[MARMAM] NEW PAPER: harbour porpoise habitat preferences & distribution - west of Scotland

Cormac Booth cgb at smru.co.uk
Mon Mar 25 09:06:48 PDT 2013


We are pleased to announce the publication of the following paper in MEPS:

Booth CG, Embling C, Gordon J, Calderan SV, Hammond PS (2013) Habitat preferences and distribution of the harbour porpoisePhocoena phocoena west of Scotland. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 478:273-285

ABSTRACT: The west coast of Scotland is comprised of complex coastlines and topography, and a range of physical processes influence its coastal marine environment. The region is host to one of the highest densities of harbour porpoise Phocoena phocoena in Europe. The aim of this study was to identify habitat preferences driving the distribution of harbour porpoise, to gain a better understanding of the spatial distribution of the species in the region, as well as to assess the consistency of such patterns across time and space. Visual and acoustic line-transect surveys were conducted between 2003 and 2010. Generalised Additive Models (GAMs) with Generalised Estimating Equations (GEEs) were used to robustly determine relationships between the relative density of harbour porpoises and temporally and spatially variable oceanographic covariates. Predictive models showed that depth, slope, spring tidal range and distance to land were consistently important in explaining porpoise distribution. Consistent preferences for water depths between 50 and 150 m and highly sloped regions were observed across the temporal models. Predicted distributions revealed a consistent inshore presence for the species throughout the west coast of Scotland and confirmed that predictable oceanographic features could help inform the establishment of Special Areas of Conservation (SACs) for the species.

Please download from http://www.int-res.com/abstracts/meps/v478/p273-285/  or contact Cormac Booth on cgb at smru.co.uk<mailto:cgb at smru.co.uk>

Best regard,
Cormac Booth

Dr Cormac Booth
Principal Scientist

Scottish Oceans Institute
New Technology Centre
North Haugh
St Andrews
Fife  KY16 9SR

email: cgb at smru.co.uk<mailto:cgb at smru.co.uk>

Tel:         +44 (0)1334 479100
Fax:        +44 (0)1334 477878


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