Friday, September 24, 2021

Dominance interactions among New Zealand albatrosses and petrels at ecotourist boats

TitleDominance interactions among New Zealand albatrosses and petrels at ecotourist boats
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2021
AuthorsMartin, PR, Briskie, JV
Type of ArticleFull article
Keywordsaggressive interactions, albatross, behavioural dominance, dominance interactions, interference competition, petrel, seabird communities


Aggressive interactions among species competing for resources are common and usually asymmetric, leading to consistent dominance hierarchies. Here, we document aggressive interactions among six albatross and three petrel species off southern New Zealand, in response to supplemental food provided by ecotourism boats. For species with sufficient sampling, we found a consistent dominance hierarchy, with Diomedea antipodensis gibsoni > D. epomophora > Macronectes halli > Thalassarche cauta > T. salvini > T. bulleri > Daption capense. The heavier species was dominant in most species pairs. Dominant species monopolised the food provided by displacing subordinates. However, subordinate species appeared to gain access to some food through fast responses, greater manoeuvrability, and feeding on small pieces of food ignored by dominants. Similar congregations and interactions at natural food sources suggest that dominance hierarchies may play an important role in structuring the diverse seabird communities in the southern oceans.


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