A computer simulation model was used to explore the patterns and magnitudes of population density changes and population energy demands in Oregon populations of Sooty Shear-waters, Leach?s Storm-Petrels, Brandt?s Cormorants, and Common Murres. The species differ in seasonal distribution and abundance, with shearwaters attaining high densities during their migratory movements through Oregon waters, and murres exhibiting the greatest seasonal stability in population numbers. On a unit area basis, annual energy flow is greatest through murre and cormorant populations. However, because shearwaters occupy a larger area during their transit, they dominate the total energy flow through the four-species seabird ?community.?.....Consumption of various prey types is estimated by coupling model output of energy demands with information on dietary habits. This analysis suggests that murres annually consume nearly twice as many herring as any other prey and consume approximately equal quantities of anchovy, smelt, cod, and rockfish. Cormorants consume a relatively small quantity of bottom-dwelling fish, while stormpetrels take roughly equal quantities of euphausiids and hydrozoans. Anchovies account for 43% of the 62,506 metric tons of prey the four species are estimated to consume annually; 86% of this anchovy consumption is by shearwaters. The consumption of pelagic fishes by these four populations within the neritic zone may represent as much as 22% of the annual production of these fish.
Additional publication details
Model estimation of energy flow in Oregon coastal seabird populations