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A reversal of fortunes: climate change ‘winners’ and ‘losers’ in Antarctic Peninsula penguins

A reversal of fortunes: climate change ‘winners’ and ‘losers’ in Antarctic Peninsula penguins
A reversal of fortunes: climate change ‘winners’ and ‘losers’ in Antarctic Peninsula penguins
Climate change is a major threat to global biodiversity. Antarctic ecosystems are no exception. Investigating past species responses to climatic events can distinguish natural from anthropogenic impacts. Climate change produces ‘winners’, species that benefit from these events and ‘losers’, species that decline or become extinct. Using molecular techniques, we assess the demographic history and population structure of Pygoscelis penguins in the Scotia Arc related to climate warming after the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM). All three pygoscelid penguins responded positively to post-LGM warming by expanding from glacial refugia, with those breeding at higher latitudes expanding most. Northern (Pygoscelis papua papua) and Southern (Pygoscelis papua ellsworthii) gentoo sub-species likely diverged during the LGM. Comparing historical responses with the literature on current trends, we see Southern gentoo penguins are responding to current warming as they did during post-LGM warming, expanding their range southwards. Conversely, Adélie and chinstrap penguins are experiencing a ‘reversal of fortunes’ as they are now declining in the Antarctic Peninsula, the opposite of their response to post-LGM warming. This suggests current climate warming has decoupled historic population responses in the Antarctic Peninsula, favoring generalist gentoo penguins as climate change ‘winners’, while Adélie and chinstrap penguins have become climate change ‘losers’.
5024
Clucas, G.V.
01c99eb2-5dbb-4f55-847c-1283065b40e1
Dunn, M.J.
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Dyke, G.J.
600ca61e-b40b-4c86-b8ae-13be4e331e94
Emslie, S.D.
4f81db21-0b7a-4b35-a94f-68ff07e7b143
Naveen, R.
a3a55939-1d40-4901-a398-d702bb6e5f70
Polito, M.J.
df6f529e-ffd4-4b53-899f-14c7dd198d12
Pybus, O.G.
512be04b-5e4d-44f2-bb10-8b6c214dcf24
Rogers, A.D.
906fd860-72c9-4e72-ba43-36e78a1f4037
Hart, T.
2a2637a7-f7c7-4a7b-97b6-56c2196a543c
Clucas, G.V.
01c99eb2-5dbb-4f55-847c-1283065b40e1
Dunn, M.J.
6a9c1ed1-a5e9-460c-b160-573343f8c068
Dyke, G.J.
600ca61e-b40b-4c86-b8ae-13be4e331e94
Emslie, S.D.
4f81db21-0b7a-4b35-a94f-68ff07e7b143
Naveen, R.
a3a55939-1d40-4901-a398-d702bb6e5f70
Polito, M.J.
df6f529e-ffd4-4b53-899f-14c7dd198d12
Pybus, O.G.
512be04b-5e4d-44f2-bb10-8b6c214dcf24
Rogers, A.D.
906fd860-72c9-4e72-ba43-36e78a1f4037
Hart, T.
2a2637a7-f7c7-4a7b-97b6-56c2196a543c

Clucas, G.V., Dunn, M.J., Dyke, G.J., Emslie, S.D., Naveen, R., Polito, M.J., Pybus, O.G., Rogers, A.D. and Hart, T. (2014) A reversal of fortunes: climate change ‘winners’ and ‘losers’ in Antarctic Peninsula penguins. Scientific Reports, 4 (5024), 5024. (doi:10.1038/srep05024).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Climate change is a major threat to global biodiversity. Antarctic ecosystems are no exception. Investigating past species responses to climatic events can distinguish natural from anthropogenic impacts. Climate change produces ‘winners’, species that benefit from these events and ‘losers’, species that decline or become extinct. Using molecular techniques, we assess the demographic history and population structure of Pygoscelis penguins in the Scotia Arc related to climate warming after the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM). All three pygoscelid penguins responded positively to post-LGM warming by expanding from glacial refugia, with those breeding at higher latitudes expanding most. Northern (Pygoscelis papua papua) and Southern (Pygoscelis papua ellsworthii) gentoo sub-species likely diverged during the LGM. Comparing historical responses with the literature on current trends, we see Southern gentoo penguins are responding to current warming as they did during post-LGM warming, expanding their range southwards. Conversely, Adélie and chinstrap penguins are experiencing a ‘reversal of fortunes’ as they are now declining in the Antarctic Peninsula, the opposite of their response to post-LGM warming. This suggests current climate warming has decoupled historic population responses in the Antarctic Peninsula, favoring generalist gentoo penguins as climate change ‘winners’, while Adélie and chinstrap penguins have become climate change ‘losers’.

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e-pub ahead of print date: 12 June 2014
Published date: 12 June 2014
Organisations: Ocean and Earth Science

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 363536
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/363536
PURE UUID: 4e265a06-5092-40d5-b733-9bbcf386e7fd
ORCID for G.V. Clucas: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-4305-1719

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Date deposited: 26 Mar 2014 14:50
Last modified: 02 Dec 2019 20:45

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