[MARMAM] New review article on marine megafauna in tidal-stream habitats

Steven Benjamins stevenbenjamins at yahoo.com
Wed Oct 7 05:47:45 PDT 2015

Dear colleagues,On behalf of my co-authors, I am happy to announce therecent publication of the following review article on usage of energetictidal-stream habitats by marine megafauna (marine mammals and seabirds): Reference:Benjamins, S., Dale, A. C., Hastie, G., Waggitt, J. J., Lea,M. A., Scott, B., & Wilson, B. (2015). Confusion reigns? A review of marinemegafauna interactions with tidal-stream environments. Oceanography and MarineBiology: An Annual Review, 53, 1-54. Abstract:Energetic tidal-stream environments are characterized byfrequent, variable, yet broadly predictable currents containing ephemeral flowstructures that change across multiple spatio-temporal scales. Marine mammalsand seabirds (marine megafauna) often frequent such sites, but increasinglythese locations are targeted for renewable energy extraction; little is known,however, about how marine megafauna use these habitats and any potentialimpacts. This review aims to summarize existing knowledge concerning usage bymarine megafauna and considers their wider ecological significance. The reviewdescribes the physical processes occurring within tidal-stream environmentsthat generate the oceanographic structures of potential ecological relevance,such as jets, boils, eddies, and fronts. Important physical features of theseenvironments include lateral transport, turbulence-driven 3-dimensional flowstructure at various spatial scales, and upwelling. Foraging opportunitiesappear to be the main attractor to marine megafauna, likely driven by enhancedprey abundance, vulnerability, or diversity. Many megafauna associate withparticular tidal phases, current strengths, and flow structures, most likely inresponse to tidally forced prey distribution and behaviours. Occupancypatterns, distributions, and foraging behaviours are discussed. Local sitefidelity by ‘tidal-stream experts’ suggest non-uniform conservation riskswithin larger metapopulations. The review discusses data-gathering techniquesand associated challenges, the significance of scaling, and information gaps. A preprint PDF of the report can be obtained here; otherwise feel free to contact me by email at the address below. Many thanks,Steven Benjamins 
 Dr. Steven BenjaminsResearchAssociate in Marine Vertebrate EcologySAMS (ScottishAssociation for Marine Science)
PA37 1QA

Tel: +44(0)1631-559449 (office)Tel:+44(0)1631-559000 (switchboard)
Fax: +44(0)1631-559001
E-mail address: Steven.Benjamins at sams.ac.uk
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