[MARMAM] New paper on Kerguelan Plateau cetaceans (and birds) in relation to oceanographic features in Polar Biology

Dr. Victoria Todd vt at osc.co.uk
Mon Dec 6 00:08:26 PST 2021


Dear marmam list subscribers,

Drs. Victoria Todd & Laura Williamson at Ocean Science Consulting are pleased to announce publication of our latest paper: Todd, V.L.G., and Williamson, L.D. (2021): Cetacean distribution in relation to oceanographic features at the Kerguelen Plateau. Polar Biology. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00300-021-02977-3


Abstract
The Kerguelen Plateau in the south-eastern Indian Ocean is one of the most isolated and understudied regions on earth. As
part of the Kerguelen Plateau Drifts project, Marine Mammal Observer (MMO) data were collected during a seismic survey
in the austral summer (January-February 2020). Relationships between observation effort, cetacean sightings, seismic operations,
and oceanographic variables-including bathymetry (depth and slope), nutrient concentrations, and indices of primary
productivity-were investigated using Generalized Additive Models (GAMs). In total, 354 h and 45 min of observation effort
resulted in 191 cetaceans (178 adults and at least 13 juveniles) of nine species observed on 48 occasions, over 14 days along
the transect line. Marine mammal sightings occurred in water depths of 624-4699 m, with a hotspot of sightings recorded
along the northern flank of the Kerguelen Plateau, in proximity to shelf edges. There was one sighting of a mixed pod of
Kerguelen Commerson's dolphins (Cephalorhynchus commersonii kerguelenensis) and dusky dolphins (Lagenorhynchus
obscurus), which to the best of our knowledge, is the first confirmed sighting of dusky dolphins in the Kerguelen Islands. Of
the nine cetacean species observed, no niche separation was apparent, and all species were observed throughout the survey
area. Dissolved oxygen and chlorophyll-a were the most significant predictors of cetacean occurrence. Systematic MMO data
combined with synoptic satellite-derived/empirical oceanographic metadata have great potential to facilitate understanding
of behaviour, geographical range, and population-status monitoring of cetaceans. This is especially important for cetacean
stock assessment and minimising potential acoustic disturbance in Antarctic ecosystems.

Kind regards,
--
Dr. Victoria Todd
Managing Director
Ocean Science Consulting Limited (OSC)
Spott Road, Dunbar, East Lothian, EH42 1RR, Scotland, UK
T: +44 (0)1368 865 722
W: www.osc.co.uk<http://www.osc.co.uk/>

Check out my latest papers on:
Cetaceans & oceanography: https://doi.org/10.1007/s00300-021-02977-3
Ecosystem modelling: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envsoft.2021.105098
Acoustic Deterrent Devices: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.marpolbul.2021.112171
ROVs: https://doi.org/10.1093/icesjms/fsaa245
Underwater-noise: https://asa.scitation.org/doi/abs/10.1121/10.0002958

MMO or PAM requirement?
We wrote the book available on Amazon:
www.marinemammalobserverhandbook.com<http://www.marinemammalobserverhandbook.com/>

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