[MARMAM] New publication on winter feeding and wintering habitats of North Atlantic blue, fin and sei whales revealed by stable isotopes

Mónica Silva monica.silva.imar at gmail.com
Wed Aug 14 03:36:54 PDT 2019


Dear Colleagues,

 

We are pleased to announce the publication of the following paper in Royal
Society Open Science:

 

Monica A. Silva, Asuncion Borrell, Rui Prieto, Pauline Gauffier, Martine
Berube, Per J Palsbol, and Ana Colaco. 2019. Stable isotopes reveal winter
feeding in different habitats in blue, fin and sei whales migrating through
the Azores. 6. R. Soc. open sci. http://doi.org/10.1098/rsos.181800

 

Abstract

 

Knowing the migratory movements and behaviour of baleen whales is
fundamental to understanding their ecology. We compared ¦Ä15N and ¦Ä13C
values in the skin of blue (Balaenoptera musculus), fin (Balaenoptera
physalus) and sei (Balaenoptera borealis) whales sighted in the Azores in
spring with the values of potential prey from different regions within the
North Atlantic using Bayesian mixing models to investigate their trophic
ecology and migration patterns. Fin whale ¦Ä15N values were higher than
those recorded in blue and sei whales, reflecting feeding at higher trophic
levels. Whales' skin ¦Ä15N and ¦Ä13C values did not reflect prey from
high-latitude summer foraging grounds; instead mixing models identified
tropical or subtropical regions as the most likely feeding areas for all
species during winter and spring. Yet, differences in ¦Ä13C values among
whale species suggest use of different regions within this range. Blue and
sei whales primarily used resources from the Northwest African upwelling and
pelagic tropical/subtropical regions, while fin whales fed off Iberia.
However, determining feeding habitats from stable isotope values remains
difficult. In conclusion, winter feeding appears common among North Atlantic
blue, fin and sei whales, and may play a crucial role in determining their
winter distribution. A better understanding of winter feeding behaviour is
therefore fundamental for the effective conservation of these species.

 

You can download the paper here:
https://royalsocietypublishing.org/doi/10.1098/rsos.181800 or email me
monica.silva.imar at gmail.com <mailto:monica.silva.imar at gmail.com>  for a PDF.

 

Best regards,

M¨®nica

 

M¨®nica Almeida e Silva

(Marine Biologist, PhD)

-----------------------------------------------------

MARE ¨C Marine and Environmental Sciences Centre

IMAR - Institute of Marine Research

Rua Frederico Machado, 4

9901-862 Horta Portugal

Phone: (+351) 292200400

Email:  <mailto:masilva at mare-centre.pt> masilva at mare-centre.pt;
<mailto:monica.silva.imar at gmail.com> monica.silva.imar at gmail.com

 <http://whales.scienceontheweb.net> http://whales.scienceontheweb.net

-----------------------------------------------------

Guest Investigator 

WHOI ¨C Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

Woods Hole, MA 02543, USA

 

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