Vitor H. Paiva

Vitor H. Paiva
MARE - University of Coimbra · Life Sciences

PhD

About

165
Publications
36,996
Reads
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2,064
Citations
Introduction
My research focuses on marine animal ecology, particularly the study of the foraging strategies and ecological roles of seabirds and other apex predators, of wider trophic relationships in marine communities and of migration strategies of birds. Furthermore, I'm interested in understanding how these apex predators respond to global change. I’ve already made significant contributions to this field through a broad suite of peer-reviewed publications, and in building and maintaining a wide network of national and international collaborators. I gained diverse field and analytical expertise which allows me to apply powerful techniques such as stable isotope analysis, biologging, ecophysiological analysis, ecosystem modelling to address a wide range of key and highly topical ecological issues.
Additional affiliations
September 2002 - present
University of Coimbra
Position
  • Senior Researcher
Education
January 2006 - February 2010
University of Coimbra
Field of study
  • Biology (Ecology)
September 2003 - September 2005
University of Coimbra
Field of study
  • Ecology
September 1998 - July 2003
University of Coimbra
Field of study
  • Biology

Publications

Publications (165)
Article
Full-text available
Sexual segregation in foraging occurs in many animal species, resulting in the partitioning of resources and reduction of competition between males and females, yet the patterns and drivers of such segregation are still poorly understood. We studied the foraging movements (GPS-tracking), habitat use (habitat modelling) and trophic ecology (stable i...
Article
Full-text available
In this work we investigated the between-colony spatial, behavioural and trophic segregation of two sub-populations of the elusive Macaronesian shearwaters Puffinus baroli breeding only ~340 km apart in Cima Islet (Porto Santo Island) and Selvagem Grande Island. Global location sensing (gls) loggers were used in combination with the trophic ecology...
Article
Full-text available
Large Marine Ecosystems such as the Canary Current system off West Africa sustains high abundance of small pelagic prey, which attracts marine predators. Seabirds are top predators often used as biodiversity surrogates and sentinel species of the marine ecosystem health, thus frequently informing marine conservation planning. This study presents th...
Article
Individuals within populations can use different resources, leading to ecological segregation and niche variation. This segregation could have direct impacts on the migratory strategy or breeding success, thus affecting the overall population and community dynamics and, ultimately, survival. In this study, we assessed the inter-annual and within in...
Chapter
In the past three decades scientists have been equipping free-living seabirds with biologging devices to provide information about their behaviour in unprecedented detail. However, more recently the miniaturisation of tracking devices, have enabled scientists to understand the precise distribution patterns of seabirds across a variety of scales and...
Article
Full-text available
Foraging spatial segregation is frequent in central-place foragers during the breeding season, but very few studies have investigated foraging spatial segregation between adjacent sub-colonies. Here, we assessed for within-colony differences in the at-sea distribution, habitat use, trophic ecology and chick growth data of two Calonectris colonies d...
Article
The moon cycle has long been recognized as a driving factor of animals' behavioural patterns. However, its influence on seabirds' nocturnal behaviour remains poorly understood. Using a long-term GPS tracking dataset from Cory's and Cape Verde shearwaters (Calonectris borealis and Calonectris edwardsii, respectively) in the Berlengas, Azores, Madeir...
Article
Full-text available
Machado-Joseph disease (MJD) or Spinocerebellar ataxia type 3 (SCA3) is the most common form of dominant SCA worldwide. Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) and Proton Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy (¹H-MRS) provide promising non-invasive diagnostic and follow-up tools, also serving to evaluate therapies efficacy. However, pre-clinical studies showing...
Preprint
Studies on sex-specific segregation in foraging and trophic niche have been focused on large and dimorphic seabirds, with less information on small monomorphic species. Here, we used mini-GPS loggers, habitat suitability models, and stable isotopes to assess the foraging movements, at-sea spatial distribution, and trophic ecology of male and female...
