[MARMAM] New Article: Foraging energetics and prey density requirements of western North Atlantic blue whales in the Estuary and Gulf of St. Lawrence, Canada

Marie Guilpin marieguilpin at gmail.com
Thu Aug 29 05:53:47 PDT 2019


My co-authors and I are pleased to announce the publication of our new
paper in Marine Ecology Progress Series:

Guilpin M, Lesage V, McQuinn I, Goldbogen JA, Potvin J, Jeanniard-du-Dot T,
Doniol-Valcroze T, Michaud R, Moisan M, Winkler G (2019) Foraging
energetics and prey density requirements of western North Atlantic blue
whales in the Estuary and Gulf of St. Lawrence, Canada. Mar Ecol Prog Ser
https://doi.org/10.3354/meps13043  <https://doi.org/10.3354/meps13043>

ABSTRACT: Foraging efficiency (FE) is determined by the ratio of energy
intake to energy expenditure and represents a metric for estimating the
capacity to store energy. Blue whales Balaenoptera musculus rely mostly on
stored energy reserves for reproduction. They feed almost exclusively on
krill, which vary in density and abundance both spatially and temporally.
We used 10 depth−velocity archival tags deployed on blue whales foraging in
the St. Lawrence Estuary, Canada, to identify feeding events. We modeled
krill densities required to equal or exceed energy expenditures and allow
energy storage. During the daytime, blue whales generally dove deeper and
performed fewer but longer feeding dives than at other times of the diel
cycle (10 vs. 28 feeding dives h−1); however, they performed more lunges
per dive during daytime (3 vs. 1 lunge dive−1), which resulted in a stable
feeding rate around the clock. Only 11.7 and 5.5% of the Arctic and
northern krill patches measured in situ contained densities allowing blue
whales to achieve neutral energetic balance (FE = 1); less than 1.5% of
patches allowed FE of Ñ3. While FE leading to successful reproduction and
adequate fitness is unknown, these results underscore the necessity for
blue whales to seek the highest densities within patches to reach neutral
balance or allow energy storage. These findings further our understanding
of blue whale foraging ecology and habitat suitability, and may help
predict the effects of climate and natural variability or of potential
fisheries on krill densities and blue whale condition.

Please feel free to e-mail me at marieguilpin at gmail.com for a pdf of the

Best regards,

Marie Guilpin

Marie Guilpin, PhD Candidate in Oceanography
Université du Québec à Rimouski - Institut des Sciences de la Mer de
300, allée des Ursulines Rimouski, Qc, G5L 3A1
marieguilpin at gmail.com
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