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Sample records for marine predators track

  1. Top marine predators track Lagrangian coherent structures

    PubMed Central

    Tew Kai, Emilie; Rossi, Vincent; Sudre, Joel; Weimerskirch, Henri; Lopez, Cristobal; Hernandez-Garcia, Emilio; Marsac, Francis; Garçon, Veronique

    2009-01-01

    Meso- and submesoscales (fronts, eddies, filaments) in surface ocean flow have a crucial influence on marine ecosystems. Their dynamics partly control the foraging behavior and the displacement of marine top predators (tuna, birds, turtles, and cetaceans). In this work we focus on the role of submesoscale structures in the Mozambique Channel in the distribution of a marine predator, the Great Frigatebird. Using a newly developed dynamic concept, the finite-size Lyapunov exponent (FSLE), we identified Lagrangian coherent structures (LCSs) present in the surface flow in the channel over a 2-month observation period (August and September 2003). By comparing seabird satellite positions with LCS locations, we demonstrate that frigatebirds track precisely these structures in the Mozambique Channel, providing the first evidence that a top predator is able to track these FSLE ridges to locate food patches. After comparing bird positions during long and short trips and different parts of these trips, we propose several hypotheses to understand how frigatebirds can follow these LCSs. The birds might use visual and/or olfactory cues and/or atmospheric current changes over the structures to move along these biologic corridors. The birds being often associated with tuna schools around foraging areas, a thorough comprehension of their foraging behavior and movement during the breeding season is crucial not only to seabird ecology but also to an appropriate ecosystemic approach to fisheries in the channel. PMID:19416811

  2. Top marine predators track Lagrangian coherent structures.

    PubMed

    Tew Kai, Emilie; Rossi, Vincent; Sudre, Joel; Weimerskirch, Henri; Lopez, Cristobal; Hernandez-Garcia, Emilio; Marsac, Francis; Garçon, Veronique

    2009-05-19

    Meso- and submesoscales (fronts, eddies, filaments) in surface ocean flow have a crucial influence on marine ecosystems. Their dynamics partly control the foraging behavior and the displacement of marine top predators (tuna, birds, turtles, and cetaceans). In this work we focus on the role of submesoscale structures in the Mozambique Channel in the distribution of a marine predator, the Great Frigatebird. Using a newly developed dynamic concept, the finite-size Lyapunov exponent (FSLE), we identified Lagrangian coherent structures (LCSs) present in the surface flow in the channel over a 2-month observation period (August and September 2003). By comparing seabird satellite positions with LCS locations, we demonstrate that frigatebirds track precisely these structures in the Mozambique Channel, providing the first evidence that a top predator is able to track these FSLE ridges to locate food patches. After comparing bird positions during long and short trips and different parts of these trips, we propose several hypotheses to understand how frigatebirds can follow these LCSs. The birds might use visual and/or olfactory cues and/or atmospheric current changes over the structures to move along these biologic corridors. The birds being often associated with tuna schools around foraging areas, a thorough comprehension of their foraging behavior and movement during the breeding season is crucial not only to seabird ecology but also to an appropriate ecosystemic approach to fisheries in the channel.

  3. Tracking apex marine predator movements in a dynamic ocean.

    PubMed

    Block, B A; Jonsen, I D; Jorgensen, S J; Winship, A J; Shaffer, S A; Bograd, S J; Hazen, E L; Foley, D G; Breed, G A; Harrison, A-L; Ganong, J E; Swithenbank, A; Castleton, M; Dewar, H; Mate, B R; Shillinger, G L; Schaefer, K M; Benson, S R; Weise, M J; Henry, R W; Costa, D P

    2011-06-22

    Pelagic marine predators face unprecedented challenges and uncertain futures. Overexploitation and climate variability impact the abundance and distribution of top predators in ocean ecosystems. Improved understanding of ecological patterns, evolutionary constraints and ecosystem function is critical for preventing extinctions, loss of biodiversity and disruption of ecosystem services. Recent advances in electronic tagging techniques have provided the capacity to observe the movements and long-distance migrations of animals in relation to ocean processes across a range of ecological scales. Tagging of Pacific Predators, a field programme of the Census of Marine Life, deployed 4,306 tags on 23 species in the North Pacific Ocean, resulting in a tracking data set of unprecedented scale and species diversity that covers 265,386 tracking days from 2000 to 2009. Here we report migration pathways, link ocean features to multispecies hotspots and illustrate niche partitioning within and among congener guilds. Our results indicate that the California Current large marine ecosystem and the North Pacific transition zone attract and retain a diverse assemblage of marine vertebrates. Within the California Current large marine ecosystem, several predator guilds seasonally undertake north-south migrations that may be driven by oceanic processes, species-specific thermal tolerances and shifts in prey distributions. We identify critical habitats across multinational boundaries and show that top predators exploit their environment in predictable ways, providing the foundation for spatial management of large marine ecosystems.

  4. Circumpolar dynamics of a marine top-predator track ocean warming rates.

    PubMed

    Descamps, S; Anker-Nilssen, T; Barrett, R T; Irons, D B; Merkel, F; Robertson, G J; Yoccoz, N G; Mallory, M L; Montevecchi, W A; Boertmann, D; Artukhin, Y; Christensen-Dalsgaard, S; Erikstad, K E; Gilchrist, H G; Labansen, A L; Lorentsen, S-H; Mosbech, A; Olsen, B; Petersen, A; Rail, J-F; Renner, H M; Strøm, H; Systad, G H; Wilhelm, S I; Zelenskaya, L

    2017-04-07

    Global warming is a non-linear process and temperature may increase in a stepwise manner. Periods of abrupt warming can trigger persistent changes in the state of ecosystems, also called regime shifts. The responses of organisms to abrupt warming and associated regime shifts can be unlike responses to periods of slow or moderate change. Understanding of non-linearity in the biological responses to climate warming is needed to assess the consequences of ongoing climate change. Here we demonstrate that the population dynamics of a long-lived, wide-ranging marine predator are associated with changes in the rate of ocean warming. Data from 556 colonies of black-legged kittiwakes Rissa tridactyla distributed throughout its breeding range revealed that an abrupt warming of sea-surface temperature in the 1990s coincided with steep kittiwake population decline. Periods of moderate warming in sea temperatures did not seem to affect kittiwake dynamics. The rapid warming observed in the 1990s may have driven large-scale, circumpolar marine ecosystem shifts that strongly affected kittiwakes through bottom-up effects. Our study sheds light on the non-linear response of a circumpolar seabird to large-scale changes in oceanographic conditions and indicates that marine top predators may be more sensitive to the rate of ocean warming rather than to warming itself. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

  5. Taking animal tracking to new depths: synthesizing horizontal--vertical movement relationships for four marine predators.

    PubMed

    Bestley, Sophie; Jonsen, Ian D; Hindell, Mark A; Harcourt, Robert G; Gales, Nicholas J

    2015-02-01

    In animal ecology, a question of key interest for aquatic species is how changes in movement behavior are related in the horizontal and vertical dimensions when individuals forage. Alternative theoretical models and inconsistent empirical findings mean that this question remains unresolved. Here we tested expectations by incorporating the vertical dimension (dive information) when predicting switching between movement states ("resident" or "directed") within a state-space model. We integrated telemetry-based tracking and diving data available for four seal species (southern elephant, Weddell, antarctic fur, and crabeater) in East Antarctica. Where possible, we included dive variables derived from the relationships between (1) dive duration and depth (as a measure of effort), and (2) dive duration and the postdive surface interval (as a physiological measure of cost). Our results varied within and across species, but there was a general tendency for the probability of switching into "resident" state to be positively associated with shorter dive durations (for a given depth) and longer postdive surface intervals (for a given dive duration). Our results add to a growing body of literature suggesting that simplistic interpretations of optimal foraging theory based only on horizontal movements do not directly translate into the vertical dimension in dynamic marine environments. Analyses that incorporate at least two dimensions can test more sophisticated models of foraging behavior.

  6. Cumulative human impacts on marine predators.

    PubMed

    Maxwell, Sara M; Hazen, Elliott L; Bograd, Steven J; Halpern, Benjamin S; Breed, Greg A; Nickel, Barry; Teutschel, Nicole M; Crowder, Larry B; Benson, Scott; Dutton, Peter H; Bailey, Helen; Kappes, Michelle A; Kuhn, Carey E; Weise, Michael J; Mate, Bruce; Shaffer, Scott A; Hassrick, Jason L; Henry, Robert W; Irvine, Ladd; McDonald, Birgitte I; Robinson, Patrick W; Block, Barbara A; Costa, Daniel P

    2013-01-01

    Stressors associated with human activities interact in complex ways to affect marine ecosystems, yet we lack spatially explicit assessments of cumulative impacts on ecologically and economically key components such as marine predators. Here we develop a metric of cumulative utilization and impact (CUI) on marine predators by combining electronic tracking data of eight protected predator species (n=685 individuals) in the California Current Ecosystem with data on 24 anthropogenic stressors. We show significant variation in CUI with some of the highest impacts within US National Marine Sanctuaries. High variation in underlying species and cumulative impact distributions means that neither alone is sufficient for effective spatial management. Instead, comprehensive management approaches accounting for both cumulative human impacts and trade-offs among multiple stressors must be applied in planning the use of marine resources.

  7. Quasi-planktonic behavior of foraging top marine predators.

    PubMed

    Della Penna, Alice; De Monte, Silvia; Kestenare, Elodie; Guinet, Christophe; d'Ovidio, Francesco

    2015-12-15

    Monitoring marine top predators is fundamental for assessing the health and functioning of open ocean ecosystems. Although recently tracking observations have substantially increased, factors determining the horizontal exploration of the ocean by marine predators are still largely unknown, especially at the scale of behavioral switches (1-100 km, days-weeks). It is commonly assumed that the influence of water movement can be neglected for animals capable of swimming faster than the current. Here, we challenge this assumption by combining the use of biologging (GPS and accelerometry), satellite altimetry and in-situ oceanographic data (ADCP and drifting buoys) to investigate the effect of the mesoscale ocean dynamics on a marine predator, the southern elephant seal. A Lagrangian approach reveals that trajectories of elephant seals are characterized by quasi-planktonic bouts where the animals are horizontally drifting. These bouts correspond to periods of increased foraging effort, indicating that in the quasi-planktonic conditions energy is allocated to diving and chasing, rather than in horizontal search of favourable grounds. These results suggest that mesoscale features like eddies and fronts may act as a focal points for trophic interactions not only by bottom-up modulation of nutrient injection, but also by directly entraining horizontal displacements of the upper trophic levels.

  8. Quasi-planktonic behavior of foraging top marine predators

    PubMed Central

    Della Penna, Alice; De Monte, Silvia; Kestenare, Elodie; Guinet, Christophe; d’Ovidio, Francesco

    2015-01-01

    Monitoring marine top predators is fundamental for assessing the health and functioning of open ocean ecosystems. Although recently tracking observations have substantially increased, factors determining the horizontal exploration of the ocean by marine predators are still largely unknown, especially at the scale of behavioral switches (1–100 km, days-weeks). It is commonly assumed that the influence of water movement can be neglected for animals capable of swimming faster than the current. Here, we challenge this assumption by combining the use of biologging (GPS and accelerometry), satellite altimetry and in-situ oceanographic data (ADCP and drifting buoys) to investigate the effect of the mesoscale ocean dynamics on a marine predator, the southern elephant seal. A Lagrangian approach reveals that trajectories of elephant seals are characterized by quasi-planktonic bouts where the animals are horizontally drifting. These bouts correspond to periods of increased foraging effort, indicating that in the quasi-planktonic conditions energy is allocated to diving and chasing, rather than in horizontal search of favourable grounds. These results suggest that mesoscale features like eddies and fronts may act as a focal points for trophic interactions not only by bottom-up modulation of nutrient injection, but also by directly entraining horizontal displacements of the upper trophic levels. PMID:26666350

  9. Quasi-planktonic behavior of foraging top marine predators

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Della Penna, Alice; de Monte, Silvia; Kestenare, Elodie; Guinet, Christophe; D'Ovidio, Francesco

    2015-12-01

    Monitoring marine top predators is fundamental for assessing the health and functioning of open ocean ecosystems. Although recently tracking observations have substantially increased, factors determining the horizontal exploration of the ocean by marine predators are still largely unknown, especially at the scale of behavioral switches (1-100 km, days-weeks). It is commonly assumed that the influence of water movement can be neglected for animals capable of swimming faster than the current. Here, we challenge this assumption by combining the use of biologging (GPS and accelerometry), satellite altimetry and in-situ oceanographic data (ADCP and drifting buoys) to investigate the effect of the mesoscale ocean dynamics on a marine predator, the southern elephant seal. A Lagrangian approach reveals that trajectories of elephant seals are characterized by quasi-planktonic bouts where the animals are horizontally drifting. These bouts correspond to periods of increased foraging effort, indicating that in the quasi-planktonic conditions energy is allocated to diving and chasing, rather than in horizontal search of favourable grounds. These results suggest that mesoscale features like eddies and fronts may act as a focal points for trophic interactions not only by bottom-up modulation of nutrient injection, but also by directly entraining horizontal displacements of the upper trophic levels.

  10. Scaling laws of marine predator search behaviour.

    PubMed

    Sims, David W; Southall, Emily J; Humphries, Nicolas E; Hays, Graeme C; Bradshaw, Corey J A; Pitchford, Jonathan W; James, Alex; Ahmed, Mohammed Z; Brierley, Andrew S; Hindell, Mark A; Morritt, David; Musyl, Michael K; Righton, David; Shepard, Emily L C; Wearmouth, Victoria J; Wilson, Rory P; Witt, Matthew J; Metcalfe, Julian D

    2008-02-28

    Many free-ranging predators have to make foraging decisions with little, if any, knowledge of present resource distribution and availability. The optimal search strategy they should use to maximize encounter rates with prey in heterogeneous natural environments remains a largely unresolved issue in ecology. Lévy walks are specialized random walks giving rise to fractal movement trajectories that may represent an optimal solution for searching complex landscapes. However, the adaptive significance of this putative strategy in response to natural prey distributions remains untested. Here we analyse over a million movement displacements recorded from animal-attached electronic tags to show that diverse marine predators-sharks, bony fishes, sea turtles and penguins-exhibit Lévy-walk-like behaviour close to a theoretical optimum. Prey density distributions also display Lévy-like fractal patterns, suggesting response movements by predators to prey distributions. Simulations show that predators have higher encounter rates when adopting Lévy-type foraging in natural-like prey fields compared with purely random landscapes. This is consistent with the hypothesis that observed search patterns are adapted to observed statistical patterns of the landscape. This may explain why Lévy-like behaviour seems to be widespread among diverse organisms, from microbes to humans, as a 'rule' that evolved in response to patchy resource distributions.

  11. Shoaling behaviour enhances risk of predation from multiple predator guilds in a marine fish.

    PubMed

    Ford, John R; Swearer, Stephen E

    2013-06-01

    Predicting the consequences of predator biodiversity loss on prey requires an understanding of multiple predator interactions. Predators are often assumed to have independent and additive effects on shared prey survival; however, multiple predator effects can be non-additive if predators foraging together reduce prey survival (risk enhancement) or increase prey survival through interference (risk reduction). In marine communities, juvenile reef fish experience very high mortality from two predator guilds with very different hunting modes and foraging domains-benthic and pelagic predator guilds. The few previous predator manipulation studies have found or assumed that mortality is independent and additive. We tested whether interacting predator guilds result in non-additive prey mortality and whether the detection of such effects change over time as prey are depleted. To do so, we examined the roles of benthic and pelagic predators on the survival of a juvenile shoaling zooplanktivorous temperate reef fish, Trachinops caudimaculatus, on artificial patch reefs over 2 months in Port Phillip Bay, Australia. We observed risk enhancement in the first 7 days, as shoaling behaviour placed prey between predator foraging domains with no effective refuge. At day 14 we observed additive mortality, and risk enhancement was no longer detectable. By days 28 and 62, pelagic predators were no longer significant sources of mortality and additivity was trivial. We hypothesize that declines in prey density led to reduced shoaling behaviour that brought prey more often into the domain of benthic predators, resulting in limited mortality from pelagic predators. Furthermore, pelagic predators may have spent less time patrolling reefs in response to declines in prey numbers. Our observation of the changing interaction between predators and prey has important implications for assessing the role of predation in regulating populations in complex communities.

  12. Prioritized phenotypic responses to combined predators in a marine snail.

    PubMed

    Bourdeau, Paul E

    2009-06-01

    Although many species face numerous predators in nature, the combined impact of multiple predators on the inducible defenses of prey has rarely been studied. Prey may respond with an intermediate phenotype that balances the risk from several sources or may simply respond to the most dangerous predator. I examined the separate and combined effects of the presence of shell-breaking (crabs, Cancer productus) and shell-entry (seastars, Pisaster ochraceus) predators fed conspecific snails on the defensive shell morphology and antipredator behavior of a marine snail (Nucella lamellosa). When exposed to each feeding predator separately, snails responded with a combination of morphological defenses that reflect the attack mode of the predator and a generalized behavioral response. Snails responded to feeding crabs by increasing refuge use and producing a thick, rotund shell. Snails responded to feeding seastars with increased refuge use but produced elongate shells with high spires that allowed for greater retraction of the soft tissue. Seastar-induced phenotypes reduced susceptibility to seastars relative to crab-induced phenotypes, but crab-induced phenotypes did not significantly reduce susceptibility to crabs, indicating an asymmetrical functional trade-off. When feeding predators were combined, snails produced a morphological phenotype similar to that expressed in the presence of the predator that imposed the highest mortality at the population level, suggesting that predator-induced morphology was prioritized according to predation risk. These results suggest that prioritizing conflicting defenses according to predator danger may be a common strategy for prey responding to combined predators, particularly in conjunction with generalized behavioral responses that reduce overall risk in multiple-predator environments.

  13. Prey Patch Patterns Predict Habitat Use by Top Marine Predators with Diverse Foraging Strategies

    PubMed Central

    Benoit-Bird, Kelly J.; Battaile, Brian C.; Heppell, Scott A.; Hoover, Brian; Irons, David; Jones, Nathan; Kuletz, Kathy J.; Nordstrom, Chad A.; Paredes, Rosana; Suryan, Robert M.; Waluk, Chad M.; Trites, Andrew W.

    2013-01-01

    Spatial coherence between predators and prey has rarely been observed in pelagic marine ecosystems. We used measures of the environment, prey abundance, prey quality, and prey distribution to explain the observed distributions of three co-occurring predator species breeding on islands in the southeastern Bering Sea: black-legged kittiwakes (Rissa tridactyla), thick-billed murres (Uria lomvia), and northern fur seals (Callorhinus ursinus). Predictions of statistical models were tested using movement patterns obtained from satellite-tracked individual animals. With the most commonly used measures to quantify prey distributions - areal biomass, density, and numerical abundance - we were unable to find a spatial relationship between predators and their prey. We instead found that habitat use by all three predators was predicted most strongly by prey patch characteristics such as depth and local density within spatial aggregations. Additional prey patch characteristics and physical habitat also contributed significantly to characterizing predator patterns. Our results indicate that the small-scale prey patch characteristics are critical to how predators perceive the quality of their food supply and the mechanisms they use to exploit it, regardless of time of day, sampling year, or source colony. The three focal predator species had different constraints and employed different foraging strategies – a shallow diver that makes trips of moderate distance (kittiwakes), a deep diver that makes trip of short distances (murres), and a deep diver that makes extensive trips (fur seals). However, all three were similarly linked by patchiness of prey rather than by the distribution of overall biomass. This supports the hypothesis that patchiness may be critical for understanding predator-prey relationships in pelagic marine systems more generally. PMID:23301063

  14. Predation rates, timing, and predator composition for scoters (Melanitta spp.) in marine habitats

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Anderson, E.M.; Esler, Daniel; Boyd, W.S.; Evenson, J.R.; Nysewander, D.R.; Ward, D.H.; Dickson, R.D.; Uher-Koch, B. D.; Vanstratt, C.S.; Hupp, J.W.

    2012-01-01

    Studies of declining populations of sea ducks have focused mainly on bottom-up processes with little emphasis on the role of predation. We identified 11 potential predators of White-winged Scoters (Melanitta fusca (L., 1758)) and Surf Scoters (Melanitta perspicillata (L., 1758)) in North American marine habitats. However, of 596 Scoters marked with VHF transmitters along the Pacific coast, mortalities were recovered in association with just two identifiable categories of predators: in southeast Alaska recoveries occurred mainly near mustelid feeding areas, while those in southern British Columbia and Washington occurred mainly near feeding areas of Bald Eagles (Haliaeetus leucocephalus (L., 1766)). Determining whether marked Scoters had been depredated versus scavenged was often not possible, but mortalities occurred more frequently during winter than during wing molt (13.1% versus 0.7% of both species combined, excluding Scoters that died within a postrelease adjustment period). In two sites heavily used by Scoters, diurnal observations revealed no predation attempts and low rates of predator disturbances that altered Scoter behavior (???0.22/h). These and other results suggest that predation by Bald Eagles occurs mainly at sites and times where densities of Scoters are low, while most predation by mustelids probably occurs when Scoters are energetically compromised.

  15. Predation rates, timing, and predator composition for Scoters (Melanitta spp.) in marine habitats

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Anderson, Eric J.; Esler, Daniel N.; Sean, Boyd W.; Evenson, Joseph; Nysewander, David R.; Ward, David H.; Dickson, Rian D.; Uher-Koch, Brian D.; Vanstratt, C.S.; Hupp, Jerry

    2012-01-01

    Studies of declining populations of sea ducks have focused mainly on bottom-up processes with little emphasis on the role of predation. We identified 11 potential predators of White-winged Scoters (Melanitta fusca (L., 1758)) and Surf Scoters (Melanitta perspicillata (L., 1758)) in North American marine habitats. However, of 596 Scoters marked with VHF transmitters along the Pacific coast, mortalities were recovered in association with just two identifiable categories of predators: in southeast Alaska recoveries occurred mainly near mustelid feeding areas, while those in southern British Columbia and Washington occurred mainly near feeding areas of Bald Eagles (Haliaeetus leucocephalus (L., 1766)). Determining whether marked Scoters had been depredated versus scavenged was often not possible, but mortalities occurred more frequently during winter than during wing molt (13.1% versus 0.7% of both species combined, excluding Scoters that died within a postrelease adjustment period). In two sites heavily used by Scoters, diurnal observations revealed no predation attempts and low rates of predator disturbances that altered Scoter behavior (≤ 0.22/h). These and other results suggest that predation by Bald Eagles occurs mainly at sites and times where densities of Scoters are low, while most predation by mustelids probably occurs when Scoters are energetically compromised.

  16. Cascading effects of predation risk determine how marine predators become terrestrial prey on an oceanic island.

    PubMed

    Thomsen, Sarah K; Green, David J

    2016-12-01

    Apex predators can suppress the foraging activity of mesopredators, which may then result in cascading benefits for the prey of those mesopredators. We studied the interactions between a top predator, the Barn Owl (Tyto alba), and their primary prey, an island endemic deer mouse (Peromyscus maniculatus elusus), which in turn consumes the eggs of seabirds nesting on Santa Barbara Island in California. Scripps's Murrelets (Synthliboramphus scrippsi), a threatened nocturnal seabird, arrive annually to breed on this island, and whose first egg is particularly vulnerable to predation by mice. We took advantage of naturally occurring extreme variations in the density of mice and owls on the island over 3 years and predicted that (1) mouse foraging would decrease with increasing predation risk from owls and moonlight and (2) these decreases in foraging would reduce predation on murrelet eggs. We measured the giving up densities of mice with experimental foraging stations and found that mice were sensitive to predation risk and foraged less when owls were more abundant and less during the full moon compared to the new moon. We also monitored the fates of 151 murrelet eggs, and found that murrelet egg predation declined as owl abundance increased, and was lower during the full moon compared to the new moon. Moreover, high owl abundance suppressed egg predation even when mice were extremely abundant. We conclude that there is a behaviorally mediated cascade such that owls on the island had a positive indirect effect on murrelet egg survival. Our study adds to the wider recognition of the strength of risk effects to structure food webs, as well as highlighting the complex ways that marine and terrestrial food webs can intersect. © 2016 by the Ecological Society of America.

  17. The Influence of Predator-prey Interactions on Climate-induced Range Shifts in Marine Communities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Selden, R. L.; Batt, R. D.; Morley, J. W.; Pinsky, M. L.

    2016-02-01

    Trawl surveys conducted over the last 40 years have provided evidence of widespread shifts in the distribution of marine species in the coastal United States. For many species, the shift in their distribution matched the shift in their preferred temperatures. However, some species, notably American lobster, Homarus americanus, shifted poleward substantially faster than would be predicted from climate alone, while others lagged significantly behind. We investigated the degree to which ecological interactions could alter climate-induced range shifts in marine communities, focusing specifically on American lobster and its key predators. Parallel analysis of the changes in distribution and abundance of lobster, cod, and black sea bass revealed that the increase in lobster abundance and northeastern shift in the center of its range occurred in conjunction with a decline in cod biomass in the northern part of its range. The contraction of the southern lobster range limit was tracked by the northward expansion of its southern predator, black sea bass. These results suggest that predator release in the Gulf of Maine in conjunction with predator invasion at the southern limit may have contributed to the accelerated response of lobster to ocean warming.

  18. Combining Methods to Describe Important Marine Habitats for Top Predators: Application to Identify Biological Hotspots in Tropical Waters

    PubMed Central

    Thiers, Laurie; Louzao, Maite; Ridoux, Vincent; Le Corre, Matthieu; Jaquemet, Sébastien; Weimerskirch, Henri

    2014-01-01

    In tropical waters resources are usually scarce and patchy, and predatory species generally show specific adaptations for foraging. Tropical seabirds often forage in association with sub-surface predators that create feeding opportunities by bringing prey close to the surface, and the birds often aggregate in large multispecific flocks. Here we hypothesize that frigatebirds, a tropical seabird adapted to foraging with low energetic costs, could be a good predictor of the distribution of their associated predatory species, including other seabirds (e.g. boobies, terns) and subsurface predators (e.g., dolphins, tunas). To test this hypothesis, we compared distribution patterns of marine predators in the Mozambique Channel based on a long-term dataset of both vessel- and aerial surveys, as well as tracking data of frigatebirds. By developing species distribution models (SDMs), we identified key marine areas for tropical predators in relation to contemporaneous oceanographic features to investigate multi-species spatial overlap areas and identify predator hotspots in the Mozambique Channel. SDMs reasonably matched observed patterns and both static (e.g. bathymetry) and dynamic (e.g. Chlorophyll a concentration and sea surface temperature) factors were important explaining predator distribution patterns. We found that the distribution of frigatebirds included the distributions of the associated species. The central part of the channel appeared to be the best habitat for the four groups of species considered in this study (frigatebirds, brown terns, boobies and sub-surface predators). PMID:25494047

  19. Human activities change marine ecosystems by altering predation risk.

    PubMed

    Madin, Elizabeth M P; Dill, Lawrence M; Ridlon, April D; Heithaus, Michael R; Warner, Robert R

    2016-01-01

    In ocean ecosystems, many of the changes in predation risk - both increases and decreases - are human-induced. These changes are occurring at scales ranging from global to local and across variable temporal scales. Indirect, risk-based effects of human activity are known to be important in structuring some terrestrial ecosystems, but these impacts have largely been neglected in oceans. Here, we synthesize existing literature and data to explore multiple lines of evidence that collectively suggest diverse human activities are changing marine ecosystems, including carbon storage capacity, in myriad ways by altering predation risk. We provide novel, compelling evidence that at least one key human activity, overfishing, can lead to distinct, cascading risk effects in natural ecosystems whose magnitude exceeds that of presumed lethal effects and may account for previously unexplained findings. We further discuss the conservation implications of human-caused indirect risk effects. Finally, we provide a predictive framework for when human alterations of risk in oceans should lead to cascading effects and outline a prospectus for future research. Given the speed and extent with which human activities are altering marine risk landscapes, it is crucial that conservation and management policy considers the indirect effects of these activities in order to increase the likelihood of success and avoid unfortunate surprises.

  20. Early Triassic marine biotic recovery: the predators' perspective.

    PubMed

    Scheyer, Torsten M; Romano, Carlo; Jenks, Jim; Bucher, Hugo

    2014-01-01

    Examining the geological past of our planet allows us to study periods of severe climatic and biological crises and recoveries, biotic and abiotic ecosystem fluctuations, and faunal and floral turnovers through time. Furthermore, the recovery dynamics of large predators provide a key for evaluation of the pattern and tempo of ecosystem recovery because predators are interpreted to react most sensitively to environmental turbulences. The end-Permian mass extinction was the most severe crisis experienced by life on Earth, and the common paradigm persists that the biotic recovery from the extinction event was unusually slow and occurred in a step-wise manner, lasting up to eight to nine million years well into the early Middle Triassic (Anisian) in the oceans, and even longer in the terrestrial realm. Here we survey the global distribution and size spectra of Early Triassic and Anisian marine predatory vertebrates (fishes, amphibians and reptiles) to elucidate the height of trophic pyramids in the aftermath of the end-Permian event. The survey of body size was done by compiling maximum standard lengths for the bony fishes and some cartilaginous fishes, and total size (estimates) for the tetrapods. The distribution and size spectra of the latter are difficult to assess because of preservation artifacts and are thus mostly discussed qualitatively. The data nevertheless demonstrate that no significant size increase of predators is observable from the Early Triassic to the Anisian, as would be expected from the prolonged and stepwise trophic recovery model. The data further indicate that marine ecosystems characterized by multiple trophic levels existed from the earliest Early Triassic onwards. However, a major change in the taxonomic composition of predatory guilds occurred less than two million years after the end-Permian extinction event, in which a transition from fish/amphibian to fish/reptile-dominated higher trophic levels within ecosystems became apparent.

  1. Early Triassic Marine Biotic Recovery: The Predators' Perspective

    PubMed Central

    Scheyer, Torsten M.; Romano, Carlo; Jenks, Jim; Bucher, Hugo

    2014-01-01

    Examining the geological past of our planet allows us to study periods of severe climatic and biological crises and recoveries, biotic and abiotic ecosystem fluctuations, and faunal and floral turnovers through time. Furthermore, the recovery dynamics of large predators provide a key for evaluation of the pattern and tempo of ecosystem recovery because predators are interpreted to react most sensitively to environmental turbulences. The end-Permian mass extinction was the most severe crisis experienced by life on Earth, and the common paradigm persists that the biotic recovery from the extinction event was unusually slow and occurred in a step-wise manner, lasting up to eight to nine million years well into the early Middle Triassic (Anisian) in the oceans, and even longer in the terrestrial realm. Here we survey the global distribution and size spectra of Early Triassic and Anisian marine predatory vertebrates (fishes, amphibians and reptiles) to elucidate the height of trophic pyramids in the aftermath of the end-Permian event. The survey of body size was done by compiling maximum standard lengths for the bony fishes and some cartilaginous fishes, and total size (estimates) for the tetrapods. The distribution and size spectra of the latter are difficult to assess because of preservation artifacts and are thus mostly discussed qualitatively. The data nevertheless demonstrate that no significant size increase of predators is observable from the Early Triassic to the Anisian, as would be expected from the prolonged and stepwise trophic recovery model. The data further indicate that marine ecosystems characterized by multiple trophic levels existed from the earliest Early Triassic onwards. However, a major change in the taxonomic composition of predatory guilds occurred less than two million years after the end-Permian extinction event, in which a transition from fish/amphibian to fish/reptile-dominated higher trophic levels within ecosystems became apparent. PMID

  2. The utility of bioenergetics modelling in quantifying predation rates of marine apex predators: Ecological and fisheries implications.

    PubMed

    Barnett, A; Braccini, M; Dudgeon, C L; Payne, N L; Abrantes, K G; Sheaves, M; Snelling, E P

    2017-10-11

    Predators play a crucial role in the structure and function of ecosystems. However, the magnitude of this role is often unclear, particularly for large marine predators, as predation rates are difficult to measure directly. If relevant biotic and abiotic parameters can be obtained, then bioenergetics modelling offers an alternative approach to estimating predation rates, and can provide new insights into ecological processes. We integrate demographic and ecological data for a marine apex predator, the broadnose sevengill shark Notorynchus cepedianus, with energetics data from the literature, to construct a bioenergetics model to quantify predation rates on key fisheries species in Norfolk Bay, Australia. We account for the uncertainty in model parameters by incorporating parameter confidence through Monte Carlo simulations and running alternative variants of the model. Model and parameter variants provide alternative estimates of predation rates. Our simplest model estimates that ca. 1130 ± 137 N. cepedianus individuals consume 11,379 (95% CI: 11,111-11,648) gummy sharks Mustelus antarcticus (~21 tonnes) over a 36-week period in Norfolk Bay, which represents a considerable contribution to total predation mortality on this key fishery species. This study demonstrates how the integration of ecology and fisheries science can provide information for ecosystem and fisheries management.

  3. Marine predators and persistent prey in the southeast Bering Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sigler, Michael F.; Kuletz, Kathy J.; Ressler, Patrick H.; Friday, Nancy A.; Wilson, Christopher D.; Zerbini, Alexandre N.

    2012-06-01

    Predictable prey locations reduce search time and energetic costs of foraging; thus marine predators often exploit locations where prey concentrations persist. In our study, we examined whether this association is influenced by differences among predator species in foraging modes (travel cost, surface feeder or diver) or whether the predator species is a central place forager or not. We examined distributions of two seabird species during their nesting period, the surface-feeding black-legged kittiwake (Rissa tridactyla) and the pursuit-diving thick-billed murre (Uria lomvia), and two baleen whale species, the humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) and the fin whale (Balaenoptera physalus), in relation to two key prey, age-1 walleye pollock (Theragra chalcogramma) and euphausiids (Euphausiidae). Prey surveys were conducted once each year during 2004 and 2006-2010. Concurrent predator surveys were conducted in 2006-2010 (seabirds) and 2008 and 2010 (whales). We compared the seabird and whale foraging locations to where age-1 pollock and euphausiids were concentrated and considered the persistence of these concentrations, where the time-scale of persistence is year (i.e., a comparison among surveys that are conducted once each year). Euphausiids were widespread and concentrations often were reliably found within specific 37 km×37 km blocks ('persistent hot spots of prey'). In contrast, age-1 pollock were more concentrated and their hot spots were persistent only on coarser scales (>37 km). Both seabird species, regardless of foraging mode, were associated with age-1 pollock but not with euphausiids, even though age-1 pollock were less persistent than euphausiids. The higher travel cost central place foragers, thick-billed murres, foraged at prey concentrations nearer their island colonies than black-legged kittiwakes, which were more widespread foragers. Humpback whales were not tied to a central place and mostly were located only where euphausiids were

  4. Determining nest predators of the Least Bell's Vireo through point counts, tracking stations, and video photography

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Peterson, Bonnie L.; Kus, Barbara E.; Deutschman, Douglas H.

    2004-01-01

    We compared three methods to determine nest predators of the Least Bell's Vireo (Vireo bellii pusillus) in San Diego County, California, during spring and summer 2000. Point counts and tracking stations were used to identify potential predators and video photography to document actual nest predators. Parental behavior at depredated nests was compared to that at successful nests to determine whether activity (frequency of trips to and from the nest) and singing vs. non-singing on the nest affected nest predation. Yellow-breasted Chats (Icteria virens) were the most abundant potential avian predator, followed by Western Scrub-Jays (Aphelocoma californica). Coyotes (Canis latrans) were abundant, with smaller mammalian predators occurring in low abundance. Cameras documented a 48% predation rate with scrub-jays as the major nest predators (67%), but Virginia opossums (Didelphis virginiana, 17%), gopher snakes (Pituophis melanoleucus, 8%) and Argentine ants (Linepithema humile, 8%) were also confirmed predators. Identification of potential predators from tracking stations and point counts demonstrated only moderate correspondence with actual nest predators. Parental behavior at the nest prior to depredation was not related to nest outcome.

