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Population-level plasticity in foraging behavior of western gulls (Larus occidentalis)

Overview of attention for article published in Movement Ecology, December 2017
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About this Attention Score

  • In the top 25% of all research outputs scored by Altmetric
  • Among the highest-scoring outputs from this source (#36 of 134)
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age (83rd percentile)
  • Good Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age and source (66th percentile)

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14 tweeters
1 Facebook page


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66 Mendeley
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Population-level plasticity in foraging behavior of western gulls (Larus occidentalis)
Published in
Movement Ecology, December 2017
DOI 10.1186/s40462-017-0118-9
Pubmed ID

Scott A. Shaffer, Sue Cockerham, Pete Warzybok, Russell W. Bradley, Jaime Jahncke, Corey A. Clatterbuck, Magali Lucia, Jennifer A. Jelincic, Anne L. Cassell, Emma C. Kelsey, Josh Adams


Plasticity in foraging behavior among individuals, or across populations may reduce competition. As a generalist carnivore, western gulls (Larus occidentalis) consume a wide range of marine and terrestrial foods. However, the foraging patterns and habitat selection (ocean or land) of western gulls is not well understood, despite their ubiquity in coastal California. Here, we used GPS loggers to compare the foraging behavior and habitat use of western gulls breeding at two island colonies in central California. Gulls from offshore Southeast Farallon Island (SFI; n = 41 gulls) conducted more oceanic trips (n = 90) of shorter duration (3.8 ± 3.3 SD hours) and distance (27.1 ± 20.3 km) than trips to the mainland (n = 41) which were nearly 4 times longer and 2 times farther away. In contrast, gulls from coastal Año Nuevo Island (ANI; n = 20 gulls) foraged at sites on land more frequently (n = 103) but trip durations (3.6 ± 2.4 h) and distances (20.8 ± 9.4 km) did not differ significantly from oceanic trips (n = 42) where trip durations were only slightly shorter (2.9 ± 2.7 h) and equidistant (20.6 ± 12.1 km). Gulls from both colonies visited more sites while foraging at sea but spent significantly longer (3-5 times) durations at each site visited on land. Foraging at sea was also more random compared to foraging trips over land where gulls from both colonies visited the same sites on multiple trips. The total home range of gulls from SFI (14,230 km2) was 4.5 times larger than that of gulls from ANI, consistent with greater resource competition resulting from a larger abundance of seabirds at SFI. Population-level plasticity in foraging behavior was evident and dependent on habitat type. In addition, gulls from SFI were away foraging longer than gulls from ANI (22% vs. 7.5%, respectively), which impacts the defense of territories and attempts at nest predation by conspecifics. Our results can be used to explain lower chick productivity at SFI, and can provide insight into increased gull activity in urban areas.

Twitter Demographics

The data shown below were collected from the profiles of 14 tweeters who shared this research output. Click here to find out more about how the information was compiled.

Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 66 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
Unknown 66 100%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Student > Ph. D. Student 18 27%
Researcher 13 20%
Student > Master 13 20%
Other 4 6%
Student > Doctoral Student 3 5%
Other 6 9%
Unknown 9 14%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Agricultural and Biological Sciences 38 58%
Environmental Science 11 17%
Earth and Planetary Sciences 1 2%
Psychology 1 2%
Unknown 15 23%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 10. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 23 December 2017.
All research outputs
of 12,343,843 outputs
Outputs from Movement Ecology
of 134 outputs
Outputs of similar age
of 347,808 outputs
Outputs of similar age from Movement Ecology
of 9 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 12,343,843 research outputs across all sources so far. Compared to these this one has done well and is in the 88th percentile: it's in the top 25% of all research outputs ever tracked by Altmetric.
So far Altmetric has tracked 134 research outputs from this source. They typically receive a lot more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 17.6. This one has gotten more attention than average, scoring higher than 73% of its peers.
Older research outputs will score higher simply because they've had more time to accumulate mentions. To account for age we can compare this Altmetric Attention Score to the 347,808 tracked outputs that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This one has done well, scoring higher than 83% of its contemporaries.
We're also able to compare this research output to 9 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one has scored higher than 6 of them.