[MARMAM] New publication: Inter-individual differences in contamination profiles as a tracer of social group association in stranded sperm whales

van Neer, Abbo Abbo.van.Neer at tiho-hannover.de
Thu Jul 19 07:21:12 PDT 2018

Dear MARMAM community,
on behalf of our multi-national team, we would like to announce the publication of our new paper on the use of contaminant profiles as an indicator for social group association of young male sperm whales stranded in 2016 in the North Sea.

Schnitzler, J. G., Pinzone, M., Autenrieth, M., van Neer, A., IJsseldijk, L. L., Barber, J. L., Deaville, R., Jepson, P., Brownlow, A., Schaffeld, T., Thomé, J.-P., Tiedemann, R., Das, K., & Siebert, U. (2018)
Inter-individual differences in contamination profiles as tracer of social group association in stranded sperm whales. Scientific Reports, 8(1), 10958. doi:10.1038/s41598-018-29186-z
Ecological and physiological factors lead to different contamination patterns in individual marine mammals. The objective of the present study was to assess whether variations in contamination profiles are indicative of social structures of young male sperm whales as they might reflect a variation in feeding preferences and/or in utilized feeding grounds. We used a total of 61 variables associated with organic compounds and trace element concentrations measured in muscle, liver, kidney and blubber gained from 24 sperm whales that stranded in the North Sea in January and February 2016. Combining contaminant and genetic data, there is evidence for at least two cohorts with different origin among these stranded sperm whales; one from the Canary Island region and one from the northern part of the Atlantic. While genetic data unravel relatedness and kinship, contamination data integrate over areas, where animals occured during their lifetime. Especially in long-lived animals with a large migratory potential, as sperm whales, contamination data may carry highly relevant information about aggregation through time and space.

Follow the link below for a copy of this paper:

All the best on behalf of all authors

Abbo van Neer


Abbo van Neer
University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover, Foundation
Institute for Terrestrial and Aquatic Wildlife Research (ITAW)
Werftstr. 6
25761 Büsum

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Fax: +49  5 11 - 8 56 - 81 81
abbo.van.neer at tiho-hannover.de<mailto:abbo.van.neer at tiho-hannover.de>

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