  5. Geometric factors influencing the diet of vertebrate predators in marine and terrestrial environments.

    PubMed

    Carbone, Chris; Codron, Daryl; Scofield, Conrad; Clauss, Marcus; Bielby, Jon

    2014-12-01

    Predator-prey relationships are vital to ecosystem function and there is a need for greater predictive understanding of these interactions. We develop a geometric foraging model predicting minimum prey size scaling in marine and terrestrial vertebrate predators taking into account habitat dimensionality and biological traits. Our model predicts positive predator-prey size relationships on land but negative relationships in the sea. To test the model, we compiled data on diets of 794 predators (mammals, snakes, sharks and rays). Consistent with predictions, both terrestrial endotherm and ectotherm predators have significantly positive predator-prey size relationships. Marine predators, however, exhibit greater variation. Some of the largest predators specialise on small invertebrates while others are large vertebrate specialists. Prey-predator mass ratios were generally higher for ectothermic than endothermic predators, although dietary patterns were similar. Model-based simulations of predator-prey relationships were consistent with observed relationships, suggesting that our approach provides insights into both trends and diversity in predator-prey interactions.

  6. Herbivore and predator diversity interactively affect ecosystem properties in an experimental marine community.

    PubMed

    Douglass, James G; Duffy, J Emmett; Bruno, John F

    2008-06-01

    Interacting changes in predator and prey diversity likely influence ecosystem properties but have rarely been experimentally tested. We manipulated the species richness of herbivores and predators in an experimental benthic marine community and measured their effects on predator, herbivore and primary producer performance. Predator composition and richness strongly affected several community and population responses, mostly via sampling effects. However, some predators survived better in polycultures than in monocultures, suggesting complementarity due to stronger intra- than interspecific interactions. Predator effects also differed between additive and substitutive designs, emphasizing that the relationship between diversity and abundance in an assemblage can strongly influence whether and how diversity effects are realized. Changing herbivore richness and predator richness interacted to influence both total herbivore abundance and predatory crab growth, but these interactive diversity effects were weak. Overall, the presence and richness of predators dominated biotic effects on community and ecosystem properties.

  7. Improvements to Passive Acoustic Tracking Methods for Marine Mammal Monitoring

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2015-09-30

    Marine Mammal Monitoring Eva-Marie Nosal Department of Ocean and Resources Engineering University of Hawaii at Manoa 2540 Dole Street Holmes...tracking marine mammals. When possible, tracking results are used to study marine mammal behavior and bioacoustics. OBJECTIVES The first...and applicability of model-based passive acoustic tracking methods for marine mammals: 1) Invert for sound speed profiles, hydrophone position and

  8. Predator richness has no effect in a diverse marine food web.

    PubMed

    O'Connor, Mary I; Bruno, John F

    2009-07-01

    1. In many ecosystems, predator abundance, composition and diversity vary naturally among seasons and habitats. In addition, predator assemblages are changing due to overharvesting, habitat destruction and species invasions. 2. Predator species composition and richness can influence prey community structure and these effects can cascade to influence plant abundance and composition. 3. To test the effects of predator presence, composition and species richness on prey abundance, species richness and composition, we conducted three experiments in a subtidal marine food web. Experimental food webs were drawn from species pools of 5-7 predator species, 19-52 prey species, benthic micro-algae and 5 macro-algae. 4. Predators reduced prey abundance in the mesocosm experiment, but this effect was diminished or absent in field experiments. Predator species differed in their effects on prey, but we found no effect of predator richness (via complementarity or selection) on any aspect of prey community structure. 5. The absence of a predator richness effect could be due to several factors including potentially opposing effects of individual predator species, intraguild predation, or greater importance of colonization relative to competition in structuring prey assemblages. Although predators can have strong top-down effects in this system, selection or resource-use complementarity among predators do not affect prey community structure.

  9. Crossing Latitudes—Long-Distance Tracking of an Apex Predator

    PubMed Central

    Ferreira, Luciana C.; Thums, Michele; Meeuwig, Jessica J.; Vianna, Gabriel M. S.; Stevens, John; McAuley, Rory; Meekan, Mark G.

    2015-01-01

    Tiger sharks (Galeocerdo cuvier) are apex predators occurring in most tropical and warm temperate marine ecosystems, but we know relatively little of their patterns of residency and movement over large spatial and temporal scales. We deployed satellite tags on eleven tiger sharks off the north-western coast of Western Australia and used the Brownian Bridge kernel method to calculate home ranges and analyse movement behaviour. One individual recorded one of the largest geographical ranges of movement ever reported for the species, travelling over 4000 km during 517 days of monitoring. Tags on the remainder of the sharks reported for shorter periods (7-191 days). Most of these sharks had restricted movements and long-term (30-188 days) residency in coastal waters in the vicinity of the area where they were tagged. Core home range areas of sharks varied greatly from 1166.9 to 634,944 km2. Tiger sharks spent most of their time in water temperatures between 23°-26°C but experienced temperatures ranging from 6°C to 33°C. One shark displayed seasonal movements among three distinct home range cores spread along most of the coast of Western Australia and generalized linear models showed that this individual had different patterns of temperature and depth occupancy in each region of the coast, with the highest probability of residency occurring in the shallowest areas of the coast with water temperatures above 23°C. These results suggest that tiger sharks can migrate over very large distances and across latitudes ranging from tropical to the cool temperate waters. Such extensive long-term movements may be a key element influencing the connectivity of populations within and among ocean basins. PMID:25671609

  10. Tracking Dietary Sources of Short- and Medium-Chain Chlorinated Paraffins in Marine Mammals through a Subtropical Marine Food Web.

    PubMed

    Zeng, Lixi; Lam, James C W; Chen, Hui; Du, Bibai; Leung, Kenneth M Y; Lam, Paul K S

    2017-09-05

    Our previous study revealed an elevated accumulation of short-chain chlorinated paraffins (SCCPs) and medium-chain chlorinated paraffins (MCCPs) in marine mammals from Hong Kong waters in the South China Sea. To examine the bioaccumulation potential and biomagnification in these apex predators, we sampled the dietary items of marine mammals and tracked the sources of SCCPs and MCCPs through a marine food web in this region. Sixteen fish species, seven crustacean species, and four mollusk species were collected, and the main prey species were identified for two species of marine mammals. Concentrations of ∑SCCPs and ∑MCCPs in these collected species suggested a moderate pollution level in Hong Kong waters compared to the global range. Lipid content was found to mediate congener-specific bioaccumulation in these marine species. Significantly positive correlations were observed between trophic levels and concentrations of ∑SCCPs or ∑MCCPs (p < 0.05). Trophic magnification factors for ∑SCCPs and ∑MCCPs were 4.29 and 4.79, indicating that both of them have trophic magnification potentials. Elevated biomagnification of SCCPs and MCCPs from prey species to marine mammals was observed. This is the first report of dietary source tracking of SCCPs and MCCPs in marine mammals. The elevated biomagnification between prey and marine mammals raises environmental concerns about these contaminants.

  11. Optimising Habitat-Based Models for Wide-Ranging Marine Predators: Scale Matters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Scales, K. L.; Hazen, E. L.; Jacox, M.; Edwards, C. A.; Bograd, S. J.

    2016-12-01

    Predicting the responses of marine top predators to dynamic oceanographic conditions requires habitat-based models that sufficiently capture environmental preferences. Spatial resolution and temporal averaging of environmental data layers is a key aspect of model construction. The utility of surfaces contemporaneous to animal movement (e.g. daily, weekly), versus synoptic products (monthly, seasonal, climatological) is currently under debate, as is the optimal spatial resolution for predictive products. Using movement simulations with built-in environmental preferences (correlated random walks, multi-state hidden Markov-type models) together with modeled (Regional Oceanographic Modeling System, ROMS) and remotely-sensed (MODIS-Aqua) datasets, we explored the effects of degrading environmental surfaces (3km - 1 degree, daily - climatological) on model inference. We simulated the movements of a hypothetical wide-ranging marine predator through the California Current system over a three month period (May-June-July), based on metrics derived from previously published blue whale Balaenoptera musculus tracking studies. Results indicate that models using seasonal or climatological data fields can overfit true environmental preferences, in both presence-absence and behaviour-based model formulations. Moreover, the effects of a degradation in spatial resolution are more pronounced when using temporally averaged fields than when using daily, weekly or monthly datasets. In addition, we observed a notable divergence between the `best' models selected using common methods (e.g. AUC, AICc) and those that most accurately reproduced built-in environmental preferences. These findings have important implications for conservation and management of marine mammals, seabirds, sharks, sea turtles and large teleost fish, particularly in implementing dynamic ocean management initiatives and in forecasting responses to future climate-mediated ecosystem change.

  12. Optimising Habitat-Based Models for Wide-Ranging Marine Predators: Scale Matters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Scales, K. L.; Hazen, E. L.; Jacox, M.; Edwards, C. A.; Bograd, S. J.

    2016-02-01

    Predicting the responses of marine top predators to dynamic oceanographic conditions requires habitat-based models that sufficiently capture environmental preferences. Spatial resolution and temporal averaging of environmental data layers is a key aspect of model construction. The utility of surfaces contemporaneous to animal movement (e.g. daily, weekly), versus synoptic products (monthly, seasonal, climatological) is currently under debate, as is the optimal spatial resolution for predictive products. Using movement simulations with built-in environmental preferences (correlated random walks, multi-state hidden Markov-type models) together with modeled (Regional Oceanographic Modeling System, ROMS) and remotely-sensed (MODIS-Aqua) datasets, we explored the effects of degrading environmental surfaces (3km - 1 degree, daily - climatological) on model inference. We simulated the movements of a hypothetical wide-ranging marine predator through the California Current system over a three month period (May-June-July), based on metrics derived from previously published blue whale Balaenoptera musculus tracking studies. Results indicate that models using seasonal or climatological data fields can overfit true environmental preferences, in both presence-absence and behaviour-based model formulations. Moreover, the effects of a degradation in spatial resolution are more pronounced when using temporally averaged fields than when using daily, weekly or monthly datasets. In addition, we observed a notable divergence between the `best' models selected using common methods (e.g. AUC, AICc) and those that most accurately reproduced built-in environmental preferences. These findings have important implications for conservation and management of marine mammals, seabirds, sharks, sea turtles and large teleost fish, particularly in implementing dynamic ocean management initiatives and in forecasting responses to future climate-mediated ecosystem change.

  13. Marine taxa track local climate velocities.

    PubMed

    Pinsky, Malin L; Worm, Boris; Fogarty, Michael J; Sarmiento, Jorge L; Levin, Simon A

    2013-09-13

    Organisms are expected to adapt or move in response to climate change, but observed distribution shifts span a wide range of directions and rates. Explanations often emphasize biological distinctions among species, but general mechanisms have been elusive. We tested an alternative hypothesis: that differences in climate velocity-the rate and direction that climate shifts across the landscape-can explain observed species shifts. We compiled a database of coastal surveys around North America from 1968 to 2011, sampling 128 million individuals across 360 marine taxa. Climate velocity explained the magnitude and direction of shifts in latitude and depth much more effectively than did species characteristics. Our results demonstrate that marine species shift at different rates and directions because they closely track the complex mosaic of local climate velocities.

  14. Marine asset security and tracking (MAST) system

    DOEpatents

    Hanson, Gregory Richard [Clinton, TN; Smith, Stephen Fulton [Loudon, TN; Moore, Michael Roy [Corryton, TN; Dobson, Eric Lesley [Charleston, SC; Blair, Jeffrey Scott [Charleston, SC; Duncan, Christopher Allen [Marietta, GA; Lenarduzzi, Roberto [Knoxville, TN

    2008-07-01

    Methods and apparatus are described for marine asset security and tracking (MAST). A method includes transmitting identification data, location data and environmental state sensor data from a radio frequency tag. An apparatus includes a radio frequency tag that transmits identification data, location data and environmental state sensor data. Another method includes transmitting identification data and location data from a radio frequency tag using hybrid spread-spectrum modulation. Another apparatus includes a radio frequency tag that transmits both identification data and location data using hybrid spread-spectrum modulation.

  15. Impact of oceanic submesoscale coherent structures on marine top predators: new tools and challenges

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tew-Kai, E.; Sudre, J.; Gremillet, D.; Yahia, H.; Rossi, V.; Hernandez-Garcia, E.; López, C.; Marsac, F.; Weimerskirch, H.; Garçon, V.

    2011-12-01

    In recent years it appears that meso- and submesoscale features (fronts, eddies, filaments) in surface ocean flow have a crucial influence on marine ecosystems. Their dynamics partly control the foraging behaviour and the movements of marine top. One of the challenges in ecology is to define critical habitats and understand the rules of habitat selection. Recently new tools for detection of coherent structures at submesoscale open the way for new studies never investigated before in marine ecology. Through two examples we highlight novel research on the importance of submesoscale structures for the spatial distribution of marine top predators. We studied two seabird populations with contrasting characteristics: Frigatebirds in the Mozambique Channel, and Cape gannets in the Benguela upwelling off southern Africa. Frigatebirds are mainly offshore birds while Cape gannets do not venture beyond the continental shelf. For these two studies, we used products derived from remote sensing data, to describe submesoscale coherent structures (<10km). In the first example, using Finite-Size Lyapunov Exponents (FSLE), we have identified Lagrangian coherent structures (LCSs) present in the surface flow of the Mozambique Channel resulting from an intense mesoscale activity. By comparing seabird satellite positions with LCSs locations, we demonstrate that frigatebirds track precisely these structures in the Mozambique Channel, providing the first evidence that a top predator is able to track these FSLE ridges to locate food patches. Although many questions remain unanswered, this work remains a pioneering on this topic. Despite the interest of FSLE, they are limited to offshore areas due to altimetry products limitation on continental shelves. However, many seabirds operate in coastal areas undergoing stronger anthropogenic pressures, such as Cape gannets off South Africa. The Benguela system is characterized by an upwelling inhabited by numerous fronts and filaments that very

  16. Ocean Tracks: Investigating Marine Migrations in a Changing Ocean

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Krumhansl, R.; Kochevar, R. E.; Aluwihare, L.; Bardar, E. W.; Hirsch, L.; Hoyle, C.; Krumhansl, K.; Louie, J.; Madura, J.; Mueller-Northcott, J.; Peach, C. L.; Trujillo, A.; Winney, B.; Zetterlind, V.; Busey, A.

    2015-12-01

    The availability of scientific data sets online opens up exciting new opportunities to raise students' understanding of the worlds' oceans and the potential impacts of climate change. The Oceans of Data Institute at EDC; Stanford University; and the Scripps Institution of Oceanography have been collaborating, with the support of three National Science Foundation grants over the past 5 years, to bring marine science data sets into high school and undergraduate classrooms. These efforts have culminated in the development of a web-based student interface to data from the Tagging of Pacific Predators (TOPP) program, NOAA's Global Drifter Program, and NASA Earth-orbiting satellites through a student-friendly Web interface, customized data analysis tools, multimedia supports, and course modules. Ocean Tracks (http://oceantracks.org), which incorporates design principles based on a broad range of research findings in fields such as cognitive science, visual design, mathematics education and learning science, focuses on optimizing students' opportunities to focus their cognitive resources on viewing and comparing data to test hypotheses, while minimizing the time spent on downloading, filtering and creating displays. Ocean Tracks allows students to display the tracks of elephant seals, white sharks, Bluefin tuna, albatross, and drifting buoys along with sea surface temperature, chlorophyll-A, bathymetry, ocean currents, and human impacts overlays. A graphing tool allows students to dynamically display parameters associated with the track such as speed, deepest daily dive and track tortuosity (curviness). These interface features allow students to engage in investigations that mirror those currently being conducted by scientists to understand the broad-scale effects of changes in climate and other human activities on ocean ecosystems. In addition to supporting the teaching of the Ocean and Climate Literacy principles, high school curriculum modules facilitate the teaching

  17. Estimation and simulation of foraging trips in land-based marine predators.

    PubMed

    Michelot, Théo; Langrock, Roland; Bestley, Sophie; Jonsen, Ian D; Photopoulou, Theoni; Patterson, Toby A

    2017-07-01

    The behavior of colony-based marine predators is the focus of much research globally. Large telemetry and tracking data sets have been collected for this group of animals, and are accompanied by many empirical studies that seek to segment tracks in some useful way, as well as theoretical studies of optimal foraging strategies. However, relatively few studies have detailed statistical methods for inferring behaviors in central place foraging trips. In this paper we describe an approach based on hidden Markov models, which splits foraging trips into segments labeled as "outbound", "search", "forage", and "inbound". By structuring the hidden Markov model transition matrix appropriately, the model naturally handles the sequence of behaviors within a foraging trip. Additionally, by structuring the model in this way, we are able to develop realistic simulations from the fitted model. We demonstrate our approach on data from southern elephant seals (Mirounga leonina) tagged on Kerguelen Island in the Southern Ocean. We discuss the differences between our 4-state model and the widely used 2-state model, and the advantages and disadvantages of employing a more complex model. © 2017 by the Ecological Society of America.

  18. Marine Mammal Transmitter for porpoise tracking

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Briscoe, W. G.

    The Marine Mammal Transmitter (MMT) forms part of the equipment to be used in a worldwide Porpoise Tracking System. Knowledge of porpoise migration, distribution characteristics, and population estimates are needed to aid in protection of the porpoise. A major problem is suffocation of porpoises when they are caught in tuna purse seine fishing nets. Location of the porpoise can be determined to within + or - 5 kilometers. The MMT utilizes low power CMOS integrated circuits in timing and control circuits to extend battery life. The MMT with battery pack is contained in two cylinders which are two inches in diameter and 8.5 inches long. The unit is mounted to the porpoise's dorsal fin with a vertical quarter wave monopole antenna extending from one of the cylinders. A signal from the MMT is transmitted to the Nimbus satellite. From there the information is later transmitted to a ground receiver and a data processing facility.

  19. Behavioral and physiological adjustments to new predators in an endemic island species, the Galápagos marine iguana.

    PubMed

    Berger, Silke; Wikelski, Martin; Romero, L Michael; Kalko, Elisabeth K V; Rödl, Thomas

    2007-12-01

    For the past 5 to 15 million years, marine iguanas (Amblyrhynchus cristatus), endemic to the Galápagos archipelago, experienced relaxed predation pressure and consequently show negligible anti-predator behavior. However, over the past few decades introduced feral cats and dogs started to prey on iguanas on some of the islands. We investigated experimentally whether behavioral and endocrine anti-predator responses changed in response to predator introduction. We hypothesized that flight initiation distances (FID) and corticosterone (CORT) concentrations should increase in affected populations to cope with the novel predators. Populations of marine iguanas reacted differentially to simulated predator approach depending on whether or not they were previously naturally exposed to introduced predators. FIDs were larger at sites with predation than at sites without predation. Furthermore, the occurrence of new predators was associated with increased stress-induced CORT levels in marine iguanas. In addition, age was a strong predictor of variation in FID and CORT levels. Juveniles, which are generally more threatened by predators compared to adults, showed larger FIDs and higher CORT baseline levels as well as higher stress-induced levels than adults. The results demonstrate that this naive island species shows behavioral and physiological plasticity associated with actual predation pressure, a trait that is presumably adaptive. However, the adjustments in FID are not sufficient to cope with the novel predators. We suggest that low behavioral plasticity in the face of introduced predators may drive many island species to extinction.

  20. Tracking marine mammals using passive acoustics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nosal, Eva-Marie

    2007-12-01

    It is difficult to study the behavior and physiology of marine mammals or to understand and mitigate human impact on them because much of their lives are spent underwater. Since sound propagates for long distances in the ocean and since many cetaceans are vocal, passive acoustics is a valuable tool for studying and monitoring their behavior. After a brief introduction to and review of passive acoustic tracking methods, this dissertation develops and applies two new methods. Both methods use widely-spaced (tens of kilometers) bottom-mounted hydrophone arrays, as well as propagation models that account for depth-dependent sound speed profiles. The first passive acoustic tracking method relies on arrival times of direct and surface-reflected paths. It is used to track a sperm whale using 5 at the Atlantic Undersea Test and Evaluation Center (AUTEC) and gives position estimates that are accurate to within 10 meters. With such accuracy, the whale's pitch and yaw are estimated by assuming that its main axis (which points from the tail to the rostrum) is parallel to its velocity. Roll is found by fitting the details of the pulses within each sperm whale click to the so-called bent horn model of sperm whale sound production. Finally, given the position and orientation of the whale, its beam pattern is reconstructed and found to be highly directional with an intense forward directed component. Pair-wise spectrogram (PWS) processing is the second passive acoustic tracking method developed in this dissertation. Although it is computationally more intensive, PWS has several advantages over arrival-time tracking methods, especially in shallow water environments, for long duration calls, and for multiple-animal datasets, as is the case for humpback whales on Hawaiian breeding grounds. Results of simulations with realistic noise conditions and environmental mismatch are given and compared to other passive localization techniques. When applied to the AUTEC sperm whale dataset, PWS

  1. Improvements to Passive Acoustic Tracking Methods for Marine Mammal Monitoring

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2016-05-02

    34Improvements to passive acoustic tracking methods for marine mammal monitoring". Sincerely, Eva-Marie Nosal Associate Professor 2540 Dole S!reet...COVERED (From- To) 02/05/2016 Final 01 Jan2012-31 Dec 2015 4. TITLE AND SUBTITLE Sa. CONTRACT NUMBER Improvements to passive acoustic tracking...several methods to improve the accuracy, efficiency, and applicability of model- based passive acoustic methods to track marine mammals. Methods were

  2. Examining predator-prey body size, trophic level and body mass across marine and terrestrial mammals.

    PubMed

    Tucker, Marlee A; Rogers, Tracey L

    2014-12-22

    Predator-prey relationships and trophic levels are indicators of community structure, and are important for monitoring ecosystem changes. Mammals colonized the marine environment on seven separate occasions, which resulted in differences in species' physiology, morphology and behaviour. It is likely that these changes have had a major effect upon predator-prey relationships and trophic position; however, the effect of environment is yet to be clarified. We compiled a dataset, based on the literature, to explore the relationship between body mass, trophic level and predator-prey ratio across terrestrial (n = 51) and marine (n = 56) mammals. We did not find the expected positive relationship between trophic level and body mass, but we did find that marine carnivores sit 1.3 trophic levels higher than terrestrial carnivores. Also, marine mammals are largely carnivorous and have significantly larger predator-prey ratios compared with their terrestrial counterparts. We propose that primary productivity, and its availability, is important for mammalian trophic structure and body size. Also, energy flow and community structure in the marine environment are influenced by differences in energy efficiency and increased food web stability. Enhancing our knowledge of feeding ecology in mammals has the potential to provide insights into the structure and functioning of marine and terrestrial communities.

  3. Evidence that dimethyl sulfide facilitates a tritrophic mutualism between marine primary producers and top predators.

    PubMed

    Savoca, Matthew S; Nevitt, Gabrielle A

    2014-03-18

    Tritrophic mutualistic interactions have been best studied in plant-insect systems. During these interactions, plants release volatiles in response to herbivore damage, which, in turn, facilitates predation on primary consumers or benefits the primary producer by providing nutrients. Here we explore a similar interaction in the Southern Ocean food web, where soluble iron limits primary productivity. Dimethyl sulfide has been studied in the context of global climate regulation and is an established foraging cue for marine top predators. We present evidence that procellariiform seabird species that use dimethyl sulfide as a foraging cue selectively forage on phytoplankton grazers. Their contribution of beneficial iron recycled to marine phytoplankton via excretion suggests a chemically mediated link between marine top predators and oceanic primary production.

  4. Geometric factors influencing the diet of vertebrate predators in marine and terrestrial environments

    PubMed Central

    Carbone, Chris; Codron, Daryl; Scofield, Conrad; Clauss, Marcus; Bielby, Jon; Enquist, Brian

    2014-01-01

    Predator–prey relationships are vital to ecosystem function and there is a need for greater predictive understanding of these interactions. We develop a geometric foraging model predicting minimum prey size scaling in marine and terrestrial vertebrate predators taking into account habitat dimensionality and biological traits. Our model predicts positive predator–prey size relationships on land but negative relationships in the sea. To test the model, we compiled data on diets of 794 predators (mammals, snakes, sharks and rays). Consistent with predictions, both terrestrial endotherm and ectotherm predators have significantly positive predator–prey size relationships. Marine predators, however, exhibit greater variation. Some of the largest predators specialise on small invertebrates while others are large vertebrate specialists. Prey–predator mass ratios were generally higher for ectothermic than endothermic predators, although dietary patterns were similar. Model-based simulations of predator–prey relationships were consistent with observed relationships, suggesting that our approach provides insights into both trends and diversity in predator–prey interactions. PMID:25265992

  5. Stronger biotic resistance in tropics relative to temperate zone: effects of predation on marine invasion dynamics.

    PubMed

    Freestone, Amy L; Rutz, Gregory M; Torchin, Mark E

    2013-06-01

    Latitudinal patterns of nonnative species richness suggest fewer successful invasions in the tropics, relative to temperate regions. One main hypothesis for this pattern is that biotic resistance to invasion is stronger in the tropics than at higher latitudes. Biotic resistance can limit the distribution and abundance of nonnative species and, in extreme cases, can prevent establishment. We provide the first experimental test of this hypothesis, comparing the strength of biotic resistance in a tropical and a temperate marine ecosystem. Predation is one mechanism of biotic resistance, and since predation can be stronger at lower latitudes, we predicted that predation will serve to increase biotic resistance more in the tropics than at higher latitude. We conducted predator-exclusion experiments on marine epifaunal communities, a heavily invaded system, focusing on nonnative tunicates as a model fauna. The effect of predation on species richness of nonnative tunicates was more than three times greater at sites in tropical Panama than in temperate Connecticut, consistent with the prediction of stronger biotic resistance in the tropics. In Connecticut, predation reduced the abundance of one nonnative tunicate but did not affect the abundances of any other nonnative tunicate species, and no species were excluded from communities. In contrast, predation resulted in striking reductions in abundance and often exclusion of nonnative tunicates from experimental communities in Panama. If proved to be general, latitudinal differences in the biotic resistance of communities to nonnative species establishment may help explain emerging patterns of global invasions.

  6. Behaviour-dependent Predation Risk in Marine Planktonic Copepods: an Experimental and Modelling Approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Almeda, R.; van Someren Gréve, H.; Kiørboe, T.

    2016-02-01

    Zooplankton exhibit different motile behaviors related to mating, feeding and swimming activities. These differences in motility may imply different levels of predation risk, which may partially determine the structure of pelagic communities. However, empirical evidence and models of the influence of zooplankton behavior on predation risk are still limited. In this study, we experimentally investigated predation mortality related to different motile behaviors in marine planktonic copepods. We conducted bottle incubation predation experiments to estimate predation risk associated with (i) mating- and gender differences in behavior and (ii) feeding/ swimming activity (ambush feeders vs feeding-current vs. cruising feeders). Low and high speed video-filming was used to determine prey motility behavior parameters such as speeds, durations and frequencies of sinking, swimming and jumping events, as well as escape responses of each prey type. We will present experimental results of predation on copepod with different motile behavior and propose a simple prey behavior-dependent encounter model to predict predation risk on planktonic copepods. Overall, our results demonstrate that motile behavior is a key factor affecting predation risk in zooplankton.

  7. Predators

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Young, Donald D.; McCabe, Thomas R.; Ambrose, Robert E.; Garner, Gerald W.; Weiler, Greg J.; Reynolds, Harry V.; Udevitz, Mark S.; Reed, Dan J.; Griffith, Brad; Douglas, David C.; Reynolds, Patricia E.; Rhode, E.B.

    2002-01-01

    Calving caribou (Rangifer tarandus) of the Central Arctic herd, Alaska, have avoided the infrastructure associated with the complex of petroleum development areas from Prudhoe Bay to Kuparuk (Cameron et al. 1992, Nellemann and Cameron 1998, and Section 4 of this document). Calving females of the Porcupine caribou herd may similarly avoid any oil field roads and pipelines developed in areas traditionally used during the calving and post-calving periods. This may displace the caribou females and calves to areas east and south of the 1002 Area of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.Increased calf mortality could occur if calving caribou are displaced into areas that have a higher density of predators, higher rates of predation, or where a higher proportion of the predators regularly use caribou as a food source (Whitten et al. 1992).Our study assessed predation risks to caribou calving in the 1002 Area versus calving in potential displacement areas. Due to funding constraints, our research focused on grizzly bears (Ursus arctos), with wolves (Camus lupus) and golden eagles (Aquila chrysaetos) receiving only cursory attention. Our research objectives were 1) to compare relative abundance of predators within the 1002 Area with that in adjacent peripheral areas, 2) to determine factors affecting predator abundance on the calving grounds, and 3) to quantify the use of caribou as a food source for predators and the importance of caribou to the productivity of predator populations using the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

  8. A carapace-like bony 'body tube' in an early triassic marine reptile and the onset of marine tetrapod predation.

    PubMed

    Chen, Xiao-hong; Motani, Ryosuke; Cheng, Long; Jiang, Da-yong; Rieppel, Olivier

    2014-01-01

    Parahupehsuchus longus is a new species of marine reptile from the Lower Triassic of Yuan'an County, Hubei Province, China. It is unique among vertebrates for having a body wall that is completely surrounded by a bony tube, about 50 cm long and 6.5 cm deep, comprising overlapping ribs and gastralia. This tube and bony ossicles on the back are best interpreted as anti-predatory features, suggesting that there was predation pressure upon marine tetrapods in the Early Triassic. There is at least one sauropterygian that is sufficiently large to feed on Parahupehsuchus in the Nanzhang-Yuan'an fauna, together with six more species of potential prey marine reptiles with various degrees of body protection. Modern predators of marine tetrapods belong to the highest trophic levels in the marine ecosystem but such predators did not always exist through geologic time. The indication of marine-tetrapod feeding in the Nanzhang-Yuan'an fauna suggests that such a trophic level emerged for the first time in the Early Triassic. The recovery from the end-Permian extinction probably proceeded faster than traditionally thought for marine predators. Parahupehsuchus has superficially turtle-like features, namely expanded ribs without intercostal space, very short transverse processes, and a dorsal outgrowth from the neural spine. However, these features are structurally different from their turtle counterparts. Phylogeny suggests that they are convergent with the condition in turtles, which has a fundamentally different body plan that involves the folding of the body wall. Expanded ribs without intercostal space evolved at least twice and probably even more among reptiles.

  9. Marine mollusc predator-escape behaviour altered by near-future carbon dioxide levels.

    PubMed

    Watson, Sue-Ann; Lefevre, Sjannie; McCormick, Mark I; Domenici, Paolo; Nilsson, Göran E; Munday, Philip L

    2014-01-07

    Ocean acidification poses a range of threats to marine invertebrates; however, the potential effects of rising carbon dioxide (CO2) on marine invertebrate behaviour are largely unknown. Marine gastropod conch snails have a modified foot and operculum allowing them to leap backwards rapidly when faced with a predator, such as a venomous cone shell. Here, we show that projected near-future seawater CO2 levels (961 µatm) impair this escape behaviour during a predator-prey interaction. Elevated-CO2 halved the number of snails that jumped from the predator, increased their latency to jump and altered their escape trajectory. Physical ability to jump was not affected by elevated-CO2 indicating instead that decision-making was impaired. Antipredator behaviour was fully restored by treatment with gabazine, a GABA antagonist of some invertebrate nervous systems, indicating potential interference of neurotransmitter receptor function by elevated-CO2, as previously observed in marine fishes. Altered behaviour of marine invertebrates at projected future CO2 levels could have potentially far-reaching implications for marine ecosystems.

  10. Improvements to Passive Acoustic Tracking Methods for Marine Mammal Monitoring

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2016-05-02

    of the Final Report for the grant entitled: “Improvements to passive acoustic tracking methods for marine mammal monitoring”. Sincerely, Eva... acoustic tracking methods for marine mammal monitoring Eva-Marie Nosal University of Hawaii 2530 Dole Street, Sakamaki D-200 Honolulu. Hl 96822 Office...project investigated and implement several methods to improve the accuracy, efficiency, and applicability of model- based passive acoustic methods to

  11. The trophodynamics of marine top predators: Current knowledge, recent advances and challenges

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Young, Jock W.; Hunt, Brian P. V.; Cook, Timothée R.; Llopiz, Joel K.; Hazen, Elliott L.; Pethybridge, Heidi R.; Ceccarelli, Daniela; Lorrain, Anne; Olson, Robert J.; Allain, Valerie; Menkes, Christophe; Patterson, Toby; Nicol, Simon; Lehodey, Patrick; Kloser, Rudy J.; Arrizabalaga, Haritz; Anela Choy, C.

    2015-03-01

    We review present understanding of the spatial and temporal diet variability (trophodynamics) of a range of pelagic marine top predators, at both early and adult life history stages. We begin with a review of methodologies used to advance our understanding of the trophodynamics of marine top predators, particularly in relation to climate change. We then explore how these developments are informing our understanding of the major trophic groups in food webs leading to, and including, marine top predators. We examine through specific examples how the impacts of ocean warming may affect pelagic food web relationships from both top-down and bottom-up perspectives. We examine the potential, in the absence of long-term data sets, of using large-scale spatial studies to examine how potential changes in biological oceanography could impact the biomass and composition of prey species, particularly the role of phytoplankton size spectra. We focus on examples from regions where biotic change with respect to climate change is likely. In particular, we detail the effects of climate change on oceanographic and bathymetric "hotspots" and provide the example involving seabirds in the Benguela Current system. We end by urging the development of international collaborations and databases to facilitate comprehensive ocean-scale understanding of climate impacts on marine top predators.

  12. Sedimentary cobalt concentrations track marine redox evolution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Swanner, Elizabeth; Planavsky, Noah; Lalonde, Stefan; Robbins, Jamie; Bekker, Andrey; Rouxel, Olivier; Konhauser, Kurt O.; Mojzsis, Stephen J.

    2013-04-01

    Oxygen production by photosynthesis drove the redox evolution of the atmosphere and ocean. Primary productivity by oxygenic photosynthesizers in the modern surface ocean is limited by trace nutrients such as iron, but previous studies have also observed high Co uptake associated with natural cyanobacterial populations. Constraining the size and variation of the oceanic reservoir of Co through time will help to understand the regulation of primary productivity and hence oxygenation through time. In this study, Co concentrations from iron formations (IF), shales and marine pyrites deposited over nearly 4 billion years of Earth's history are utilized to reconstruct secular changes in the mechanisms of Co removal from the oceanic reservoir. The Co reservoir prior to ~2 Ga was dominated by hydrothermal inputs and Fe(III)oxyhydroxides were likely involved in the removal of Co from the water column. Fe(II) oxidation in the water column resulted in the deposition of IF in the Archean and Paleoproterozoic, and the Co inventory of IF records a large oceanic reservoir of Co during this time. Lower Co concentrations in sediments during the Middle Proterozoic signify a decrease in the oceanic reservoir due to the expansion euxinic environments, corresponding to the results of previous studies. A transition to an oxidized deep ocean in the Phanerozoic is evidenced by correlation between Co and manganese (Mn) concentrations in hydrothermal and exhalative deposits, and in marine pyrites. This relationship between Co and Mn, signifying deposition of Co in association with Mn(IV)oxides, does not occur in the Precambrian. Mn(II) oxidation occurs at higher redox potentials than that required for Fe(II) oxidation, and the extent of Mn redox cycling prior to full ventilation of the oceans at the end of the Neoproterozoic was likely limited to spatially restricted oxic surface waters. In this regard, Co is another valuable redox proxy for tracking the growth and decline in oxygenated

  13. Social learning and acquired recognition of a predator by a marine fish.

    PubMed

    Manassa, R P; McCormick, M I

    2012-07-01

    Predation is known to influence the distribution of behavioural traits among prey individuals, populations and communities over both evolutionary and ecological time scales. Prey have evolved mechanisms of rapidly learning the identity of predators. Chemical cues are often used by prey to assess predation risk especially in aquatic systems where visual cues are unreliable. Social learning is a method of threat assessment common among a variety of freshwater fish taxa, which incorporates chemosensory information. Learning predator identities through social learning is beneficial to naïve individuals as it eliminates the need for direct interaction with a potential threat. Although social learning is widespread throughout the animal kingdom, no research on the use of this mechanism exists for marine species. In this study, we examined the role of social learning in predator recognition for a tropical damselfish, Acanthochromis polyacanthus. This species was found to not only possess and respond to conspecific chemical alarm cues, but naïve individuals were able to learn a predators' identity from experienced individuals, the process of social learning. Fish that learned to associate risk with the olfactory cue of a predator responded with the same intensity as conspecifics that were exposed to a chemical alarm cue from a conspecific skin extract.

