[MARMAM] New Publication: Anthropogenic food patches and association patterns of Tursiops truncatus at Lampedusa island, Italy

Daniela Silvia Pace danielasilvia at oceanomaredelphis.org
Mon Nov 21 12:58:38 PST 2011

Dear colleagues,

We are pleased to announce the recent publication of the following
paper on bottlenose dolphin social structure:

Pace DS, Pulcini M and Triossi F (2011). Anthropogenic food patches
and association patterns of Tursiops truncatus at Lampedusa island,
Italy. Behavioral Ecology. doi:10.1093/beheco/arr180.

It has been made available online in advance via the following link:

Anthropogenic food patches in the marine environment, such as
aquaculture farms and active trawlers, may impact on the behavior of
marine mammals through modification of habitats, changes in predation
pressure, or alterations in food distribution, availability, and
predictability, affecting related social interactions and population
demographics. This study examined patterns of association of a
population of common bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) around
Lampedusa Island (Italy) during 1996–2006 and tested the hypothesis
that the trawl fishery and the presence of an aquaculture farm could
affect such patterns. Here, we used measures of association between
pairs of individuals to assess this impact on social unit
composition/cohesion and some analytical techniques to describe the
structure of dolphin social networks and temporal stability of
associations. Association information for 71 regularly sighted
individuals was obtained from photo-identification surveys within
groups observed or not at “feeding stations”. We found association
patterns between dolphins were nonrandom. The Lampedusa population
seems to be arranged into 6 clusters and organized in communities
composed of animals that were either never seen in association with
feeding stations (N individuals) or those that are (Y individuals),
although mixed assemblages were also recorded. Both communities showed
long-term preferred companions, with different degrees of social
cohesion—as resulted by network measures and temporal analysis.
Delineating community structure at Lampedusa Island has offered basic
information for further investigations in the area, also providing
novel evidences on how disparities in association patterns between
bottlenose dolphin individuals may have resulted from a combination of
ecological and anthropogenic factors.

Daniela Silvia Pace

Daniela Silvia Pace
Oceanomare Delphis Onlus
danielasilvia at oceanomaredelphis.org

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