[MARMAM] New publication: Habitat overlap between bottlenose dolphins and seabirds: a pilot study to identify high-presence coastal areas in the Tyrrhenian Sea.

Valentina Cafaro cafaro.valentina at gmail.com
Mon Sep 14 15:01:07 PDT 2015


Dear MARMAM,

my coauthors and I are pleased to announce our recent publication:

Habitat overlap between bottlenose dolphins and seabirds: a pilot study to
identify high-presence coastal areas in the Tyrrhenian Sea.

V. CAFARO, D. ANGELETTI, B. BELLISARIO, A. MACALI, C. CARERE, J. ALESSI.
Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom, 2015.

doi:10.1017/S0025315415001447

Abstract
The identification of foraging hotspots able to support the co-existence of
multiple top predators provides a potential approach to addressing
protection measures for marine ecosystems. In this study, we conducted
visual surveys in the central Tyrrhenian Sea to determine areas with
simultaneous presence of bottlenose dolphins, four species of seabirds
(Audouin’s gull, Yellowlegged gull, Yelkouan shearwater and Cory’s
shearwater), and baitballs occurring at the surface, indicating the
presence of potential prey items. We also analysed their occurrence in
relation to topography (depth, slope and distance from the shore) and
seabed types. Kriging analysis identified areas with simultaneous presence
of several marine top predators. Dolphin distribution appeared to be linked
to gentle slope (6–10 m) and muddy seabed, possibly associated with prey
distribution, whereas the four seabird species were more frequent in areas
with a water depth of 100–150 m, gentle slope and muddy seabed, apart from
Audouin’s gull, which preferred a depth of 10–20 m. Baitball distribution
was linked to depth (20–40 m), gentle slope (6–10 m) and muddy seabed. The
overlapping presence of bottlenose dolphins, seabirds and baitballs allowed
the identification of foraging areas, presumably representing biodiversity
and productivity hotspots, located in waters of 50–100 m depth at the
mouths of two rivers. This approach provides a promising tool for
identifying highly productive coastal areas, and should also be recommended
for wider-scale surveys.

For a PDF please email to: cafaro.valentina at gmail.com or
darioangeletti at unitus.it

Best wishes.

Valentina Cafaro
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