[MARMAM] New publication: sensory ecology in conservation biology

Jennifer Tennessen jennifer.tennessen at gmail.com
Mon Mar 30 12:38:04 PDT 2020

Dear All,

My co-authors and I are pleased to announce the publication of our paper
entitled "Why conservation biology can benefit from sensory ecology", in
Nature Ecology and Evolution.

Dominoni, D. M., Halfwerk, W., Baird, E., Buxton, R. T., Fernández-Juricic,
E., Fristrup, K. M., McKenna, M. F., Mennitt, D. J., Perkin, E. K.,
Seymoure, B. M., Stoner, D. C., Tennessen, J. B., Toth, C. A., Tyrrell, L.
P., Wilson, A., Francis, C. D., Carter, N. H. & Barber, J. R. (2020). Why
conservation biology can benefit from sensory ecology. *Nature Ecology &
Evolution*, 1-10.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41559-020-1135-4

Global expansion of human activities is associated with the introduction of
novel stimuli, such as anthropogenic noise, artificial lights and chemical
agents. Progress in documenting the ecological effects of sensory
pollutants is weakened by sparse knowledge of the mechanisms underlying
these effects. This severely limits our capacity to devise mitigation
measures. Here, we integrate knowledge of animal sensory ecology,
physiology and life history to articulate three perceptual
mechanisms—masking, distracting and misleading—that clearly explain how and
why anthropogenic sensory pollutants impact organisms. We then link these
three mechanisms to ecological consequences and discuss their implications
for conservation. We argue that this framework can reveal the presence of
‘sensory danger zones’, hotspots of conservation concern where sensory
pollutants overlap in space and time with an organism’s activity, and
foster development of strategic interventions to mitigate the impact of
sensory pollutants. Future research that applies this framework will
provide critical insight to preserve the natural sensory world.

Best wishes,
Jennifer Tennessen

*Jennifer B. Tennessen, Ph.D.*
Postdoctoral Scientist, contractor with Lynker, LLC
Marine Mammal & Seabird Ecology Team, Conservation Biology Division
NOAA/NMFS Northwest Fisheries Science Center
2725 Montlake Blvd East
Seattle, WA 98112
Phone: (206) 860-3473


Research Associate
Department of Biology
Western Washington University
Bellingham, WA, 98225
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