Phenological change and the role of mismatch in ecological dynamics
There is concern that ecological interaction are becoming increasingly mismatched in time as a result of climate-driven changes in the timing of key life history events. This work seeks to investigate phenological change, the causal drivers of these shifts, and the role that phenological mismatch plays in ecological processes in the Antarctic system.
Youngflesh, C, S Jenouvrier, Y Li, R Ji, DG Ainley, G Ballard, C Barbraud, K Delord, KM Dugger, LM Emmerson, WR Fraser, JT Hinke, POB Lyver, S Olmastroni, CJ Southwell, SG Trivelpiece, WZ Trivelpiece, HJ Lynch. 2017. Circumpolar analysis of the Adélie penguin reveals the importance of environmental variability in phenological mismatch. Ecology 98:940-951. [Featured cover story] [PDF]
Youngflesh, C, S Jenouvrier, JT Hinke, L DuBois, J St. Leger, WZ Trivelpiece, SG Trivelpiece, HJ Lynch. Rethinking ‘normal’: The role of stochasticity in the phenology of a synchronously breeding seabird. Accepted at Journal of Animal Ecology
Population processes in highly variable environments
Studying the underlying population dynamics of species within ecological communities is key if we are to understanding the ecological impacts of changes in the physical environment. This work focuses on several questions related to community-level synchrony, drivers of population trajectories, linkages between demographic and population-level dynamics, and the importance of scale in population dynamics.
Che-Castaldo, C, S Jenouvrier, C Youngflesh, K Shoemaker, G Humphries, P McDowall, L Landrum, M Holland, Y Li, R Ji, HJ Lynch. 2017. Spatial aggregation reveals robust dynamics despite stochastic noise in pan-Antarctic analysis of Adélie penguin abundance. Nature Communications 8:832. [PDF]
Youngflesh, C, and HJ Lynch. 2017. Black-swan events: Population crashes or temporary emigration? Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 114:E8953–E8954. [Letter] [PDF]
Borowicz, A, P McDowall, C Youngflesh, T Sayre-McCord, G Clucas, R Herman, S Forrest, M Rider, M Schwaller, T Hart, S Jenouvrier, M Polito, H Singh. Multi-modal survey of Adélie penguin mega-colonies reveals the Dangers Islands as a seabird hotspot. In Review at Scientific Reports
Antarctic food-web dynamics
Understanding how dietary shifts in meso-predators, such as penguins, respond to shifting climatic conditions will bolster our knowledge of the Antarctic food web and help us to predict how trophic dynamics may change as a result of future climatic change. This project investigates large-scale dietary patterns in penguins through time using stable isotopes, multispectral imagery, and DNA metabarcoding.