  14. Stronger predation in the tropics shapes species richness patterns in marine communities.

    PubMed

    Freestone, Amy L; Osman, Richard W; Ruiz, Gregory M; Torchin, Mark E

    2011-04-01

    Species interactions are widely assumed to be stronger at lower latitudes, but surprisingly few experimental studies test this hypothesis, and none ties these processes to observed patterns of species richness across latitude. We report here the first experimental field test that predation is both stronger and has a disproportionate effect on species richness in the tropics relative to the temperate zone. We conducted predator-exclusion experiments on communities of sessile marine invertebrates in four regions, which span 32 degrees latitude, in the western Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea. Over a three-month timescale, predation had no effect on species richness in the temperate zone. In the tropics, however, communities were from two to over ten times more species-rich in the absence of predators than when predators were present. While micro-and macro-predators likely compete for the limited prey resource in the tropics, micropredators alone were able to exert as much pressure on the invertebrate communities as the full predator community. This result highlights the extent to which exposure to even a subset of the predator guild can significantly impact species richness in the tropics. Patterns were consistent in analyses that included relative and total species abundances. Higher species richness in the absence of predators in the tropics was also observed when species occurrences were pooled across two larger spatial scales, site and region, demonstrating a consistent scaling relationship. These experimental results show that predation can both limit local species abundances and shape patterns of regional coexistence in the tropics. When preestablished diverse tropical communities were then exposed to predation for different durations, ranging from one to several days, species richness was always reduced. These findings confirmed that impacts of predation in the tropics are strong and consistent, even in more established communities. Our results offer empirical

  15. 22. Historic drawing, Marine Railway. Track Plan, 1917. Photographic copy ...

    Library of Congress Historic Buildings Survey, Historic Engineering Record, Historic Landscapes Survey

    22. Historic drawing, Marine Railway. Track Plan, 1917. Photographic copy of original. Boston National Historical Park Archives, Charlestown Navy Yard. BOSTS 13439, #551-5 - Charlestown Navy Yard, Marine Railway, Between Piers 2 & 3, on Charlestown Waterfront at west end of Navy Yard, Boston, Suffolk County, MA

  16. 19. Historic drawing, Marine Railway. Cradle and Track Plan, 1917. ...

    Library of Congress Historic Buildings Survey, Historic Engineering Record, Historic Landscapes Survey

    19. Historic drawing, Marine Railway. Cradle and Track Plan, 1917. Photographic copy of original. Boston National Historical Park Archives, Charlestown Navy Yard. BOSTS 13439, #551-1 - Charlestown Navy Yard, Marine Railway, Between Piers 2 & 3, on Charlestown Waterfront at west end of Navy Yard, Boston, Suffolk County, MA

  17. Risky business for a juvenile marine predator? Testing the influence of foraging strategies on size and growth rate under natural conditions.

    PubMed

    Hussey, Nigel E; DiBattista, Joseph D; Moore, Jonathan W; Ward, Eric J; Fisk, Aaron T; Kessel, Steven; Guttridge, Tristan L; Feldheim, Kevin A; Franks, Bryan R; Gruber, Samuel H; Weideli, Ornella C; Chapman, Demian D

    2017-04-12

    Mechanisms driving selection of body size and growth rate in wild marine vertebrates are poorly understood, thus limiting knowledge of their fitness costs at ecological, physiological and genetic scales. Here, we indirectly tested whether selection for size-related traits of juvenile sharks that inhabit a nursery hosting two dichotomous habitats, protected mangroves (low predation risk) and exposed seagrass beds (high predation risk), is influenced by their foraging behaviour. Juvenile sharks displayed a continuum of foraging strategies between mangrove and seagrass areas, with some individuals preferentially feeding in one habitat over another. Foraging habitat was correlated with growth rate, whereby slower growing, smaller individuals fed predominantly in sheltered mangroves, whereas larger, faster growing animals fed over exposed seagrass. Concomitantly, tracked juveniles undertook variable movement behaviours across both the low and high predation risk habitat. These data provide supporting evidence for the hypothesis that directional selection favouring smaller size and slower growth rate, both heritable traits in this shark population, may be driven by variability in foraging behaviour and predation risk. Such evolutionary pathways may be critical to adaptation within predator-driven marine ecosystems. © 2017 The Author(s).

  18. Contaminants in tracked seabirds showing regional patterns of marine pollution.

    PubMed

    Ito, Atsuo; Yamashita, Rei; Takada, Hideshige; Yamamoto, Takashi; Shiomi, Kozue; Zavalaga, Carlos; Abe, Tomoya; Watanabe, Shinichi; Yamamoto, Maki; Sato, Katsufumi; Kohno, Hiroyoshi; Yoda, Ken; Iida, Tomohiko; Watanuki, Yutaka

    2013-07-16

    Ocean-scale monitoring of pollution is challenging. Seabirds are useful indicators because they travel over a broad foraging range. Nevertheless, this coarse spatial resolution is not fine enough to discriminate pollution in a finer scale. Previous studies have demonstrated that pollution levels are higher in the Sea of Japan and South and East China Seas than the Northen Pacific Ocean. To test these findings in a wide-ranging animal, we tracked streaked shearwaters (Calonectris leucomelas) from four islands in Japan using global positioning system (GPS) and measured persistent organic pollutants (POPs) in the oil of their preen glands. The POPs did not change during 6 to 21 days when birds from Awashima were foraging only in the Sea of Japan, while it increased when they crossed to the Pacific through the Tsugaru Strait and foraged along the eastern coast of Hokkaido where industrial cities occur. These results indicate that POPs in the oil reflect relatively short-term exposure. Concentrations of POPs displayed greater variation among regions. Total polychlorinated biphenyls were highest in birds foraging in a small area of the semiclosed Seto Inland Sea surrounded by urbanized coast, p,p'-dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT) was highest in birds foraging in the East China Sea, and total hexachlorocyclohexanes were highest in birds foraging in the Sea of Japan. All were lowest in birds foraging in the Pacific. This distribution of POPs concentration partly agrees with previous findings based on mussels, fish, and seawater and possibly reflects the mobility and emission sources of each type of POP. These results highlight the importance of information on the foraging area of highly mobile top predators to make them more effective monitors of regional marine pollution.

  19. Protection of large predators in a marine reserve alters size-dependent prey mortality.

    PubMed

    Selden, Rebecca L; Gaines, Steven D; Hamilton, Scott L; Warner, Robert R

    2017-01-25

    Where predator-prey interactions are size-dependent, reductions in predator size owing to fishing has the potential to disrupt the ecological role of top predators in marine ecosystems. In southern California kelp forests, we investigated the size-dependence of the interaction between herbivorous sea urchins and one of their predators, California sheephead (Semicossyphus pulcher). Empirical tests examined how differences in predator size structure between reserve and fished areas affected size-specific urchin mortality. Sites inside marine reserves had greater sheephead size and biomass, while empirical feeding trials indicated that larger sheephead were required to successfully consume urchins of increasing test diameter. Evaluations of the selectivity of sheephead for two urchin species indicated that shorter-spined purple urchins were attacked more frequently and successfully than longer-spined red urchins of the same size class, particularly at the largest test diameters. As a result of these size-specific interactions and the higher biomass of large sheephead inside reserves, urchin mortality rates were three times higher inside the reserve for both species. In addition, urchin mortality rates decreased with urchin size, and very few large urchins were successfully consumed in fished areas. The truncation of sheephead size structure that commonly occurs owing to fishing will probably result in reductions in urchin mortality, which may reduce the resilience of kelp beds to urchin barren formation. By contrast, the recovery of predator size structure in marine reserves may restore this resilience, but may be delayed until fish grow to sizes capable of consuming larger urchins.

  20. Infrared tomographic PIV and 3D motion tracking system applied to aquatic predator-prey interaction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Adhikari, Deepak; Longmire, Ellen K.

    2013-02-01

    Infrared tomographic PIV and 3D motion tracking are combined to measure evolving volumetric velocity fields and organism trajectories during aquatic predator-prey interactions. The technique was used to study zebrafish foraging on both non-evasive and evasive prey species. Measurement volumes of 22.5 mm × 10.5 mm × 12 mm were reconstructed from images captured on a set of four high-speed cameras. To obtain accurate fluid velocity vectors within each volume, fish were first masked out using an automated visual hull method. Fish and prey locations were identified independently from the same image sets and tracked separately within the measurement volume. Experiments demonstrated that fish were not influenced by the infrared laser illumination or the tracer particles. Results showed that the zebrafish used different strategies, suction and ram feeding, for successful capture of non-evasive and evasive prey, respectively. The two strategies yielded different variations in fluid velocity between the fish mouth and the prey. In general, the results suggest that the local flow field, the direction of prey locomotion with respect to the predator and the relative accelerations and speeds of the predator and prey may all be significant in determining predation success.

  1. Stable Isotopic Insights into the Foraging Ecology of an Endangered Marine Predator, the Hawaiian Petrel

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wiley, A. E.; Ostrom, P. H.; James, H. F.

    2010-12-01

    Seabirds play vital roles in their ecosystems, both as predators in their oceanic foraging grounds and conduits of marine nutrients to island nesting sites. Despite growing evidence that food availability limits seabird populations, characterization of the diet and even foraging locations of some seabird species remains elusive. Here, we use stable carbon (δ13C) and nitrogen (δ15N) isotopes to study the foraging ecology of an endangered and poorly known seabird, the Hawaiian petrel (Pterodroma sandwichensis). This species nests solely on the main Hawaiian Islands but forages widely across the NE Pacific, sometimes traveling over 10,000km on single foraging trips. δ13C and δ15N values vary with trophic level and at the base of food webs throughout the marine range of the Hawaiian petrel. Thus, we are able to use isotope signatures in modern and ancient petrel tissues to track spatial and temporal variation in foraging location and diet. We find strong evidence of foraging segregation between populations, with hatch-year birds from the island of Hawaii exhibiting feather δ15N and δ13C values over 3‰ and 1 ‰ higher, respectively, than those found in Maui and Kauai hatch-year birds. There is also significant variation in δ15N values between feathers from Kauai, Hawaii, and Maui adults, indicating additional foraging segregation during the winter molt. To distinguish between the effects of trophic level and foraging location, we relate our data to those from seabirds with known diet and foraging location, as well as to previous characterizations of isoscapes in the NE Pacific and at-sea observations of our study species. Finally, we track Hawaiian petrel foraging ecology back in time through examination of stable isotope values in historical feathers and ancient bone collagen. We find that, despite a species-wide decline in δ15N values (consistent with trophic level decline), populations have maintained divergent isotopic niches through at least the past 1

  2. Marine predator surveys in Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bodkin, James L.; Kloecker, Kimberly A.; Coletti, Heather A.; Esslinger, George G.; Monson, Daniel H.; Ballachey, Brenda E.

    2002-01-01

    Since 1999, vessel based surveys to estimate species composition, distribution and relative abundance of marine birds and mammals have been conducted along coastal and pelagic (offshore) transects in Glacier Bay, Alaska. Surveys have been conducted during winter (November-March) and summer (June). This annual report presents the results of those surveys conducted in March and June of 2001. Following completion of surveys in 2002 we will provide a final report of the results of all surveys conducted between 1999 and 2002. Glacier Bay supports diverse and abundant assemblages of marine birds and mammals. In 2001 we identified 58 species of bird, 7 species of marine mammal, and 6 species of terrestrial mammal on transects sampled during winter and summer. Of course all species are not equally abundant. Among all taxa, in both seasons, sea ducks were the numerically dominant group. In their roles as consumers and because of their generally large size, marine mammals are also likely important in the consumption of energy produced in the Glacier Bay ecosystem. Most common and abundant marine birds and mammals can be placed in either a fish based (e.g. alcids and pinnipeds), or a benthic invertebrate (e.g. sea ducks and sea otters) based food web. Distinct differences in the species composition and abundance of marine birds were observed between winter and summer surveys. Winter marine bird assemblages were dominated numerically (> 11,000; 65% of all birds) by a relatively few species of sea ducks (scoters, goldeneye, Bufflehead, Harlequin and Long-tailed ducks). The sea ducks were distributed almost exclusively along near shore habitats. The prevalence of sea ducks during the March surveys indicates the importance of Glacier Bay as a wintering area for this poorly understood group of animals that occupy a high trophic position in a principally benthic invertebrate (mussel and clam) food web. Marine mammal assemblages were generally consistent between seasons, although

  3. Predation.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Spain, James D.; Soldan, Theodore

    1983-01-01

    Describes two computer simulations of the predator-prey interaction in which students explore theories and mathematical equations involved in this biological process. The programs (for Apple II), designed for college level ecology, may be used in lecture/demonstrations or as a basis for laboratory assignments. A list of student objectives is…

  4. Predation.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Spain, James D.; Soldan, Theodore

    1983-01-01

    Describes two computer simulations of the predator-prey interaction in which students explore theories and mathematical equations involved in this biological process. The programs (for Apple II), designed for college level ecology, may be used in lecture/demonstrations or as a basis for laboratory assignments. A list of student objectives is…

  5. Marine mollusc predator-escape behaviour altered by near-future carbon dioxide levels

    PubMed Central

    Watson, Sue-Ann; Lefevre, Sjannie; McCormick, Mark I.; Domenici, Paolo; Nilsson, Göran E.; Munday, Philip L.

    2014-01-01

    Ocean acidification poses a range of threats to marine invertebrates; however, the potential effects of rising carbon dioxide (CO2) on marine invertebrate behaviour are largely unknown. Marine gastropod conch snails have a modified foot and operculum allowing them to leap backwards rapidly when faced with a predator, such as a venomous cone shell. Here, we show that projected near-future seawater CO2 levels (961 µatm) impair this escape behaviour during a predator–prey interaction. Elevated-CO2 halved the number of snails that jumped from the predator, increased their latency to jump and altered their escape trajectory. Physical ability to jump was not affected by elevated-CO2 indicating instead that decision-making was impaired. Antipredator behaviour was fully restored by treatment with gabazine, a GABA antagonist of some invertebrate nervous systems, indicating potential interference of neurotransmitter receptor function by elevated-CO2, as previously observed in marine fishes. Altered behaviour of marine invertebrates at projected future CO2 levels could have potentially far-reaching implications for marine ecosystems. PMID:24225456

  6. Straight line foraging in yellow-eyed penguins: new insights into cascading fisheries effects and orientation capabilities of marine predators.

    PubMed

    Mattern, Thomas; Ellenberg, Ursula; Houston, David M; Lamare, Miles; Davis, Lloyd S; van Heezik, Yolanda; Seddon, Philip J

    2013-01-01

    Free-ranging marine predators rarely search for prey along straight lines because dynamic ocean processes usually require complex search strategies. If linear movement patterns occur they are usually associated with travelling events or migratory behaviour. However, recent fine scale tracking of flying seabirds has revealed straight-line movements while birds followed fishing vessels. Unlike flying seabirds, penguins are not known to target and follow fishing vessels. Yet yellow-eyed penguins from New Zealand often exhibit directed movement patterns while searching for prey at the seafloor, a behaviour that seems to contradict common movement ecology theories. While deploying GPS dive loggers on yellow-eyed penguins from the Otago Peninsula we found that the birds frequently followed straight lines for several kilometres with little horizontal deviation. In several cases individuals swam up and down the same line, while some of the lines were followed by more than one individual. Using a remote operated vehicle (ROV) we found a highly visible furrow on the seafloor most likely caused by an otter board of a demersal fish trawl, which ran in a straight line exactly matching the trajectory of a recent line identified from penguin tracks. We noted high abundances of benthic scavengers associated with fisheries-related bottom disturbance. While our data demonstrate the acute way-finding capabilities of benthic foraging yellow-eyed penguins, they also highlight how hidden cascading effects of coastal fisheries may alter behaviour and potentially even population dynamics of marine predators, an often overlooked fact in the examination of fisheries' impacts.

  7. Straight Line Foraging in Yellow-Eyed Penguins: New Insights into Cascading Fisheries Effects and Orientation Capabilities of Marine Predators

    PubMed Central

    Mattern, Thomas; Ellenberg, Ursula; Houston, David M.; Lamare, Miles; Davis, Lloyd S.; van Heezik, Yolanda; Seddon, Philip J.

    2013-01-01

    Free-ranging marine predators rarely search for prey along straight lines because dynamic ocean processes usually require complex search strategies. If linear movement patterns occur they are usually associated with travelling events or migratory behaviour. However, recent fine scale tracking of flying seabirds has revealed straight-line movements while birds followed fishing vessels. Unlike flying seabirds, penguins are not known to target and follow fishing vessels. Yet yellow-eyed penguins from New Zealand often exhibit directed movement patterns while searching for prey at the seafloor, a behaviour that seems to contradict common movement ecology theories. While deploying GPS dive loggers on yellow-eyed penguins from the Otago Peninsula we found that the birds frequently followed straight lines for several kilometres with little horizontal deviation. In several cases individuals swam up and down the same line, while some of the lines were followed by more than one individual. Using a remote operated vehicle (ROV) we found a highly visible furrow on the seafloor most likely caused by an otter board of a demersal fish trawl, which ran in a straight line exactly matching the trajectory of a recent line identified from penguin tracks. We noted high abundances of benthic scavengers associated with fisheries-related bottom disturbance. While our data demonstrate the acute way-finding capabilities of benthic foraging yellow-eyed penguins, they also highlight how hidden cascading effects of coastal fisheries may alter behaviour and potentially even population dynamics of marine predators, an often overlooked fact in the examination of fisheries’ impacts. PMID:24367656

  8. Foraging strategies of a generalist marine predator inhabiting a dynamic environment.

    PubMed

    McHuron, E A; Robinson, P W; Simmons, S E; Kuhn, C E; Fowler, M; Costa, D P

    2016-12-01

    Intraspecific variability is increasingly recognized as an important component of foraging behavior that can have implications for both population and community dynamics. We used an individual-level approach to describe the foraging behavior of an abundant, generalist predator that inhabits a dynamic marine ecosystem, focusing specifically on the different foraging strategies used by individuals in the same demographic group. We collected data on movements and diving behavior of adult female California sea lions (Zalophus californianus) across multiple foraging trips to sea. Sea lions (n = 35) used one of three foraging strategies that primarily differed in their oceanic zone and dive depth: a shallow, epipelagic strategy, a mixed epipelagic/benthic strategy, and a deep-diving strategy. Individuals varied in their degree of fidelity to a given strategy, with 66 % of sea lions using only one strategy on all or most of their foraging trips across the two-month tracking period. All foraging strategies were present in each of the sampling years, but there were inter-annual differences in the population-level importance of each strategy that may reflect changes in prey availability. Deep-diving sea lions traveled shorter distances and spent a greater proportion of time at the rookery than sea lions using the other two strategies, which may have energetic and reproductive implications. These results highlight the importance of an individual-based approach in describing the foraging behavior of female California sea lions and understanding how they respond to the seasonal and annual changes in prey availability that characterize the California Current System.

  9. Predictive modelling of habitat use by marine predators with respect to the abundance and depth distribution of pelagic prey

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Boyd, Charlotte; Castillo, Ramiro; Hunt, George L.; Punt, André E..; VanBlaricom, Glenn R.; Weimerskirch, Henri; Bertrand, Sophie

    2015-01-01

    Analysis of the relative importance of abundance and accessibility is essential for the design and evaluation of effective management responses to reduced prey availability for seabirds and other top predators in marine systems.

  10. Large-scale climatic anomalies affect marine predator foraging behaviour and demography

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bost, Charles A.; Cotté, Cedric; Terray, Pascal; Barbraud, Christophe; Bon, Cécile; Delord, Karine; Gimenez, Olivier; Handrich, Yves; Naito, Yasuhiko; Guinet, Christophe; Weimerskirch, Henri

    2015-10-01

    Determining the links between the behavioural and population responses of wild species to environmental variations is critical for understanding the impact of climate variability on ecosystems. Using long-term data sets, we show how large-scale climatic anomalies in the Southern Hemisphere affect the foraging behaviour and population dynamics of a key marine predator, the king penguin. When large-scale subtropical dipole events occur simultaneously in both subtropical Southern Indian and Atlantic Oceans, they generate tropical anomalies that shift the foraging zone southward. Consequently the distances that penguins foraged from the colony and their feeding depths increased and the population size decreased. This represents an example of a robust and fast impact of large-scale climatic anomalies affecting a marine predator through changes in its at-sea behaviour and demography, despite lack of information on prey availability. Our results highlight a possible behavioural mechanism through which climate variability may affect population processes.

  11. Large-scale climatic anomalies affect marine predator foraging behaviour and demography

    PubMed Central

    Bost, Charles A.; Cotté, Cedric; Terray, Pascal; Barbraud, Christophe; Bon, Cécile; Delord, Karine; Gimenez, Olivier; Handrich, Yves; Naito, Yasuhiko; Guinet, Christophe; Weimerskirch, Henri

    2015-01-01

    Determining the links between the behavioural and population responses of wild species to environmental variations is critical for understanding the impact of climate variability on ecosystems. Using long-term data sets, we show how large-scale climatic anomalies in the Southern Hemisphere affect the foraging behaviour and population dynamics of a key marine predator, the king penguin. When large-scale subtropical dipole events occur simultaneously in both subtropical Southern Indian and Atlantic Oceans, they generate tropical anomalies that shift the foraging zone southward. Consequently the distances that penguins foraged from the colony and their feeding depths increased and the population size decreased. This represents an example of a robust and fast impact of large-scale climatic anomalies affecting a marine predator through changes in its at-sea behaviour and demography, despite lack of information on prey availability. Our results highlight a possible behavioural mechanism through which climate variability may affect population processes. PMID:26506134

  12. Large-scale climatic anomalies affect marine predator foraging behaviour and demography.

    PubMed

    Bost, Charles A; Cotté, Cedric; Terray, Pascal; Barbraud, Christophe; Bon, Cécile; Delord, Karine; Gimenez, Olivier; Handrich, Yves; Naito, Yasuhiko; Guinet, Christophe; Weimerskirch, Henri

    2015-10-27

    Determining the links between the behavioural and population responses of wild species to environmental variations is critical for understanding the impact of climate variability on ecosystems. Using long-term data sets, we show how large-scale climatic anomalies in the Southern Hemisphere affect the foraging behaviour and population dynamics of a key marine predator, the king penguin. When large-scale subtropical dipole events occur simultaneously in both subtropical Southern Indian and Atlantic Oceans, they generate tropical anomalies that shift the foraging zone southward. Consequently the distances that penguins foraged from the colony and their feeding depths increased and the population size decreased. This represents an example of a robust and fast impact of large-scale climatic anomalies affecting a marine predator through changes in its at-sea behaviour and demography, despite lack of information on prey availability. Our results highlight a possible behavioural mechanism through which climate variability may affect population processes.

  13. Sea Urchins Predation Facilitates Coral Invasion in a Marine Reserve

    PubMed Central

    Coma, Rafel; Serrano, Eduard; Linares, Cristina; Ribes, Marta; Díaz, David; Ballesteros, Enric

    2011-01-01

    Macroalgae is the dominant trophic group on Mediterranean infralittoral rocky bottoms, whereas zooxanthellate corals are extremely rare. However, in recent years, the invasive coral Oculina patagonica appears to be increasing its abundance through unknown means. Here we examine the pattern of variation of this species at a marine reserve between 2002 and 2010 and contribute to the understanding of the mechanisms that allow its current increase. Because indirect interactions between species can play a relevant role in the establishment of species, a parallel assessment of the sea urchin Paracentrotus lividus, the main herbivorous invertebrate in this habitat and thus a key species, was conducted. O. patagonica has shown a 3-fold increase in abundance over the last 8 years and has become the most abundant invertebrate in the shallow waters of the marine reserve, matching some dominant erect macroalgae in abundance. High recruitment played an important role in this increasing coral abundance. The results from this study provide compelling evidence that the increase in sea urchin abundance may be one of the main drivers of the observed increase in coral abundance. Sea urchins overgraze macroalgae and create barren patches in the space-limited macroalgal community that subsequently facilitate coral recruitment. This study indicates that trophic interactions contributed to the success of an invasive coral in the Mediterranean because sea urchins grazing activity indirectly facilitated expansion of the coral. Current coral abundance at the marine reserve has ended the monopolization of algae in rocky infralittoral assemblages, an event that could greatly modify both the underwater seascape and the sources of primary production in the ecosystem. PMID:21789204

  14. Wasp-waist populations and marine ecosystem dynamics: Navigating the “ predator pit” topographies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bakun, Andrew

    2006-02-01

    Many marine ecosystems exhibit a characteristic “wasp-waist” structure, where a single species, or at most several species, of small planktivorous fishes entirely dominate their trophic level. These species have complex life histories that result in radical variability that may propagate to both higher and lower trophic levels of the ecosystem. In addition, these populations have two key attributes: (1) they represent the lowest trophic level that is mobile, so they are capable of relocating their area of operation according to their own internal dynamics; (2) they may prey upon the early life stages of their predators, forming an unstable feedback loop in the trophic system that may, for example, precipitate abrupt regime shifts. Experience with the typical “boom-bust” dynamics of this type of population, and with populations that interact trophically with them, suggests a “predator pit” type of dynamics. This features a refuge from predation when abundance is very low, very destructive predation between an abundance level sufficient to attract interest from predators and an abundance level sufficient to satiate available predators, and, as abundance increases beyond this satiation point, decreasing specific predation mortality and population breakout. A simple formalism is developed to describe these dynamics. Examples of its application include (a) a hypothetical mechanism for progressive geographical habitat expansion at high biomass, (b) an explanation for the out-of-phase alternations of abundances of anchovies and sardines in many regional systems that appear to occur without substantial adverse interactions between the two species groups, and (c) an account of an interaction of environmental processes and fishery exploitation that caused a regime shift. The last is the example of the Baltic Sea, where the cod resource collapsed in concert with establishment of dominance of that ecosystem by the cod’s ‘wasp-waist” prey, herring and sprat.

  15. Evolution of predator-prey interactions in ancient lakes: implications for coevolution in marine environments

    SciTech Connect

    Cohen, A.

    1985-01-01

    Highly generalized predator-prey interrelationships are a hallmark of most lacustrine ecosystems where accommodation to the physical environment plays the major role in determining organismal distributions. Since the vast majority of lakes are ephemeral on a geological and evolutionary times scale, dispersal, rather than organism interaction, appears to be the dominant selective theme in lacustrine species evolution. In a few, very long lasting lakes, notably modern Lakes Tanganyika (Africa) and Baikal (USSR) and ancient lakes of the Brazilian Rift (Cretaceous) and Snake River Plain (Tertiary), invertebrates and fish occur which demonstrate the development of intense biological accommodation in coevolving predator-prey interactions. Shell crushing experiments on 2 endemic Tanganyikan gastropods, Lavigeria nassa and Spekia zonata show them to be comparable to warm temperature marine species in terms of grow load strength: 1-2 orders of magnitude stronger than confamilial cosmopolitan species from more ephemeral lakes in the same region of Africa. Shell repair is commonly observed in these and other Tanganyikan endemic snails although it is exceedingly rare inmost other lakes. The study of these early stages of evolutionary processes and rates in coevolving predator-prey systems in isolated lacustrine microcosms has important implications for those paleontologists concerned with marine invertebrates. It may shed considerable light on the interpretation of such events as the marine Mesozoic Revolution.

  16. Can measures of prey availability improve our ability to predict the abundance of large marine predators?

    PubMed

    Wirsing, Aaron J; Heithaus, Michael R; Dill, Lawrence M

    2007-09-01

    Apex marine predators can structure marine communities, so factors underlying their abundance are of broad interest. However, such data are almost completely lacking for large sharks. We assessed the relationship between tiger shark abundance, water temperature, and the availability of a variety of known prey over 5 years in Western Australia. Abundance of sharks in four size categories and the density of prey (cormorants, dugongs, sea snakes, sea turtles) were indexed using daily catch rates and transects, respectively. Across all sizes, thermal conditions were a determinant of abundance, with numerical peaks coinciding with periods of high water temperature. However, for sharks exceeding 300 cm total length, the inclusion of dugong density significantly improved temperature-based models, suggesting that use of particular areas by large tiger sharks is influenced by availability of this sirenian. We conclude that large marine predator population models may benefit from the inclusion of measures of prey availability, but only if such measures consider prey types separately and account for ontogenetic shifts in the diet of the predator in question.

  17. Improvements to Passive Acoustic Tracking Methods for Marine Mammal Monitoring

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2014-09-30

    1 DISTRIBUTION STATEMENT A. Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited. Improvements to Passive Acoustic Tracking Methods for...www.soest.hawaii.edu/ore/faculty/nosal LONG-TERM GOALS The long-term goal of this project is to improve model-based passive acoustic methods for...and applicability of model-based passive acoustic tracking methods for marine mammals: 1) Invert for sound speed profiles, hydrophone position and

  18. The influence of historical climate changes on Southern Ocean marine predator populations: a comparative analysis.

    PubMed

    Younger, Jane L; Emmerson, Louise M; Miller, Karen J

    2016-02-01

    The Southern Ocean ecosystem is undergoing rapid physical and biological changes that are likely to have profound implications for higher-order predators. Here, we compare the long-term, historical responses of Southern Ocean predators to climate change. We examine palaeoecological evidence for changes in the abundance and distribution of seabirds and marine mammals, and place these into context with palaeoclimate records in order to identify key environmental drivers associated with population changes. Our synthesis revealed two key factors underlying Southern Ocean predator population changes; (i) the availability of ice-free ground for breeding and (ii) access to productive foraging grounds. The processes of glaciation and sea ice fluctuation were key; the distributions and abundances of elephant seals, snow petrels, gentoo, chinstrap and Adélie penguins all responded strongly to the emergence of new breeding habitat coincident with deglaciation and reductions in sea ice. Access to productive foraging grounds was another limiting factor, with snow petrels, king and emperor penguins all affected by reduced prey availability in the past. Several species were isolated in glacial refugia and there is evidence that refuge populations were supported by polynyas. While the underlying drivers of population change were similar across most Southern Ocean predators, the individual responses of species to environmental change varied because of species specific factors such as dispersal ability and environmental sensitivity. Such interspecific differences are likely to affect the future climate change responses of Southern Ocean marine predators and should be considered in conservation plans. Comparative palaeoecological studies are a valuable source of long-term data on species' responses to environmental change that can provide important insights into future climate change responses. This synthesis highlights the importance of protecting productive foraging grounds

  19. Response of coccinellid larvae to conspecific and heterospecific larval tracks: a mechanism that reduces cannibalism and intraguild predation.

    PubMed

    Meisner, Matthew H; Harmon, Jason P; Ives, Anthony R

    2011-02-01

    Cannibalism, where one species feeds on individuals of its own species, and intraguild predation (IGP), where a predator feeds on other predatory species, can both pose significant threats to natural enemies and interfere with their biological control of pests. Behavioral mechanisms to avoid these threats, however, could help maintain superior pest control. Here, we ask whether larvae of Coccinella septempunctata (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae) and Harmonia axyridis (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae) respond to larval tracks deposited by the other and whether this behavioral response reduces the threat of cannibalism and IGP. In petri dish experiments, we show that both H. axyridis and C. septempunctata avoid foraging in areas with conspecific larval tracks. Using a method of preventing larvae from depositing tracks, we then demonstrate that the frequency of cannibalism is greater for both species when larvae are prevented from depositing tracks compared with when the tracks are deposited. For multi-species interactions we show in petri dish experiments that C. septempunctata avoids H. axyridis larval tracks but H. axyridis does not avoid C. septempunctata larval tracks, demonstrating an asymmetry in response to larval tracks that parallels the asymmetry in aggressiveness between these species as intraguild predators. On single plants, we show that the presence of H. axyridis larval tracks reduces the risk of IGP by H. axyridis on C. septempunctata. Our study suggests that larval tracks can be used in more ways than previously described, in this case by changing coccinellid larval behavior in a way that reduces cannibalism and IGP.

  20. Searching for the true diet of marine predators: incorporating Bayesian priors into stable isotope mixing models.

    PubMed

    Chiaradia, André; Forero, Manuela G; McInnes, Julie C; Ramírez, Francisco

    2014-01-01

    Reconstructing the diet of top marine predators is of great significance in several key areas of applied ecology, requiring accurate estimation of their true diet. However, from conventional stomach content analysis to recent stable isotope and DNA analyses, no one method is bias or error free. Here, we evaluated the accuracy of recent methods to estimate the actual proportion of a controlled diet fed to a top-predator seabird, the Little penguin (Eudyptula minor). We combined published DNA data of penguins scats with blood plasma δ(15)N and δ(13)C values to reconstruct the diet of individual penguins fed experimentally. Mismatch between controlled (true) ingested diet and dietary estimates obtained through the separately use of stable isotope and DNA data suggested some degree of differences in prey assimilation (stable isotope) and digestion rates (DNA analysis). In contrast, combined posterior isotope mixing model with DNA Bayesian priors provided the closest match to the true diet. We provided the first evidence suggesting that the combined use of these complementary techniques may provide better estimates of the actual diet of top marine predators- a powerful tool in applied ecology in the search for the true consumed diet.

  1. Post-Paleozoic crinoid radiation in response to benthic predation preceded the Mesozoic marine revolution

    PubMed Central

    Baumiller, Tomasz K.; Salamon, Mariusz A.; Gorzelak, Przemysław; Mooi, Rich; Messing, Charles G.; Gahn, Forest J.

    2010-01-01

    It has been argued that increases in predation over geological time should result in increases in defensive adaptations in prey taxa. Recent in situ and laboratory observations indicate that cidaroid sea urchins feed on live stalked crinoids, leaving distinct bite marks on their skeletal elements. Similar bite marks on fossil crinoids from Poland strongly suggest that these animals have been subject to echinoid predation since the Triassic. Following their near-demise during the end-Permian extinction, crinoids underwent a major evolutionary radiation during the Middle–Late Triassic that produced distinct morphological and behavioral novelties, particularly motile taxa that contrasted strongly with the predominantly sessile Paleozoic crinoid faunas. We suggest that the appearance and subsequent evolutionary success of motile crinoids were related to benthic predation by post-Paleozoic echinoids with their stronger and more active feeding apparatus and that, in the case of crinoids, the predation-driven Mesozoic marine revolution started earlier than in other groups, perhaps soon after the end-Permian extinction. PMID:20231453

  2. Post-Paleozoic crinoid radiation in response to benthic predation preceded the Mesozoic marine revolution.

    PubMed

    Baumiller, Tomasz K; Salamon, Mariusz A; Gorzelak, Przemyslaw; Mooi, Rich; Messing, Charles G; Gahn, Forest J

    2010-03-30

    It has been argued that increases in predation over geological time should result in increases in defensive adaptations in prey taxa. Recent in situ and laboratory observations indicate that cidaroid sea urchins feed on live stalked crinoids, leaving distinct bite marks on their skeletal elements. Similar bite marks on fossil crinoids from Poland strongly suggest that these animals have been subject to echinoid predation since the Triassic. Following their near-demise during the end-Permian extinction, crinoids underwent a major evolutionary radiation during the Middle-Late Triassic that produced distinct morphological and behavioral novelties, particularly motile taxa that contrasted strongly with the predominantly sessile Paleozoic crinoid faunas. We suggest that the appearance and subsequent evolutionary success of motile crinoids were related to benthic predation by post-Paleozoic echinoids with their stronger and more active feeding apparatus and that, in the case of crinoids, the predation-driven Mesozoic marine revolution started earlier than in other groups, perhaps soon after the end-Permian extinction.

  3. Impacts of climate change on marine top predators: Advances and future challenges

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hobday, Alistair J.; Arrizabalaga, Haritz; Evans, Karen; Nicol, Simon; Young, Jock W.; Weng, Kevin C.

    2015-03-01

    Oceanic top predators are the subject of studies by researchers under the international Climate Impacts on Oceanic Top Predators (CLIOTOP) program. A wide range of data sets have shown that environmental conditions, such as temperature and marine productivity, affect the distribution and biological processes of these species, and thus the activities of the humans that depend on them. In this special issue, 25 papers arising from the 2nd CLIOTOP symposium, held in Noumea, New Caledonia in February 2013 report the importance of realistic physical descriptions of oceanic processes for climate change projections, demonstrate a wide range of predator responses to historical climate variability, describe new analytical approaches for understanding the physiology, behaviour and trophodynamics, and project future distributions for a range of species. Several contributions discuss the implications for conservation and fisheries and show that resolving ecosystem management challenges and conflicts in the face of climate change is possible, but will require attention by decision-makers to issues that are broader than their traditional mandate. In the coming years, an increased focus on the development of management options to reduce the impacts of climate change on top predators and their dependent industries is needed.

  4. Hawaiian albatrosses track interannual variability of marine habitats in the North Pacific

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kappes, Michelle A.; Shaffer, Scott A.; Tremblay, Yann; Foley, David G.; Palacios, Daniel M.; Robinson, Patrick W.; Bograd, Steven J.; Costa, Daniel P.

    2010-07-01

    We studied the foraging behavior and marine habitats used by Laysan ( Phoebastria immutabilis) and Black-footed ( Phoebastria nigripes) Albatrosses, during four consecutive breeding seasons to investigate whether these marine predators changed habitat preferences, foraging distributions, or both, in accordance with natural interannual variability in the marine environment. We used satellite telemetry to track a total of 37 Laysan and 36 Black-footed Albatrosses during the incubation periods of 2002-2006 at Tern Island, Northwest Hawaiian Islands. First passage time analysis was used to determine search effort of individual albatrosses along their respective tracks, and this metric was then related to oceanographic habitat variables using linear mixed-effects regression. The majority of individuals traveled to pelagic waters of the North Pacific, with Laysan Albatrosses demonstrating a more northwesterly distribution from the breeding colony. Laysan Albatrosses traveled farther, for longer periods, and demonstrated greater interannual variability in trip characteristics than Black-footed Albatrosses. For Laysan Albatrosses, maximum trip distance was negatively correlated with body mass change during foraging and overall breeding success. There was considerable interspecific segregation of foraging habitats, and low overlap of foraging distributions between years. For all years, and both species, sea surface temperature was consistently the most important environmental variable predicting search effort of albatrosses, suggesting that both species use similar environmental cues when searching for prey. In the context of climate variability, our results suggest that Hawaiian albatrosses demonstrate flexibility in foraging strategies and track preferred marine habitats. However, adjusting foraging behavior to climatic variability may have energetic, and subsequent reproductive consequences.

  5. A Rao-Blackwellized particle filter for joint parameter estimation and biomass tracking in a stochastic predator-prey system.

    PubMed

    Martín-Fernández, Laura; Gilioli, Gianni; Lanzarone, Ettore; Miguez, Joaquin; Pasquali, Sara; Ruggeri, Fabrizio; Ruiz, Diego P

    2014-06-01

    Functional response estimation and population tracking in predator-prey systems are critical problems in ecology. In this paper we consider a stochastic predator-prey system with a Lotka-Volterra functional response and propose a particle filtering method for: (a) estimating the behavioral parameter representing the rate of effective search per predator in the functional response and (b) forecasting the population biomass using field data. In particular, the proposed technique combines a sequential Monte Carlo sampling scheme for tracking the time-varying biomass with the analytical integration of the unknown behavioral parameter. In order to assess the performance of the method, we show results for both synthetic and observed data collected in an acarine predator-prey system, namely the pest mite Tetranychus urticae and the predatory mite Phytoseiulus persimilis.

  6. Evidence of localized resource depletion following a natural colonization event by a large marine predator.

    PubMed

    Kuhn, Carey E; Baker, Jason D; Towell, Rodney G; Ream, Rolf R

    2014-09-01

    For central place foragers, forming colonies can lead to extensive competition for prey around breeding areas and a zone of local prey depletion. As populations grow, this area of reduced prey can expand impacting foraging success and forcing animals to alter foraging behaviour. Here, we examine a population of marine predators, the northern fur seal (Callorhinus ursinus), which colonized a recently formed volcanic island, and assess changes in foraging behaviour associated with increasing population density. Specifically, we measured pup production and adult foraging behaviour over a 15-year period, during which the population increased 4-fold. Using measures of at-sea movements and dive behaviour, we found clear evidence that as the population expanded, animals were required to allot increasing effort to obtain resources. These changes in behaviour included longer duration foraging trips, farther distances travelled, a larger foraging range surrounding the island and deeper maximum dives. Our results suggest that as the northern fur seal population increased, local prey resources were depleted as a result of increased intraspecific competition. In addition, the recent slowing of population growth indicates that this population may be approaching carrying capacity just 31 years after a natural colonization event. Our study offers insight into the dynamics of population growth and impacts of increasing population density on a large marine predator. Such data could be vital for understanding future population fluctuations that occur in response to the dynamic environment, as natural and anthropogenic factors continue to modify marine habitats.

  7. Squidpops: A Simple Tool to Crowdsource a Global Map of Marine Predation Intensity

    PubMed Central

    Duffy, J. Emmett; Ziegler, Shelby L.; Campbell, Justin E.; Bippus, Paige M.; Lefcheck, Jonathan S.

    2015-01-01

    We present a simple, standardized assay, the squidpop, for measuring the relative feeding intensity of generalist predators in aquatic systems. The assay consists of a 1.3-cm diameter disk of dried squid mantle tethered to a rod, which is either inserted in the sediment in soft-bottom habitats or secured to existing structure. Each replicate squidpop is scored as present or absent after 1 and 24 hours, and the data for analysis are proportions of replicate units consumed at each time. Tests in several habitats of the temperate southeastern USA (Virginia and North Carolina) and tropical Central America (Belize) confirmed the assay’s utility for measuring variation in predation intensity among habitats, among seasons, and along environmental gradients. In Belize, predation intensity varied strongly among habitats, with reef > seagrass = mangrove > unvegetated bare sand. Quantitative visual surveys confirmed that assayed feeding intensity increased with abundance and species richness of fishes across sites, with fish abundance and richness explaining up to 45% and 70% of the variation in bait loss respectively. In the southeastern USA, predation intensity varied seasonally, being highest during summer and declining in late autumn. Deployments in marsh habitats generally revealed a decline in mean predation intensity from fully marine to tidal freshwater sites. The simplicity, economy, and standardization of the squidpop assay should facilitate engagement of scientists and citizens alike, with the goal of constructing high-resolution maps of how top-down control varies through space and time in aquatic ecosystems, and addressing a broad array of long-standing hypotheses in macro- and community ecology. PMID:26599815

  8. Microhabitat Selection by Marine Mesoconsumers in a Thermally Heterogeneous Habitat: Behavioral Thermoregulation or Avoiding Predation Risk?

    PubMed Central

    Vaudo, Jeremy J.; Heithaus, Michael R.

    2013-01-01

    Habitat selection decisions by consumers has the potential to shape ecosystems. Understanding the factors that influence habitat selection is therefore critical to understanding ecosystem function. This is especially true of mesoconsumers because they provide the link between upper and lower tropic levels. We examined the factors influencing microhabitat selection of marine mesoconsumers – juvenile giant shovelnose rays (Glaucostegus typus), reticulate whiprays (Himantura uarnak), and pink whiprays (H. fai) – in a coastal ecosystem with intact predator and prey populations and marked spatial and temporal thermal heterogeneity. Using a combination of belt transects and data on water temperature, tidal height, prey abundance, predator abundance and ray behavior, we found that giant shovelnose rays and reticulate whiprays were most often found resting in nearshore microhabitats, especially at low tidal heights during the warm season. Microhabitat selection did not match predictions derived from distributions of prey. Although at a course scale, ray distributions appeared to match predictions of behavioral thermoregulation theory, fine-scale examination revealed a mismatch. The selection of the shallow nearshore microhabitat at low tidal heights during periods of high predator abundance (warm season) suggests that this microhabitat may serve as a refuge, although it may come with metabolic costs due to higher temperatures. The results of this study highlight the importance of predators in the habitat selection decisions of mesoconsumers and that within thermal gradients, factors, such as predation risk, must be considered in addition to behavioral thermoregulation to explain habitat selection decisions. Furthermore, increasing water temperatures predicted by climate change may result in complex trade-offs that might have important implications for ecosystem dynamics. PMID:23593501

  9. Prey density and the behavioral flexibility of a marine predator: The common murre (Uria aalge)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Harding, A.M.A.; Piatt, J.F.; Schmutz, J.A.; Shultz, M.T.; van Pelt, Thomas I.; Kettle, Arthur B.; Speckman, S.G.

    2007-01-01

    Flexible time budgets allow individual animals to buffer the effects of variable food availability by allocating more time to foraging when food density decreases. This trait should be especially important for marine predators that forage on patchy and ephemeral food resources. We examined flexible time allocation by a long-lived marine predator, the Common Murre (Uria aalge), using data collected in a five-year study at three colonies in Alaska (USA) with contrasting environmental conditions. Annual hydroacoustic surveys revealed an order-of-magnitude variation in food density among the 15 colony-years of study. We used data on parental time budgets and local prey density to test predictions from two hypotheses: Hypothesis A, the colony attendance of seabirds varies nonlinearly with food density; and Hypothesis B, flexible time allocation of parent murres buffers chicks against variable food availability. Hypothesis A was supported; colony attendance by murres was positively correlated with food over a limited range of poor-to-moderate food densities, but independent of food over a broader range of higher densities. This is the first empirical evidence for a nonlinear response of a marine predator's time budget to changes in prey density. Predictions from Hypothesis B were largely supported: (1) chick-feeding rates were fairly constant over a wide range of densities and only dropped below 3.5 meals per day at the low end of prey density, and (2) there was a nonlinear relationship between chick-feeding rates and time spent at the colony, with chick-feeding rates only declining after time at the colony by the nonbrooding parent was reduced to a minimum. The ability of parents to adjust their foraging time by more than 2 h/d explains why they were able to maintain chick-feeding rates of more than 3.5 meals/d across a 10-fold range in local food density. ?? 2007 by the Ecological Society of America.

  10. The role of epibenthic predators in structuring the marine invertebrate community of a British coastal salt marsh

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Frid, C. L. J.; James, R.

    The marine fauna of salt marshes are subjected to predation by birds, tidally feeding flatfish, crabs, prawns and small gobiid fish. The role of these epibenthic predators in structuring the community was investigated using cages to exclude predators. A range of designs of cages and partial cages was employed to control for artefacts due to caging, and sufficient cages were employed so that each cage was only sampled once to prevent the compounding of disturbance due to predation and sampling. Two mesh sizes were employed, a fine mesh excluding epibenthic predators and a coarse mesh allowing access by small crabs, prawns and gobiid fish but excluding birds and larger fish. The exclusion was maintained for 2 years. The presence of any experimental structure had a significant effect on the sedimentary regime within the cage. Epibentic predator exclusion let to an increase in infaunal predator density, but had no significant effect on the infaunal deposit feeders. There was some evidence that predators limit the surface deposit feeding gastropood Hydrobia ulvae during the winter. The gastropod Littorina littorea responded positively to the presence of any caging structure; this may be the result of changes in the availability of food, as the sides of a cage support a diatom flora which this species can exploit. The lack of a response from the infaunal deposit feeders is attributed to their horizontal mobility within the sediment. The possible interactions between epibenthic and infaunal predators are discussed.

  11. Evidence of marine mammal predation of the European eel (Anguilla anguilla L.) on its marine migration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wahlberg, Magnus; Westerberg, Håkan; Aarestrup, Kim; Feunteun, Eric; Gargan, Paddy; Righton, David

    2014-04-01

    Temperature and depth logging tags were implanted into adult eels released on Atlantic west coasts of France and Ireland to study their oceanic migration behavior. For three of the tags, 25 to 256 days after release there was a dramatic rise in temperature from 10 °C to 36 °C and the dive profile changed from depths of 300-1000 m to repeated ascents to the surface. This indicated that the eels carrying the tags had been eaten by a mammalian predator. Two of the tags had sufficient sampling rate to resolve the dives in detail. They recorded a total of 91 dives to maximum depths of 250-860 m lasting 11-12 min and with surface intervals of 5-7 min. More than two thirds of the dives included a rapid descent from approximately 500 m to 600-700 m. From this we infer that the predator was most likely a deep-diving toothed whale. The dives logged while the tags were inside the predator revealed that the temperature usually decreased during dives, and increased again during surface periods. The temperature drops during dives were probably caused by the ingestion of prey or water. These observations provide insights into the behavior of toothed whales foraging in the mesopelagic zone.

  12. Marine bacterial community structure resilience to changes in protist predation under phytoplankton bloom conditions.

    PubMed

    Baltar, Federico; Palovaara, Joakim; Unrein, Fernando; Catala, Philippe; Horňák, Karel; Šimek, Karel; Vaqué, Dolors; Massana, Ramon; Gasol, Josep M; Pinhassi, Jarone

    2016-03-01

    To test whether protist grazing selectively affects the composition of aquatic bacterial communities, we combined high-throughput sequencing to determine bacterial community composition with analyses of grazing rates, protist and bacterial abundances and bacterial cell sizes and physiological states in a mesocosm experiment in which nutrients were added to stimulate a phytoplankton bloom. A large variability was observed in the abundances of bacteria (from 0.7 to 2.4 × 10(6) cells per ml), heterotrophic nanoflagellates (from 0.063 to 2.7 × 10(4) cells per ml) and ciliates (from 100 to 3000 cells per l) during the experiment (∼3-, 45- and 30-fold, respectively), as well as in bulk grazing rates (from 1 to 13 × 10(6) bacteria per ml per day) and bacterial production (from 3 to 379 μg per C l per day) (1 and 2 orders of magnitude, respectively). However, these strong changes in predation pressure did not induce comparable responses in bacterial community composition, indicating that bacterial community structure was resilient to changes in protist predation pressure. Overall, our results indicate that peaks in protist predation (at least those associated with phytoplankton blooms) do not necessarily trigger substantial changes in the composition of coastal marine bacterioplankton communities.

  13. Benefits of Group Foraging Depend on Prey Type in a Small Marine Predator, the Little Penguin.

    PubMed

    Sutton, Grace J; Hoskins, Andrew J; Arnould, John P Y

    2015-01-01

    Group foraging provides predators with advantages in over-powering prey larger than themselves or in aggregating small prey for efficient exploitation. For group-living predatory species, cooperative hunting strategies provide inclusive fitness benefits. However, for colonial-breeding predators, the benefit pay-offs of group foraging are less clear due to the potential for intra-specific competition. We used animal-borne cameras to determine the prey types, hunting strategies, and success of little penguins (Eudyptula minor), a small, colonial breeding air-breathing marine predator that has recently been shown to display extensive at-sea foraging associations with conspecifics. Regardless of prey type, little penguins had a higher probability of associating with conspecifics when hunting prey that were aggregated than when prey were solitary. In addition, success was greater when individuals hunted schooling rather than solitary prey. Surprisingly, however, success on schooling prey was similar or greater when individuals hunted on their own than when with conspecifics. These findings suggest individuals may be trading-off the energetic gains of solitary hunting for an increased probability of detecting prey within a spatially and temporally variable prey field by associating with conspecifics.

  14. Size matters: Predator outbreaks threaten foundation species in small Marine Protected Areas.

    PubMed

    Clements, Cody S; Hay, Mark E

    2017-01-01

    The unanticipated impacts of consumers in fragmented habitats are frequently a challenge for ecosystem management. On Indo-Pacific coral reefs, crown-of-thorns sea stars (Acanthaster spp.) are coral predators whose outbreaks cause precipitous coral decline. Across large spatial scales, Acanthaster densities are lower in large no-take Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) and reefs subject to limited human exploitation. However, using a combination of observational and manipulative experiments, we found that Acanthaster densities within a network of small, no-take MPAs on reef flats in Fiji were ~2-3.4 times greater inside MPAs than in adjacent fished areas and ~2-2.5 times greater than the upper threshold density indicative of an outbreak. This appeared to result from selective Acanthaster migration to the coral-rich MPAs from fished areas that are coral-poor and dominated by macroalgae. Small MPAs can dramatically increase the cover of foundation species like corals, but may selectively attract coral predators like Acanthaster due to greater food densities within MPAs or because the MPAs are too small to support Acanthaster enemies. As coral cover increases, their chemical and visual cues may concentrate Acanthaster to outbreak densities that cause coral demise, compromising the value of small MPAs. An understanding of predator dynamics as a function of habitat type, size, and fragmentation needs to be incorporated into MPA design and management.

  15. Size matters: Predator outbreaks threaten foundation species in small Marine Protected Areas

    PubMed Central

    2017-01-01

    The unanticipated impacts of consumers in fragmented habitats are frequently a challenge for ecosystem management. On Indo-Pacific coral reefs, crown-of-thorns sea stars (Acanthaster spp.) are coral predators whose outbreaks cause precipitous coral decline. Across large spatial scales, Acanthaster densities are lower in large no-take Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) and reefs subject to limited human exploitation. However, using a combination of observational and manipulative experiments, we found that Acanthaster densities within a network of small, no-take MPAs on reef flats in Fiji were ~2–3.4 times greater inside MPAs than in adjacent fished areas and ~2–2.5 times greater than the upper threshold density indicative of an outbreak. This appeared to result from selective Acanthaster migration to the coral-rich MPAs from fished areas that are coral-poor and dominated by macroalgae. Small MPAs can dramatically increase the cover of foundation species like corals, but may selectively attract coral predators like Acanthaster due to greater food densities within MPAs or because the MPAs are too small to support Acanthaster enemies. As coral cover increases, their chemical and visual cues may concentrate Acanthaster to outbreak densities that cause coral demise, compromising the value of small MPAs. An understanding of predator dynamics as a function of habitat type, size, and fragmentation needs to be incorporated into MPA design and management. PMID:28166257

  16. Benefits of Group Foraging Depend on Prey Type in a Small Marine Predator, the Little Penguin

    PubMed Central

    Sutton, Grace J.; Hoskins, Andrew J.; Arnould, John P. Y.

    2015-01-01

    Group foraging provides predators with advantages in over-powering prey larger than themselves or in aggregating small prey for efficient exploitation. For group-living predatory species, cooperative hunting strategies provide inclusive fitness benefits. However, for colonial-breeding predators, the benefit pay-offs of group foraging are less clear due to the potential for intra-specific competition. We used animal-borne cameras to determine the prey types, hunting strategies, and success of little penguins (Eudyptula minor), a small, colonial breeding air-breathing marine predator that has recently been shown to display extensive at-sea foraging associations with conspecifics. Regardless of prey type, little penguins had a higher probability of associating with conspecifics when hunting prey that were aggregated than when prey were solitary. In addition, success was greater when individuals hunted schooling rather than solitary prey. Surprisingly, however, success on schooling prey was similar or greater when individuals hunted on their own than when with conspecifics. These findings suggest individuals may be trading-off the energetic gains of solitary hunting for an increased probability of detecting prey within a spatially and temporally variable prey field by associating with conspecifics. PMID:26674073

  17. Marine bacterial community structure resilience to changes in protist predation under phytoplankton bloom conditions

    PubMed Central

    Baltar, Federico; Palovaara, Joakim; Unrein, Fernando; Catala, Philippe; Horňák, Karel; Šimek, Karel; Vaqué, Dolors; Massana, Ramon; Gasol, Josep M; Pinhassi, Jarone

    2016-01-01

    To test whether protist grazing selectively affects the composition of aquatic bacterial communities, we combined high-throughput sequencing to determine bacterial community composition with analyses of grazing rates, protist and bacterial abundances and bacterial cell sizes and physiological states in a mesocosm experiment in which nutrients were added to stimulate a phytoplankton bloom. A large variability was observed in the abundances of bacteria (from 0.7 to 2.4 × 106 cells per ml), heterotrophic nanoflagellates (from 0.063 to 2.7 × 104 cells per ml) and ciliates (from 100 to 3000 cells per l) during the experiment (∼3-, 45- and 30-fold, respectively), as well as in bulk grazing rates (from 1 to 13 × 106 bacteria per ml per day) and bacterial production (from 3 to 379 μg per C l per day) (1 and 2 orders of magnitude, respectively). However, these strong changes in predation pressure did not induce comparable responses in bacterial community composition, indicating that bacterial community structure was resilient to changes in protist predation pressure. Overall, our results indicate that peaks in protist predation (at least those associated with phytoplankton blooms) do not necessarily trigger substantial changes in the composition of coastal marine bacterioplankton communities. PMID:26262814

  18. Environmental forcing and Southern Ocean marine predator populations: effects of climate change and variability.

    PubMed

    Trathan, P N; Forcada, J; Murphy, E J

    2007-12-29

    The Southern Ocean is a major component within the global ocean and climate system and potentially the location where the most rapid climate change is most likely to happen, particularly in the high-latitude polar regions. In these regions, even small temperature changes can potentially lead to major environmental perturbations. Climate change is likely to be regional and may be expressed in various ways, including alterations to climate and weather patterns across a variety of time-scales that include changes to the long interdecadal background signals such as the development of the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO). Oscillating climate signals such as ENSO potentially provide a unique opportunity to explore how biological communities respond to change. This approach is based on the premise that biological responses to shorter-term sub-decadal climate variability signals are potentially the best predictor of biological responses over longer time-scales. Around the Southern Ocean, marine predator populations show periodicity in breeding performance and productivity, with relationships with the environment driven by physical forcing from the ENSO region in the Pacific. Wherever examined, these relationships are congruent with mid-trophic-level processes that are also correlated with environmental variability. The short-term changes to ecosystem structure and function observed during ENSO events herald potential long-term changes that may ensue following regional climate change. For example, in the South Atlantic, failure of Antarctic krill recruitment will inevitably foreshadow recruitment failures in a range of higher trophic-level marine predators. Where predator species are not able to accommodate by switching to other prey species, population-level changes will follow. The Southern Ocean, though oceanographically interconnected, is not a single ecosystem and different areas are dominated by different food webs. Where species occupy different positions in

  19. Model-based localization and tracking of marine mammals

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Abawi, Ahmad T.; Porter, Michael B.; Siderius, Martin; Hildebrand, John; Wiggins, Sean

    2001-05-01

    Data from the August 2003 experiment conducted by the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in the Southern California Offshore Range (SCORE) are used to localize and track marine mammals. SCORE is a naval training area near the island of San Clemente located in relatively shallow water. The water depth where the experiment was conducted is around 360 m. Data were recorded on a 100-m, eight-element vertical array deployed from the Floating Instrument Platform (FLIP) and four bottom-mounted seismometers deployed in an area covering approximately three square kilometers. During the course of the 7-day experiment continuous recording of the ocean environment was made. The recordings contain numerous blue and fin whale calls. Matched field processing was used on the vertical array data to localize and track singing whales. The differences between different animal calls (extended, low frequency calls in the case of blue whales and short, impulsive calls in the case of fin whales) are exploited to track different animal species. Animals were also independently tracked by comparing the predicted (computed using a propagation model) and measured difference in time of arrival recorded in each seismometer pairs. The tracking results obtained from the two techniques are compared.

  20. Model-based localization and tracking of marine mammals

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Abawi, Ahmad T.; Porter, Michael B.; Siderius, Martin; Hildebrand, John; Wiggins, Sean

    2004-05-01

    Data from the August 2003 experiment conducted by the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in the Southern California Offshore Range (SCORE) are used to localize and track marine mammals. SCORE is a naval training area near the island of San Clemente located in relatively shallow water. The water depth where the experiment was conducted is around 360 m. Data were recorded on a 100-m, eight-element vertical array deployed from the Floating Instrument Platform (FLIP) and four bottom-mounted seismometers deployed in an area covering approximately three square kilometers. During the course of the 7-day experiment continuous recording of the ocean environment was made. The recordings contain numerous blue and fin whale calls. Matched field processing was used on the vertical array data to localize and track singing whales. The differences between different animal calls (extended, low frequency calls in the case of blue whales and short, impulsive calls in the case of fin whales) are exploited to track different animal species. Animals were also independently tracked by comparing the predicted (computed using a propagation model) and measured difference in time of arrival recorded in each seismometer pairs. The tracking results obtained from the two techniques are compared.

  1. Estimating resource acquisition and at-sea body condition of a marine predator

    PubMed Central

    Schick, Robert S; New, Leslie F; Thomas, Len; Costa, Daniel P; Hindell, Mark A; McMahon, Clive R; Robinson, Patrick W; Simmons, Samantha E; Thums, Michele; Harwood, John; Clark, James S

    2013-01-01

    Body condition plays a fundamental role in many ecological and evolutionary processes at a variety of scales and across a broad range of animal taxa. An understanding of how body condition changes at fine spatial and temporal scales as a result of interaction with the environment provides necessary information about how animals acquire resources. However, comparatively little is known about intra- and interindividual variation of condition in marine systems. Where condition has been studied, changes typically are recorded at relatively coarse time-scales. By quantifying how fine-scale interaction with the environment influences condition, we can broaden our understanding of how animals acquire resources and allocate them to body stores. Here we used a hierarchical Bayesian state-space model to estimate the body condition as measured by the size of an animal's lipid store in two closely related species of marine predator that occupy different hemispheres: northern elephant seals (Mirounga angustirostris) and southern elephant seals (Mirounga leonina). The observation model linked drift dives to lipid stores. The process model quantified daily changes in lipid stores as a function of the physiological condition of the seal (lipid:lean tissue ratio, departure lipid and departure mass), its foraging location, two measures of behaviour and environmental covariates. We found that physiological condition significantly impacted lipid gain at two time-scales – daily and at departure from the colony – that foraging location was significantly associated with lipid gain in both species of elephant seals and that long-term behavioural phase was associated with positive lipid gain in northern and southern elephant seals. In northern elephant seals, the occurrence of short-term behavioural states assumed to represent foraging were correlated with lipid gain. Lipid gain was a function of covariates in both species. Southern elephant seals performed fewer drift dives than

  2. An ecological perspective on marine reserves in prey-predator dynamics.

    PubMed

    Chakraborty, Kunal; Das, Kunal; Kar, T K

    2013-09-01

    This paper describes a prey-predator type fishery model with prey dispersal in a two-patch environment, one of which is a free fishing zone and other is a protected zone. The existence of possible steady states, along with their local stability, is discussed. A geometric approach is used to derive the sufficient conditions for global stability of the system at the positive equilibrium. Relative size of the reserve is considered as control in order to study optimal sustainable yield policy. Subsequently, the optimal system is derived and then solved numerically using an iterative method with Runge-Kutta fourth-order scheme. Numerical simulations are carried out to illustrate the importance of marine reserve in fisheries management. It is noted that the marine protected area enables us to protect and restore multi-species ecosystem. The results illustrate that dynamics of the system is extremely interesting if simultaneous effects of a regulatory mechanism like marine reserve is coupled with harvesting effort. It is observed that the migration of the resource, from protected area to unprotected area and vice versa, is playing an important role towards the standing stock assessment in both the areas which ultimately control the harvesting efficiency and enhance the fishing stock up to some extent.

  3. Spatial distribution of fishes in a Northwest Atlantic ecosystem in relation to risk of predation by a marine mammal.

    PubMed

    Swain, Douglas P; Benoît, Hugues P; Hammill, Mike O

    2015-09-01

    1. Numerous studies have shown that, at spatial scales of metres to several kilometres, animals balance the trade-off between foraging success and predation mortality by increasing their use of safer but less profitable habitats as predation risk increases. However, it is less clear whether prey respond similarly at the larger spatiotemporal scales of many ecosystems. 2. We determine whether this behaviour is evident in a large marine ecosystem, the southern Gulf of St. Lawrence (sGSL, 75 000 km(2) ) over a 42-year period. This ecosystem is characterized by a recent increase in the abundance of a large marine predator, the grey seal (Halichoerus grypus Fabricius), by more than an order of magnitude. 3. We compared changes in spatial distribution over the 1971-2012 period between important prey of grey seals (Atlantic cod, Gadus morhua L.; white hake, Urophycis tenuis Mitchill; and thorny skate, Amblyraja radiata Donovan) and non-prey fishes. 4. Distribution was modelled using generalized additive models incorporating spatially variable effects of predation risk, density dependence and water temperature. Distributions of cod, hake and skate were strongly related to risk of predation by seals, with distribution shifting into lower risk areas as predation risk increased. Non-prey species did not show similar changes in habitat use. Spatial variation in fish condition suggests that these low-risk areas are also less profitable for cod and skate in terms of food availability. The effects of density dependence and water temperature were also important in models, but did not account for the changes in habitat use as the risk of predation increased. 5. These results indicate that these fish are able to assess and respond to spatial variation in predation risk at very large spatial scales. They also suggest that non-consumptive 'risk' effects may be an important component of the declines in productivity of seal prey in this ecosystem, and of the indirect effects at lower

  4. The effectiveness of marine protected areas for predator and prey with varying mobility.

    PubMed

    Pilyugin, Sergei S; Medlock, Jan; De Leenheer, Patrick

    2016-08-01

    Marine protected areas (MPAs) are regions in the ocean where fishing is restricted or prohibited. Although several measures for MPA performance exist, here we focus on a specific one, namely the ratio of the steady state fish densities inside and outside the MPA. Several 2 patch models are proposed and analyzed mathematically. One patch represents the MPA, whereas the second patch represents the fishing ground. Fish move freely between both regions in a diffusive manner. Our main objective is to understand how fish mobility affects MPA performance. We show that MPA effectiveness decreases with fish mobility for single species models with logistic growth, and that densities inside and outside the MPA tend to equalize. This suggests that MPA performance is highest for the least mobile species. We then consider a 2 patch Lotka-Volterra predator-prey system. When one of the species moves, and the other does not, the ratio of the moving species first remains constant, and ultimately decreases with increased fish mobility, again with a tendency of equalization of the density in both regions. This suggests that MPA performance is not only highest for slow, but also for moderately mobile species. The discrepancy in MPA performance for single species models and for predator-prey models, confirms that MPA design requires an integrated, ecosystem-based approach. The mathematical approaches advocated here complement and enhance the numerical and theoretical approaches that are commonly applied to more complex models in the context of MPA design. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  5. Structure of marine predator and prey communities along environmental gradients in a glaciated fjord

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Renner, Martin; Arimitsu, Mayumi L.; Piatt, John F.

    2012-01-01

    Spatial patterns of marine predator communities are influenced to varying degrees by prey distribution and environmental gradients. We examined physical and biological attributes of an estuarine fjord with strong glacier influence to determine the factors that most influence the structure of predator and prey communities. Our results suggest that some species, such as walleye pollock (Theragra chalcogramma), black-legged kittiwake (Rissa tridactyla), and glaucous-winged gull (Larus glaucescens), were widely distributed across environmental gradients, indicating less specialization, whereas species such as capelin (Mallotus villosus), harbor seal (Phoca vitulina), and Kittlitz's murrelet (Brachyramphus brevirostris) appeared to have more specialized habitat requirements related to glacial influence. We found that upper trophic level communities were well correlated with their mid trophic level prey community, but strong physical gradients in photic depth, temperature, and nutrients played an important role in community structure as well. Mid-trophic level forage fish communities were correlated with the physical gradients more closely than upper trophic levels were, and they showed strong affinity to tidewater glaciers. Silica was closely correlated with the distribution of fish communities, the mechanisms of which deserve further study.

  6. Salinity sensors on seals: use of marine predators to carry CTD data loggers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hooker, Sascha K.; Boyd, Ian L.

    2003-07-01

    Diving marine predators have been used to collect data on ocean temperature, but salinity measurements have not previously been incorporated into predator-borne data loggers. Here we present data on initial calibration and field trials of a new conductivity, temperature and depth (CTD) data logger used alongside a satellite-positioning transmitter to provide three-dimensional oceanographic information. This provides CTD data analogous to that collected by a ship-deployed undulating oceanographic recorder. Calibration tests of these units showed a near-field effect caused by the proximity of material to the tag, but demonstrate that the resulting data offset can be removed by post hoc calibration. Field tests of the system were conducted on 16 female Antarctic fur seals ( Arctocephalus gazella) at Bird Island, South Georgia. These results matched those found by standard ship-based survey techniques, but suggest temporal variability in the structure and location of the two water masses found to the north of South Georgia. Overall, this initial proof-of-concept work is encouraging; future refinement of this technique is likely to provide an additional data source for both oceanographers and biologists.

  7. Predator/prey interaction between Pfiesteria piscicida and Rhodomonas mediated by a marine alpha proteobacterium.

    PubMed

    Alavi, M R

    2004-01-01

    The dinoflagellate Pfiesteria piscicida coexists with bacteria in aquatic environments and as such, may interact with them at the physiological level. This study was designed to investigate the influence of bacteria, present in a clonal culture of Pfiesteria piscicida, on the predator/prey relationship of this dinoflagellate with the alga Rhodomonas. A series of replenishment experiments with bacteria isolated from P. piscicida clonal culture and the bacteria-free P. piscicida derived from the same culture were carried out. In the presence of bacteria, the number of P. piscicida increased significantly when incubated with alga Rhodomonas. This enhanced growth was almost entirely due to the increased consumption rate of Rhodomonas by P. piscicida since in bacteria-free (axenic) cultures Rhodomonas were consumed at significantly reduced rates relative to cultures with bacteria. Subsequent replenishment experiments with individual bacterial isolates showed that a single isolate was responsible for the increased predation rate of P. piscicida. The presence or absence of this specific bacterium determined the outcome of the interaction between P. piscicida and Rhodomonas. Partial sequence analysis of the 16S rDNA of this isolate indicated that it was a novel marine alpha proteobacterium with sequence similarities to a Roseobacter sp. and a bacterium recently isolated from a toxic dinoflagellate Alexandrium sp.

  8. Revealing the timing of ocean stratification using remotely-sensed ocean fronts: links with marine predators

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Miller, P. I.; Loveday, B. R.

    2016-02-01

    Stratification is of critical importance to the mixing and productivity of the ocean, though currently it can only be measured using in situ sampling, profiling buoys or underwater autonomous vehicles. Stratification is understood to affect the surface aggregation of pelagic fish and hence the foraging behaviour and distribution of their predators such as seabirds and cetaceans. Satellite Earth observation sensors cannot directly detect stratification, but can observe surface features related to the presence of stratification, for example shelf-sea fronts that separate tidally-mixed water from seasonally stratified water. This presentation describes a novel algorithm that accumulates evidence for stratification from a sequence of oceanic front maps, and in certain regions can reveal the timing of the seasonal onset and breakdown of stratification. Initial comparisons will be made with seabird locations acquired through GPS tagging. If successful, a remotely-sensed stratification timing index would augment the ocean front metrics already developed at PML, that have been applied in over 20 journal articles relating marine predators to ocean fronts. The figure below shows a preliminary remotely-sensed 'stratification' index, for 25-31 Jul. 2010, where red indicates water with stronger evidence for stratification.

  9. Diving deeper into individual foraging specializations of a large marine predator, the southern sea lion.

    PubMed

    Baylis, A M M; Orben, R A; Arnould, J P Y; Peters, K; Knox, T; Costa, D P; Staniland, I J

    2015-12-01

    Despite global declines in the abundance of marine predators, knowledge of foraging ecology, necessary to predict the ecological consequences of large changes in marine predator abundance, remains enigmatic for many species. Given that populations suffering severe declines are of conservation concern, we examined the foraging ecology of southern sea lions (SSL) (Otaria flavescens)-one of the least studied otariids (fur seal and sea lions)-which have declined by over 90% at the Falkland Islands since the 1930s. Using a combination of biologging devices and stable isotope analysis of vibrissae, we redress major gaps in the knowledge of SSL ecology and quantify patterns of individual specialization. Specifically, we revealed two discrete foraging strategies, these being inshore (coastal) and offshore (outer Patagonian Shelf). The majority of adult female SSL (72% or n = 21 of 29 SSL) foraged offshore. Adult female SSL that foraged offshore travelled further (92 ± 20 vs. 10 ± 4 km) and dived deeper (75 ± 23 vs. 21 ± 8 m) when compared to those that foraged inshore. Stable isotope analysis revealed long-term fidelity (years) to these discrete foraging habitats. In addition, we found further specialization within the offshore group, with adult female SSL separated into two clusters on the basis of benthic or mixed (benthic and pelagic) dive behavior (benthic dive proportion was 76 ± 9 vs. 51 ± 8%, respectively). We suggest that foraging specialization in depleted populations such as SSL breeding at the Falkland Islands, are influenced by foraging site fidelity, and could be independent of intraspecific competition. Finally, the behavioral differences we describe are crucial to understanding population-level dynamics, impediments to population recovery, and threats to population persistence.

  10. A Carapace-Like Bony ‘Body Tube’ in an Early Triassic Marine Reptile and the Onset of Marine Tetrapod Predation

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Xiao-hong; Motani, Ryosuke; Cheng, Long; Jiang, Da-yong; Rieppel, Olivier

    2014-01-01

    Parahupehsuchus longus is a new species of marine reptile from the Lower Triassic of Yuan’an County, Hubei Province, China. It is unique among vertebrates for having a body wall that is completely surrounded by a bony tube, about 50 cm long and 6.5 cm deep, comprising overlapping ribs and gastralia. This tube and bony ossicles on the back are best interpreted as anti-predatory features, suggesting that there was predation pressure upon marine tetrapods in the Early Triassic. There is at least one sauropterygian that is sufficiently large to feed on Parahupehsuchus in the Nanzhang-Yuan’an fauna, together with six more species of potential prey marine reptiles with various degrees of body protection. Modern predators of marine tetrapods belong to the highest trophic levels in the marine ecosystem but such predators did not always exist through geologic time. The indication of marine-tetrapod feeding in the Nanzhang-Yuan’an fauna suggests that such a trophic level emerged for the first time in the Early Triassic. The recovery from the end-Permian extinction probably proceeded faster than traditionally thought for marine predators. Parahupehsuchus has superficially turtle-like features, namely expanded ribs without intercostal space, very short transverse processes, and a dorsal outgrowth from the neural spine. However, these features are structurally different from their turtle counterparts. Phylogeny suggests that they are convergent with the condition in turtles, which has a fundamentally different body plan that involves the folding of the body wall. Expanded ribs without intercostal space evolved at least twice and probably even more among reptiles. PMID:24718682

  11. Displacement effects of heavy human use on coral reef predators within the Molokini Marine Life Conservation District.

    PubMed

    Filous, Alexander; Friedlander, Alan M; Koike, Haruko; Lammers, Marc; Wong, Adam; Stone, Kristy; Sparks, Russell T

    2017-08-15

    The impact of marine ecotourism on reef predators is poorly understood and there is growing concern that overcrowding in Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) may disturb the species that these areas were established to protect. To improve our understanding of this issue, we used acoustic telemetry to examine the relationship between human activity at the Molokini Marine Life Conservation District (MLCD) and the habitat use of five reef-associated predators (Caranx melampygus, Caranx ignobilis, Triaenodon obesus, Carcharhinus amblyrhynchos, and Aprion virscens). During peak hours of human use, there was a negative relationship (R(2)=0.77, P<0.001) between the presence of bluefin trevally (Caranx melampygus) and vessels in subzone A. No other species showed strong evidence of this relationship. However, our results suggest that during this time, the natural ecosystem function that the reserve was established to protect may be compromised and overcrowding should be considered when managing MPAs. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. Direct quantification of energy intake in an apex marine predator suggests physiology is a key driver of migrations.

    PubMed

    Whitlock, Rebecca E; Hazen, Elliott L; Walli, Andreas; Farwell, Charles; Bograd, Steven J; Foley, David G; Castleton, Michael; Block, Barbara A

    2015-09-01

    Pacific bluefin tuna (Thunnus orientalis) are highly migratory apex marine predators that inhabit a broad thermal niche. The energy needed for migration must be garnered by foraging, but measuring energy intake in the marine environment is challenging. We quantified the energy intake of Pacific bluefin tuna in the California Current using a laboratory-validated model, the first such measurement in a wild marine predator. Mean daily energy intake was highest off the coast of Baja California, Mexico in summer (mean ± SD, 1034 ± 669 kcal), followed by autumn when Pacific bluefin achieve their northernmost range in waters off northern California (944 ± 579 kcal). Movements were not always consistent with maximizing energy intake: the Pacific bluefin move out of energy rich waters both in late summer and winter, coincident with rising and falling water temperatures, respectively. We hypothesize that temperature-related physiological constraints drive migration and that Pacific bluefin tuna optimize energy intake within a range of optimal aerobic performance.

  13. Impact of jaguar Panthera onca (Carnivora: Felidae) predation on marine turtle populations in Tortuguero, Caribbean coast of Costa Rica.

    PubMed

    Arroyo-Arce, Stephanny; Salom-Pérez, Roberto

    2015-09-01

    Little is known about the effects of jaguars on the population of marine turtles nesting in Tortuguero National Park, Costa Rica. This study assessed jaguar predation impact on three species of marine turtles (Chelonia mydas, Dermochelys coriacea and Eretmochelys imbricata) that nest in Tortuguero beach. Jaguar predation data was obtained by using two methodologies, literature review (historical records prior the year 2005) and weekly surveys along the 29 km stretch of beach during the period 2005-2013. Our results indicated that jaguar predation has increased from one marine turtle in 1981 to 198 in 2013. Jaguars consumed annually an average of 120 (SD = 45) and 2 (SD = 3) green turtles and leatherbacks in Tortuguero beach, respectively. Based on our results we concluded that jaguars do not represent a threat to the population of green turtles that nest in Tortuguero beach, and it is not the main cause for population decline for leatherbacks and hawksbills. Future research should focus on continuing to monitor this predator-prey relationship as well as the factors that influence it so the proper management decisions can be taken.

  14. Employing immunomarkers to track dispersal and trophic relationships of a piercing-sucking predator, Podisus maculiventris (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae).

    PubMed

    Kelly, Jessica L; Hagler, James R; Kaplan, Ian

    2012-12-01

    Immunoproteins are markers that are useful for monitoring dispersal and/or pest consumption, but current application techniques are less effective for the large guild of piercing-sucking predators important in biocontrol. We quantified the use of protein immunomarks in tracking emigration of spined soldier bug, Podisus maculiventris Say (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae) and predation on the hornworm caterpillar, Manduca sexta L. (Lepidoptera: Sphingidae). An external protein mark was topically applied to adult P. maculiventris to assess persistence under field conditions for >2 wk. Internal marks were incorporated into the artificial diet of M. sexta to test retention of the internal mark in the prey and uptake of the mark by predators. External marks remained detectable in 100% of individuals after 3 d and >50% still tested positive at 12 d after application in the field. Internal diet-based marking was also effective in tracking feeding by P. maculiventris on M. sexta, especially using rabbit IgG that was far more persistent than chicken IgY. Nearly 90% of stink bugs fed caterpillars previously reared on protein-enriched diet retained their mark for 24 h. Surprisingly, diet concentration and time reared on diet had comparatively little impact on mark retention. Development on unmarked tomato leaves clearly diluted the initial diet mark, but plant-reared individuals that were marked were still successfully detected in 35 and 20% of the predators.

  15. El Niño Southern Oscillation influences the abundance and movements of a marine top predator in coastal waters.

    PubMed

    Sprogis, Kate R; Christiansen, Fredrik; Wandres, Moritz; Bejder, Lars

    2017-10-08

    Large-scale climate modes such as El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) influence population dynamics in many species, including marine top predators. However, few quantitative studies have investigated the influence of large-scale variability on resident marine top predator populations. We examined the effect of climate variability on the abundance and temporary emigration of a resident bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops aduncus) population off Bunbury, Western Australia (WA). This population has been studied intensively over six consecutive years (2007-2013), yielding a robust dataset that captures seasonal variations in both abundance and movement patterns. In WA, ENSO affects the strength of the Leeuwin Current (LC), the dominant oceanographic feature in the region. The strength and variability of the LC affects marine ecosystems and distribution of top predator prey. We investigated the relationship between dolphin abundance and ENSO, Southern Annular Mode, austral season, rainfall, sea surface salinity and sea surface temperature (SST). Linear models indicated that dolphin abundance was significantly affected by ENSO, and that the magnitude of the effect was dependent upon season. Dolphin abundance was lowest during winter 2009, when dolphins had high temporary emigration rates out of the study area. This coincided with the single El Niño event that occurred throughout the study period. Coupled with this event, there was a negative anomaly in SST and an above average rainfall. These conditions may have affected the distribution of dolphin prey, resulting in the temporary emigration of dolphins out of the study area in search of adequate prey. This study demonstrated the local effects of large-scale climatic variations on the short-term response of a resident, coastal delphinid species. With a projected global increase in frequency and intensity of extreme climatic events, resident marine top predators may not only have to contend with increasing coastal

  16. Habitat-based Density Models for a Marine Predator - the Harbour Porpoise in the North Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gilles, A.; Viquerat, S.; Becker, E.; Forney, K.; Geelhoed, S.; Haelters, J.; Nabe-Nielsen, J.; Scheidat, M.; Siebert, U.; Sveegaard, S.; van Beest, F.; van Bemmelen, R.; Aarts, G.

    2016-02-01

    Effective species conservation and management requires information on species distribution patterns, which is particularly challenging for highly mobile and cryptic species that may be subject to multiple anthropogenic stressors across international boundaries. Understanding species-habitat relationships can improve the assessment of population size, trends and distribution by explicitly allowing high resolution data on habitats to inform abundance estimation and the identification of spatial management units. In this study, we aggregated an unprecedented set of survey data of a marine top predator, the harbour porpoise Phocoena phocoena, collected in the UK (Dogger Bank, SCANS II), Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany and Denmark, to develop seasonal habitat-based density models for the North Sea. Visual survey data were collected year-round over nine years (2005-2013) by means of dedicated line-transect surveys, taking into account the proportion of missed sightings on the transect. Generalized additive models of porpoise density were fitted to 156,630 km of on-effort survey data with 14,356 sightings of porpoise groups. Selected predictors included static and dynamic variables, such as depth, distance to shore and to sandeel (Ammodytes spp.) grounds, satellite-derived sea surface temperature (SST), spatial and temporal variation in SST (as proxies for fronts) and day length. Day length and a 3-dimensional tensor smooth representing the spatial distribution of daily SST proved to be good proxies for "season", allowing predictions in both space and time. The density models captured previously described seasonal shifts in distribution of harbour porpoise across international boundaries. By combining the large scale international SCANS II survey with the more frequent, small scale national surveys it has been possible to provide seasonal maps that can assist the EU Habitats and Marine Directives in more effectively assessing the conservation status of the harbour

  17. Migration phenology and seasonal fidelity of an Arctic marine predator in relation to sea ice dynamics.

    PubMed

    Cherry, Seth G; Derocher, Andrew E; Thiemann, Gregory W; Lunn, Nicholas J

    2013-07-01

    Understanding how seasonal environmental conditions affect the timing and distribution of synchronized animal movement patterns is a central issue in animal ecology. Migration, a behavioural adaptation to seasonal environmental fluctuations, is a fundamental part of the life history of numerous species. However, global climate change can alter the spatiotemporal distribution of resources and thus affect the seasonal movement patterns of migratory animals. We examined sea ice dynamics relative to migration patterns and seasonal geographical fidelity of an Arctic marine predator, the polar bear (Ursus maritimus). Polar bear movement patterns were quantified using satellite-linked telemetry data collected from collars deployed between 1991-1997 and 2004-2009. We showed that specific sea ice characteristics can predict the timing of seasonal polar bear migration on and off terrestrial refugia. In addition, fidelity to specific onshore regions during the ice-free period was predicted by the spatial pattern of sea ice break-up but not by the timing of break-up. The timing of migration showed a trend towards earlier arrival of polar bears on shore and later departure from land, which has been driven by climate-induced declines in the availability of sea ice. Changes to the timing of migration have resulted in polar bears spending progressively longer periods of time on land without access to sea ice and their marine mammal prey. The links between increased atmospheric temperatures, sea ice dynamics, and the migratory behaviour of an ice-dependent species emphasizes the importance of quantifying and monitoring relationships between migratory wildlife and environmental cues that may be altered by climate change.

  18. Chemical mediation as a structuring element in marine gastropod predator-prey interactions.

    PubMed

    Bornancin, L; Bonnard, I; Mills, S C; Banaigs, B

    2017-06-07

    Covering: up to 2017Chemical mediation regulates behavioral interactions between species and thus affects population structure, community organization and ecosystem function. Among marine taxa that have developed chemical mediation strategies, gastropods belong to a diverse group of molluscs found worldwide, including species with a coiled, reduced or absent shell. Most gastropods use natural products to mediate a wide range of behaviors such as defense, prey location or interactions with con- and hetero-geners. Their chemically defended diet, such as cyanobacteria, algae, sponges, bryozoans and tunicates, provides them with a considerable opportunity either as shelter from predators, or as a means to enhance their own chemical defense. In addition to improving their defenses, molluscs also use prey secondary metabolites in complex chemical communication including settlement induction, prey detection and feeding preferences. The assimilation of prey secondary metabolites further provides the opportunity for interactions with conspecifics via diet-derived chemical cues or signals. This review intends to provide an overview on the sequestration, detoxification, and biotransformation of diet-derived natural products, as well as the role of these compounds as chemical mediators in gastropod-prey interactions.

  19. Low Density of Top Predators (Seabirds and Marine Mammals) in the High Arctic Pack Ice

    PubMed Central

    Boos, Karin; D'Hert, Diederik; Nachtsheim, Dominik A.

    2016-01-01

    The at-sea distribution of top predators, seabirds and marine mammals, was determined in the high Arctic pack ice on board the icebreaker RV Polarstern in July to September 2014. In total, 1,620 transect counts were realised, lasting 30 min each. The five most numerous seabird species represented 74% of the total of 15,150 individuals registered: kittiwake Rissa tridactyla, fulmar Fulmarus glacialis, puffin Fratercula arctica, Ross's gull Rhodostethia rosea, and little auk Alle alle. Eight cetacean species were tallied for a total of 330 individuals, mainly white-beaked dolphin Lagenorhynchus albirostris and fin whale Balaenoptera physalus. Five pinniped species were represented by a total of 55 individuals and the polar bear Ursus maritimus was represented by 12 individuals. Four main geographical zones were identified: from Tromsø to the outer marginal ice zone (OMIZ), the Arctic pack ice (close pack ice, CPI), the end of Lomonosov Ridge off Siberia, and the route off Siberia and northern Norway. Important differences were detected between zones, both in species composition and in individual abundance. Low numbers of species and high proportion of individuals for some of them can be considered to reflect very low biodiversity. Numbers encountered in zones 2 to 4 were very low in comparison with other European Arctic seas. The observed differences showed strong patterns. PMID:27777810

  20. Ecological Release from Aquatic Predation Is Associated with the Emergence of Marine Blenny Fishes onto Land.

    PubMed

    Ord, Terry J; Summers, Thomas C; Noble, Mae M; Fulton, Christopher J

    2017-05-01

    An ecological release from competition or predation is a frequent adaptive explanation for the colonization of novel environments, but empirical data are limited. On the island of Rarotonga, several blenny fish species appear to be in the process of colonizing land. Anecdotal observations have implied that aquatic predation is an important factor in prompting such amphibious fish behavior. We provide evidence supporting this hypothesis by demonstrating that amphibious blennies shift their abundance up and down the shoreline to remain above predatory fishes that periodically move into intertidal areas during high tide. A predation experiment using blenny mimics confirmed a high risk of aquatic predation for blennies, significantly higher than predation experienced on land. These data suggest that predation has played an active role in promoting terrestrial activity in amphibious blennies and provide a rare example of how ecological release from predation could drive the colonization of a novel environment.

  1. Satellite tagging, remote sensing, and autonomous vehicles reveal interactions between physiology and environment in a North Pacific top marine predator species

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pelland, N.; Sterling, J.; Springer, A.; Iverson, S.; Johnson, D.; Lea, M. A.; Bond, N. A.; Ream, R.; Lee, C.; Eriksen, C.

    2016-02-01

    Behavioral responses by top marine predators to oceanographic features such as eddies, river plumes, storms, and coastal topography suggest that biophysical interactions in these zones affect predators' prey, foraging behaviors, and potentially fitness. However, examining these pathways is challenged by the obstacles inherent in obtaining simultaneous observations of surface and subsurface environmental fields and predator behavior. This work describes recent publications and ongoing studies of northern fur seal (NFS) foraging ecology during their 8-month migration. Satellite-tracked movement and dive behavior in the North Pacific ocean was compared to remotely sensed data, atmospheric reanalysis, autonomous in situ ocean sampling, and animal borne temperature and salinity data. Integration of these data demonstrates how reproductive fitness, physiology, and environment shape NFS migratory patterns. Seal mass correlates with dive ability and thus larger males exploit prey aggregating at the base of the winter mixed-layer depth in the Bering Sea and interior northern North Pacific Ocean. Smaller adult females migrate to the Gulf of Alaska and California Current ecosystems - where surface wind speeds decline, mixed-layer depths shoal, and coastal production is fueled by upwelling, coastal capes, and eddies - and less commonly to the Transitional Zone Chlorophyll Front, where fronts and eddies may concentrate prey. Surface wind speed and direction influence movement behavior of all age and size classes, though to a greater degree in the smaller pups and adult females than adult males. For naïve and physiologically less-capable pups, the timing and strength of autumn winds during migratory dispersal may play a role in shaping migratory routes and the environmental conditions faced by pups along these routes. In combination with other factors such as pup condition, this may play a role in interannual variations in overwinter survivorship.

  2. Development and Testing of a Lightweight Aluminum Track for the U.S. Marine Corps

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1984-04-01

    DAVID W. TAYLOR NAVAL SHIP RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT CENTER In DEVELOPMENT AND TESVING OF A LIGHTWEIGHT I ALUMINUM TRACK FOR THE U.S. MARINE CORPS I...Continue on reverse side It necessary and identify by block number) Lightweight Amphibious Tracks Aluminum Tracked Vehicles Amphibious Vehicles -~20...ratio vehicles. The objective of the Mariae Corps aluminum track effort was to support one of the end item goals, that of achieving a lightweight vehicle

  3. Can we predict foraging success in a marine predator from dive patterns only? Validation with prey capture attempt data.

    PubMed

    Viviant, Morgane; Monestiez, Pascal; Guinet, Christophe

    2014-01-01

    Predicting how climatic variations will affect marine predator populations relies on our ability to assess foraging success, but evaluating foraging success in a marine predator at sea is particularly difficult. Dive metrics are commonly available for marine mammals, diving birds and some species of fish. Bottom duration or dive duration are usually used as proxies for foraging success. However, few studies have tried to validate these assumptions and identify the set of behavioral variables that best predict foraging success at a given time scale. The objective of this study was to assess if foraging success in Antarctic fur seals could be accurately predicted from dive parameters only, at different temporal scales. For this study, 11 individuals were equipped with either Hall sensors or accelerometers to record dive profiles and detect mouth-opening events, which were considered prey capture attempts. The number of prey capture attempts was best predicted by descent and ascent rates at the dive scale; bottom duration and descent rates at 30-min, 1-h, and 2-h scales; and ascent rates and maximum dive depths at the all-night scale. Model performances increased with temporal scales, but rank and sign of the factors varied according to the time scale considered, suggesting that behavioral adjustment in response to prey distribution could occur at certain scales only. The models predicted the foraging intensity of new individuals with good accuracy despite high inter-individual differences. Dive metrics that predict foraging success depend on the species and the scale considered, as verified by the literature and this study. The methodology used in our study is easy to implement, enables an assessment of model performance, and could be applied to any other marine predator.

  4. The role of a dominant predator in shaping biodiversity over space and time in a marine ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Ellingsen, Kari E; Anderson, Marti J; Shackell, Nancy L; Tveraa, Torkild; Yoccoz, Nigel G; Frank, Kenneth T

    2015-09-01

    1. Exploitation of living marine resources has resulted in major changes to populations of targeted species and functional groups of large-bodied species in the ocean. However, the effects of overfishing and collapse of large top predators on the broad-scale biodiversity of oceanic ecosystems remain largely unexplored. 2. Populations of the Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua) were overfished and several collapsed in the early 1990s across Atlantic Canada, providing a unique opportunity to study potential ecosystem-level effects of the reduction of a dominant predator on fish biodiversity, and to identify how such effects might interact with other environmental factors, such as changes in climate, over time. 3. We combined causal modelling with model selection and multimodel inference to analyse 41 years of fishery-independent survey data (1970-2010) and quantify ecosystem-level effects of overfishing and climate variation on the biodiversity of fishes across a broad area (172 000 km(2) ) of the Scotian Shelf. 4. We found that alpha and beta diversity increased with decreases in cod occurrence; fish communities were less homogeneous and more variable in systems where cod no longer dominated. These effects were most pronounced in the colder north-eastern parts of the Scotian Shelf. 5. Our results provide strong evidence that intensive harvesting (and collapse) of marine apex predators can have large impacts on biodiversity, with far-reaching consequences for ecological stability across an entire ecosystem.

  5. Spring fasting behavior in a marine apex predator provides an index of ecosystem productivity.

    PubMed

    Rode, Karyn D; Wilson, Ryan R; Douglas, David C; Muhlenbruch, Vanessa; Atwood, Todd C; Regehr, Eric V; Richardson, Evan S; Pilfold, Nicholas W; Derocher, Andrew E; Durner, George M; Stirling, Ian; Amstrup, Steven C; St Martin, Michelle; Pagano, Anthony M; Simac, Kristin

    2017-10-10

    The effects of declining Arctic sea ice on local ecosystem productivity are not well understood but have been shown to vary inter-specifically, spatially, and temporally. Because marine mammals occupy upper trophic-levels in Arctic food webs, they may be useful indicators for understanding variation in ecosystem productivity. Polar bears (Ursus maritimus) are apex predators that primarily consume benthic and pelagic-feeding ice-associated seals. As such, their productivity integrates sea ice conditions and the ecosystem supporting them. Declining sea ice availability has been linked to negative population effects for polar bears but does not fully explain observed population changes. We examined relationships between spring foraging success of polar bears and sea ice conditions, prey productivity, and general patterns of ecosystem productivity in the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas. Fasting status (≥ 7 days) was estimated using serum urea and creatinine levels of 1,448 samples collected from 1,177 adult and subadult bears across three subpopulations. Fasting increased in the Beaufort Sea between 1983-1999 and 2000-2016 and was related to an index of ringed seal body condition. This change was concurrent with declines in body condition of polar bears and observed changes in the diet, condition and/or reproduction of four other vertebrate consumers within the food chain. In contrast, fasting declined in Chukchi Sea polar bears between periods and was less common than in the two Beaufort Sea subpopulations consistent with studies demonstrating higher primary productivity and maintenance or improved body condition in polar bears, ringed seals, and bearded seals despite recent sea ice loss in this region. Consistency between regional and temporal variation in spring polar bear fasting and food web productivity suggest that polar bears may be a useful indicator species. Further, our results suggest that spatial and temporal ecological variation is important in affecting

  6. Linking movement, diving, and habitat to foraging success in a large marine predator.

    PubMed

    Austin, Deborah; Bowen, W Don; McMillan, Jim I; Iverson, Sara J

    2006-12-01

    Establishing where and when predators forage is essential to understanding trophic interactions, yet foraging behavior remains poorly understood in large marine carnivores. We investigated the factors leading to foraging success in gray seals (Halichoerus grypus) in the Northwest Atlantic in the first study to use simultaneous deployments of satellite transmitters, time depth recorders, and stomach-temperature loggers on a free-ranging marine mammal. Thirty-two seals were each fitted with the three types of instrumentation; however, complete records from all three instruments were obtained from only 13 individuals, underscoring the difficulty of such a multi-instrument approach. Our goal was to determine the characteristics of diving, habitat, and movement that predict feeding. We linked diving behavior to foraging success at two temporal scales: trips (days) and bouts (hours) to test models of optimal diving, which indicate that feeding can be predicted by time spent at the bottom of a dive. Using an information-theoretic approach, a Generalized Linear Mixed Model with trip duration and accumulated bottom time per day best explained the number of feeding events per trip, whereas the best predictor of the number of feeding events per bout was accumulated bottom time. We then tested whether characteristics of movement were predictive of feeding. Significant predictors of the number of feeding events per trip were angular variance (i.e., path tortuosity) and distance traveled per day. Finally, we integrated measures of diving, movement, and habitat at four temporal scales to determine overall predictors of feeding. At the 3-h scale, mean bottom time and distance traveled were the most important predictors of feeding frequency, whereas at the 6-h and 24-h time scales, distance traveled alone was most important. Bathymetry was the most significant predictor of feeding at the 12-h interval, with feeding more likely to occur at deeper depths. Our findings indicate that

  7. Size-dependent vulnerability of marine fish larvae to predation: An individual-based numerical experiment

    SciTech Connect

    Cowan, J.H. Jr. . Dept. of Marine Sciences); Houde, E.D. . Chesapeake Biological Lab.); Rose, K.A. )

    1992-01-01

    An individual-based predation model permitted 20-d simulations to be initiated with populations of individual theoretical'' ctenophore-, medusae-, and planktivorous fish-like predators and larvae prey that varied in size, growth rate, and swimming speed similarly to populations in the field. Results of predation experiments in 3.2 M{sup 3} mesocosms were used to estimate parameters in a Gerritsen-Strickler type encounter model which is embedded into the individual-based framework. Larval susceptibility with size also was estimated for each predator. Model simulations indicate that the relationship between larval size and vulnerability to predation, and ultimately cohort survival rate, depends upon attributes both of individual predators and larval prey and that bigger or faster growing larvae within a cohort are not always most likely to survive. Despite the finding that cohort-specific mortality generally decreased as the mean size (length) of the members of the cohort increased, mean size or growth rate of individual surviving larvae each day was lower or not significantly different from those that died in most simulations until larvae reached a size threshold when susceptibility decreased more rapidly with larval size than encounter rate increased. After the size threshold was reached, a switch'' occurred whereby predation began to select for survivors of longer mean length. The time necessary to reach the threshold depends on growth rate of the larvae, size of the predators and the variance structure of these parameters.

  8. Size-dependent vulnerability of marine fish larvae to predation: An individual-based numerical experiment

    SciTech Connect

    Cowan, J.H. Jr.; Houde, E.D.; Rose, K.A.

    1992-11-01

    An individual-based predation model permitted 20-d simulations to be initiated with populations of individual ``theoretical`` ctenophore-, medusae-, and planktivorous fish-like predators and larvae prey that varied in size, growth rate, and swimming speed similarly to populations in the field. Results of predation experiments in 3.2 M{sup 3} mesocosms were used to estimate parameters in a Gerritsen-Strickler type encounter model which is embedded into the individual-based framework. Larval susceptibility with size also was estimated for each predator. Model simulations indicate that the relationship between larval size and vulnerability to predation, and ultimately cohort survival rate, depends upon attributes both of individual predators and larval prey and that bigger or faster growing larvae within a cohort are not always most likely to survive. Despite the finding that cohort-specific mortality generally decreased as the mean size (length) of the members of the cohort increased, mean size or growth rate of individual surviving larvae each day was lower or not significantly different from those that died in most simulations until larvae reached a size threshold when susceptibility decreased more rapidly with larval size than encounter rate increased. After the size threshold was reached, a ``switch`` occurred whereby predation began to select for survivors of longer mean length. The time necessary to reach the threshold depends on growth rate of the larvae, size of the predators and the variance structure of these parameters.

  9. Tracking system analytic calibration activities for the Mariner Mars 1971 mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Madrid, G. A.; Chao, C. C.; Fliegel, H. F.; Leavitt, R. K.; Mottinger, N. A.; Winn, F. B.; Wimberly, R. N.; Yip, K. B.; Zielenbach, J. W.

    1974-01-01

    Data covering various planning aspects of Mariner Mars 1971 mission are summarized. Data cover calibrating procedures for tracking stations, radio signal propagation in the troposphere, effects of charged particles on radio transmission, orbit calculation, and data smoothing.

  10. Direct quantification of energy intake in an apex marine predator suggests physiology is a key driver of migrations

    PubMed Central

    Whitlock, Rebecca E.; Hazen, Elliott L.; Walli, Andreas; Farwell, Charles; Bograd, Steven J.; Foley, David G.; Castleton, Michael; Block, Barbara A.

    2015-01-01

    Pacific bluefin tuna (Thunnus orientalis) are highly migratory apex marine predators that inhabit a broad thermal niche. The energy needed for migration must be garnered by foraging, but measuring energy intake in the marine environment is challenging. We quantified the energy intake of Pacific bluefin tuna in the California Current using a laboratory-validated model, the first such measurement in a wild marine predator. Mean daily energy intake was highest off the coast of Baja California, Mexico in summer (mean ± SD, 1034 ± 669 kcal), followed by autumn when Pacific bluefin achieve their northernmost range in waters off northern California (944 ± 579 kcal). Movements were not always consistent with maximizing energy intake: the Pacific bluefin move out of energy rich waters both in late summer and winter, coincident with rising and falling water temperatures, respectively. We hypothesize that temperature-related physiological constraints drive migration and that Pacific bluefin tuna optimize energy intake within a range of optimal aerobic performance. PMID:26601248

  11. Evolution of embryonic developmental period in the marine bird families Alcidae and Spheniscidae: roles for nutrition and predation?

    PubMed

    Hipfner, J Mark; Gorman, Kristen B; Vos, Rutger A; Joy, Jeffrey B

    2010-06-14

    Nutrition and predation have been considered two primary agents of selection important in the evolution of avian life history traits. The relative importance of these natural selective forces in the evolution of avian embryonic developmental period (EDP) remain poorly resolved, perhaps in part because research has tended to focus on a single, high taxonomic-level group of birds: Order Passeriformes. The marine bird families Alcidae (auks) and Spheniscidae (penguins) exhibit marked variation in EDP, as well as behavioural and ecological traits ultimately linked to EDP. Therefore, auks and penguins provide a unique opportunity to assess the natural selective basis of variation in a key life-history trait at a low taxonomic-level. We used phylogenetic comparative methods to investigate the relative importance of behavioural and ecological factors related to nutrition and predation in the evolution of avian EDP. Three behavioural and ecological variables related to nutrition and predation risk (i.e., clutch size, activity pattern, and nesting habits) were significant predictors of residual variation in auk and penguin EDP based on models predicting EDP from egg mass. Species with larger clutch sizes, diurnal activity patterns, and open nests had significantly shorter EDPs. Further, EDP was found to be longer among birds which forage in distant offshore waters, relative to those that foraged in near shore waters, in line with our predictions, but not significantly so. Current debate has emphasized predation as the primary agent of selection driving avian life history diversification. Our results suggest that both nutrition and predation have been important selective forces in the evolution of auk and penguin EDP, and highlight the importance of considering these questions at lower taxonomic scales. We suggest that further comparative studies on lower taxonomic-level groups will continue to constructively inform the debate on evolutionary determinants of avian EDP, as

  12. Interactive effects of pesticide exposure and habitat structure on behavior and predation of a marine larval fish.

    PubMed

    Renick, Violet Compton; Anderson, Todd W; Morgan, Steven G; Cherr, Gary N

    2015-03-01

    Coastal development has generated multiple stressors in marine and estuarine ecosystems, including habitat degradation and pollutant exposure, but the effects of these stressors on the ecology of fishes remain poorly understood. We studied the separate and combined effects of an acute 4 h sublethal exposure of the pyrethroid pesticide esfenvalerate and structural habitat complexity on behavior and predation risk of larval topsmelt (Atherinops affinis). Larvae were exposed to four nominal esfenvalerate concentrations (control, 0.12, 0.59, 1.18 μg/L), before placement into 12 L mesocosms with a three-spine stickleback (Gasterosteus aculeatus) predator. Five treatments of artificial eelgrass included a (1) uniform and (2) patchy distribution of eelgrass at a low density (500 shoots per m(2)), a (3) uniform and (4) patchy distribution of eelgrass at a high density (1,000 shoots per m(2)), and (5) the absence of eelgrass. The capture success of predators and aggregative behavior of prey were observed in each mesocosm for 10 min of each trial, and mortality of prey was recorded after 60 min. Exposure to esfenvalerate increased the proportion of larvae with swimming abnormalities. Surprisingly, prey mortality did not increase linearly with pesticide exposure but increased with habitat structure (density of eelgrass), which may have been a consequence of compensating predator behavior. The degree of prey aggregation decreased with both habitat structure and pesticide exposure, suggesting that anti-predator behaviors by prey may have been hampered by the interactive effects of both of these factors.

  13. Evolution of embryonic developmental period in the marine bird families Alcidae and Spheniscidae: roles for nutrition and predation?

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background Nutrition and predation have been considered two primary agents of selection important in the evolution of avian life history traits. The relative importance of these natural selective forces in the evolution of avian embryonic developmental period (EDP) remain poorly resolved, perhaps in part because research has tended to focus on a single, high taxonomic-level group of birds: Order Passeriformes. The marine bird families Alcidae (auks) and Spheniscidae (penguins) exhibit marked variation in EDP, as well as behavioural and ecological traits ultimately linked to EDP. Therefore, auks and penguins provide a unique opportunity to assess the natural selective basis of variation in a key life-history trait at a low taxonomic-level. We used phylogenetic comparative methods to investigate the relative importance of behavioural and ecological factors related to nutrition and predation in the evolution of avian EDP. Results Three behavioural and ecological variables related to nutrition and predation risk (i.e., clutch size, activity pattern, and nesting habits) were significant predictors of residual variation in auk and penguin EDP based on models predicting EDP from egg mass. Species with larger clutch sizes, diurnal activity patterns, and open nests had significantly shorter EDPs. Further, EDP was found to be longer among birds which forage in distant offshore waters, relative to those that foraged in near shore waters, in line with our predictions, but not significantly so. Conclusion Current debate has emphasized predation as the primary agent of selection driving avian life history diversification. Our results suggest that both nutrition and predation have been important selective forces in the evolution of auk and penguin EDP, and highlight the importance of considering these questions at lower taxonomic scales. We suggest that further comparative studies on lower taxonomic-level groups will continue to constructively inform the debate on evolutionary

  14. Can Static Habitat Protection Encompass Critical Areas for Highly Mobile Marine Top Predators? Insights from Coastal East Africa.

    PubMed

    Pérez-Jorge, Sergi; Pereira, Thalia; Corne, Chloe; Wijtten, Zeno; Omar, Mohamed; Katello, Jillo; Kinyua, Mark; Oro, Daniel; Louzao, Maite

    2015-01-01

    Along the East African coast, marine top predators are facing an increasing number of anthropogenic threats which requires the implementation of effective and urgent conservation measures to protect essential habitats. Understanding the role that habitat features play on the marine top predator' distribution and abundance is a crucial step to evaluate the suitability of an existing Marine Protected Area (MPA), originally designated for the protection of coral reefs. We developed species distribution models (SDM) on the IUCN data deficient Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops aduncus) in southern Kenya. We followed a comprehensive ecological modelling approach to study the environmental factors influencing the occurrence and abundance of dolphins while developing SDMs. Through the combination of ensemble prediction maps, we defined recurrent, occasional and unfavourable habitats for the species. Our results showed the influence of dynamic and static predictors on the dolphins' spatial ecology: dolphins may select shallow areas (5-30 m), close to the reefs (< 500 m) and oceanic fronts (< 10 km) and adjacent to the 100 m isobath (< 5 km). We also predicted a significantly higher occurrence and abundance of dolphins within the MPA. Recurrent and occasional habitats were identified on large percentages on the existing MPA (47% and 57% using presence-absence and abundance models respectively). However, the MPA does not adequately encompass all occasional and recurrent areas and within this context, we propose to extend the MPA to incorporate all of them which are likely key habitats for the highly mobile species. The results from this study provide two key conservation and management tools: (i) an integrative habitat modelling approach to predict key marine habitats, and (ii) the first study evaluating the effectiveness of an existing MPA for marine mammals in the Western Indian Ocean.

  15. Body-size trends of the extinct giant shark Carcharocles megalodon: a deep-time perspective on marine apex predators.

    PubMed

    Pimiento, Catalina; Balk, Meghan A

    2015-06-01

    The extinct shark Carcharocles megalodon is one of the largest marine apex predators ever to exist. Nonetheless, little is known about its body-size variations through time and space. Here, we studied the body-size trends of C. megalodon through its temporal and geographic range to better understand its ecology and evolution. Given that this species was the last of the megatooth lineage, a group of species that shows a purported size increase through time, we hypothesized that C. megalodon also displayed this trend, increasing in size over time and reaching its largest size prior to extinction. We found that C. megalodon body-size distribution was left-skewed (suggesting a long-term selective pressure favoring larger individuals), and presented significant geographic variation (possibly as a result of the heterogeneous ecological constraints of this cosmopolitan species) over geologic time. Finally, we found that stasis was the general mode of size evolution of C. megalodon (i.e., no net changes over time), contrasting with the trends of the megatooth lineage and our hypothesis. Given that C. megalodon is a relatively long-lived species with a widely distributed fossil record, we further used this study system to provide a deep-time perspective to the understanding of the body-size trends of marine apex predators. For instance, our results suggest that (1) a selective pressure in predatory sharks for consuming a broader range of prey may favor larger individuals and produce left-skewed distributions on a geologic time scale; (2) body-size variations in cosmopolitan apex marine predators may depend on their interactions with geographically discrete communities; and (3) the inherent characteristics of shark species can produce stable sizes over geologic time, regardless of the size trends of their lineages.

  16. Tracking predation of subterranean pests: digestion of corn rootworm DNA by a generalist mite

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    qPCR is a useful tool for understanding predator-prey relationships. We investigated rootworm DNA digestion by male and female predatory mites. Males and females initially consumed comparable amounts of DNA, which was digested at similar rates. Field-collected mites need to be preserved quickly for ...

  17. Holocene changes in the trophic ecology of an apex marine predator in the South Atlantic Ocean.

    PubMed

    Vales, Damián G; Cardona, Luis; Zangrando, Atilio F; Borella, Florencia; Saporiti, Fabiana; Goodall, R Natalie P; de Oliveira, Larissa Rosa; Crespo, Enrique A

    2017-02-01

    Predators may modify their diets as a result of both anthropogenic and natural environmental changes. Stable isotope ratios of nitrogen and carbon in bone collagen have been used to reconstruct the foraging ecology of South American fur seals (Arctocephalus australis) in the southwestern South Atlantic Ocean since the Middle Holocene, a region inhabited by hunter-gatherers by millennia and modified by two centuries of whaling, sealing and fishing. Results suggest that the isotopic niche of fur seals from Patagonia has not changed over the last two millennia (average for the period: δ(13)C2200-0BP = -13.4 ± 0.5‰, δ(15)N2200-0BP = 20.6 ± 1.1‰). Conversely, Middle Holocene fur seals fed more pelagically than their modern conspecifics in the Río de la Plata region (δ(13)C7000BP = -15.9 ± 0.6‰ vs. δ(13)CPRESENT = -13.5 ± 0.8‰) and Tierra del Fuego (δ(13)C6400-4300BP = -15.4 ± 0.5‰ vs. δ(13)CPRESENT = -13.2 ± 0.7‰). In the latter region, Middle Holocene fur seals also fed at a higher trophic level than their modern counterparts (δ(15)N6400-4300BP = 20.5 ± 0.5‰ vs. δ(15)NPRESENT = 19.0 ± 1.6‰). Nevertheless, a major dietary shift was observed in fur seals from Tierra del Fuego during the nineteenth century (δ(13)C100BP = -17.2 ± 0.3‰, δ(15)N100BP = 18.6 ± 0.7‰), when marine primary productivity plummeted and the fur seal population was decimated by sealing. Disentangling the relative roles of natural and anthropogenic factors in explaining this dietary shift is difficult, but certainly the trophic position of fur seals has changed through the Holocene in some South Atlantic regions.

  18. From plankton to top predators: bottom-up control of a marine food web across four trophic levels.

    PubMed

    Frederiksen, Morten; Edwards, Martin; Richardson, Anthony J; Halliday, Nicholas C; Wanless, Sarah

    2006-11-01

    1. Abundant mid-trophic pelagic fish often play a central role in marine ecosystems, both as links between zooplankton and top predators and as important fishery targets. In the North Sea, the lesser sandeel occupies this position, being the main prey of many bird, mammal and fish predators and the target of a major industrial fishery. However, since 2003, sandeel landings have decreased by > 50%, and many sandeel-dependent seabirds experienced breeding failures in 2004. 2. Despite the major economic implications, current understanding of the regulation of key constituents of this ecosystem is poor. Sandeel abundance may be regulated 'bottom-up' by food abundance, often thought to be under climatic control, or 'top-down' by natural or fishery predation. We tested predictions from these two hypotheses by combining unique long-term data sets (1973-2003) on seabird breeding productivity from the Isle of May, SE Scotland, and plankton and fish larvae from the Continuous Plankton Recorder survey. We also tested whether seabird breeding productivity was more tightly linked to sandeel biomass or quality (size) of individual fish. 3. The biomass of larval sandeels increased two- to threefold over the study period and was positively associated with proxies of the abundance of their plankton prey. Breeding productivity of four seabirds bringing multiple prey items to their offspring was positively related to sandeel larval biomass with a 1-year lag, indicating dependence on 1-year-old fish, but in one species bringing individual fish it was strongly associated with the size of adult sandeels. 4. These links are consistent with bottom-up ecosystem regulation and, with evidence from previous studies, indicate how climate-driven changes in plankton communities can affect top predators and potentially human fisheries through the dynamics of key mid-trophic fish. However, the failing recruitment to adult sandeel stocks and the exceptionally low seabird breeding productivity in

  19. Application of a novel method PCR-ligase detection reaction for tracking predator-prey trophic links in insect-resistant GM rice ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Li, Kai; Tian, Junce; Wang, Qinxi; Chen, Qiang; Chen, Mao; Wang, Huan; Zhou, Yuxun; Peng, Yufa; Xiao, Junhua; Ye, Gongyin

    2011-11-01

    Insect-resistant genetically modified (IRGM) rice is on the verge of commercial release in China, however, its potential non-target effect on non-target insect natural enemies remains controversial. Tracking trophic interactions between predators and preys in IRGM rice ecosystem can provide new insights into better understanding of the ecological risks of IRGM rice. In the present study, a novel method based on ligase detection reaction (LDR), PCR-LDR was introduced to track 15 prey species in the gut of a predaceous spider Pirata subpiraticus, a dominant natural enemy in rice field. Our results indicated that PCR-LDR could provide high specificity and sensitivity in tracking prey-predator interactions in rice ecosystems. PCR-LDR could detect as little as 1,000 th of DNA mixture. Reliable detection of DNA samples of prey species using PCR-LDR could be significantly affected by digestion time and prey species. In the analysis of 200 field-collected P. subpiraticus and 105 field-collected Tetragnatha maxillosa individuals using PCR-LDR, prey remains were identified in 78.3 and 74.3% of the individuals, respectively, from which significant predation differences between the two spider species were observed. Predation behavior of the spider species was not significantly different between Bt and non-Bt control rice lines. These results indicated that PCR-LDR can be used as an important tool for ecological studies, especially on the interactions between predators and preys in IRGM rice or other similar ecosystems.

  20. Marine animal behaviour: neglecting ocean currents can lead us up the wrong track.

    PubMed

    Gaspar, Philippe; Georges, Jean-Yves; Fossette, Sabrina; Lenoble, Arnaud; Ferraroli, Sandra; Le Maho, Yvon

    2006-11-07

    Tracks of marine animals in the wild, now increasingly acquired by electronic tagging of individuals, are of prime interest not only to identify habitats and high-risk areas, but also to gain detailed information about the behaviour of these animals. Using recent satellite-derived current estimates and leatherback turtle (Dermochelys coriacea) tracking data, we demonstrate that oceanic currents, usually neglected when analysing tracking data, can substantially distort the observed trajectories. Consequently, this will affect several important results deduced from the analysis of tracking data, such as the evaluation of the orientation skills and the energy budget of animals or the identification of foraging areas. We conclude that currents should be systematically taken into account to ensure the unbiased interpretation of tracking data, which now play a major role in marine conservation biology.

  1. Marine animal behaviour: neglecting ocean currents can lead us up the wrong track

    PubMed Central

    Gaspar, Philippe; Georges, Jean-Yves; Fossette, Sabrina; Lenoble, Arnaud; Ferraroli, Sandra; Le Maho, Yvon

    2006-01-01

    Tracks of marine animals in the wild, now increasingly acquired by electronic tagging of individuals, are of prime interest not only to identify habitats and high-risk areas, but also to gain detailed information about the behaviour of these animals. Using recent satellite-derived current estimates and leatherback turtle (Dermochelys coriacea) tracking data, we demonstrate that oceanic currents, usually neglected when analysing tracking data, can substantially distort the observed trajectories. Consequently, this will affect several important results deduced from the analysis of tracking data, such as the evaluation of the orientation skills and the energy budget of animals or the identification of foraging areas. We conclude that currents should be systematically taken into account to ensure the unbiased interpretation of tracking data, which now play a major role in marine conservation biology. PMID:17015330

  2. Marine Arctic Ecosystem Study (MARES): Pilot Project - Marine Mammal Tagging and Tracking

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2015-09-30

    1 DISTRIBUTION STATEMENT A. Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited. Marine Arctic Ecosystem Study (MARES): Pilot Project...inter-relationships of biophysical and chemical parameters on living resources, including marine mammals that use this ecosystem . This larger picture

  3. Can Static Habitat Protection Encompass Critical Areas for Highly Mobile Marine Top Predators? Insights from Coastal East Africa

    PubMed Central

    Pérez-Jorge, Sergi; Pereira, Thalia; Corne, Chloe; Wijtten, Zeno; Omar, Mohamed; Katello, Jillo; Kinyua, Mark; Oro, Daniel; Louzao, Maite

    2015-01-01

    Along the East African coast, marine top predators are facing an increasing number of anthropogenic threats which requires the implementation of effective and urgent conservation measures to protect essential habitats. Understanding the role that habitat features play on the marine top predator’ distribution and abundance is a crucial step to evaluate the suitability of an existing Marine Protected Area (MPA), originally designated for the protection of coral reefs. We developed species distribution models (SDM) on the IUCN data deficient Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops aduncus) in southern Kenya. We followed a comprehensive ecological modelling approach to study the environmental factors influencing the occurrence and abundance of dolphins while developing SDMs. Through the combination of ensemble prediction maps, we defined recurrent, occasional and unfavourable habitats for the species. Our results showed the influence of dynamic and static predictors on the dolphins’ spatial ecology: dolphins may select shallow areas (5-30 m), close to the reefs (< 500 m) and oceanic fronts (< 10 km) and adjacent to the 100m isobath (< 5 km). We also predicted a significantly higher occurrence and abundance of dolphins within the MPA. Recurrent and occasional habitats were identified on large percentages on the existing MPA (47% and 57% using presence-absence and abundance models respectively). However, the MPA does not adequately encompass all occasional and recurrent areas and within this context, we propose to extend the MPA to incorporate all of them which are likely key habitats for the highly mobile species. The results from this study provide two key conservation and management tools: (i) an integrative habitat modelling approach to predict key marine habitats, and (ii) the first study evaluating the effectiveness of an existing MPA for marine mammals in the Western Indian Ocean. PMID:26186438

  4. Predictive modelling of habitat selection by marine predators with respect to the abundance and depth distribution of pelagic prey.

    PubMed

    Boyd, Charlotte; Castillo, Ramiro; Hunt, George L; Punt, André E; VanBlaricom, Glenn R; Weimerskirch, Henri; Bertrand, Sophie

    2015-11-01

    Understanding the ecological processes that underpin species distribution patterns is a fundamental goal in spatial ecology. However, developing predictive models of habitat use is challenging for species that forage in marine environments, as both predators and prey are often highly mobile and difficult to monitor. Consequently, few studies have developed resource selection functions for marine predators based directly on the abundance and distribution of their prey. We analysed contemporaneous data on the diving locations of two seabird species, the shallow-diving Peruvian Booby (Sula variegata) and deeper diving Guanay Cormorant (Phalacrocorax bougainvilliorum), and the abundance and depth distribution of their main prey, Peruvian anchoveta (Engraulis ringens). Based on this unique data set, we developed resource selection functions to test the hypothesis that the probability of seabird diving behaviour at a given location is a function of the relative abundance of prey in the upper water column. For both species, we show that the probability of diving behaviour is mostly explained by the distribution of prey at shallow depths. While the probability of diving behaviour increases sharply with prey abundance at relatively low levels of abundance, support for including abundance in addition to the depth distribution of prey is weak, suggesting that prey abundance was not a major factor determining the location of diving behaviour during the study period. The study thus highlights the importance of the depth distribution of prey for two species of seabird with different diving capabilities. The results complement previous research that points towards the importance of oceanographic processes that enhance the accessibility of prey to seabirds. The implications are that locations where prey is predictably found at accessible depths may be more important for surface foragers, such as seabirds, than locations where prey is predictably abundant. Analysis of the relative

  5. Improvements to Passive Acoustic Tracking Methods for Marine Mammal Monitoring

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2013-09-30

    sperm whales , beaked whales , minke whales , and humpback whales . Most methods developed will be generalizable to other species. Report Documentation Page...and uncertain ocean environments. J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 101, 3539–3545. Nosal E‐M, LN Frazer (2007). Sperm whale three‐dimensional track, swim...A (2005). Three-dimensional passive acoustic tracking of sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus) in ray-refracting environments. J. Acoust. Soc. Am

  6. 2016 Summer Series - Barbara Block - Sushi and Satellites: Tracking Predators Across the Blue Serengeti

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2016-07-21

    The Earth’s oceans cover the majority of the surface area of our planet, yet our understanding of the marine ecosystem is limited. Professor Barbara Block of Stanford will present her work studying tunas, billfishes and sharks utilization of the ocean.

  7. Foraging parameters influencing the detection and interpretation of area-restricted search behaviour in marine predators: a case study with the masked booby.

    PubMed

    Sommerfeld, Julia; Kato, Akiko; Ropert-Coudert, Yan; Garthe, Stefan; Hindell, Mark A

    2013-01-01

    Identification of Area-restricted search (ARS) behaviour is used to better understand foraging movements and strategies of marine predators. Track-based descriptive analyses are commonly used to detect ARS behaviour, but they may be biased by factors such as foraging trip duration or non-foraging behaviours (i.e. resting on the water). Using first-passage time analysis we tested if (I) daylight resting at the sea surface positions falsely increase the detection of ARS behaviour and (II) short foraging trips are less likely to include ARS behaviour in Masked Boobies Sula dactylatra. We further analysed whether ARS behaviour may be used as a proxy to identify important feeding areas. Depth-acceleration and GPS-loggers were simultaneously deployed on chick-rearing adults to obtain (1) location data every 4 minutes and (2) detailed foraging activity such as diving rates, time spent sitting on the water surface and in flight. In 82% of 50 foraging trips, birds adopted ARS behaviour. In 19.3% of 57 detected ARS zones, birds spent more than 70% of total ARS duration resting on the water, suggesting that these ARS zones were falsely detected. Based on generalized linear mixed models, the probability of detecting false ARS zones was 80%. False ARS zones mostly occurred during short trips in close proximity to the colony, with low or no diving activity. This demonstrates the need to account for resting on the water surface positions in marine animals when determining ARS behaviour based on foraging locations. Dive rates were positively correlated with trip duration and the probability of ARS behaviour increased with increasing number of dives, suggesting that the adoption of ARS behaviour in Masked Boobies is linked to enhanced foraging activity. We conclude that ARS behaviour may be used as a proxy to identify important feeding areas in this species.

  8. Foraging Parameters Influencing the Detection and Interpretation of Area-Restricted Search Behaviour in Marine Predators: A Case Study with the Masked Booby

    PubMed Central

    Sommerfeld, Julia; Kato, Akiko; Ropert-Coudert, Yan; Garthe, Stefan; Hindell, Mark A.

    2013-01-01

    Identification of Area-restricted search (ARS) behaviour is used to better understand foraging movements and strategies of marine predators. Track-based descriptive analyses are commonly used to detect ARS behaviour, but they may be biased by factors such as foraging trip duration or non-foraging behaviours (i.e. resting on the water). Using first-passage time analysis we tested if (I) daylight resting at the sea surface positions falsely increase the detection of ARS behaviour and (II) short foraging trips are less likely to include ARS behaviour in Masked Boobies Sula dactylatra. We further analysed whether ARS behaviour may be used as a proxy to identify important feeding areas. Depth-acceleration and GPS-loggers were simultaneously deployed on chick-rearing adults to obtain (1) location data every 4 minutes and (2) detailed foraging activity such as diving rates, time spent sitting on the water surface and in flight. In 82% of 50 foraging trips, birds adopted ARS behaviour. In 19.3% of 57 detected ARS zones, birds spent more than 70% of total ARS duration resting on the water, suggesting that these ARS zones were falsely detected. Based on generalized linear mixed models, the probability of detecting false ARS zones was 80%. False ARS zones mostly occurred during short trips in close proximity to the colony, with low or no diving activity. This demonstrates the need to account for resting on the water surface positions in marine animals when determining ARS behaviour based on foraging locations. Dive rates were positively correlated with trip duration and the probability of ARS behaviour increased with increasing number of dives, suggesting that the adoption of ARS behaviour in Masked Boobies is linked to enhanced foraging activity. We conclude that ARS behaviour may be used as a proxy to identify important feeding areas in this species. PMID:23717471

  9. Combined climate- and prey-mediated range expansion of Humboldt squid (Dosidicus gigas), a large marine predator in the California Current System.

    PubMed

    Stewart, Julia S; Hazen, Elliott L; Bograd, Steven J; Byrnes, Jarrett E K; Foley, David G; Gilly, William F; Robison, Bruce H; Field, John C

    2014-06-01

    Climate-driven range shifts are ongoing in pelagic marine environments, and ecosystems must respond to combined effects of altered species distributions and environmental drivers. Hypoxic oxygen minimum zones (OMZs) in midwater environments are shoaling globally; this can affect distributions of species both geographically and vertically along with predator-prey dynamics. Humboldt (jumbo) squid (Dosidicus gigas) are highly migratory predators adapted to hypoxic conditions that may be deleterious to their competitors and predators. Consequently, OMZ shoaling may preferentially facilitate foraging opportunities for Humboldt squid. With two separate modeling approaches using unique, long-term data based on in situ observations of predator, prey, and environmental variables, our analyses suggest that Humboldt squid are indirectly affected by OMZ shoaling through effects on a primary food source, myctophid fishes. Our results suggest that this indirect linkage between hypoxia and foraging is an important driver of the ongoing range expansion of Humboldt squid in the northeastern Pacific Ocean.

  10. Acoustic telemetry and network analysis reveal the space use of multiple reef predators and enhance marine protected area design

    PubMed Central

    Lea, James S. E.; Humphries, Nicolas E.; von Brandis, Rainer G.; Clarke, Christopher R.; Sims, David W.

    2016-01-01

    Marine protected areas (MPAs) are commonly employed to protect ecosystems from threats like overfishing. Ideally, MPA design should incorporate movement data from multiple target species to ensure sufficient habitat is protected. We used long-term acoustic telemetry and network analysis to determine the fine-scale space use of five shark and one turtle species at a remote atoll in the Seychelles, Indian Ocean, and evaluate the efficacy of a proposed MPA. Results revealed strong, species-specific habitat use in both sharks and turtles, with corresponding variation in MPA use. Defining the MPA's boundary from the edge of the reef flat at low tide instead of the beach at high tide (the current best in Seychelles) significantly increased the MPA's coverage of predator movements by an average of 34%. Informed by these results, the larger MPA was adopted by the Seychelles government, demonstrating how telemetry data can improve shark spatial conservation by affecting policy directly. PMID:27412274

  11. Integrative modelling of animal movement: incorporating in situ habitat and behavioural information for a migratory marine predator.

    PubMed

    Bestley, Sophie; Jonsen, Ian D; Hindell, Mark A; Guinet, Christophe; Charrassin, Jean-Benoît

    2013-01-07

    A fundamental goal in animal ecology is to quantify how environmental (and other) factors influence individual movement, as this is key to understanding responsiveness of populations to future change. However, quantitative interpretation of individual-based telemetry data is hampered by the complexity of, and error within, these multi-dimensional data. Here, we present an integrative hierarchical Bayesian state-space modelling approach where, for the first time, the mechanistic process model for the movement state of animals directly incorporates both environmental and other behavioural information, and observation and process model parameters are estimated within a single model. When applied to a migratory marine predator, the southern elephant seal (Mirounga leonina), we find the switch from directed to resident movement state was associated with colder water temperatures, relatively short dive bottom time and rapid descent rates. The approach presented here can have widespread utility for quantifying movement-behaviour (diving or other)-environment relationships across species and systems.

  12. Acoustic telemetry and network analysis reveal the space use of multiple reef predators and enhance marine protected area design.

    PubMed

    Lea, James S E; Humphries, Nicolas E; von Brandis, Rainer G; Clarke, Christopher R; Sims, David W

    2016-07-13

    Marine protected areas (MPAs) are commonly employed to protect ecosystems from threats like overfishing. Ideally, MPA design should incorporate movement data from multiple target species to ensure sufficient habitat is protected. We used long-term acoustic telemetry and network analysis to determine the fine-scale space use of five shark and one turtle species at a remote atoll in the Seychelles, Indian Ocean, and evaluate the efficacy of a proposed MPA. Results revealed strong, species-specific habitat use in both sharks and turtles, with corresponding variation in MPA use. Defining the MPA's boundary from the edge of the reef flat at low tide instead of the beach at high tide (the current best in Seychelles) significantly increased the MPA's coverage of predator movements by an average of 34%. Informed by these results, the larger MPA was adopted by the Seychelles government, demonstrating how telemetry data can improve shark spatial conservation by affecting policy directly.

  13. Drivers of Daily Routines in an Ectothermic Marine Predator: Hunt Warm, Rest Warmer?

    PubMed

    Papastamatiou, Yannis P; Watanabe, Yuuki Y; Bradley, Darcy; Dee, Laura E; Weng, Kevin; Lowe, Christopher G; Caselle, Jennifer E

    2015-01-01

    Animal daily routines represent a compromise between maximizing foraging success and optimizing physiological performance, while minimizing the risk of predation. For ectothermic predators, ambient temperature may also influence daily routines through its effects on physiological performance. Temperatures can fluctuate significantly over the diel cycle and ectotherms may synchronize behaviour to match thermal regimes in order to optimize fitness. We used bio-logging to quantify activity and body temperature of blacktip reef sharks (Carcharhinus melanopterus) at a tropical atoll. Behavioural observations were used to concurrently measure bite rates in herbivorous reef fishes, as an index of activity for potential diurnal prey. Sharks showed early evening peaks in activity, particularly during ebbing high tides, while body temperatures peaked several hours prior to the period of maximal activity. Herbivores also displayed peaks in activity several hours earlier than the peaks in shark activity. Sharks appeared to be least active while their body temperatures were highest and most active while temperatures were cooling, although we hypothesize that due to thermal inertia they were still warmer than their smaller prey during this period. Sharks may be most active during early evening periods as they have a sensory advantage under low light conditions and/or a thermal advantage over cooler prey. Sharks swam into shallow water during daytime low tide periods potentially to warm up and increase rates of digestion before the nocturnal activity period, which may be a strategy to maximize ingestion rates. "Hunt warm, rest warmer" may help explain the early evening activity seen in other ectothermic predators.

  14. Marine Bioluminescence: Measurement by a Classical Light Sensor and Related Foraging Behavior of a Deep Diving Predator.

    PubMed

    Vacquié-Garcia, Jade; Mallefet, Jérôme; Bailleul, Frédéric; Picard, Baptiste; Guinet, Christophe

    2017-04-20

    Bioluminescence is produced by a broad range of organisms for defense, predation or communication purposes. Southern elephant seal (SES) vision is adapted to low-intensity light with a peak sensitivity, matching the wavelength emitted by myctophid species, one of the main preys of female SES. A total of 11 satellite-tracked female SESs were equipped with a time-depth-light 3D accelerometer (TDR10-X) to assess whether bioluminescence could be used by SESs to locate their prey. Firstly, we demonstrated experimentally that the TDR10-X light sensor was sensitive enough to detect natural bioluminescence; however, we highlighted a low-distance detection of the sensor. Then, we linked the number of prey capture attempts (PCAs), assessed from accelerometer data, with the number of detected bioluminescence events. PCA was positively related to bioluminescence, which provides strong support that bioluminescence is involved in predator-prey interactions for these species. However, the limitations of the sensor did not allow us to discern whether bioluminescence (i) provided remote indication of the biological richness of the area to SES, (ii) was emitted as a mechanic reaction or (iii) was emitted as a defense mechanism in response to SES behavior. © 2017 The American Society of Photobiology.

  15. Probing the solar plasma with Mariner radio tracking data

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Macdoran, P. F.; Callahan, P. S.; Zygielbaum, A. I.

    1971-01-01

    The range and Doppler radio tracking close to the sun made it possible to measure solar plasma dynamics. These were measured by means of a method known as differenced range versus integrated Doppler, which exploits the opposite change of group and phase velocity as the plasma density changes along the radio raypath. A simple solar plasma propagation model is proposed.

  16. Extraordinarily high spider densities on islands: flow of energy from the marine to terrestrial food webs and the absence of predation.

    PubMed Central

    Polis, G A; Hurd, S D

    1995-01-01

    Some islands in the Gulf of California support very high densities of spiders. Spider density is negatively correlated with island size; many small islands support 50-200 spiders per m3 of cactus. Energy for these spiders comes primarily from the ocean and not from in situ productivity by land plants. We explicitly connect the marine and terrestrial systems to show that insular food webs represent one endpoint of the marine web. We describe two conduits for marine energy entering these islands: shore drift and seabird colonies. Both conduits are related to island area, having a much stronger effect on smaller islands. This asymmetric effect helps to explain the exceptionally high spider densities on small islands. Although productivity sets the maximal potential densities, predation (by scorpions) limits realized spider abundance. Thus, prey availability and predation act in concert to set insular spider abundance. PMID:7753815

  17. Drivers of Daily Routines in an Ectothermic Marine Predator: Hunt Warm, Rest Warmer?

    PubMed Central

    Papastamatiou, Yannis P.; Watanabe, Yuuki Y.; Bradley, Darcy; Dee, Laura E.; Weng, Kevin; Lowe, Christopher G.; Caselle, Jennifer E.

    2015-01-01

    Animal daily routines represent a compromise between maximizing foraging success and optimizing physiological performance, while minimizing the risk of predation. For ectothermic predators, ambient temperature may also influence daily routines through its effects on physiological performance. Temperatures can fluctuate significantly over the diel cycle and ectotherms may synchronize behaviour to match thermal regimes in order to optimize fitness. We used bio-logging to quantify activity and body temperature of blacktip reef sharks (Carcharhinus melanopterus) at a tropical atoll. Behavioural observations were used to concurrently measure bite rates in herbivorous reef fishes, as an index of activity for potential diurnal prey. Sharks showed early evening peaks in activity, particularly during ebbing high tides, while body temperatures peaked several hours prior to the period of maximal activity. Herbivores also displayed peaks in activity several hours earlier than the peaks in shark activity. Sharks appeared to be least active while their body temperatures were highest and most active while temperatures were cooling, although we hypothesize that due to thermal inertia they were still warmer than their smaller prey during this period. Sharks may be most active during early evening periods as they have a sensory advantage under low light conditions and/or a thermal advantage over cooler prey. Sharks swam into shallow water during daytime low tide periods potentially to warm up and increase rates of digestion before the nocturnal activity period, which may be a strategy to maximize ingestion rates. “Hunt warm, rest warmer” may help explain the early evening activity seen in other ectothermic predators. PMID:26061229

  18. Thermal regime, predation danger and the early marine exit of sockeye salmon Oncorhynchus nerka.

    PubMed

    Katinic, P J; Patterson, D A; Ydenberg, R C

    2015-01-01

    Marine exit timing of sockeye salmon Oncorhynchus nerka populations on the Haida Gwaii Archipelago, British Columbia, Canada, is described, with specific focus on Copper Creek. Marine exit in Copper Creek occurs > 130 days prior to spawning, one of the longest adult freshwater residence periods recorded for any O. nerka population. Copper Creek presents an easy upstream migration, with mild water temperatures (7 to 14°  C), short distance (13·1 km) and low elevation gain (41 m) to the lake where fish hold prior to spawning. An energetic model estimates that <1% of the initial energy reserve is required for upstream migration, compared with 62% for lake holding and 38% for reproductive development. Historical records suggest that it is unlikely that water temperature in any of the O.nerka streams in Haida Gwaii has ever exceeded the presumed temperature threshold (19° C) for early marine exit. Although it is not impossible that the thermal tolerance of Copper Creek O.nerka is very low, the data presented here appear inconsistent with thermal avoidance as an explanation for the early marine exit timing in Copper Creek and in three other populations on the archipelago with early marine exit.

  19. Tracking long-distance migration to assess marine pollution impact

    PubMed Central

    Montevecchi, William; Fifield, David; Burke, Chantelle; Garthe, Stefan; Hedd, April; Rail, Jean-François; Robertson, Gregory

    2012-01-01

    Animal tracking provides new means to assess far-reaching environmental impacts. In the aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon explosion in the Gulf of Mexico, a long-distance migrant, the northern gannet (Morus bassanus) suffered the highest oiling among beach-wrecked birds recovered. Analysis of bird-borne tracking data indicated that 25 per cent of their North American population from multiple colonies in eastern Canada migrated to the pollution zone. Findings contrasted sharply with available mark-recapture (band recovery) data. The timing of movement into and out of the Gulf indicates that immature birds would have absorbed most oil-induced mortality. Consequently, one of two outcomes is likely: either a lagged (likely difficult to assess) population decrease, or an undetectable population response buffered by age-related life-history adaptations. Tracking research is especially useful when little information on animal distributions in pollution zones is available, as is the case in the Gulf of Mexico. Ongoing research highlights current risks and conservation concerns. PMID:22012949

  20. Tracking long-distance migration to assess marine pollution impact.

    PubMed

    Montevecchi, William; Fifield, David; Burke, Chantelle; Garthe, Stefan; Hedd, April; Rail, Jean-François; Robertson, Gregory

    2012-04-23

    Animal tracking provides new means to assess far-reaching environmental impacts. In the aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon explosion in the Gulf of Mexico, a long-distance migrant, the northern gannet (Morus bassanus) suffered the highest oiling among beach-wrecked birds recovered. Analysis of bird-borne tracking data indicated that 25 per cent of their North American population from multiple colonies in eastern Canada migrated to the pollution zone. Findings contrasted sharply with available mark-recapture (band recovery) data. The timing of movement into and out of the Gulf indicates that immature birds would have absorbed most oil-induced mortality. Consequently, one of two outcomes is likely: either a lagged (likely difficult to assess) population decrease, or an undetectable population response buffered by age-related life-history adaptations. Tracking research is especially useful when little information on animal distributions in pollution zones is available, as is the case in the Gulf of Mexico. Ongoing research highlights current risks and conservation concerns.

  1. Encounter success of free-ranging marine predator movements across a dynamic prey landscape

    PubMed Central

    Sims, David W; Witt, Matthew J; Richardson, Anthony J; Southall, Emily J; Metcalfe, Julian D

    2006-01-01

    Movements of wide-ranging top predators can now be studied effectively using satellite and archival telemetry. However, the motivations underlying movements remain difficult to determine because trajectories are seldom related to key biological gradients, such as changing prey distributions. Here, we use a dynamic prey landscape of zooplankton biomass in the north-east Atlantic Ocean to examine active habitat selection in the plankton-feeding basking shark Cetorhinus maximus. The relative success of shark searches across this landscape was examined by comparing prey biomass encountered by sharks with encounters by random-walk simulations of ‘model’ sharks. Movements of transmitter-tagged sharks monitored for 964 days (16 754 km estimated minimum distance) were concentrated on the European continental shelf in areas characterized by high seasonal productivity and complex prey distributions. We show movements by adult and sub-adult sharks yielded consistently higher prey encounter rates than 90% of random-walk simulations. Behavioural patterns were consistent with basking sharks using search tactics structured across multiple scales to exploit the richest prey areas available in preferred habitats. Simple behavioural rules based on learned responses to previously encountered prey distributions may explain the high performances. This study highlights how dynamic prey landscapes enable active habitat selection in large predators to be investigated from a trophic perspective, an approach that may inform conservation by identifying critical habitat of vulnerable species. PMID:16720391

  2. Encounter success of free-ranging marine predator movements across a dynamic prey landscape.

    PubMed

    Sims, David W; Witt, Matthew J; Richardson, Anthony J; Southall, Emily J; Metcalfe, Julian D

    2006-05-22

    Movements of wide-ranging top predators can now be studied effectively using satellite and archival telemetry. However, the motivations underlying movements remain difficult to determine because trajectories are seldom related to key biological gradients, such as changing prey distributions. Here, we use a dynamic prey landscape of zooplankton biomass in the north-east Atlantic Ocean to examine active habitat selection in the plankton-feeding basking shark Cetorhinus maximus. The relative success of shark searches across this landscape was examined by comparing prey biomass encountered by sharks with encounters by random-walk simulations of 'model' sharks. Movements of transmitter-tagged sharks monitored for 964 days (16754 km estimated minimum distance) were concentrated on the European continental shelf in areas characterized by high seasonal productivity and complex prey distributions. We show movements by adult and sub-adult sharks yielded consistently higher prey encounter rates than 90% of random-walk simulations. Behavioural patterns were consistent with basking sharks using search tactics structured across multiple scales to exploit the richest prey areas available in preferred habitats. Simple behavioural rules based on learned responses to previously encountered prey distributions may explain the high performances. This study highlights how dynamic prey landscapes enable active habitat selection in large predators to be investigated from a trophic perspective, an approach that may inform conservation by identifying critical habitat of vulnerable species.

