[MARMAM] New publication: How vulnerable are cetaceans to climate change? Developing and testing a new index

Andreia Gonçalves Sousa agsousa at fc.ul.pt
Tue Nov 13 04:31:35 PST 2018

Dear colleagues,

We are pleased to announce the publication of the following article:

Sousa, A., Alves, F., Dinis, A., Bentz, J., Cruz, M. J., & Nunes, J. P.
(2019). How vulnerable are cetaceans to climate change? Developing and
testing a new index. Ecological Indicators, 98, 9-18.

Climate change is altering chemical, physical and biological processes in
the marine environment. Observed impacts driven by climate have been
recorded and include changes in the geographical distribution, timing of
seasonal migrations, breeding biology and behaviour of species. A number of
qualitative and quantitative methodologies have been developed over the
years to assess the vulnerability of animals to climate change. However,
for marine species, the development and application of indices is recent,
especially for large vertebrates such as marine mammals. In this context,
the present study develops a trait-based climate change vulnerability index
and applies it to seven cetacean species in the Madeira archipelago
(Northeast Atlantic). The development of the index included the selection
of sensitivity and exposure factors, the definition of each factor’s score
range, and the computation of results. It showed that the sperm whale
macrocephalus*), the fin whale (*Balaenoptera physalus*), the Atlantic
population of bottlenose dolphins (*Tursiops truncatus*) and the Bryde’s
whale (*Balaenoptera brydei*) were the most vulnerable species. The
short-beaked common dolphin (*Delphinus delphis*), the island-associated
bottlenose dolphins and the Atlantic spotted dolphin (*Stenella frontalis*)
showed the lowest vulnerability to climate change. The outputs are
consistent with previously proposed effects on whales and dolphins,
considering their ecological similarities and exposure to environmental
factors. This study shows that the developed index contributes to
prioritize vulnerable species to climate change and to identify knowledge
gaps in species ecological traits. The index results can contribute to
inform policy makers in the definition of measures for species conservation.

You can download the publication for free until Dec. 17:

Best regards,
Andreia Sousa


*Climate Change Impacts Adaptation and Modelling* *(CCIAM
*Centre for Ecology Evolution and Environmental Changes*
*(CE3C <http://ce3c.fc.ul.pt/>)Associação para a Investigação e
Desenvolvimento de Ciências* *(FC.ID <http://www.fciencias-id.pt/>)*

Faculty of Sciences, University of Lisbon, Portugal Phone: +351 217 500
000, line 21403

Skype ID: andreiagsousa
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