[MARMAM] New publication: Biogeography of top predators – seabirds and cetaceans – along four latitudinal transects in the Atlantic Ocean

Dominik Nachtsheim d.nachtsheim at outlook.de
Tue May 2 02:51:08 PDT 2017

Dear MARMAM readers,

my co-authors and I are very pleased to announce the following publication, currently in press in the journal Deep-Sea Research II - Topical Studies in Oceanography. This paper is part of the Special Issue "Abundance, distribution and habitats of Atlantic and Mediterranean marine megafauna", which will appear soon.

Jungblut, S., Nachtsheim, D. A., Boos, K., & Joiris, C. R. (2017). Biogeography of top predators – seabirds and cetaceans – along four latitudinal transects in the Atlantic Ocean. Deep Sea Research Part II: Topical Studies in Oceanography.


The distribution, abundance, and species assemblage of top predators - seabirds and cetaceans - can be correlated to water masses as defined by hydrological parameters. In comparison to other oceans, information about the structuring effects of water masses on top predators in the Atlantic Ocean is limited. The present study aims 1) to provide baseline distributional data of top predators for future comparisons, for instance in the course of climate change, and 2) to test how water masses and seasons affect distributional patterns of seabirds and cetaceans in the temperate and tropical Atlantic. During four trans-equatorial expeditions of the RV Polarstern between 2011 and 2014, at-sea observation data of seabirds, cetaceans and other megafauna were collected. Counts of top predators were generally low in the surveyed regions. Statistical analyses for the eight most abundant seabird species and the pooled number of cetaceans revealed water masses and seasons to account for differences in counts and thus also distribution. In most cases, borders between water masses were not very distinct due to gradual changes in surface water properties. Thus, top predator counts were correlated to water masses but, in contrast to polar waters, not strongly linked to borders between water masses. Additional factors, e.g. distance to locally productive areas (upwelling), competition effects, and seabird associations to prey-accumulating subsurface predators may be similarly important in shaping distributional patterns of top predators in the tropical and temperate Atlantic, but could not be specifically tested for here.

The full text can be accessed via the following link: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.dsr2.2017.04.005

All count data of seabirds, cetaceans and other marine megafauna as well as related metadata were made publicly available via the data library PANGAEA: https://doi.pangaea.de/10.1594/PANGAEA.868992

For any inquiries or requests do not hesitate to contact me at: d.nachtsheim at outlook.de OR dominik.nachtsheim at tiho-hannover.de !


Dominik Nachtsheim & co-authors


Dominik A. Nachtsheim, M.Sc.
University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover, Foundation
Institute for Terrestrial and Aquatic Wildlife Research (ITAW)
Werftstr. 6
25761 Büsum

Dominik.Nachtsheim at tiho-hannover.de
Tel:  +49 511 856-8171
Fax: +49 511 856-8181

ResearchGate: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Dominik_Nachtsheim<https://owa.tiho-hannover.de/owa/redir.aspx?C=GPOGkPGij1O6saRP_8UH09gcR0CMvY91de7ZCn5QWCpbRsGUP5HUCA..&URL=https%3a%2f%2fwww.researchgate.net%2fprofile%2fDominik_Nachtsheim>

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