[MARMAM] New publication: Acceleration as an index of energy expenditure in wild fur seals
Tiphaine Jeanniard du Dot
dudot at zoology.ubc.ca
Sun Nov 6 19:43:18 PST 2016
I am pleased to announce the publication of a new paper in Functional
Ecology entitled : 'Accelerometers can measure total and
activity-specific energy expenditures in free-ranging marine mammals
only if linked to time-activity budgets'.
1. Energy expenditure is an important component of foraging ecology, but
is extremely difficult to estimate in free-ranging animals and depends
on how animals partition their time
between different activities during foraging. Acceleration data have
emerged as a new way to determine energy expenditure at a fine scale but
this needs to be tested and validated in wild animals.
2. This study investigated whether vectorial dynamic body acceleration
(VeDBA) could accurately predict the energy expended by marine predators
during a full foraging trip. We also
aimed to determine whether the accuracy of predictions of energy
expenditure derived from acceleration increased when partitioned by
different types of at-sea activities (i.e. diving, transiting,
resting and surface activities).
3. To do so, we equipped 20 lactating northern (/Callorhinus ursinus/)
and 20 lactating Antarctic fur seals (/Arctocephalus gazella/) with GPS,
time-depth recorders and tri-axial accelerometers
and obtained estimates of field metabolic rates using the doubly
labelled water (DLW) method. VeDBA was derived from tri-axial
acceleration, and at-sea activities (diving, transiting,
resting and surface activities) were determined using dive depth,
tri-axial acceleration and travelling speed.
4. We found that VeDBA did not accurately predict the total energy
expended by fur seals during their full foraging trips (R2 = 036).
However, the accuracy of VeDBA as a predictor
of total energy expenditure increased significantly when foraging trips
were partitioned by activity and when activity-specific VeDBA was paired
with time-activity budgets (R2 = 070).
Activity-specific VeDBA also accurately predicted the energy
expenditures of each activity independent of each other (R2 > 085).
5. Our study confirms that acceleration is a promising way to estimate
energy expenditures of free-ranging marine mammals at a fine scale never
attained before. However, it shows that it
needs to be based on the time-activity budgets that make up foraging
trips rather than being derived as a single measure of VeDBA applied to
entire foraging trips. Our activity-based
method provides a cost-effective means to accurately calculate energy
expenditures of fur seals using acceleration and time-activity budgets,
that can be transfered to studies on other species.
This article is available at:
Tiphaine Jeanniard du Dot, PhD
Tiphaine Jeanniard-du-Dot, PhD
Marine Mammal Research Unit
2202 Main Mall, AERL bldg
University of British Columbia
Vancouver, BC, V6T1Z4, CANADA
Tel:+1-604-822-9150 / cell:+1-604-724-4230
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