Sue Lewis

Sue Lewis
Edinburgh Napier University

About

41
Publications
11,195
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2,253
Citations
Additional affiliations
September 2007 - May 2016
The University of Edinburgh
Position
  • NERC Research Fellow

Publications

Publications (41)
Article
1. Timing of breeding, an important driver of fitness in many populations, is widely studied in the context of global change, yet despite considerable efforts to identify environmental drivers of seabird nesting phenology, for most populations we lack evidence of strong drivers. Here we adopt an alternative approach, examining the degree to which d...
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1. As temperatures rise, timing of reproduction is changing at different rates across trophic levels, potentially resulting in asynchrony between consumers and their resources. The match-mismatch hypothesis (MMH) suggests that trophic asyn-chrony will have negative impacts on average productivity of consumers. It is also thought to lead to selectio...
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Reproductive timing in many taxa plays a key role in determining breeding productivity ¹, and is often sensitive to climatic conditions ² . Current climate change may alter the timing of breeding at different rates across trophic levels, potentially resulting in temporal mismatch between the resource requirements of predators and their prey ³ . Thi...
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Technological advances in recent years have seen an explosion of tracking and stable isotope studies of seabirds, often involving repeated measures from the same individuals. This wealth of new information has enabled the extensive variation among and within individuals in foraging and migration strategies (movements, habitat use, feeding behaviour...
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Age‐related variation in reproductive performance is ubiquitous in wild vertebrate populations and has important consequences for population and evolutionary dynamics. The ageing trajectory is shaped by both within‐individual processes, such as improvement and senescence, and the among‐individual effects of selective appearance and disappearance. T...
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Given the potential role of telomeres as biomarkers of individual health and ageing, there is an increasing interest in studying telomere dynamics in a wider range of taxa in the fields of ecology and evolutionary biology. Measuring telomere length across the lifespan in wild animal systems is essential for testing these hypotheses, and may be aide...
Data
Appendix S1. Wind conditions across the winter range. Fig S1.1. Map showing the Isle of May (large circle), sites where shags were observed in winters 2009–2012 (numbered small circles; Grist et al. 2014) and four coastal weather stations (stars). Fig S1.2. Relationship between daily mean sine wind direction at Leuchars weather station and at (a)...
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There is growing interest in the effects of wind on wild animals, given evidence that wind speeds are increasing and becoming more variable in some regions, particularly at temperate latitudes. Wind may alter movement patterns or foraging ability, with consequences for energy budgets and, ultimately, demographic rates. These effects are expected to...
Article
Parasitic infection has a direct physiological cost to hosts but may also alter how hosts interact with other individuals in their environment. Such indirect effects may alter both host fitness and the fitness of other individuals in the host's social network, yet the relative impact of direct and indirect effects of infection are rarely quantified...
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Age-related variation in demographic rates is now widely documented in wild vertebrate systems, and has significant consequences for population and evolutionary dynamics. However, the mechanisms underpinning such variation, particularly in later life, are less well understood. Foraging efficiency is a key determinant of fitness, with implications f...
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Parasites play key ecological and evolutionary roles through the costs they impose on their host. In wild populations, the effect of parasitism is likely to vary considerably with environmental conditions, which may affect the availability of resources to hosts for defense. However, the interaction between parasitism and prevailing conditions is ra...
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Carry-over effects have major implications for individual fitness and population and evolutionary dynamics. The strength of these effects is dependent on an individual's intrinsic performance and the environmental conditions it experiences. However, understanding the relative importance of environmental and intrinsic effects underpinning seasonal i...
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Intra-specific competition for food resources affects both foraging behaviour and population growth rates in many species, highlighting a need to better understand how changing environmental conditions affect individuals in populations of different sizes. Using chick-rearing northern gannets as a model, we examined the influence of colony size on p...
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The processes driving age-related variation in demographic rates are central to understanding population and evolutionary ecology. An increasing number of studies in wild vertebrates find evidence for improvements in reproductive performance traits in early adulthood, followed by senescent declines in later life. However, life history theory predic...
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Numerous studies of wild animal species have documented that population level responses to environmental change are underpinned by individual level phenotypic plasticity. However, where the relationship between an individual trait and a climate variable occurs when both show a trend over time, phenotypic plasticity may be confounded by ageing. We i...
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Industrial-scale fisheries are often thought to reduce food availability for top predators. It is essential to estimate the spatial and temporal overlap over a fine scale between fisheries and pre- dators during their breeding season, when their energy demand is greatest and when they are most spatially constrained, in order to understand and manag...
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Plunge-diving is a specialised hunting tactic used by some avian predators to overcome the high buoyancy encountered near the water surface and surprise prey. However, plunge-diving is effective only to a certain depth; to access deeper prey, birds need to use an additional method of propulsion, e.g. wings or feet. We used miniature accelerometers...
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There is growing concern over the impacts of climate change on animal species. Many studies have demonstrated impacts of climate change at the population level, and density dependent effects of climate are frequently reported. However, there is an increasing recognition of the differential impact of such factors on individuals since there is marked...
