Yan Ropert-Coudert

Yan Ropert-Coudert
French National Centre for Scientific Research | CNRS · Centre d'Etudes Biologiques de Chizé (CNRS & La Rochelle Université)

PhD in foraging ecology (2001)

About

232
Publications
70,963
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Introduction
I am actively promoting bio-logging, where data recorders are attached to free-ranging species to monitor their biology and the physical parameters of their immediate surroundings. In an ecosystemic approach, I use top predators as eco-indicators of their environment, building up “living observatories”. In parallel, I also determine the physiological characteristics of the individuals that can help disentangle intrinsic and extrinsic factors that best explain foraging or breeding performances.
Additional affiliations
July 2015 - December 2020
French National Centre for Scientific Research
Position
  • Managing Director
January 2008 - July 2015
French National Centre for Scientific Research
Position
  • Permanent researcher, team leader
January 2001 - December 2007
National Institute of Polar Research
Position
  • Research Associate
Education
April 1998 - March 2001

Publications

Publications (232)
Article
Density-dependent prey depletion around breeding colonies has long been considered an important factor controlling the population dynamics of colonial animals.1, 2, 3, 4 Ashmole proposed that as seabird colony size increases, intraspecific competition leads to declines in reproductive success, as breeding adults must spend more time and energy to f...
Article
Full-text available
Aim Climate change will likely lead to a significant redistribution of biodiversity in marine ecosystems. We examine the potential redistribution of a community of marine predators by comparing current and future habitat distribution projections. We examine relative changes among species, indicative of potential future community-level changes and c...
Article
Full-text available
King penguins ( Aptenodytes patagonicus ) are an iconic Southern Ocean species, but the prey distributions that underpin their at-sea foraging tracks and diving behaviour remain unclear. We conducted simultaneous acoustic surveys off South Georgia and tracking of king penguins breeding ashore there in Austral summer 2017 to gain insight into habita...
Article
In many bird species, reproductive partners sing together each time they meet on the nest. Because these nest ceremonies typically correspond to the return of one partner from foraging and to the subsequent departure of the other partner, we hypothesized that the foraging decisions of departing birds may be facilitated by the vocalizations accompan...
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Full-text available
As extreme weather is expected to become more frequent with global climate change, it is crucial to evaluate the capacity of species to respond to short-term and unpredictable events. Here, we examined the effect of a strong storm event during the chick-rearing stage of little penguins (Eudyptula minor) from a mega colony in southern Australia. We...
Article
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Defining the impact of anthropogenic stressors on Antarctic wildlife is an active aim for investigators. Telomeres represent a promising molecular tool to investigate the fitness of wild populations, as their length may predict longevity and survival. We examined the relationship between telomere length and human exposure in Adélie penguin chicks (...
Article
Metamorphosis is a widespread developmental process that involves considerable changes in morphology, habitat use, ecology and behaviour between early developmental (larval) stages and adult forms. Among amphibians, anuran larvae (tadpoles) undergo massive morphological and ecological changes during their development, with early stages characterize...
Article
Full-text available
Seabirds allocate different amounts of energy to reproduction throughout the breeding season, depending on the trade-off between their own needs and those of their chicks and/or changes in environmental conditions. Provisioning parents therefore modulate their foraging behaviour and diet accordingly. However, for diving seabirds, many studies have...
Article
Full-text available
Environmental change and biodiversity loss are but two of the complex challenges facing conservation practitioners and policy makers. Relevant and robust scientific knowledge is critical for providing decision-makers with the actionable evidence needed to inform conservation decisions. In the Anthropocene, science that leads to meaningful improveme...
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Diving is an ecologically important behaviour that provides air-breathing predators with opportunities to capture prey, but that also increases their exposure to incidental mortality (bycatch) in commercial fisheries. In this study, we characterised the diving behaviour of 26 individuals of three species, the black-browed albatross Thalassarche mel...
Article
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There is a growing interest in studying consistency and site fidelity of individuals to assess, respectively, how individual behaviour shapes the population response to environmental changes, and to highlight the critical habitats needed by species. In Antarctica, the foraging activity of central place foragers like Adélie penguins ( Pygoscelis ade...
Article
Full-text available
Energy drives behaviour and life history decisions, yet it can be hard to measure at fine scales in free-moving animals. Accelerometry has proven a powerful tool to estimate energy expenditure, but requires calibration in the wild. This can be difficult in some environments, or for particular behaviours, and validations have produced equivocal resu...
Article
Full-text available
The massive number of seabirds (penguins and procellariiformes) and marine mammals (cetaceans and pinnipeds) – referred to here as top predators – is one of the most iconic components of the Antarctic and Southern Ocean. They play an important role as highly mobile consumers, structuring and connecting pelagic marine food webs and are widely studie...
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Individual heterogeneity in diet and foraging behaviour is common in wild animal populations, and can be a strong determinant of how populations respond to environmental changes. Within populations, variation in foraging behaviour and the occurrence of individual tactics in relation to resources distribution can help explain differences in individu...