Article
Full-text available
Seabirds are among the most threatened birds as a result of acute exposure to many anthropogenic threats. Their effective conservation requires a detailed understanding of how seabirds use marine habitats. Recently, one of the largest no-take marine reserves in the Atlantic was designated in tropical waters surrounding Ascension Island, on which th...
Presentation
Full-text available
In colonial seabirds, ecological divergence may occur in the absence of physical barriers, driven by the isolation of populations due to distance, or the adaptation to local environment. In migratory seabirds, the geographic segregation among breeding populations can persist year round (i.e., strong migratory connectivity) when populations breeding...
Article
Urban habitats offer spatially and temporally predictable anthropogenic food sources for opportunistic species, such as several species of gulls that are known to exploit urban areas and take advantage of accessible and diverse food sources, reducing foraging time and energy expenditure. However, human-derived food may have a poorer nutritional qua...
Presentation
Multidisciplinary approaches are essential to diligently assess environmental health status of ecosystems. In this study, year-round chemical elements’ exposure and impacts were assessed on the wide-ranging Cory’s shearwater Calonectris borealis breeding in Berlenga Island, offshore Portugal, North Atlantic Ocean. The aim was to identify potential...
Article
Full-text available
The conservation of migratory marine species, including pelagic seabirds, is challenging because their movements span vast distances frequently beyond national jurisdictions. Here, we aim to identify important aggregations of seabirds in the North Atlantic to inform ongoing regional conservation efforts. Using tracking, phenology, and population da...
Article
Full-text available
In the oligotrophic tropical marine environment resources are usually more patchily distributed and less abundant to top predators. Thus, spatial and trophic competition can emerge, especially between related seabird species belonging to the same ecological guild. Here we studied the foraging ecology of two sympatric species–brown booby (BRBO) Sula...
Article
Multidisciplinary approaches are essential to diligently assess environmental health status of ecosystems. In this study, year-round chemical elements' exposure and impacts were assessed on the wide-ranging Cory's shearwater Calonectris borealis breeding in Berlenga Island, offshore Portugal, North Atlantic Ocean. The aim was to identify potential...
Article
Full-text available
Pollution is a global concern, increasing rapidly throughout marine and terrestrial ecosystems, and affecting many species. Urbanization enhances waste production, leading to the opening of landfills that constitute a spatially and temporally predictable food source for opportunistic species. Several species of gulls are known to exploit and breed...
Article
The availability of anthropogenic food subsidies has promoted an increase in gener- alist opportunistic gull species, which currently breed and forage on predictable anthropogenic resources (e.g. landfills). Here we investigated whether marine resources are still important to urban-dwelling gulls. We studied 4 natural and 2 urban yellow-legged gull...
Article
The effects of growing urbanization have caused an increase in human-wildlife interactions in urban areas. Human-gull conflicts have been particularly studied during the breeding season when gulls cause an obvious nuisance in urban areas. However, with many gulls being present in urban areas throughout the year, stakeholders need knowledge of seaso...
Article
Global mercury pollution has markedly and consistently grown over the past 70 years (although with regional variations in trends) and is a source of major concern. Mercury contamination is particularly prevalent in biota of the mesopelagic layers of the open ocean, but these realms are little studied, and we lack a large scale picture of contaminat...
Article
Fisheries have impacted seabird populations worldwide, either via bycatch mortality or resource depletion. Understanding the overlap between seabird distributions and fisheries is an important element for bycatch risk assessment, though the drivers of variation in seabird–fishery overlap are not well understood for some seabird populations. Here, w...
Article
Full-text available
In the Southern Ocean and adjacent waters, early stages of cephalopods play an important role in food webs as prey to top predators, but few is known regarding their biology and availability. Snares Penguin, Eudyptes robustus, is a top predator endemic to Snares Islands (New Zealand) that feed on cephalopods. As historical data on diet are rare for...
Article
Gulls are highly opportunistic seabirds, and the exploitation of fishery discards led to many population increases worldwide. We investigated the importance of fish in the diet of yellow-legged and Audouin’s gulls and assessed the influence of fishery discards in their feeding ecology. We collected pellets in four islands along the western Iberian...
