 - 42

Received 29 August 2016, accepted 15 November 2016

Date Published: 2017/04/15
Date Online: 2017/02/28
Key words: egg cannibalism, El Niño, Glaucous-winged Gull, hatching success, ocean warming, sea surface temperature


The effect of sea surface temperature (SST), as a proxy for more general oceanic conditions, on seabird reproduction includes a time lag. In this short communication, we use model-selection techniques to determine the time of year SST should be measured in the Salish Sea in order to best explain the variability in reproductive success the following breeding season at a Glaucous-winged Gull Larus glaucescens colony on Protection Island, Washington State, US. Average SST values computed from September and October before the breeding season were the best predictors of egg cannibalism and hatching success.


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