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Full-text available
Detecting changes in marine food webs is challenging, but top predators can provide information on lower trophic levels. However, many commonly measured predator responses can be decoupled from prey availability by plasticity in predator foraging effort. This can be overcome by directly measuring foraging effort and success and integrating these in...
Article
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Reduced human mobility during the pandemic will reveal critical aspects of our impact on animals, providing important guidance on how best to share space on this crowded planet.
Article
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1. Changes in marine ecosystems are easier to detect in upper-level predators, like seabirds, which integrate trophic interactions throughout the food web. 2. Here, we examined whether diving parameters and complexity in the temporal organisation of diving behaviour of little penguins (Eudyptula minor) are influenced by sea surface temperature (SS...
Article
Full-text available
Applying physiological tools, knowledge and concepts to understand conservation problems (i.e. conservation physiology) has become commonplace and confers an ability to understand mechanistic processes, develop predictive models and identify cause-and-effect relationships. Conservation physiology is making contributions to conservation solutions; t...
Article
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Southern Ocean ecosystems are under pressure from resource exploitation and climate change1,2. Mitigation requires the identification and protection of Areas of Ecological Significance (AESs), which have so far not been determined at the ocean-basin scale. Here, using assemblage-level tracking of marine predators, we identify AESs for this globally...
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There is a paucity of information on the foraging ecology, especially individual use of sea-ice features and icebergs, over the non-breeding season in many seabird species. Using geolocators and stable isotopes, we defined the movements, distribution and diet of adult Antarctic petrels Thalassoica antarctica from the largest known breeding colony,...
Article
Full-text available
The Retrospective Analysis of Antarctic Tracking Data (RAATD) is a Scientific Committee for Antarctic Research project led jointly by the Expert Groups on Birds and Marine Mammals and Antarctic Biodiversity Informatics, and endorsed by the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources. RAATD consolidated tracking data for mul...
Article
The Retrospective Analysis of Antarctic Tracking Data (RAATD) is a Scientific Committee for Antarctic Research project led jointly by the Expert Groups on Birds and Marine Mammals and Antarctic Biodiversity Informatics, and endorsed by the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources. RAATD consolidated tracking data for mul...
Article
Full-text available
• The most western little penguin colony globally, and the most northern in Western Australia (WA) is found on Penguin Island, WA. The penguins use coastal bays that are also used extensively by recreational watercraft. These penguins have been found to either dive predominantly to shallow depths of 1–5 m or to depths >8 m. It is thus hypothesized...
Article
Full-text available
Plain Language Summary Polar ecosystems are threatened by future loss of sea ice. The availability of satellite sea ice products has facilitated a better assessment of the impact of sea ice on polar species. Yet most studies have focused on coarse spatial scale sea ice products hampering an understanding of the mechanisms by which sea ice affects s...
Article
Spatiotemporal dynamics of ecosystems can challenge the pertinence of Marine Protected Area (MPA) planning. Seasonal environmental changes are extreme in polar regions, however MPA planning in East Antarctica relies mostly on species' summer distribution only. Thirteen Adélie penguins were tracked from Ile des Pétrels (Terre Adélie), and their seas...
Article
Central place foragers rely on areas within a small range of their breeding grounds for chick provisioning. Therefore there exists a tight coupling between their breeding success and local bio-physical conditions. The effects of fine-scale variability in environmental parameters and resource distribution on the foraging behaviour of marine predator...
Article
Southern Ocean ecosystems are extremely vulnerable to sea-ice changes occurring at different spatial and temporal scales. Variability in the sea-ice conditions strongly influence the survival and reproduction of animals that are synchronized with the seasonality of sea ice. Although the linkages between Adélie penguins (Pygoscelis adeliae) and sea-...
Article
Full-text available
Penguins face a wide range of threats. Most observed population changes have been negative and have happened over the last 60 years. Today, populations of 11 of the 18 penguin species are decreasing. Here we present a review that synthesizes details of threats faced by the world’s 18 species of penguins. We discuss alterations to their environment...
Article
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Aim Animal movement is an important determinant of individual survival, population dynamics and ecosystem structure and function. Nonetheless, it is still unclear how local movements are related to resource availability and the spatial arrangement of resources. Using resident bird species and migratory bird species outside the migratory period, we...
Article
Full-text available
Central-place foraging in large seabird colonies leads to high levels of intra-specific competition for food resources, often resulting in between-colony spatial segregation. However, little is known about within-colony variation in foraging behaviour that may arise from breeding locations. Using little penguins Eudyptula minor from a large colony...
Data
This webpage is a scientific database where you will find official records of dive depth and duration for most diving species of vertebrates. This project was initiated to answer the questions regularly asked by school teachers, educators, journalists, scientists: "How deep can animals dive?". Such information is compiled here, using references fro...
Presentation