  3. History of expansion and anthropogenic collapse in a top marine predator of the Black Sea estimated from genetic data.

    PubMed

    Fontaine, Michaël C; Snirc, Alodie; Frantzis, Alexandros; Koutrakis, Emmanuil; Oztürk, Bayram; Oztürk, Ayaka A; Austerlitz, Fréderic

    2012-09-18

    Two major ecological transitions marked the history of the Black Sea after the last Ice Age. The first was the postglacial transition from a brackish-water to a marine ecosystem dominated by porpoises and dolphins once this basin was reconnected back to the Mediterranean Sea (ca. 8,000 y B.P.). The second occurred during the past decades, when overfishing and hunting activities brought these predators close to extinction, having a deep impact on the structure and dynamics of the ecosystem. Estimating the extent of this decimation is essential for characterizing this ecosystem's dynamics and for formulating restoration plans. However, this extent is poorly documented in historical records. We addressed this issue for one of the main Black Sea predators, the harbor porpoise, using a population genetics approach. Analyzing its genetic diversity using an approximate Bayesian computation approach, we show that only a demographic expansion (at most 5,000 y ago) followed by a contemporaneous population collapse can explain the observed genetic data. We demonstrate that both the postglacial settlement of harbor porpoises in the Black Sea and the recent anthropogenic activities have left a clear footprint on their genetic diversity. Specifically, we infer a strong population reduction (~90%) that occurred within the past 5 decades, which can therefore clearly be related to the recent massive killing of small cetaceans and to the continuing incidental catches in commercial fisheries. Our study thus provides a quantitative assessment of these demographically catastrophic events, also showing that two separate historical events can be inferred from contemporary genetic data.

  4. Numerical modeling with application to tracking marine debris.

    PubMed

    Potemra, James T

    2012-01-01

    This paper describes different numerical models of ocean circulation the output of which can be applied to study patterns and pathways of drifting marine debris. The paper focuses on model output that is readily available rather than on numerical models that could be configured and run locally. These include operational models from the US Navy (the Navy Layered Ocean Model (NLOM), Coastal Ocean Model (NCOM), and Hybrid Coordinate Ocean Model (HYCOM)), data assimilating reanalysis models (the Simple Ocean Data Assimilation (SODA), the Global Ocean Data Assimilation Experiment (GODAE) models), and the European Center for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) ocean reanalysis (Ocean Reanalysis System, ECMWF/ORA-S3). The paper describes the underlying physics in each model system, limitations, and where to obtain the model output.

  5. Dynamic foraging of a top predator in a seasonal polar marine environment.

    PubMed

    Weinstein, Ben G; Friedlaender, Ari S

    2017-09-15

    The seasonal movement of animals at broad spatial scales provides insight into life-history, ecology and conservation. By combining high-resolution satellite-tagged data with hierarchical Bayesian movement models, we can associate spatial patterns of movement with marine animal behavior. We used a multi-state mixture model to describe humpback whale traveling and area-restricted search states as they forage along the West Antarctic Peninsula. We estimated the change in the geography, composition and characteristics of these behavioral states through time. We show that whales later in the austral fall spent more time in movements associated with foraging, traveled at lower speeds between foraging areas, and shifted their distribution northward and inshore. Seasonal changes in movement are likely due to a combination of sea ice advance and regional shifts in the primary prey source. Our study is a step towards dynamic movement models in the marine environment at broad scales.

  6. Modelling the Effects of Prey Size and Distribution on Prey Capture Rates of Two Sympatric Marine Predators

    PubMed Central

    Thaxter, Chris B.; Daunt, Francis; Grémillet, David; Harris, Mike P.; Benvenuti, Silvano; Watanuki, Yutaka; Hamer, Keith C.; Wanless, Sarah

    2013-01-01

    Understanding how prey capture rates are influenced by feeding ecology and environmental conditions is fundamental to assessing anthropogenic impacts on marine higher predators. We compared how prey capture rates varied in relation to prey size, prey patch distribution and prey density for two species of alcid, common guillemot (Uria aalge) and razorbill (Alca torda) during the chick-rearing period. We developed a Monte Carlo approach parameterised with foraging behaviour from bird-borne data loggers, observations of prey fed to chicks, and adult diet from water-offloading, to construct a bio-energetics model. Our primary goal was to estimate prey capture rates, and a secondary aim was to test responses to a set of biologically plausible environmental scenarios. Estimated prey capture rates were 1.5±0.8 items per dive (0.8±0.4 and 1.1±0.6 items per minute foraging and underwater, respectively) for guillemots and 3.7±2.4 items per dive (4.9±3.1 and 7.3±4.0 items per minute foraging and underwater, respectively) for razorbills. Based on species' ecology, diet and flight costs, we predicted that razorbills would be more sensitive to decreases in 0-group sandeel (Ammodytes marinus) length (prediction 1), but guillemots would be more sensitive to prey patches that were more widely spaced (prediction 2), and lower in prey density (prediction 3). Estimated prey capture rates increased non-linearly as 0-group sandeel length declined, with the slope being steeper in razorbills, supporting prediction 1. When prey patches were more dispersed, estimated daily energy expenditure increased by a factor of 3.0 for guillemots and 2.3 for razorbills, suggesting guillemots were more sensitive to patchier prey, supporting prediction 2. However, both species responded similarly to reduced prey density (guillemot expenditure increased by 1.7; razorbill by 1.6), thus not supporting prediction 3. This bio-energetics approach complements other foraging models in predicting likely

  7. Modelling the effects of prey size and distribution on prey capture rates of two sympatric marine predators.

    PubMed

    Thaxter, Chris B; Daunt, Francis; Grémillet, David; Harris, Mike P; Benvenuti, Silvano; Watanuki, Yutaka; Hamer, Keith C; Wanless, Sarah

    2013-01-01

    Understanding how prey capture rates are influenced by feeding ecology and environmental conditions is fundamental to assessing anthropogenic impacts on marine higher predators. We compared how prey capture rates varied in relation to prey size, prey patch distribution and prey density for two species of alcid, common guillemot (Uria aalge) and razorbill (Alca torda) during the chick-rearing period. We developed a Monte Carlo approach parameterised with foraging behaviour from bird-borne data loggers, observations of prey fed to chicks, and adult diet from water-offloading, to construct a bio-energetics model. Our primary goal was to estimate prey capture rates, and a secondary aim was to test responses to a set of biologically plausible environmental scenarios. Estimated prey capture rates were 1.5 ± 0.8 items per dive (0.8 ± 0.4 and 1.1 ± 0.6 items per minute foraging and underwater, respectively) for guillemots and 3.7 ± 2.4 items per dive (4.9 ± 3.1 and 7.3 ± 4.0 items per minute foraging and underwater, respectively) for razorbills. Based on species' ecology, diet and flight costs, we predicted that razorbills would be more sensitive to decreases in 0-group sandeel (Ammodytes marinus) length (prediction 1), but guillemots would be more sensitive to prey patches that were more widely spaced (prediction 2), and lower in prey density (prediction 3). Estimated prey capture rates increased non-linearly as 0-group sandeel length declined, with the slope being steeper in razorbills, supporting prediction 1. When prey patches were more dispersed, estimated daily energy expenditure increased by a factor of 3.0 for guillemots and 2.3 for razorbills, suggesting guillemots were more sensitive to patchier prey, supporting prediction 2. However, both species responded similarly to reduced prey density (guillemot expenditure increased by 1.7; razorbill by 1.6), thus not supporting prediction 3. This bio-energetics approach complements other foraging models in

  8. A DNA-based method for identification of krill species and its application to analysing the diet of marine vertebrate predators.

    PubMed

    Jarman, S N; Gales, N J; Tierney, M; Gill, P C; Elliott, N G

    2002-12-01

    Accurate identification of species that are consumed by vertebrate predators is necessary for understanding marine food webs. Morphological methods for identifying prey components after consumption often fail to make accurate identifications of invertebrates because prey morphology becomes damaged during capture, ingestion and digestion. Another disadvantage of morphological methods for prey identification is that they often involve sampling procedures that are disruptive for the predator, such as stomach flushing or lethal collection. We have developed a DNA-based method for identifying species of krill (Crustacea: Malacostraca), an enormously abundant group of invertebrates that are directly consumed by many groups of marine vertebrates. The DNA-based approach allows identification of krill species present in samples of vertebrate stomach contents, vomit, and, more importantly, faeces. Utilizing samples of faeces from vertebrate predators minimizes the impact of dietary studies on the subject animals. We demonstrate our method first on samples of Adelie penguin (Pygoscelis adeliae) stomach contents, where DNA-based species identification can be confirmed by prey morphology. We then apply the method to faeces of Adelie penguins and to faeces of the endangered pygmy blue whale (Balaenoptera musculus brevicauda). In each of these cases, krill species consumed by the predators could be identified from their DNA present in faeces or stomach contents.

  9. Efficient tools for marine operational forecast and oil spill tracking.

    PubMed

    Marta-Almeida, Martinho; Ruiz-Villarreal, Manuel; Pereira, Janini; Otero, Pablo; Cirano, Mauro; Zhang, Xiaoqian; Hetland, Robert D

    2013-06-15

    Ocean forecasting and oil spill modelling and tracking are complex activities requiring specialised institutions. In this work we present a lighter solution based on the Operational Ocean Forecast Python Engine (OOFε) and the oil spill model General NOAA Operational Modelling Environment (GNOME). These two are robust relocatable and simple to implement and maintain. Implementations of the operational engine in three different regions with distinct oceanic systems, using the ocean model Regional Ocean Modelling System (ROMS), are described, namely the Galician region, the southeastern Brazilian waters and the Texas-Louisiana shelf. GNOME was able to simulate the fate of the Prestige oil spill (Galicia) and compared well with observations of the Krimsk accident (Texas). Scenarios of hypothetical spills in Campos Basin (Brazil) are illustrated, evidencing the sensitiveness to the dynamical system. OOFε and GNOME are proved to be valuable, efficient and low cost tools and can be seen as an intermediate stage towards more complex operational implementations of ocean forecasting and oil spill modelling strategies. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. Influences of past climatic changes on historical population structure and demography of a cosmopolitan marine predator, the common dolphin (genus Delphinus).

    PubMed

    Amaral, Ana R; Beheregaray, Luciano B; Bilgmann, Kerstin; Freitas, Luís; Robertson, Kelly M; Sequeira, Marina; Stockin, Karen A; Coelho, M M; Möller, Luciana M

    2012-10-01

    Climatic oscillations during the Pleistocene have greatly influenced the distribution and connectivity of many organisms, leading to extinctions but also generating biodiversity. While the effects of such changes have been extensively studied in the terrestrial environment, studies focusing on the marine realm are still scarce. Here we used sequence data from one mitochondrial and five nuclear loci to assess the potential influence of Pleistocene climatic changes on the phylogeography and demographic history of a cosmopolitan marine predator, the common dolphin (genus Delphinus). Population samples representing the three major morphotypes of Delphinus were obtained from 10 oceanic regions. Our results suggest that short-beaked common dolphins are likely to have originated in the eastern Indo-Pacific Ocean during the Pleistocene and expanded into the Atlantic Ocean through the Indian Ocean. On the other hand, long-beaked common dolphins appear to have evolved more recently and independently in several oceans. Our results also suggest that short-beaked common dolphins had recurrent demographic expansions concomitant with changes in sea surface temperature during the Pleistocene and its associated increases in resource availability, which differed between the North Atlantic and Pacific Ocean basins. By proposing how past environmental changes had an effect on the demography and speciation of a widely distributed marine mammal, we highlight the impacts that climate change may have on the distribution and abundance of marine predators and its ecological consequences for marine ecosystems. © 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  11. The impact of predation by marine mammals on patagonian toothfish longline fisheries.

    PubMed

    Söffker, Marta; Trathan, Phil; Clark, James; Collins, Martin A; Belchier, Mark; Scott, Robert

    2015-01-01

    Predatory interaction of marine mammals with longline fisheries is observed globally, leading to partial or complete loss of the catch and in some parts of the world to considerable financial loss. Depredation can also create additional unrecorded fishing mortality of a stock and has the potential to introduce bias to stock assessments. Here we aim to characterise depredation in the Patagonian toothfish (Dissostichus eleginoides) fishery around South Georgia focusing on the spatio-temporal component of these interactions. Antarctic fur seals (Arctocephalus gazella), sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus), and orcas (Orcinus orca) frequently feed on fish hooked on longlines around South Georgia. A third of longlines encounter sperm whales, but loss of catch due to sperm whales is insignificant when compared to that due to orcas, which interact with only 5% of longlines but can take more than half of the catch in some cases. Orca depredation around South Georgia is spatially limited and focused in areas of putative migration routes, and the impact is compounded as a result of the fishery also concentrating in those areas at those times. Understanding the seasonal behaviour of orcas and the spatial and temporal distribution of "depredation hot spots" can reduce marine mammal interactions, will improve assessment and management of the stock and contribute to increased operational efficiency of the fishery. Such information is valuable in the effort to resolve the human-mammal conflict for resources.

  12. The Impact of Predation by Marine Mammals on Patagonian Toothfish Longline Fisheries

    PubMed Central

    Söffker, Marta; Trathan, Phil; Clark, James; Collins, Martin A.; Belchier, Mark; Scott, Robert

    2015-01-01

    Predatory interaction of marine mammals with longline fisheries is observed globally, leading to partial or complete loss of the catch and in some parts of the world to considerable financial loss. Depredation can also create additional unrecorded fishing mortality of a stock and has the potential to introduce bias to stock assessments. Here we aim to characterise depredation in the Patagonian toothfish (Dissostichus eleginoides) fishery around South Georgia focusing on the spatio-temporal component of these interactions. Antarctic fur seals (Arctocephalus gazella), sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus), and orcas (Orcinus orca) frequently feed on fish hooked on longlines around South Georgia. A third of longlines encounter sperm whales, but loss of catch due to sperm whales is insignificant when compared to that due to orcas, which interact with only 5% of longlines but can take more than half of the catch in some cases. Orca depredation around South Georgia is spatially limited and focused in areas of putative migration routes, and the impact is compounded as a result of the fishery also concentrating in those areas at those times. Understanding the seasonal behaviour of orcas and the spatial and temporal distribution of “depredation hot spots” can reduce marine mammal interactions, will improve assessment and management of the stock and contribute to increased operational efficiency of the fishery. Such information is valuable in the effort to resolve the human-mammal conflict for resources. PMID:25738698

  13. Spaceborne Sensors Track Marine Debris Circulation in the Gulf of Mexico

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Reahard, Ross; Mitchell, Brandie; Lee, Lucas; Pezold, Blaise; Brook, Chris; Mallett, Candis; Barrett, Shelby; Albin, Aaron

    2011-01-01

    Marine debris is a problem for coastal areas throughout the world, including the Gulf of Mexico. To aid the NOAA Marine Debris Program in monitoring marine debris dispersal and regulating marine debris practices, sea surface height and height anomaly data provided by the Colorado Center for Astrodynamics Research at the University of Colorado, Boulder, were utilized to help assess trash and other discarded items that routinely wash ashore in southeastern Texas, at Padre Island National Seashore. These data were generated from the NASA radar altimeter satellites TOPEX/Poseidon, Jason 1, and Jason 2, as well as the European altimeter satellites ERS-1, ERS-2 (European Remote Sensing Satellite), and ENVISAT (Environmental Satellite). Sea surface temperature data from MODIS were used to study of the dynamics of the Loop Current. Sea surface height and MODIS data analysis were used to show that warm water in the core of eddies, which periodically separate from the Loop Current, can be as high as 30 cm above the surrounding water. These eddies are known to directly transfer marine debris to the western continental shelf and the elevated area of water can be tracked using satellite radar altimeter data. Additionally, using sea surface height, geostrophic velocity, and particle path data, foretracking and backtracking simulations were created. These simulation runs demonstrated that marine debris on Padre Island National Seashore may arise from a variety of sources, such as commercial fishing/shrimping, the oil and gas industry, recreational boaters, and from rivers that empty into the Gulf of Mexico.

  14. How accurately can we estimate energetic costs in a marine top predator, the king penguin?

    PubMed

    Halsey, Lewis G; Fahlman, Andreas; Handrich, Yves; Schmidt, Alexander; Woakes, Anthony J; Butler, Patrick J

    2007-01-01

    King penguins (Aptenodytes patagonicus) are one of the greatest consumers of marine resources. However, while their influence on the marine ecosystem is likely to be significant, only an accurate knowledge of their energy demands will indicate their true food requirements. Energy consumption has been estimated for many marine species using the heart rate-rate of oxygen consumption (f(H) - V(O2)) technique, and the technique has been applied successfully to answer eco-physiological questions. However, previous studies on the energetics of king penguins, based on developing or applying this technique, have raised a number of issues about the degree of validity of the technique for this species. These include the predictive validity of the present f(H) - V(O2) equations across different seasons and individuals and during different modes of locomotion. In many cases, these issues also apply to other species for which the f(H) - V(O2) technique has been applied. In the present study, the accuracy of three prediction equations for king penguins was investigated based on validity studies and on estimates of V(O2) from published, field f(H) data. The major conclusions from the present study are: (1) in contrast to that for walking, the f(H) - V(O2) relationship for swimming king penguins is not affected by body mass; (2) prediction equation (1), log(V(O2) = -0.279 + 1.24log(f(H) + 0.0237t - 0.0157log(f(H)t, derived in a previous study, is the most suitable equation presently available for estimating V(O2) in king penguins for all locomotory and nutritional states. A number of possible problems associated with producing an f(H) - V(O2) relationship are discussed in the present study. Finally, a statistical method to include easy-to-measure morphometric characteristics, which may improve the accuracy of f(H) - V(O2) prediction equations, is explained.

  15. Tracking Three-Dimensional Fish Behavior with a New Marine Acoustic Telemetry System

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Brosnan, Ian G.; McGarry, Louise P.; Greene, Charles H.; Steig, Tracey W.; Johnston, Samuel V.; Ehrenberg, John E.

    2015-01-01

    The persistent monitoring capability provided by acoustic telemetry systems allows us to study behavior, movement, and resource selection of mobile marine animals. Current marine acoustic telemetry systems are challenged by localization errors and limits in the number of animals that can be tracked simultaneously. We designed a new system to provide detection ranges of up to 1 km, to reduce localization errors to less than 1 m, and to increase to 500 the number of unique tags simultaneously tracked. The design builds on HTIs experience of more than a decade developing acoustic telemetry systems for freshwater environments. A field trial of the prototype system was conducted at the University of Washingtons Friday Harbor Marine Laboratory (Friday Harbor, WA). Copper rockfish (Sebastes caurinus) were selected for field trials of this new system because their high site-fidelity and small home ranges provide ample opportunity to track individual fish behavior while testing our ability to characterize the movements of a species of interest to management authorities.

  16. Predation on an Upper Trophic Marine Predator, the Steller Sea Lion: Evaluating High Juvenile Mortality in a Density Dependent Conceptual Framework

    PubMed Central

    Horning, Markus; Mellish, Jo-Ann E.

    2012-01-01

    The endangered western stock of the Steller sea lion (Eumetopias jubatus) – the largest of the eared seals – has declined by 80% from population levels encountered four decades ago. Current overall trends from the Gulf of Alaska to the Aleutian Islands appear neutral with strong regional heterogeneities. A published inferential model has been used to hypothesize a continuous decline in natality and depressed juvenile survival during the height of the decline in the mid-late 1980's, followed by the recent recovery of juvenile survival to pre-decline rates. However, these hypotheses have not been tested by direct means, and causes underlying past and present population trajectories remain unresolved and controversial. We determined post-weaning juvenile survival and causes of mortality using data received post-mortem via satellite from telemetry transmitters implanted into 36 juvenile Steller sea lions from 2005 through 2011. Data show high post-weaning mortality by predation in the eastern Gulf of Alaska region. To evaluate the impact of such high levels of predation, we developed a conceptual framework to integrate density dependent with density independent effects on vital rates and population trajectories. Our data and model do not support the hypothesized recent recovery of juvenile survival rates and reduced natality. Instead, our data demonstrate continued low juvenile survival in the Prince William Sound and Kenai Fjords region of the Gulf of Alaska. Our results on contemporary predation rates combined with the density dependent conceptual framework suggest predation on juvenile sea lions as the largest impediment to recovery of the species in the eastern Gulf of Alaska region. The framework also highlights the necessity for demographic models based on age-structured census data to incorporate the differential impact of predation on multiple vital rates. PMID:22272296

  17. Predation on an upper trophic marine predator, the Steller sea lion: evaluating high juvenile mortality in a density dependent conceptual framework.

    PubMed

    Horning, Markus; Mellish, Jo-Ann E

    2012-01-01

    The endangered western stock of the Steller sea lion (Eumetopias jubatus)--the largest of the eared seals--has declined by 80% from population levels encountered four decades ago. Current overall trends from the Gulf of Alaska to the Aleutian Islands appear neutral with strong regional heterogeneities. A published inferential model has been used to hypothesize a continuous decline in natality and depressed juvenile survival during the height of the decline in the mid-late 1980's, followed by the recent recovery of juvenile survival to pre-decline rates. However, these hypotheses have not been tested by direct means, and causes underlying past and present population trajectories remain unresolved and controversial. We determined post-weaning juvenile survival and causes of mortality using data received post-mortem via satellite from telemetry transmitters implanted into 36 juvenile Steller sea lions from 2005 through 2011. Data show high post-weaning mortality by predation in the eastern Gulf of Alaska region. To evaluate the impact of such high levels of predation, we developed a conceptual framework to integrate density dependent with density independent effects on vital rates and population trajectories. Our data and model do not support the hypothesized recent recovery of juvenile survival rates and reduced natality. Instead, our data demonstrate continued low juvenile survival in the Prince William Sound and Kenai Fjords region of the Gulf of Alaska. Our results on contemporary predation rates combined with the density dependent conceptual framework suggest predation on juvenile sea lions as the largest impediment to recovery of the species in the eastern Gulf of Alaska region. The framework also highlights the necessity for demographic models based on age-structured census data to incorporate the differential impact of predation on multiple vital rates.

  18. Optical properties of marine stratocumulus clouds modified by ship track effluents

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    King, Michael D.; Nakajima, Teruyuki

    1990-01-01

    The angular distribution of scattered radiation deep within a cloud layer was measured in marine stratocumulus clouds modified by the emissions from ships. These observations, obtained at thirteen discrete wavelengths between 0.5 and 2.3 microns, were obtained as the University of Washington Convair C-131A aircraft flew through a pair of roughly parallel ship tracks off the coast of southern California on 10 July 1987. In the first of these ship tracks, the cloud droplet concentration increased from 40 to 107/cu cm (125/cu cm in the second ship track). Simultaneous to this spectacular change, the aircraft measured interstitial aerosol (Aitken nucleus) concentration that increased from 400 to 1000/cu cm and cloud liquid water content that increased from 0.03 to 0.75 g/cu m. Broadband pyranometer measurements showed that the upwelling flux density increased from 150 to 280 W/sq m. These in-situ microphysics and broadband pyranometer results, together with AVHRR satellite images obtained with the NOAA-10 satellite, are described in detail by Radke et al., (1989). Internal scattered radiation measurements at selected wavelengths obtained with the cloud absorption radiometer (King et al., 1986) for a 100 km section of marine stratocumulus clouds containing these two ship track features are presented.

  19. The tracking system analytic calibration activity for Mariner Mars 1971: Its function and scope

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Madrid, G. A.

    1974-01-01

    The functions of the Tracking System Analytic Calibration activity for Mariner Mars 1971 (MM'71), its objectives for this and future missions, and the support provided to the MM'71 Navigation Team during operations are described. Support functions encompass calibration of tracking data by estimating physical parameters whose uncertainties represent limitations to navigational accuracy, and detailed analysis of the tracking data to uncover and resolve any anomalies. Separate articles treat the activities and results of producing calibrations for the various error sources: Deep Space Station Locations, timing and polar motion, charged particles, and the troposphere. Two other articles are also included discussing the effects of the media error sources on orbit determination and the merits of the smoothing technique used for DRIVID.

  20. Tracking and Data System Support for the Mariner Venus/Mercury 1973 Project

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Davis, E. K.; Traxler, M. R.

    1977-01-01

    The Tracking and Data System, which provided outstanding support to the Mariner Venus/Mercury 1973 project during the period from January 1970 through March 1975 are chronologically described. In the Tracking and Data System organizations, plans, processes, and technical configurations, which were developed and employed to facilitate achievement of mission objectives, are described. In the Deep Space Network position of the tracking and data system, a number of special actions were taken to greatly increase the scientific data return and to assist the project in coping with in-flight problems. The benefits of such actions were high; however, there was also a significant increase in risk as a function of the experimental equipment and procedures required.

  1. Distribution and diversity of a protist predator Cryothecomonas (Cercozoa) in Arctic marine waters.

    PubMed

    Thaler, Mary; Lovejoy, Connie

    2012-01-01

    Heterotrophic nanoflagellates (HNFs) are key components in microbial food webs, potentially influencing community composition via top-down control of their favored prey or host. Marine cercozoan Cryothecomonas species are parasitoid and predatory HNFs that have been reported from ice, sediments, and the water column. Although Cryothecomonas is frequently reported from Arctic and subarctic seas, factors determining its occurrence are not known. We investigated the temporal and geographic distribution of Cryothecomonas in Canadian Arctic seas during the summer and autumn periods from 2006 to 2010. We developed a Cryothecomonas-specific fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH) probe targeting ribosomal 18S rRNA to estimate cell concentrations in natural and manipulated samples. Comparison of simple and partial correlation coefficients showed that salinity, depth, and overall community biomass are important factors determining Cryothecomonas abundance. We found no evidence of parasitism in our samples. Hybridized cells included individuals smaller than any formally described Cryothecomonas, suggesting the presence of novel taxa or unknown life stages in this genus. A positive relationship between Cryothecomonas abundance and ice and meltwater suggests that it is a sensitive indicator of ice melt in Arctic water columns.

  2. Differences in boldness are repeatable and heritable in a long-lived marine predator

    PubMed Central

    Patrick, Samantha C; Charmantier, Anne; Weimerskirch, Henri

    2013-01-01

    Animal personalities, composed of axes of consistent individual behaviors, are widely reported and can have important fitness consequences. However, despite theoretical predictions that life-history trade-offs may cause and maintain personality differences, our understanding of the evolutionary ecology of personality remains poor, especially in long-lived species where trade-offs and senescence have been shown to be stronger. Furthermore, although much theoretical and empirical work assumes selection shapes variation in personalities, studies exploring the genetic underpinnings of personality traits are rare. Here we study one standard axis of personality, the shy–bold continuum, in a long-lived marine species, the wandering albatross from Possession Island, Crozet, by measuring the behavioral response to a human approach. Using generalized linear mixed models in a Bayesian framework, we show that boldness is highly repeatable and heritable. We also find strong differences in boldness between breeding colonies, which vary in size and density, suggesting birds are shyer in more dense colonies. These results demonstrate that in this seabird population, boldness is both heritable and repeatable and highlights the potential for ecological and evolutionary processes to shape personality traits in species with varying life-history strategies. PMID:24340172

  3. A new laboratory radio frequency identification (RFID) system for behavioural tracking of marine organisms.

    PubMed

    Aguzzi, Jacopo; Sbragaglia, Valerio; Sarriá, David; García, José Antonio; Costa, Corrado; del Río, Joaquín; Mànuel, Antoni; Menesatti, Paolo; Sardà, Francesc

    2011-01-01

    Radio frequency identification (RFID) devices are currently used to quantify several traits of animal behaviour with potential applications for the study of marine organisms. To date, behavioural studies with marine organisms are rare because of the technical difficulty of propagating radio waves within the saltwater medium. We present a novel RFID tracking system to study the burrowing behaviour of a valuable fishery resource, the Norway lobster (Nephrops norvegicus L.). The system consists of a network of six controllers, each handling a group of seven antennas. That network was placed below a microcosm tank that recreated important features typical of Nephrops' grounds, such as the presence of multiple burrows. The animals carried a passive transponder attached to their telson, operating at 13.56 MHz. The tracking system was implemented to concurrently report the behaviour of up to three individuals, in terms of their travelled distances in a specified unit of time and their preferential positioning within the antenna network. To do so, the controllers worked in parallel to send the antenna data to a computer via a USB connection. The tracking accuracy of the system was evaluated by concurrently recording the animals' behaviour with automated video imaging. During the two experiments, each lasting approximately one week, two different groups of three animals each showed a variable burrow occupancy and a nocturnal displacement under a standard photoperiod regime (12 h light:12 h dark), measured using the RFID method. Similar results were obtained with the video imaging. Our implemented RFID system was therefore capable of efficiently tracking the tested organisms and has a good potential for use on a wide variety of other marine organisms of commercial, aquaculture, and ecological interest.

  4. A New Laboratory Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) System for Behavioural Tracking of Marine Organisms

    PubMed Central

    Aguzzi, Jacopo; Sbragaglia, Valerio; Sarriá, David; García, José Antonio; Costa, Corrado; del Río, Joaquín; Mànuel, Antoni; Menesatti, Paolo; Sardà, Francesc

    2011-01-01

    Radio frequency identification (RFID) devices are currently used to quantify several traits of animal behaviour with potential applications for the study of marine organisms. To date, behavioural studies with marine organisms are rare because of the technical difficulty of propagating radio waves within the saltwater medium. We present a novel RFID tracking system to study the burrowing behaviour of a valuable fishery resource, the Norway lobster (Nephrops norvegicus L.). The system consists of a network of six controllers, each handling a group of seven antennas. That network was placed below a microcosm tank that recreated important features typical of Nephrops’ grounds, such as the presence of multiple burrows. The animals carried a passive transponder attached to their telson, operating at 13.56 MHz. The tracking system was implemented to concurrently report the behaviour of up to three individuals, in terms of their travelled distances in a specified unit of time and their preferential positioning within the antenna network. To do so, the controllers worked in parallel to send the antenna data to a computer via a USB connection. The tracking accuracy of the system was evaluated by concurrently recording the animals’ behaviour with automated video imaging. During the two experiments, each lasting approximately one week, two different groups of three animals each showed a variable burrow occupancy and a nocturnal displacement under a standard photoperiod regime (12 h light:12 h dark), measured using the RFID method. Similar results were obtained with the video imaging. Our implemented RFID system was therefore capable of efficiently tracking the tested organisms and has a good potential for use on a wide variety of other marine organisms of commercial, aquaculture, and ecological interest. PMID:22163710

  5. Changes in trace elements during lactation in a marine top predator, the grey seal.

    PubMed

    Habran, Sarah; Pomeroy, Paddy P; Debier, Cathy; Das, Krishna

    2013-01-15

    Lactation in pinnipeds represents the most significant cost to mothers during the reproductive cycle. Dynamics of trace elements and their mobilization associated with energy reserves during such an intense physiological process remains poorly understood in marine mammals. The changes in tissue concentrations of 11 elements (Ca, Cd, Cr, Cu, Fe, Hg, Ni, Pb, Se, V, and Zn) were investigated in a longitudinal study during the lactation period and during the post-weaning fast period. Blood, milk, blubber, and hair samples were collected sequentially from 21 mother-pup pairs of grey seals (Halichoerus grypus) from the Isle of May in Scotland. Maternal transfer through the milk was observed for all trace elements, except for Cd. As an indicator of the placental transfer, levels in pup lanugo (natal coat) revealed also the existence of maternal transfer and accumulation of all assayed trace elements during the foetal development. The placental and mammary barriers against non-essential metal transfer to offspring appear to be absent or weak in grey seals. Examining the contamination levels showed that this grey seal population seems more highly exposed to Pb than other phocid populations (2.2 mg/kg dw of grey seal hair). In contrast, blood and hair levels reflected a lower Hg exposure in grey seals from the Isle of May than in harbour seals from the southeastern North Sea. This study also showed that trace element concentrations in blood and blubber could change rapidly over the lactation period. Such physiological processes must be considered carefully during biomonitoring of trace elements, and potential impacts that rapid fluctuations in concentrations can exert on seal health should be further investigated.

  6. Environmental drivers and reproductive consequences of variation in the diet of a marine predator

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gladics, Amanda J.; Suryan, Robert M.; Parrish, Julia K.; Horton, Cheryl A.; Daly, Elizabeth A.; Peterson, William T.

    2015-06-01

    Ocean conditions can greatly impact lower trophic level prey assemblages in marine ecosystems, with effects of ocean state propagating to higher trophic levels. In many regions throughout their range, common murre (Uria aalge) exhibit narrow dietary breadth in feeding chicks and therefore are vulnerable to recruitment failures of dominant prey species during the breeding season. Contrastingly, common murres nesting in the northern California Current off Oregon, exhibit high species diversity and variability in dominant prey consumed. We studied the diets of common murres over 10 years between 1998 and 2011, a period in which the northern California Current experienced dramatic interannual variability in ocean conditions. Likewise, murre diets off Oregon varied considerably. Interannual variation in murre chick diets was influenced by environmental drivers occurring before and during the breeding season, and at both basin and local scales. While clupeids (likely Pacific herring, Clupea pallasii) were an important diet component throughout the study period, in some years murre diets were dominated by Pacific sand lance (Ammodytes hexapterus) and in other years by osmerids (likely whitebait smelt, Allosmerus elongatus and surf smelt, Hypomesus pretiosus). Years in which the Pacific Decadal Oscillation and local sea surface temperatures were higher during summer also showed elevated levels of clupeids in murre diets, while years with higher North Pacific Gyre Oscillation index values and greater local winter ichthyoplankton biomass had fewer clupeids and more sand lance or smelts. Years with higher values of the Northern Oscillation Index during summer and an earlier spring transition showed higher proportion of smelts in the diets. Nesting phenology and reproductive success were negatively correlated with gradients in sand lance and clupeids, respectively, reflecting demographic consequences of environmental variability mediated through bottom-up food web dynamics.

