[MARMAM] New publication: AUFS foraging consistency

Cassie Speakman cnspe1 at gmail.com
Sat Mar 13 17:36:37 PST 2021

Dear colleagues,

My co-authors and I are pleased to announce the Open Access publication of
the following article:

Intertrip consistency in hunting behavior improves foraging success and
efficiency in a marine top predator. Cassie N. Speakman, Sebastian T.
Lloyd, Elodie C. M. Camprasse, Andrew J. Hoskins,  Mark A. Hindell, Daniel
P. Costa, and John P. Y. Arnould. Ecology and Evolution, 2021.

Abstract: Substantial variation in foraging strategies can exist within
populations, even those typically regarded as generalists. Specializations
arise from the consistent exploitation of a narrow behavioral, spatial or
dietary niche over time, which may reduce intraspecific competition and
influence adaptability to environmental change. However, few studies have
investigated whether behavioral consistency confers benefits at the
individual and/or population level. While still recovering from commercial
sealing overexploitation, Australian fur seals (AUFS; *Arctocephalus
pusillus doriferus*) represent the largest marine predator biomass in
south‐eastern Australia. During lactation, female AUFS adopt a
central‐place foraging strategy and are, thus, vulnerable to changes in
prey availability. The present study investigated the population‐level
repeatability and individual consistency in foraging behavior of 34
lactating female AUFS at a south‐east Australian breeding colony between
2006 and 2019. Additionally, the influence of individual‐level behavioral
consistency on indices of foraging success and efficiency during benthic
diving was determined. Low to moderate population‐level repeatability was
observed across foraging behaviors, with the greatest repeatability in the
mean bearing and modal dive depth. Individual‐level consistency was
greatest for the proportion of benthic diving, total distance travelled,
and trip duration. Indices of benthic foraging success and efficiency were
positively influenced by consistency in the proportion of benthic diving,
trip duration and dive rate but not influenced by consistency in bearing to
most distal point, dive depth or foraging site fidelity. The results of the
present study provide evidence of the benefits of consistency for
individuals, which may have flow‐on effects at the population level.

Please don't hesitate to contact me (cspeakman at deakin.edu.au) if you have
any questions about the article.

Warm regards,

Cassie Speakman

*PhD candidate*
School of Life & Environmental Sciences, Deakin University, Burwood VIC
M: +61 477190437
E: cspeakman at deakin.edu / cnspe1 at gmail.com
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