Seabirds’ response to abrupt climate change transformed sub-Antarctic island ecosystems

A 14,000-year paleoecological reconstruction of the sub-Antarctic islands done by an international research team including 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 of guano that helped nourish tussac, produce peat and increase the incidence of fire.