Does Location Really Matter? An Inter-colony Comparison of Seabirds Breeding at Varying Distances from Productive Oceanographic Features in the Bering Sea

Deep Sea Research Part II: Topical Studies in OceanographyDeep Sea Research Part II: Topical Studies in Oceanography, Published Online 13 March 2013

Ann Harding, Rosana Paredes, Robert Suryan, Daniel Roby, David Irons, Rachael Orben, Heather Renner, Rebecca Young, Christopher Barger, Ine Dorresteijn, and Alexander Kitaysky

“Central place foragers, such as breeding seabirds, need to commute between their nests and foraging grounds, thus close proximity of the breeding colony to productive oceanographic features might be beneficial for seabird reproduction. We tested this hypothesis by investigating the at-sea foraging and breeding behavior of thick-billed murres (Uria lomvia) nesting at three colonies (Bogoslof, St. Paul, and St. George Islands) in the Bering Sea located at different distances from the productive continental shelf-break.

Study sites in the southeastern Bering Sea

Study sites in the southeastern Bering Sea

“We found that distances to feeding areas differed only during night trips among colonies. St. Paul murres foraged entirely on the shelf, whereas St. George murres commuted to the continental shelf-break at night and foraged on the shelf during the day. Bogoslof murres foraged in oceanic waters in close proximity to the colony. Murres breeding at the both Pribilof colonies spent less time attending nests and had higher levels of stress hormone corticosterone compared to murres breeding at Bogoslof, although chick-provisioning rates and fledging success were similar among the three colonies. Lower nest attendance and higher corticosterone suggest lower food availability in the Pribilof domain compared to the Bogoslof region. Murres breeding at the Pribilofs used different foraging strategies to buffer effects of food shortages on their reproduction: flight costs associated with longer distance night trips at St. George were presumably balanced by benefits of higher density and/or more lipid rich prey in the continental shelf-break regions, whereas the additional distance of St. Paul from the continental shelf-break may have outweighed any energetic gain. Murres exhibited a remarkable degree of plasticity of foraging strategies in response to changes in their food availability, but the breeding success of murres did not reflect either food limitations or the colony proximity to productive oceanographic features.”

Multimodal Accessibility Modeling from Coarse Transportation Networks in Africa

International Journal of Geographical Information ScienceInternational Journal of Geographical Information Science, published online 20 November 2012

Jean-Paul Kibambe Lubamba, Julien Radoux, and Pierre Defourny

“Accessibility is a key driving factor for economic development, social welfare, resources management, and land use planning. In many studies, modeling accessibility relies on proxy variables such as estimated travel time to selected destinations. In developing countries, estimating the travel time is hindered by scarce information about the transportation network, making it necessary to take into account off-network travel coupled with considerations of multimodal options available within the existing network. This research proposes such a hybrid approach that computes the travel time to selected destinations by optimizing together a fully modeled multimodal network and off-network travel. The model was applied in a region around Kisangani located in northeastern Democratic Republic of the Congo. Travel times to Kisangani from the hybrid approach were found to be in close agreement with field-based information (R 2 = 0.98). The developed approach also proved to better support real-world transportation constraints (such as transfer points between travel modes or barriers) than cost-distance-based travel-time modeling. Demonstration results from the hybrid approach highlight the potential for impact assessment of road construction or rehabilitation, development of secondary towns or markets, and for land use planning in general.”