Project Advisor(s)

Dr. Jennifer Burnham

Presentation Type

Poster Presentation

Disciplines

Biogeochemistry | Other Earth Sciences | Other Environmental Sciences

Description, Abstract, or Artist's Statement

Climate change is occurring at a faster rate in the Arctic than the rest of the globe, causing temperature rises at twice the rate of the global average and increased summer precipitation in the form of rain. These precipitation events are predicted to affect migratory bird species that breed throughout the Arctic. Increased occurrence of heavy rainstorms indirectly affect bird populations by impacting distribution and abundance of food supply, and directly by increasing mortality rates of juveniles. Studies conducted on bird species throughout the low Arctic regions; have shown that it is not the total precipitation of a breeding season that results in juvenile bird mortality, but the occurrence of severe storms that result in significant precipitation in single weather events.

To test for similar results in the High Arctic region, juvenile survival rates of Snow buntings (Plectrophenax nivalis) and Lapland longspurs (Calcarius lapponicus) were recorded for the months of June through August between 2010 and 2016 in Thule, Greenland (76° N, 68° W). This was done using Potter traps and attaching numbered leg bands for identification. Results showed that heavy rain events, defined as being over seven millimeters, which occurred in June, during the nest building/egg laying time frame, and July when nests were vulnerable, had lower rates of juvenile passerine species observation. The results were not as direct and significant as prior studies but still showed an overall negative impact of precipitation on passerine species in the High Arctic.

Comments

Senior inquiry project.

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May 3rd, 12:00 AM May 3rd, 12:00 AM

Summer Precipitation Occurrence Effect on Two Passerine Species in Thule, Greenland

Climate change is occurring at a faster rate in the Arctic than the rest of the globe, causing temperature rises at twice the rate of the global average and increased summer precipitation in the form of rain. These precipitation events are predicted to affect migratory bird species that breed throughout the Arctic. Increased occurrence of heavy rainstorms indirectly affect bird populations by impacting distribution and abundance of food supply, and directly by increasing mortality rates of juveniles. Studies conducted on bird species throughout the low Arctic regions; have shown that it is not the total precipitation of a breeding season that results in juvenile bird mortality, but the occurrence of severe storms that result in significant precipitation in single weather events.

To test for similar results in the High Arctic region, juvenile survival rates of Snow buntings (Plectrophenax nivalis) and Lapland longspurs (Calcarius lapponicus) were recorded for the months of June through August between 2010 and 2016 in Thule, Greenland (76° N, 68° W). This was done using Potter traps and attaching numbered leg bands for identification. Results showed that heavy rain events, defined as being over seven millimeters, which occurred in June, during the nest building/egg laying time frame, and July when nests were vulnerable, had lower rates of juvenile passerine species observation. The results were not as direct and significant as prior studies but still showed an overall negative impact of precipitation on passerine species in the High Arctic.