Data
A participatory monitoring programme of an exceptional modification of urban soundscapes during Covid-19 containment.
Article
Full-text available
Anthropogenic materials are a persistent pressure on ecosystems, affecting many species. Seabirds can collect these materials to construct their nests, which may modify nest characteristics and cause entanglement of chicks and adults, with possible consequences on breeding success. The incorporation of anthropogenic materials in nests of seabird sp...
Article
Metal pollution is currently a major issue in marine ecosystems, as organisms, and particularly seabirds, are exposed and accumulating increased levels from several anthropogenic sources. A set of 13 metals were quantified in two gull species breeding in sympatry, and in two distinct colonies separated by ca. 400 km. Oxidative stress was measured,...
Article
Pelagic seabirds exhibit plasticity in foraging characteristics in relation to oceanographic conditions. This should be particularly relevant in tropical marine environments where food resources are naturally more unpredictable. We studied how inter-annual variations (2013-2018) in tropical oceanographic conditions (driver of oceanic productivity)...
Article
Full-text available
Long-term studies of pelagic nekton in the Southern ocean and their responses to ongoing environmental change are rare. Using stable isotope ratios measured in squid beaks recovered from diet samples of wandering albatrosses Diomedea exulans, we assessed decadal variation (from 1976 to 2016) in the habitat (δ 13C) and trophic level (δ 15N) of five...
Article
Pelagic seabird populations have declined strongly worldwide. In the North Atlantic there was a huge reduction in seabird populations following the European colonization of the Azores, Madeira and Canary archipelagos but information on seabird status and distribution for the subtropical region of Cabo Verde is scarce, unavailable or dispersed in gr...
Article
Seabirds are marine predators known to forage in association with fisheries, however detailed knowledge on seabird-fishery interactions remains scarce in several regions of the world. We quantified seabird-fishery interactions and bycatch in central Portuguese coastal waters (NE Atlantic) between 2016 and 2018 in four gears: purse-seines, longlines...
Article
Full-text available
Oceans are extremely dynamic environments, which poses challenges for top-predators such as seabirds to find food resources. Yet, seabirds evolved sensorial abilities (olfactory senses) along with complex behaviours (social information transfer through local enhancement) to improve foraging efficiency. Using the Cory’s shearwater (Calonectris borea...
Article
Full-text available
Climate projections predict increases in the frequency and severity of extreme climate events over the next decades. Hence, phases of extreme climatic indices are emerging as one of the most dangerous effects of climate change, though their impacts on wildlife populations are still poorly understood. Here, we studied the foraging behaviour, body co...
Article
Full-text available
Seabirds inhabiting vast water masses provide numerous examples where opposing phenomena, such as natal and breeding philopatry vs. vagility have dug cryptic taxonomic boundaries among closely related taxa. The taxonomy of little shearwaters of the North Atlantic Ocean (Little–Audubon’s shearwater complex, Puffinus assimilis–lherminieri) still rema...
Poster
Full-text available
Here, we assess metal contamination in two gull species breeding in sympatry, and in two distinct colonies separated by ca 400 km and relate their metal concentrations with trophic ecology and oxidative stress
Poster
Full-text available
Assess inter specific differences in oxidative stress of Yellow legged and Audouin’s gulls related with their ecological niches
Article
Full-text available
Sexual segregation in trophic ecology is widespread among sexually dimorphic marine vertebrates. The degree of such segregation can change throughout the annual cycle, however, year-round data on seabird inter-sexual differences is scarce. Here we investigated sexual trophic segregation in yellow-legged gulls Larus michahellis evaluating two hypoth...
Article
Full-text available
Human activities and changing environmental conditions are the main drivers of ecosystem change. One major change near the western Iberian coast has been the collapse of the Atlanto-Iberian sardine Sardina pilchardus stock, with important cascading effects on marine top predators. We investigated the effect of long-term changes in fishery landings,...
