The relationship between Adélie penguins and ice is undeniable, with ice influencing penguin populations through a variety of processes operating at different spatial and temporal scales. The Smith et al. (1999) conceptual model of Adélie penguin population growth incorporates the relationship between sea-ice and penguin populations based on data from multiple sites to predict the likely outcome of population growth in response to a reduction in the frequency of heavy sea-ice years. However, it is difficult to generalise the predictions from the model because penguin-ice interactions vary according to the form of sea-ice present, the season in which it is present and the processes that such sea-ice influences, such as primary productivity or foraging trip duration. To further explain the relationship between sea-ice and Adélie penguin reproductive performance, we investigate the relative importance of various attributes of sea-ice on breeding success at Béchervaise Island.
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