New study finds seabirds’ response to abrupt climate change 5,000 years ago transformed sub-Antarctic island ecosystems

By Eric Lee
Nov 04th 2020

A 14,000-year paleoecological reconstruction of the sub-Antarctic islands done by an international research team led by The University of Maine (UMaine) including Dr Moriaki YASUHARA from the School of Biological Sciences and The Swire Institute of Marine Science, The University of Hong Kong (HKU), has found that seabird establishment occurred during a period of regional cooling 5,000 years ago. Their populations, in turn, shifted the Falkland Island ecosystem through the deposit of high concentrations of guano that helped nourish tussac, produce peat and increase the incidence of fire. The findings were recently published in the journal Science Advances.

The journal paper: