[MARMAM] New publication: Assessment of social mixing and spatial overlap as a pathway for disease transmission in a northeast Florida estuarine dolphin community

Kristy Brightwell kkbrightwell at gmail.com
Wed Sep 14 09:27:58 PDT 2022


Hello,



My coauthors and I are pleased to share our new publication. Our article
“Assessment of social mixing and spatial overlap as a pathway for disease
transmission in a northeast Florida estuarine dolphin community” has been
published in Mammalian Biology as a contribution to the special issue on
“Individual Identification and Photographic Techniques in Mammalian
Ecological and Behavioural Research – Part 2: Field Studies and
Applications” — Editors: Leszek Karczmarski, Stephen C.Y. Chan, Scott Y.S.
Chui, and Elissa Z. Cameron.

Szott, E.A., Brightwell, K. & Gibson, Q. Assessment of social mixing and
spatial overlap as a pathway for disease transmission in a northeast
Florida estuarine dolphin community. *Mamm Biol* (2022).
https://doi.org/10.1007/s42991-022-00282-y

Abstract

Common bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) in estuarine systems are
often subjected to natural and anthropogenic risks, which may impact their
health and behaviors. Effective management for this species should
incorporate continual, updated information on behavioral patterns of the
individuals within populations. Currently, the Jacksonville Estuarine
System stock assessment report, which includes dolphins in the St. Johns
River (SJR) in northeast Florida, is based on data from the 1990s. Since
then, dolphins’ use of the SJR has shifted, and the community has been
impacted by two unusual mortality events (UME). This study analyzed site
fidelity, space use and overlap, and social mixing with respect to the
epizootic 2013–2015 UME, whose infectious agent was cetacean morbillivirus
(CeMV). Examination of residency status determined that most dolphins
sighted in the river were year-round residents (x̄=45%, SD = 3.20). Space
use and overlap of core areas occurred among residency categories but
varied between cold and warm seasons and across time periods. There were
key, highly connected individuals in the social network, which may have
influenced disease transmission during the UME. Individuals infected by
CeMV that stranded during the UME shared overlapping core areas with each
other and with individuals from different residency categories. Altogether,
this information on site fidelity, spatial overlap, and social mixing will
help improve management plans for SJR dolphins, lead to better response
efforts to future unusual mortality events, and increase the understanding
of disease transmission in social species.

You can access a view-only version of the article using the following link:
https://rdcu.be/cVeFR

Please contact the corresponding author, Emily Szott (es.unf.3 at gmail.com)
with any questions.



Best,

Kristy Brightwell

UNF Dolphin Research Program
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