Article
Full-text available
Detailed information on diet and foraging ecology is scarce for most small seabirds such as storm petrels. In this study, we used molecular techniques, stable isotope analysis, and geolocators to study the diet, trophic ecology, and at-sea distribution of Madeiran storm petrels (Hydrobates castro) breeding in Farilhões Islet, Portugal, in 2015–2017...
Article
The availability of anthropogenic food subsidies has promoted an increase in generalist opportunistic gull species, which currently breed and forage on predictable anthropogenic resources (e.g. landfills). Here we investigated whether marine resources are still important to urban-dwelling gulls. We studied 4 natural and 2 urban yellow-legged gull L...
Poster
Full-text available
Here, we evaluated oxidative stress responses Cory’s shearwaters between pre laying and chick rearing periods and any relationships with their trophic ecology and spatial distribution at sea
Presentation
Describe gulls’ diet in several populations and evaluate how these gulls depend on fisheries as food source, through the analysis of stable isotopes and pellets.
Poster
This poster shows the preliminary results of the paper "Anthropogenic food resources, sardine decline and environmental conditions have triggered a dietary shift of an opportunistic seabird over the last 30 years on the northwest coast of Spain" https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10113-020-01609-6
Presentation
This presentation shows the results of the paper "Foraging strategies of a generalist seabird species, the yellow-legged gull, from GPS tracking and stable isotope analyses" https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00227-018-3421-0
Article
Full-text available
In the face of accelerating ecological change to the world's oceans, seabirds are some of the best bio‐indicators of marine ecosystem function. However, unravelling ecological changes that pre‐date modern monitoring programmes remains challenging. Using stable isotope analysis of feathers and regurgitants collected from sooty terns (Onychoprion fus...
Article
Full-text available
Intrinsic markers, such as stable isotopes, are a powerful approach to trace wildlife movements because they do not require initial marking of the organism. The main limitation of the isotopic method is the lack of knowledge in spatio-temporal patterns and dynamics of stable isotopes in marine environments, especially at local scales. Here, we comb...
Article
Full-text available
Generalist and opportunistic species, such as the yellow-legged gull Larus michahellis, can feed on a wide variety of food from both marine and terrestrial origins. This work evaluates the potential foraging strategies (terrestrial, mix and marine) of the yellow-legged gull during the breeding season, in Berlenga (39°24′55″N, 9°30′28″W) and Deserta...
Article
Full-text available
As climate change, among other factors, is increasingly affecting Antarctic marine systems, competition for prey may increase between predators, particularly in the Antarctic Peninsula which has warmed more than elsewhere. Under such a context, we tested the feeding and trophic ecology of Gentoo (Pygoscelis papua) and Chinstrap (Pygoscelis antarcti...
Article
Full-text available
After foraging in the open ocean pelagic birds can pinpoint their breeding colonies, located on remote islands in visually featureless seascapes. This remarkable ability to navigate over vast distances has been attributed to the birds being able to learn an olfactory map on the basis of wind-borne odors. Odor-cued navigation has been linked mechani...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Anthropogenic activities can have major impacts on the foraging behaviour and spatial distribution of coastal seabird species. We used GPS loggers to monitor yellow-legged gulls breeding at Berlenga (2011-2016) and Deserta (2015-2016) islands (Portugal), and also to monitor Audouin’s gulls at Deserta (2015). We found that, although the sea was the...
Article
Literature reports that body size can be associated with latitudinal distribution, for instance larger animals inhabit higher latitudes and colder habitats. This rule can be applied for species and populations within a species. The potential influence of body size on non-breeding distribution and habitat use at the intra-population level was invest...
Conference Paper
Human activities can affect the structure and dynamics of wild populations, communities, and overall ecosystems. Commercial fisheries and climate change are responsible for modifying the stability of marine food webs, shaping the ecology and behaviour of several marine species. Anthropogenic activities can also generate huge amounts of waste that c...
Data
This set contains a zip file with distribution shapefiles (Kernel Usage Density) of the Desertas Petrel (Pterodroma deserta), the variables used for modelling current distribution and project future potential distribution. All spatial files are in GCS WGS84.