[MARMAM] New publication: Influence of seasonality on cetacean diversity, abundance, distribution and habitat use in the western Mediterranean Sea: implications for conservation

Antonella Arcangeli antonella.arcangeli at isprambiente.it
Thu Apr 27 02:43:29 PDT 2017

Dear all,

with my coauthors we are pleased to share with you another little piece of
information in the puzzle of knowledge we are trying to build together.

Arcangeli A, Campana I, Bologna MA. (2017). Influence of seasonality on
cetacean diversity, abundance, distribution and habitat use in the western
Mediterranean Sea: Implications for conservation. Aquatic Conserv: Mar
Freshw Ecosyst.

Cetaceans are key biological indicators of the status of marine waters and
are protected under an extensive legislative framework. Research about these
highly dynamic species is challenging, so seasonal cycles and patterns of
distribution, especially in high sea areas, are still poorly understood.
This study contributes to improving knowledge about cetacean occurrence in
largely unexplored areas of medium‐latitudes in the western Mediterranean
Sea. Systematic surveys were conducted along a trans‐regional transect over
3 years (October 2012 to September 2015) allowing consistent data collection
over almost 60 000 km of effort through all seasons. Seasonal cetacean
diversity was investigated using a25km2 grid cell as a statistical unit to
explore patterns of abundance, distribution, and habitat use in three marine
sectors (Sardinian-Balearic, Bonifacio Strait, Tyrrhenian). All cetacean
species regularly present in the Mediterranean basin were detected, with
highest occurrence in fin whale and striped dolphin, followed by bottlenose
dolphin and sperm whale. The Sardinian-Balearic sector generally showed
higher species richness and diversity than the Tyrrhenian, where seasonal
variations were more pronounced. The study suggested seasonal movements,
especially for fin whale and striped dolphin, in the Sardinian-Balearic
sector with peaks of occurrence during spring/summer and lower numbers
during winter/autumn, and also delivered interesting insights to rarer
pelagic species. The study identified areas/seasons in which the combined
effect of high species diversity, abundance, significance of hot spots and
presence of juveniles require increasing conservation effort. Results
underline the important contribution of continuous monitoring in high sea
areas to the implementation of adaptive protection measures.

The MS is available at  <https://doi.org/10.1002/aqc.2758>
https://doi.org/10.1002/aqc.2758 or by emailing me at
antonella.arcangeli at isprambiente.it




Antonella Arcangeli PhD

ISPRA Dep. for Nature Conservation

Via Brancati 60 00144 Rome Italy

antonella.arcangeli at isprambiente.it

ph. +39.06.50074470

mob. +39.349.3272200


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