[MARMAM] New paper on bathypelagic prey for deep-diving marine mammals

Brandon Southall brandon.southall at sea-inc.net
Tue Feb 23 23:56:23 PST 2016


Along with my co-authors Kelly Benoit-Bird and Mark Moline, I would like 
to bring to your attention a paper recently published in Proceedings of 
the Royal Society of London B (Biological Sciences) entitled 
/Predator-guided sampling reveals biotic structure in the bathypelagic/. 
The full reference, online location, and full abstract are provided 
below. We are happy to provide .pdf copies of the article on request by 
email (Brandon.Southall at sea-inc.net or kbenoit at coas.oregonstate.edu) as 
a professional courtesy.

Brandon Southall


Benoit-Bird KJ, Southall BL, Moline MA. 2016. Predator-guided sampling 
reveals biotic structure in the bathypelagic. Proc. R. Soc. B 283: 
20152457. http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2015.2457


We targeted a habitat used differentially by deep-diving, air-breathing 
predators to empirically sample their prey's distributions off southern 
California. Fine-scale measurements of the spatial variability of 
potential prey animals from the surface to 1200 m were obtained using 
conventional fisheries echosounders aboard a surface ship and uniquely 
integrated into a deep-diving autonomous vehicle. Significant spatial 
variability in the size, composition, total biomass, and spatial 
organization of biota was evident over all spatial scales examined and 
was consistent with the general distribution patterns of foraging 
Cuvier's beaked whales (/Ziphius cavirostris/) observed in separate 
studies. Striking differences found in prey characteristics between 
regions at depth, however, did not reflect differences observed in 
surface layers. These differences in deep pelagic structure horizontally 
and relative to surface structure, absent clear physical differences, 
change our long-held views of this habitat as uniform. The revelation 
that animals deep in the water column are so spatially heterogeneous at 
scales from 10 m to 50 km critically affects our understanding of the 
processes driving predator–prey interactions, energy transfer, 
biogeochemical cycling, and other ecological processes in the deep sea, 
and the connections between the productive surface mixed layer and the 
deep-water column.


Brandon L. Southall, Ph.D.
President, Senior Scientist, SEA, Inc.
Research Associate, University of California, Santa Cruz
9099 Soquel Drive, Suite 8, Aptos, CA 95003, USA
831.332.8744 (mobile); 831.661.5177 (office); 831.661.5178 (fax)
Brandon.Southall at sea-inc.net; www.sea-inc.net

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