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Species with breeding distributions spanning a broad latitudinal range typically experi- ence a correspondingly wide range of environmental conditions, and may also be subject to tempo- ral changes in conditions operating either across their range or more locally. Phenological records are potentially useful for elucidating how species adjust to thi...
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Variation in the timing and abundance of marine food resources is known to affect the breeding behaviour of many seabirds, constraining our understanding of the extent to which these behaviours vary in different parts of a species’ range. We studied incubation shifts of northern fulmars (Fulmarus glacialis) breeding at two colonies in Arctic Canada...
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Summary 1. Remote-sensing measurements of marine primary productivity are widely used to predict the distribution and movements of marine top predators, despite the fact that predators do not feed directly on phytoplankton but several trophic levels higher up the food chain. 2. To test for potential links between primary productivity and top-predat...
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Altruism and selfishness are fundamental characteristics of human and animal societies. Among colonial biparental species, breeding outcome depends on interactions between mates and neighbours. However, the relationships between cooperation within and among partnerships and fitness have not been fully investigated. We show that in the highly coloni...
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Gliding flight is one of the major features that allows flying animals to cover extensive distances while minimising their energy expenditures. This has been supported by studies recording heart rate as a proxy for energy expended, but the exact amount of flapping and gliding during flight is often not taken into account, making a genuine assessmen...
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1. In many animal populations a small proportion of individuals produce the majority of surviving offspring, but the underlying mechanisms are unclear. Behaviour may be an important determinant of variation in fitness: 'high-quality' individuals may have enhanced abilities in foraging or predator and parasite avoidance. 2. The role of behaviour in...
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Changes in animal population size are driven by the interactions between intrinsic processes and extrinsic forces, and identifying the proximate mechanisms behind population change remains a fundamental question in ecology. Here we report on how measuring behavioural and state proxies of food availability among populations experiencing different gr...
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The allocation of resources to young that will ultimately be left to die appears counterintuitive. Yet obligate brood reduction has evolved in a number of species, despite the waste of reproductive investment this may incur. Here we test whether brood parasitism could be one factor leading to the evolution of obligate brood reduction because surplu...
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Sex differences in the foraging behaviour of adults have been observed in a number of sexually size-dimorphic birds, and the usual inference has been that these sex-specific differences are driven primarily by differences in body size. An alternative explanation is that foraging differences result from sex differences unrelated to size, such as sex...
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Many species of seabirds are known to undertake foraging trips that vary in duration, lasting from a few hours up to several days. However, the important question of how individuals allocate their time during foraging trips of different durations has received relatively little attention until recently. Using activity loggers, we examined the foragi...
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The foraging behaviour of any animal is intricately linked to ecological constraints. Extrinsic factors, such as daylength, may limit the time available for foraging. Intrinsic factors, such as the coordination of mates at a nest site, may exacerbate this limitation. Using activity loggers, we examined the effects of extrinsic and intrinsic limitat...
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The Black-legged Kittiwake Rissa tridactyla is a small gull that is widely distributed in the North Atlantic and Pacific. During the breeding season it feeds mainly on fish and, in the North Sea, the Lesser Sandeel Ammodytes marinus typically forms the main species in the diet. We compared the diet and breeding performance of Kittiwakes at four col...
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Among species where there is a risk to leaving offspring unattended, parents usually take alternating shifts guarding their young. However, they may occasionally exhibit brood neglect by leaving their offspring unattended at the nest. To investigate this phenomenon further, we examined the foraging behavior of the northern gannet (Morus bassanus) d...
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The diet of Northern Gannets Morus bassanus during chick rearing was determined at two colonies in the UK and Ireland that differed markedly in size (the Bass Rock with c. 40 000 breeding pairs, and Great Saltee with 2000 breeding pairs). Gannets from the Bass Rock took a significantly higher proportion of Mackerel Scomber scombrus than birds from...
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Sexual differences in the foraging behaviour of parents have been observed in a number of sexually sizedimorphic birds, particularly seabirds, and the usual inference has been that these sex-specific differences are mediated primarily by differences in body size. To test this explanation, we compared the foraging behaviour of parents in a monomorph...
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In keeping with many species of waterbirds, there is little difference in the body size or external appearance of adult male and female Northern Gannets (Morus bassanus). Previous work has indicated that some morphological characteristics and behavioral patterns differ on average between sexes but there has yet to be a quantitative evaluation of th...
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The lesser sandeel Ammodytes marinus is a key prey species for many avian predators in the North Sea, and is the target of the largest single species fishery in the area. This has led to concern about the potential impact of the fishery on seabirds. The most vulnerable predatory species are small and surface-feeding, characteristics that are exempl...
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The factors affecting the population dynamics of seabirds have long intrigued biologists. Current data suggest that density-dependent depletion of prey during the breeding season may regulate population size. However, much of the evidence for this has been circumstantial, and the underlying mechanisms are unclear. Here, we show that the per capita...