[MARMAM] New publication on modelling disturbance impacts on porpoises

Cara Gallagher carag16 at gmail.com
Tue Feb 9 02:36:17 PST 2021

Dear MARMAM community,

On behalf of my co-authors, I am happy to share our recent publication in
the American Naturalist titled:
“Movement and Seasonal Energetics Mediate Vulnerability to Disturbance in
Marine Mammal Populations”.

Cara A. Gallagher, Volker Grimm, Line A. Kyhn, Carl Chr. Kinze, and Jacob

In marine environments, noise from human activities is increasing
dramatically, causing animals to alter their behavior and forage less
efficiently. These alterations incur energetic costs that can result in
reproductive failure and death and may ultimately influence population
viability, yet the link between population dynamics and individual
energetics is poorly understood. We present an energy budget model for
simulating effects of acoustic disturbance on populations. It accounts for
environmental variability and individual state, while incorporating
realistic animal movements. Using harbor porpoises (Phocoena phocoena) as a
case study, we evaluated population consequences of disturbance from
seismic surveys and investigated underlying drivers of vulnerability. The
framework reproduced empirical estimates of population structure and
seasonal variations in energetics. The largest effects predicted for
seismic surveys were in late summer and fall and were unrelated to local
abundance, but instead were related to lactation costs, water temperature,
and body fat. Our results demonstrate that consideration of temporal
variation in individual energetics and their link to costs associated with
disturbances is imperative when predicting disturbance impacts. These
mechanisms are general to animal species, and the framework presented here
can be used for gaining new insights into the spatiotemporal variability of
animal movements and energetics that control population dynamics.

The article is freely available at: https://doi.org/10.1086/712798
Please feel free to contact me if with any questions.

Kind regards,

Cara Gallagher
Postdoctoral researcher
Department of Plant Ecology and Conservation Biology
University of Potsdam
Potsdam, Germany
Gallagher at uni-potsdam.de
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