[MARMAM] New publication: influence of environmental cycles on the occurrence of dolphins (Oihane Fernandez-Betelu)

Fernandez, Oihane oihane.fdez at abdn.ac.uk
Wed Feb 27 02:33:13 PST 2019

Dear MARMAM colleagues,

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

Fernandez-Betelu, O., Graham, I. M., Cornulier, T., & Thompson, P. M. (2019). Fine scale spatial variability in the influence of environmental cycles on the occurrence of dolphins at coastal sites. Scientific Reports, 9(1), 2548, doi: 10.1038/s41598-019-38900-4


Environmental cycles often influence the presence of animals, creating patterns at different temporal scales, which may mean that their effects overlap and/or interact. Interactions between diel and seasonal cycles have been reported to influence fish behaviour but little is known about such interactions in marine top predators. Here, we studied the combined effect of seasonal, tidal and diel cycles on the occurrence of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) within a Marine Protected Area in Scotland. Our analyses were based on echolocation detections from passive acoustic devices (CPODs) deployed at three coastal sites between 2010 and 2016. We described patterns of dolphins' occurrence using circular statistics and then used generalised additive mixed models to explore the relative importance of each cycle and any interactions between them. We found site-specific cyclical patterns of presence that remained constant across years. There was a highly significant interaction between seasonal and diel cycles at two sites around deep channels, where occurrence was diurnal in summer but became nocturnal in autumn. The study demonstrates the highly plastic behaviour of bottlenose dolphins and shows a previously unreported behaviour that has management implications for this and other marine protected areas.

The article is open access and can be downloaded from: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-019-38900-4

If you have additional questions, please send an email to: oihane.fdez at abdn.ac.uk<mailto:oihane.fdez at abdn.ac.uk>

Kind regards,

Oihane Fernandez Betelu and co-authors


Oihane Fernández Betelu

PhD candidate

Lighthouse Field Station
University of Aberdeen
George Street
Ross-shire IV11 8YL
Tel: 01381 600548

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Oihane Fernández

MPhil Student
Lighthouse Field Station,
Institute of Biological & Environmental Sciences,
University of Aberdeen,
Cromarty IV11 8YL.
Tel: 01381600548

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The University of Aberdeen is a charity registered in Scotland, No SC013683.
Tha Oilthigh Obar Dheathain na charthannas clàraichte ann an Alba, Àir. SC013683.
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