The Falkland Islands are a South Atlantic refuge for some of the world’s most important seabird species, including five species of penguins, Great Shearwaters, and White-chinned Petrels. In recent years, their breeding grounds in the coastal tussac (Poa flabellata) grasslands have come under increasing pressure from sheep grazing and erosion. And unlike other regions of the globe, there has been no long-term monitoring of the responses of these burrowing and ground nesting seabirds to climate change.
A 14,000-year paleoecological reconstruction of the sub-Antarctic islands done by an international research team led by The University of Maine (UMaine) including Dr Moriaki YASUHARA from the School of Biological Sciences and The Swire Institute of Marine Science, The University of Hong Kong (HKU), has found that seabird establishment occurred during a period of regional cooling 5,000 years ago. Their populations, in turn, shifted the Falkland Island ecosystem through the deposit of high concentrations