Under climate change, seabirds can provide a means to monitor rapid changes in the marine environment. An emerging approach uses fractal analysis to assess structural complexity in behavioural sequences, yet identifying how such complexity is affected by intrinsic and extrinsic parameters remains underexplored. Here, we examined how diving paramete...
Article
In the d'Urville Sea in East Antarctica, a population of roughly 20,000 pairs of Adélie penguins of Iles des Pétrels (Terre Adélie) has experienced two massive breeding failures, with no chick surviving the 2013–14 and 2016–17 breeding seasons. In both seasons the extent of sea ice in front of the colony persisted throughout the breeding cycle of t...
Article
The Southern Ocean is currently experiencing major environmental changes, including in sea‐ice cover. Such changes strongly influence ecosystem structure and functioning and affect the survival and reproduction of predators such as seabirds. These effects are likely mediated by reduced availability of food resources. As such, seabirds are reliable...
Presentation
Due to ongoing climate change, it is necessary to understand how ecosystems and food webs are affected by these environmental changes. As upper-level predators, seabirds’ behaviour provides a way to monitor changes occurring in the marine environment, but identifying how the complexity in the temporal structure of behaviour depend on intrinsic and...
Poster
Due to ongoing climate change, it is necessary to understand how ecosystems will react and more particularly, how species may cope with the challenges of living in unstable systems. As top predator, seabirds' behaviour provides a way to monitor changes occurring in the marine environment, but identifying how the temporal structure and complexity of...
Poster
Due to ongoing climate change, it is necessary to understand how ecosystems will react and more particularly, how species may cope with the challenges of living in unstable systems. As top predator, seabirds' behaviour provides a way to monitor changes occurring in the marine environment, but identifying how the temporal structure and complexity of...
Article
Full-text available
Jellyfish and other pelagic gelatinous organisms (“gelata”) are increasingly perceived as an important component of marine food webs but remain poorly understood. Their importance as prey in the oceans is extremely difficult to quantify due in part to methodological challenges in verifying predation on gelatinous structures. Miniaturized animal-bor...
Article
Full-text available
The biodiversity, ecosystem services and climate variability of the Antarctic continent and the Southern Ocean are major components of the whole Earth system. Antarctic ecosystems are driven more strongly by the physical environment than many other marine and terrestrial ecosystems. As a consequence, to understand ecological functioning, cross-disc...
Article
Full-text available
Little penguins (Eudyptula minor) have one of the widest geographic distributions among penguins, exposing them to variable ecological constraints across their range, which in turn can affect their foraging behaviour. Presumably, behavioural flexibility exists to allow animals to adapt to prevailing environmental conditions throughout their foragin...
Article
Several biological functions, such as reproductive success, peak during middle age in long-lived vertebrates. One possible mechanism for that peak is improved foraging performance during middle age, after a period of youthful inexperience and before senescence. Age may be particularly important in relating foraging behaviour to fitness for diving a...
Article
Full-text available
In polar seas, the seasonal melting of ice triggers the development of an open-water ecosystem characterized by short-lived algal blooms, the grazing and development of zooplankton, and the influx of avian and mammalian predators. Spatial heterogeneity in the timing of ice melt generates temporal variability in the development of these events acros...
Article
Niche partitioning plays an important role in minimising interspecific competition for resources. Using carbon and nitrogen stable isotopic analysis of feathers, we investigated how macaroni Eudyptes chrysolophus and eastern rockhopper penguins E. chrysocome filholi breeding at the Prince Edward Islands partition the marine environment during the c...
Article
Full-text available
In polar seas, the seasonal melting of ice triggers the development of an open-water ecosystem characterized by short-lived algal blooms, the grazing and development of zooplankton and the influx of avian and mammalian predators. Spatial heterogeneity in the timing of ice melt generates temporal variability in the development of these events across...
Data
Commercial fisheries may impact marine ecosystems and affect populations of predators like seabirds. In the Southern Ocean, there is an extensive fishery for Antarctic krill Euphausia superba that is projected to increase further. Comparing distribution and prey selection of fishing operations versus predators is needed to predict fishery-related i...
Article
Full-text available
Commercial fisheries may impact marine ecosystems and affect populations of predators like seabirds. In the Southern Ocean, there is an extensive fishery for Antarctic krill Euphausia superba that is projected to increase further. Comparing distribution and prey selection of fishing operations versus predators is needed to predict fishery-related i...
Data
Summary of the literature review. (DOCX)
Data
Distribution of the average size of Antarctic krill harvested by Antarctic predators. (DOCX)
Data
Summary statistics for isotopic ratios of carbon (δ13C) and nitrogen (δ15N) measured in Antarctic petrel body feathers. (DOCX)
Data
Retrieval rate of GPS loggers deployed on Antarctic petrels. (DOCX)
Data
Temporal variation in monthly fishing effort of Antarctic Krill. (DOCX)
Data
Monthly overlap between krill fishing areas and Antarctic petrel distribution. (DOCX)
Data
Foraging trip duration of control and experimental (i.e. fitted with a GPS logger) Antarctic petrels. (DOCX)
Article
Full-text available
It is a golden age for animal movement studies and so an opportune time to assess priorities for future work. We assembled 40 experts to identify key questions in this field, focussing on marine megafauna, which include a broad range of birds, mammals, reptiles, and fish. Research on these taxa has both underpinned many of the recent technical deve...