Marine mammals trace anthropogenic structures at sea
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On land, species from all trophic levels have adapted to fill vacant niches in environments heavily modified by humans (e.g. ). In the marine environment, ocean infrastructure has led to artificial reefs, resulting in localized increases in fish and crustacean density . Whether marine apex predators exhibit behavioural adaptations to utilise such a scattered potential resource is unknown. Using high resolution GPS data we show how infrastructure, including wind turbines and pipelines, shapes the movements of individuals from two seal species (Phoca vitulina and Halichoerus grypus). Using state-space models, we infer that these animals are using structures to forage. We highlight the ecological consequences of such behaviour, at a time of unprecedented developments in marine infrastructure.
Russell , D J F , Brasseur , S , Thompson , D , Hastie , G D , Janik , V M , Aarts , G , McClintock , B T , Matthiopoulos , J , Moss , S & McConnell , B J 2014 , ' Marine mammals trace anthropogenic structures at sea ' Current Biology , vol 24 , no. 14 , pp. R638-R639 . DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2014.06.033
© 2014. Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. This is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Current Biology. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Current Biology, 24, 14, July 2014 DOI 10.1016/j.cub.2014.06.033
D.J.F.R., G.H., V.M.J., S.E.W.M. and B.M. were funded by the UK Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) as part of their Offshore Energy Strategic Environmental Assessment programme. The tags and their deployment were funded by GSP, NUON, RWE, Eneco and Gemini, DECC, Natural Environment Research Council, Scottish Natural Heritage and Marine Scotland.
- University of St Andrews Research
- Biology Research
- Centre for Research into Ecological & Environmental Modelling (CREEM) Research
- Centre for Social Learning and Cognitive Evolution Research
- Institute of Behavioural and Neural Sciences Research
- NERC Sea Mammal Research Unit (SMRU) Research
- Scottish Oceans Institute Research
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