  7. Behavioral signature of intraspecific competition and density dependence in colony-breeding marine predators.

    PubMed

    Breed, Greg A; Don Bowen, W; Leonard, Marty L

    2013-10-01

    In populations of colony-breeding marine animals, foraging around colonies can lead to intraspecific competition. This competition affects individual foraging behavior and can cause density-dependent population growth. Where behavioral data are available, it may be possible to infer the mechanism of intraspecific competition. If these mechanics are understood, they can be used to predict the population-level functional response resulting from the competition. Using satellite relocation and dive data, we studied the use of space and foraging behavior of juvenile and adult gray seals (Halichoerus grypus) from a large (over 200,000) and growing population breeding at Sable Island, Nova Scotia (44.0 (o)N 60.0 (o)W). These data were first analyzed using a behaviorally switching state-space model to infer foraging areas followed by randomization analysis of foraging region overlap of competing age classes. Patterns of habitat use and behavioral time budgets indicate that young-of-year juveniles (YOY) were likely displaced from foraging areas near (<10 km) the breeding colony by adult females. This displacement was most pronounced in the summer. Additionally, our data suggest that YOY are less capable divers than adults and this limits the habitat available to them. However, other segregating mechanisms cannot be ruled out, and we discuss several alternate hypotheses. Mark-resight data indicate juveniles born between 1998 and 2002 have much reduced survivorship compared with cohorts born in the late 1980s, while adult survivorship has remained steady. Combined with behavioral observations, our data suggest YOY are losing an intraspecific competition between adults and juveniles, resulting in the currently observed decelerating logistic population growth. Competition theory predicts that intraspecific competition resulting in a clear losing competitor should cause compensatory population regulation. This functional response produces a smooth logistic growth curve as

  8. Behavioral signature of intraspecific competition and density dependence in colony-breeding marine predators

    PubMed Central

    Breed, Greg A; Don Bowen, W; Leonard, Marty L

    2013-01-01

    In populations of colony-breeding marine animals, foraging around colonies can lead to intraspecific competition. This competition affects individual foraging behavior and can cause density-dependent population growth. Where behavioral data are available, it may be possible to infer the mechanism of intraspecific competition. If these mechanics are understood, they can be used to predict the population-level functional response resulting from the competition. Using satellite relocation and dive data, we studied the use of space and foraging behavior of juvenile and adult gray seals (Halichoerus grypus) from a large (over 200,000) and growing population breeding at Sable Island, Nova Scotia (44.0 oN 60.0 oW). These data were first analyzed using a behaviorally switching state-space model to infer foraging areas followed by randomization analysis of foraging region overlap of competing age classes. Patterns of habitat use and behavioral time budgets indicate that young-of-year juveniles (YOY) were likely displaced from foraging areas near (<10 km) the breeding colony by adult females. This displacement was most pronounced in the summer. Additionally, our data suggest that YOY are less capable divers than adults and this limits the habitat available to them. However, other segregating mechanisms cannot be ruled out, and we discuss several alternate hypotheses. Mark–resight data indicate juveniles born between 1998 and 2002 have much reduced survivorship compared with cohorts born in the late 1980s, while adult survivorship has remained steady. Combined with behavioral observations, our data suggest YOY are losing an intraspecific competition between adults and juveniles, resulting in the currently observed decelerating logistic population growth. Competition theory predicts that intraspecific competition resulting in a clear losing competitor should cause compensatory population regulation. This functional response produces a smooth logistic growth curve as carrying

  9. Tracking marine mammals and ships with small and large-aperture hydrophone arrays

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gassmann, Martin

    Techniques for passive acoustic tracking in all three spatial dimensions of marine mammals and ships were developed for long-term acoustic datasets recorded continuously over months using custom-designed arrays of underwater microphones (hydrophones) with spacing ranging from meters to kilometers. From the three-dimensional tracks, the acoustical properties of toothed whales and ships, such as sound intensity and directionality, were estimated as they are needed for the passive acoustic abundance estimation of toothed whales and for a quantitative description of the contribution of ships to the underwater soundscape. In addition, the tracks of the toothed whales reveal their underwater movements and demonstrate the potential of the developed tracking techniques to investigate their natural behavior and responses to sound generated by human activity, such as from ships or military SONAR. To track the periodically emitted echolocation sounds of toothed whales in an acoustically refractive environment in the upper ocean, a propagation-model based technique was developed for a hydrophone array consisting of one vertical and two L-shaped subarrays deployed from the floating instrument platform R/P FLIP. The technique is illustrated by tracking a group of five shallow-diving killer whales showing coordinated behavior. The challenge of tracking the highly directional echolocation sounds of deep-diving (< 1 km) toothed whales, in particular Cuvier's beaked whales, was addressed by embedding volumetric small-aperture (≈ 1 m element spacing) arrays into a large-aperture (≈ 1 km element spacing) seafloor array to reduce the minimum number of required receivers from five to two. The capabilities of this technique are illustrated by tracking several groups of up to three individuals over time periods from 10 min to 33 min within an area of 20 km2 in the Southern California Bight. To track and measure the underwater radiated sound of ships, a frequency domain beamformer was

  10. Biogeophysical and physiological processes drive movement patterns in a marine predator.

    PubMed

    Howey, Lucy A; Wetherbee, Bradley M; Tolentino, Emily R; Shivji, Mahmood S

    2017-01-01

    greatly among locales; depth use off the continental shelf was significantly greater, and individuals exhibited a greater frequency of deep-diving behavior, compared to periods of aggregation on the continental shelf. Sexual segregation was evident, suggesting mature and immature males, and immature females may be subjected to high levels of anthropogenic exploitation in this region during periods of aggregation. Analysis of the spatio-temporal tracks revealed that nine individuals traveled beyond the United States EEZ, including a mature female captured in The Bahamas that migrated to the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. These results reflect and augment existing Atlantic migration models, and highlight the complex, synergistic nature of factors affecting blue shark ecology and the need for a cooperative management approach in the North Atlantic.

  11. Tracking and data system support for the Mariner Mars 1971 mission. Volume 3: Orbit insertion through end of primary mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Barnum, P. W.; Renzetti, N. A.; Textor, G. P.; Kelly, L. B.

    1973-01-01

    The Tracking and Data System (TDS) Support for the Mariner Mars 1971 Mission final report contains the deep space tracking and data acquisition activities in support of orbital operations. During this period a major NASA objective was accomplished: completion of the 180th revolution and 90th day of data gathering with the spacecraft about the planet Mars. Included are presentations of the TDS flight support pass chronology data for each of the Deep Space Stations used, and performance evaluation for the Deep Space Network Telemetry, Tracking, Command, and Monitor Systems. With the loss of Mariner 8 at launch, Mariner 9 assumed the mission plan of Mariner 8, which included the TV mapping cycles and a 12-hr orbital period. The mission plan was modified as a result of a severe dust storm on the surface of Mars, which delayed the start of the TV mapping cycles. Thus, the end of primary mission date was extended to complete the TV mapping cycles.

  12. From Microbes to Whales: Using Genomics to Track Changing Marine Biodiversity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chavez, F.; Port, J.; Breitbart, M.; Yamahara, K.

    2016-02-01

    Means to track how life in the sea is changing over space and time are sorely lacking. Traditional ways require expensive collections from ships and expert analysis by trained taxonomists who are slowly disappearing. As part of a recently funded demonstration Marine Biodiversity Observation Network (MBON) we have been investigating the use of genomics to trace changing marine biodiversity. Most forms of marine life shed or leave behind residues containing nucleic acids in suspended or dissolved form. These materials, concentrated on low porosity (0.2 micron) filters, can then be analyzed for their genetic content potentially permitting the assessment of marine biodiversity, from microbes to whales. Here we present a plan to do this over three functional groups, microbes, micro and macro plankton, and vertebrates. Initial proof-of-concept results, methodological experiments and data management plans are presented as are analysis of material collected using autonomous systems with advanced collection systems. Should these methods prove feasible they would provide biologists with opportunities akin to physical oceanographers for the study of the response of ocean ecosystems to climate variability and change.

  13. Global Coastal and Marine Spatial Planning (CMSP) from Space Based AIS Ship Tracking

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schwehr, K. D.; Foulkes, J. A.; Lorenzini, D.; Kanawati, M.

    2011-12-01

    All nations need to be developing long term integrated strategies for how to use and preserve our natural resources. As a part of these strategies, we must evalutate how communities of users react to changes in rules and regulations of ocean use. Global characterization of the vessel traffic on our Earth's oceans is essential to understanding the existing uses to develop international Coast and Marine Spatial Planning (CMSP). Ship traffic within 100-200km is beginning to be effectively covered in low latitudes by ground based receivers collecting position reports from the maritime Automatic Identification System (AIS). Unfortunately, remote islands, high latitudes, and open ocean Marine Protected Areas (MPA) are not covered by these ground systems. Deploying enough autonomous airborne (UAV) and surface (USV) vessels and buoys to provide adequate coverage is a difficult task. While the individual device costs are plummeting, a large fleet of AIS receivers is expensive to maintain. The global AIS coverage from SpaceQuest's low Earth orbit satellite receivers combined with the visualization and data storage infrastructure of Google (e.g. Maps, Earth, and Fusion Tables) provide a platform that enables researchers and resource managers to begin answer the question of how ocean resources are being utilized. Near real-time vessel traffic data will allow managers of marine resources to understand how changes to education, enforcement, rules, and regulations alter usage and compliance patterns. We will demonstrate the potential for this system using a sample SpaceQuest data set processed with libais which stores the results in a Fusion Table. From there, the data is imported to PyKML and visualized in Google Earth with a custom gx:Track visualization utilizing KML's extended data functionality to facilitate ship track interrogation. Analysts can then annotate and discuss vessel tracks in Fusion Tables.

  14. Optical properties of marine stratocumulus clouds modified by ship track effluents

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    King, Michael D.; Nakajima, Teruyuki; Radke, Lawrence F.

    1990-01-01

    Results are presented from multispectral radiation measurements made within a marine stratocumulus cloud layer modified by ship-track effluents. The measurements showed that, compared with nearby noncontaminated clouds not affected by pollution, the upwelling intensity field of the modified stratocumulus clouds increased at a nonabsorbing wavelength in the visible region and decreased in the NIR, where absorption by liquid water is significant. The observations are consistent with an increased optical thickness, a reduced effective radius of the cloud droplets, and a reduced absorption in the contaminated cloud layer compared to a noncontaminated cloud.

  15. Employing immunomarkers to track dispersal and trophic relationships of piercing-sucking predator, Podisus maculiventris (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae)

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Proteins such as rabbit IgG and chicken IgY are markers that are easy to apply and analyze on insects for monitoring dispersal and/or pest consumption, but current application techniques are less effective in research for the large guild of piercing-sucking predators used in biocontrol. To address t...

  16. Coccinellid predators do not track populations of the Asian citrus phyllid (Diaphorina citri) in citrus in Puerto Rico

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Yellow sticky cards were used to survey populations of Diaphorina citri, the vector of Huanglongbing, the most devastating bacterial disease of citrus worldwide. The numbers of coccinellids, potential predators of Diaphorina citri, were also surveyed. Citrus surveyed included a variety of species (V...

  17. Does prey capture induce area-restricted search? A fine-scale study using GPS in a marine predator, the wandering albatross.

    PubMed

    Weimerskirch, Henri; Pinaud, David; Pawlowski, Frédéric; Bost, Charles-André

    2007-11-01

    In a patchy environment, predators are expected to increase turning rate and start an area-restricted search (ARS) when prey have been encountered, but few empirical data exist for large predators. By using GPS loggers with devices measuring prey capture, we studied how a marine predator adjusts foraging movements at various scales in relation to prey capture. Wandering albatrosses use two tactics, sit and wait and foraging in flight, the former tactic being three times less efficient than the latter. During flight foraging, birds caught large isolated prey and used ARS at scales varying from 5 to 90 km, with large-scale ARS being used only by young animals. Birds did not show strong responses to prey capture at a large scale, few ARS events occurred after prey capture, and birds did not have high rates of prey capture in ARS. Only at small scales did birds increase sinuosity after prey captures for a limited time period, and this occurred only after they had caught a large prey item within an ARS zone. When this species searches over a large scale, the most effective search rule was to follow a nearly straight path. ARS may be used to restrict search to a particular environment where prey capture is more predictable and profitable.

  18. Mars physical parameters as determined from Mariner 9 observations of the natural satellites and Doppler tracking

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Born, G. H.

    1974-01-01

    Mariner 9 Doppler tracking data and television photographs of Deimos and Phobos were analyzed to determine the gravity field, mass, and spin-axis direction of Mars and the natural satellite orbits. The solutions agree with previously published results. Radio data consisted of an apoapsis state vector for each of revolutions 5-195 obtained from one-revolution fits of Doppler data. Optical data consisted of TV photographs of Phobos and Deimos taken between revolutions 25 and 221. A first-order analytical theory, extended to include dominant second-order resonance effects on the Mariner 9 orbit, was used to calculate the motion of the spacecraft, Deimos, and Phobos. The feasibility of combining radio and optical data in long-arc solutions for accurate determination of orbits and physical parameters is demonstrated. The analytical theory developed for the evolution of a highly eccentric orbit in shallow resonance is accurate to plus or minus 1 km in the apoapsis state vector of Mariner 9 over a period of 200 revolutions.

  19. Marine mammal tracks from two-hydrophone acoustic recordings made with a glider

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Küsel, Elizabeth T.; Munoz, Tessa; Siderius, Martin; Mellinger, David K.; Heimlich, Sara

    2017-04-01

    A multinational oceanographic and acoustic sea experiment was carried out in the summer of 2014 off the western coast of the island of Sardinia, Mediterranean Sea. During this experiment, an underwater glider fitted with two hydrophones was evaluated as a potential tool for marine mammal population density estimation studies. An acoustic recording system was also tested, comprising an inexpensive, off-the-shelf digital recorder installed inside the glider. Detection and classification of sounds produced by whales and dolphins, and sometimes tracking and localization, are inherent components of population density estimation from passive acoustics recordings. In this work we discuss the equipment used as well as analysis of the data obtained, including detection and estimation of bearing angles. A human analyst identified the presence of sperm whale (Physeter macrocephalus) regular clicks as well as dolphin clicks and whistles. Cross-correlating clicks recorded on both data channels allowed for the estimation of the direction (bearing) of clicks, and realization of animal tracks. Insights from this bearing tracking analysis can aid in population density estimation studies by providing further information (bearings), which can improve estimates.

  20. Using Animal-Borne Cameras to Quantify Prey Field, Habitat Characteristics and Foraging Success in a Marine Top Predator

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2013-09-30

    understand the factors which influence population dynamics in marine mammals , and the potential risks anthropogenic activities pose, knowledge of their...for pelagic foraging species, such information is largely lacking for benthic foraging marine mammals . Therefore, the long term goals of this...particular, by employing new biologging and telemetry technology we will be able to quantify three particularly elusive aspects of marine mammal

  1. Regional variability in diving physiology and behavior in a widely distributed air-breathing marine predator, the South American sea lion (Otaria byronia).

    PubMed

    Hückstädt, Luis A; Tift, Michael S; Riet-Sapriza, Federico; Franco-Trecu, Valentina; Baylis, Alastair M M; Orben, Rachael A; Arnould, John P Y; Sepulveda, Maritza; Santos-Carvallo, Macarena; Burns, Jennifer M; Costa, Daniel P

    2016-08-01

    Our understanding of how air-breathing marine predators cope with environmental variability is limited by our inadequate knowledge of their ecological and physiological parameters. Because of their wide distribution along both coasts of the sub-continent, South American sea lions (Otaria byronia) provide a valuable opportunity to study the behavioral and physiological plasticity of a marine predator in different environments. We measured the oxygen stores and diving behavior of South American sea lions throughout most of its range, allowing us to demonstrate that diving ability and behavior vary across its range. We found no significant differences in mass-specific blood volumes of sea lions among field sites and a negative relationship between mass-specific oxygen storage and size, which suggests that exposure to different habitats and geographical locations better explains oxygen storage capacities and diving capability in South American sea lions than body size alone. The largest animals in our study (individuals from Uruguay) were the shallowest and shortest duration divers, and had the lowest mass-specific total body oxygen stores, while the deepest and longest duration divers (individuals from southern Chile) had significantly larger mass-specific oxygen stores, despite being much smaller animals. Our study suggests that the physiology of air-breathing diving predators is not fixed, but that it can be adjusted, to a certain extent, depending on the ecological setting and or habitat. These adjustments can be thought of as a 'training effect': as the animal continues to push its physiological capacity through greater hypoxic exposure, its breath-holding capacity increases.

  2. Recreational Fish-Finders—An Inexpensive Alternative to Scientific Echo-Sounders for Unravelling the Links between Marine Top Predators and Their Prey

    PubMed Central

    McInnes, Alistair M.; Khoosal, Arjun; Murrell, Ben; Merkle, Dagmar; Lacerda, Miguel; Nyengera, Reason; Coetzee, Janet C.; Edwards, Loyd C.; Ryan, Peter G.; Rademan, Johan; van der Westhuizen, Jan J; Pichegru, Lorien

    2015-01-01

    Studies investigating how mobile marine predators respond to their prey are limited due to the challenging nature of the environment. While marine top predators are increasingly easy to study thanks to developments in bio-logging technology, typically there is scant information on the distribution and abundance of their prey, largely due to the specialised nature of acquiring this information. We explore the potential of using single-beam recreational fish-finders (RFF) to quantify relative forage fish abundance and draw inferences of the prey distribution at a fine spatial scale. We compared fish school characteristics as inferred from the RFF with that of a calibrated scientific split-beam echo-sounder (SES) by simultaneously operating both systems from the same vessel in Algoa Bay, South Africa. Customized open-source software was developed to extract fish school information from the echo returns of the RFF. For schools insonified by both systems, there was close correspondence between estimates of mean school depth (R2 = 0.98) and school area (R2 = 0.70). Estimates of relative school density (mean volume backscattering strength; Sv) measured by the RFF were negatively biased through saturation of this system given its smaller dynamic range. A correction factor applied to the RFF-derived density estimates improved the comparability between the two systems. Relative abundance estimates using all schools from both systems were congruent at scales from 0.5 km to 18 km with a strong positive linear trend in model fit estimates with increasing scale. Although absolute estimates of fish abundance cannot be derived from these systems, they are effective at describing prey school characteristics and have good potential for mapping forage fish distribution and relative abundance. Using such relatively inexpensive systems could greatly enhance our understanding of predator-prey interactions. PMID:26600300

  3. Recreational Fish-Finders--An Inexpensive Alternative to Scientific Echo-Sounders for Unravelling the Links between Marine Top Predators and Their Prey.

    PubMed

    McInnes, Alistair M; Khoosal, Arjun; Murrell, Ben; Merkle, Dagmar; Lacerda, Miguel; Nyengera, Reason; Coetzee, Janet C; Edwards, Loyd C; Ryan, Peter G; Rademan, Johan; van der Westhuizen, Jan J; Pichegru, Lorien

    2015-01-01

    Studies investigating how mobile marine predators respond to their prey are limited due to the challenging nature of the environment. While marine top predators are increasingly easy to study thanks to developments in bio-logging technology, typically there is scant information on the distribution and abundance of their prey, largely due to the specialised nature of acquiring this information. We explore the potential of using single-beam recreational fish-finders (RFF) to quantify relative forage fish abundance and draw inferences of the prey distribution at a fine spatial scale. We compared fish school characteristics as inferred from the RFF with that of a calibrated scientific split-beam echo-sounder (SES) by simultaneously operating both systems from the same vessel in Algoa Bay, South Africa. Customized open-source software was developed to extract fish school information from the echo returns of the RFF. For schools insonified by both systems, there was close correspondence between estimates of mean school depth (R2 = 0.98) and school area (R2 = 0.70). Estimates of relative school density (mean volume backscattering strength; Sv) measured by the RFF were negatively biased through saturation of this system given its smaller dynamic range. A correction factor applied to the RFF-derived density estimates improved the comparability between the two systems. Relative abundance estimates using all schools from both systems were congruent at scales from 0.5 km to 18 km with a strong positive linear trend in model fit estimates with increasing scale. Although absolute estimates of fish abundance cannot be derived from these systems, they are effective at describing prey school characteristics and have good potential for mapping forage fish distribution and relative abundance. Using such relatively inexpensive systems could greatly enhance our understanding of predator-prey interactions.

  4. The relative importance of predation risk and water temperature in maintaining Bergmann's rule in a marine ectotherm.

    PubMed

    Manyak-Davis, Anna; Bell, Tina M; Sotka, Erik E

    2013-09-01

    Bergmann's rule-an increase in body size with latitude-correlates with latitudinal declines in ambient temperature and predation risk, but relatively few studies simultaneously explore the relative importance of these factors. Along temperate Atlantic shorelines, the isopod Idotea balthica from high latitudes are 53% longer on average than isopods from low latitudes. When reared at 6°-24°C, juveniles increased growth and development rates with temperature. Because the increase in growth rate with temperature outstripped increases in development rate, female size at maturity increased with temperature. This thermal sensitivity of growth cannot account for the latitudinal pattern in body size. Within temperature treatments, females from low latitudes reached sexual maturity at younger ages and at a smaller size than did females from higher latitudes. This shift in life-history strategy is predicted by latitudinal declines in predation pressure, which we tested using field-tethering experiments. Overall, isopods at low latitudes had a 44% greater mortality risk from daytime predators relative to isopods at higher latitudes. We conclude that a latitudinal gradient in predation risk, not temperature, is principally responsible for Bergmann's rule in I. balthica. Increases in body size during future warming of oceans may be constrained by local patterns of predation risk.

  5. Tracking medfly predation by the wolf spider, Pardosa cribata Simon, in citrus orchards using PCR-based gut-content analysis.

    PubMed

    Monzó, C; Sabater-Muñoz, B; Urbaneja, A; Castañera, P

    2010-04-01

    The Mediterranean fruit fly, Ceratitis capitata (Wiedemann), which is often controlled chemically, is a major citrus pest in Spain; however, alternative biological control strategies such as those based on the conservation of polyphagous predators should be developed. The wolf spider, Pardosa cribata Simon, is an abundant predator found in citrus orchards in eastern Spain. In this study, we have evaluated polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-based techniques as a means of detecting C. capitata DNA remains in P. cribata specimens. To do so, two pairs of C. capitata species-specific primers were designed and tested. Primer specificity was tested on species closely related to C. capitata and with other pests and natural enemies present in citrus orchards. Medfly DNA was detectable in 100% of P. cribata from 0 to 12 h post ingestion for both primer pairs, decreasing to 37% at 96 h after prey ingestion for one pair of primers. DNA detectability half-lives were of 78.25 h and 78.08 h for each pair of primers but no statistical differences were found between them. Pardosa cribata specimens were field-collected daily after sterile C. capitata pupae had been deployed in the citrus orchard. Afterwards, the wolf spiders were analyzed and DNA remains of C. capitata were detected in 5% of them, with a peak of 15% coinciding with maximum C. capitata emergence. This study is the first to reveal the potential use of DNA markers to track medfly predation by P. cribata in citrus orchards and provides a new tool to estimate the potential role of this spider in biological-control conservation programs.

  6. Tracking and data system support for the Mariner Mars 1971 mission. Volume 2: First trajectory correction maneuver through orbit insertion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Textor, G. P.; Kelly, L. B.; Kelly, M.

    1972-01-01

    The Deep Space Tracking and Data System activities in support of the Mariner Mars 1971 project from the first trajectory correction maneuver on 4 June 1971 through cruise and orbit insertion on 14 November 1971 are presented. Changes and updates to the TDS requirements and to the plan and configuration plus detailed information on the TDS flight support performance evaluation and the preorbital testing and training are included. With the loss of Mariner 8 at launch, a few changes to the Mariner Mars 1971 requirements, plan, and configuration were necessitated. Mariner 9 is now assuming the former mission plan of Mariner 8, including the TV mapping cycles and a 12-hr orbital period. A second trajectory correction maneuver was not required because of the accuracy of the first maneuver. All testing and training for orbital operations were completed satisfactorily and on schedule. The orbit insertion was accomplished with excellent results.

  7. Predator-labeling effect on byssus production in marine mussels Perna viridis (L.) and Brachidontes variabilis (Krauss).

    PubMed

    Cheung, S G; Luk, K C; Shin, P K S

    2006-07-01

    Mussels Perna viridis and Brachidontes variabilis were exposed to chemical cues from the predatory crab Thalamita danae maintained on different diets, and byssal thread production of the mussels was studied. P. viridis produced the highest number as well as the thickest and longest byssal threads when they were exposed to crabs maintained on a diet of P. viridis as compared with those exposed to crabs maintained on a diet of the top shell Monodonta labio, the rock oyster Saccostrea cucullata, or crabs that were starved. For B. variabilis, results were similar, in that a diet containing B. variabilis elicited the greatest response as compared with other treatments. This indicates that the mussels were able to discriminate chemical cues released from predators maintained on different diets, and respond accordingly to the level of predation risk. By increasing the strength of byssal attachment as a defensive trait, the chance of being dislodged and consumed by crabs is reduced. As energy cost involved in the induction of an antipredatory response is considerable, this defensive trait seems to be an advantage to the mussels in enhancing efficiency. The short response time in byssal thread production allows the mussels to increase resistance against predation by crabs at the time when predation pressure is the highest in a tidal cycle.

  8. Tracking small mountainous river derived terrestrial organic carbon across the active margin marine environment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Childress, L. B.; Blair, N. E.; Orpin, A. R.

    2015-12-01

    Active margins are particularly efficient in the burial of organic carbon due to the close proximity of highland sources to marine sediment sinks and high sediment transport rates. Compared with passive margins, active margins are dominated by small mountainous river systems, and play a unique role in marine and global carbon cycles. Small mountainous rivers drain only approximately 20% of land, but deliver approximately 40% of the fluvial sediment to the global ocean. Unlike large passive margin systems where riverine organic carbon is efficiently incinerated on continental shelves, small mountainous river dominated systems are highly effective in the burial and preservation of organic carbon due to the rapid and episodic delivery of organic carbon sourced from vegetation, soil, and rock. To investigate the erosion, transport, and burial of organic carbon in active margin small mountainous river systems we use the Waipaoa River, New Zealand. The Waipaoa River, and adjacent marine depositional environment, is a system of interest due to a large sediment yield (6800 tons km-2 yr-1) and extensive characterization. Previous studies have considered the biogeochemistry of the watershed and tracked the transport of terrestrially derived sediment and organics to the continental shelf and slope by biogeochemical proxies including stable carbon isotopes, lignin phenols, n-alkanes, and n-fatty acids. In this work we expand the spatial extent of investigation to include deep sea sediments of the Hikurangi Trough. Located in approximately 3000 m water depth 120 km from the mouth of the Waipaoa River, the Hikurangi Trough is the southern extension of the Tonga-Kermadec-Hikurangi subduction system. Piston core sediments collected by the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA, NZ) in the Hikurangi Trough indicate the presence of terrestrially derived material (lignin phenols), and suggest a continuum of deposition, resuspension, and transport across the margin

  9. Tracking the long-distance dispersal of marine organisms: sensitivity to ocean model resolution.

    PubMed

    Putman, Nathan F; He, Ruoying

    2013-04-06

    Ocean circulation models are widely used to simulate organism transport in the open sea, where challenges of directly tracking organisms across vast spatial and temporal scales are daunting. Many recent studies tout the use of 'high-resolution' models, which are forced with atmospheric data on the scale of several hours and integrated with a time step of several minutes or seconds. However, in many cases, the model's outputs that are used to simulate organism movement have been averaged to considerably coarser resolutions (e.g. monthly mean velocity fields). To examine the sensitivity of tracking results to ocean circulation model output resolution, we took the native model output of one of the most sophisticated ocean circulation models available, the Global Hybrid Coordinate Ocean Model, and averaged it to commonly implemented spatial and temporal resolutions in studies of basin-scale dispersal. Comparisons between simulated particle trajectories and in situ near-surface drifter trajectories indicated that 'over averaging' model output yields predictions inconsistent with observations. Further analyses focused on the dispersal of juvenile sea turtles indicate that very different inferences regarding the pelagic ecology of these animals are obtained depending on the resolution of model output. We conclude that physical processes occurring at the scale of days and tens of kilometres should be preserved in ocean circulation model output to realistically depict the movement marine organisms and the resulting ecological and evolutionary processes.

  10. Tracking the long-distance dispersal of marine organisms: sensitivity to ocean model resolution

    PubMed Central

    Putman, Nathan F.; He, Ruoying

    2013-01-01

    Ocean circulation models are widely used to simulate organism transport in the open sea, where challenges of directly tracking organisms across vast spatial and temporal scales are daunting. Many recent studies tout the use of ‘high-resolution’ models, which are forced with atmospheric data on the scale of several hours and integrated with a time step of several minutes or seconds. However, in many cases, the model's outputs that are used to simulate organism movement have been averaged to considerably coarser resolutions (e.g. monthly mean velocity fields). To examine the sensitivity of tracking results to ocean circulation model output resolution, we took the native model output of one of the most sophisticated ocean circulation models available, the Global Hybrid Coordinate Ocean Model, and averaged it to commonly implemented spatial and temporal resolutions in studies of basin-scale dispersal. Comparisons between simulated particle trajectories and in situ near-surface drifter trajectories indicated that ‘over averaging’ model output yields predictions inconsistent with observations. Further analyses focused on the dispersal of juvenile sea turtles indicate that very different inferences regarding the pelagic ecology of these animals are obtained depending on the resolution of model output. We conclude that physical processes occurring at the scale of days and tens of kilometres should be preserved in ocean circulation model output to realistically depict the movement marine organisms and the resulting ecological and evolutionary processes. PMID:23349437

  11. Marine resource flows to terrestrial arthropod predators on a temperate island: the role of subsidies between systems of similar productivity.

    PubMed

    Paetzold, Achim; Lee, Michelle; Post, David M

    2008-10-01

    Marine-terrestrial resource flows can subsidies recipient consumers at various trophic levels. Theory suggests that the importance of such spatial subsidies depends on the productivity gradient between adjacent systems; however, the empirical data required to test this assumption are scarce. Most studies of marine-terrestrial subsidies have been performed in arid coastal habitats of low productivity surrounded by productive ocean waters. We examined the importance of marine resource inputs for terrestrial consumers on a temperate, productive forest island surrounded by a marine system of similar productivity. The importance of marine resources for the dominant arthropod consumers was estimated using stable isotopes and linear mixing models. We compared isotopic signatures of spiders and ants captured along a gradient from shore to inland to estimate how far marine-derived energy penetrates the island. We evaluated the distribution of ground-dwelling arthropods using pitfall-trap transects extending from the supratidal-forest boundary to the middle of the island. The contribution of marine-derived energy assimilated by arthropod consumers differed both among taxa and location. Marine-derived resources contributed >80% to the assimilated C of intertidal spiders and 5-10% for spiders at the forest edge and further inland. Ants assimilated 20% of their C from marine-derived resources and this proportion was not affected by distance from shore. Spiders, ants, and all arthropods combined exhibited no spatial aggregation towards the shore. Our results indicate that on temperate islands marine-terrestrial subsidies might be predominantly an edge effect, confined to intertidal consumers. Mobile consumers that opportunistically forage in intertidal habitats play an important role in transferring marine-derived energy further inland. This suggests that the importance of the productivity gradient for spatial subsidies can be modified by the mobility traits of the recipient

  12. Size selection by a gape-limited predator of a marine snail: Insights into magic traits for speciation.

    PubMed

    Boulding, Elizabeth G; Rivas, María José; González-Lavín, Nerea; Rolán-Alvarez, Emilio; Galindo, Juan

    2017-01-01

    The intertidal snail Littorina saxatilis has repeatedly evolved two parallel ecotypes assumed to be wave adapted and predatory shore crab adapted, but the magnitude and targets of predator-driven selection are unknown. In Spain, a small, wave ecotype with a large aperture from the lower shore and a large, thick-shelled crab ecotype from the upper shore meet in the mid-shore and show partial size-assortative mating. We performed complementary field tethering and laboratory predation experiments; the first set compared the survival of two different size-classes of the crab ecotype while the second compared the same size-class of the two ecotypes. In the first set, the large size-class of the crab ecotype survived significantly better than the small size-class both on the upper shore and in the laboratory. In the second set, the small size-class of the crab ecotype survived substantially better than that of the wave ecotype both on the upper shore and in the laboratory. Shell-breaking predation on tethered snails was almost absent within the lower shore. In the laboratory shore crabs (Pachygrapsus marmoratus) with larger claw heights selected most strongly against the small size-class of the crab ecotype, whereas those with medium claw heights selected most strongly against the thin-shelled wave ecotype. Sexual maturity occurred at a much larger size in the crab ecotype than in the wave ecotype. Our results showed that selection on the upper shore for rapid attainment of a size refuge from this gape-limited predator favors large size, thick shells, and late maturity. Model parameterization showed that size-selective predation restricted to the upper shore resulted in the evolution of the crab ecotype despite gene flow from the wave ecotype snails living on the lower shore. These results on gape-limited predation and previous ones showing size-assortative mating between ecotypes suggest that size may represent a magic trait for the thick-shelled ecotype.

  13. Use of Electronic Tag Data and Associated Analytical Tools to Identify and Predict Habitat Utilization of Marine Predators

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2009-09-30

    tags (Figure 8) on five species of pinnipeds: 9 California sea lions (Zalophus californianus), 4 Galapagos sea lions (Zalophus wollebaeki), 6 Cape...response to foraging behaviour and pregnancy in a diving predator, the galapagos sea lion. Functional Ecology. Villegas-Amtmann, S., Atkinson, S and...Costa, D.P. in press. Asynchronous breeding cycle in Galapagos sea lions revealed by seasonal progesterone concentrations. Journal of Mammalogy

  14. Accumulation of silver from the diet in two marine benthic predators: The snow crab (Chionoecetes opilio) and american plaice (Hippoglossoides platessoides)

    SciTech Connect

    Rouleau, C.; Gobeil, C.; Tjaelve, H.

    2000-03-01

    The kinetics and fine-scale tissue distribution of a single dose of {sup 110m}Ag ingested with food were determined in snow crab and American plaice through the techniques of in vivo gamma counting and whole-body autoradiography. Metal that was retained after the first 3 d was distributed in all the soft tissues of snow crab, whereas it concentrated in gut, liver, and gallbladder of the American plaice. In snow crab, the biological half-life of retained Ag, which represented 67--100{degree} of the ingested dose, was greater than 1,000 d. In contrast, in American plaice the retained fraction represented only 4--16% of the ingested dose and the biological half-life ranged from 13 to 102 d. Modeling the trophic accumulation of Ag for snow crab and American plaice living in the St. Lawrence Estuary, assuming realistic values for food ingestion rates and Ag concentration in benthic organisms of lower trophic levels, reveals that continuous feeding on Ag-contaminated prey would result in much higher metal levels in the snow crab than in the American plaice. Measurement of Ag concentrations in snow crab and American plaice from the St. Lawrence Estuary, an environment receiving significant inputs of anthropogenic Ag, confirmed this prediction. The similarity between laboratory-based predictions and field data strongly suggests that predation is the major transfer route of Ag towards these marine benthic predators.

  15. Satellite Tracking of Sympatric Marine Megafauna Can Inform the Biological Basis for Species Co-Management

    PubMed Central

    Gredzens, Christian; Marsh, Helene; Fuentes, Mariana M. P. B.; Limpus, Colin J.; Shimada, Takahiro; Hamann, Mark

    2014-01-01

    Context Systematic conservation planning is increasingly used to identify priority areas for protection in marine systems. However, ecosystem-based approaches typically use density estimates as surrogates for animal presence and spatial modeling to identify areas for protection and may not take into account daily or seasonal movements of animals. Additionally, sympatric and inter-related species are often managed separately, which may not be cost-effective. This study aims to demonstrate an evidence-based method to inform the biological basis for co-management of two sympatric species, dugongs and green sea turtles. This approach can then be used in conservation planning to delineate areas to maximize species protection. Methodology/Results Fast-acquisition satellite telemetry was used to track eleven dugongs and ten green turtles at two geographically distinct foraging locations in Queensland, Australia to evaluate the inter- and intra-species spatial relationships and assess the efficacy of existing protection zones. Home-range analysis and bathymetric modeling were used to determine spatial use and compared with existing protection areas using GIS. Dugong and green turtle home-ranges significantly overlapped in both locations. However, both species used different core areas and differences existed between regions in depth zone use and home-range size, especially for dugongs. Both species used existing protection areas in Shoalwater Bay, but only a single tracked dugong used the existing protection area in Torres Strait. Conclusions/Significance: Fast-acquisition satellite telemetry can provide evidence-based information on individual animal movements to delineate relationships between dugongs and green turtles in regions where they co-occur. This information can be used to increase the efficacy of conservation planning and complement more broadly based survey information. These species also use similar habitats, making complimentary co-management possible, but

  16. Satellite tracking of sympatric marine megafauna can inform the biological basis for species co-management.

    PubMed

    Gredzens, Christian; Marsh, Helene; Fuentes, Mariana M P B; Limpus, Colin J; Shimada, Takahiro; Hamann, Mark

    2014-01-01

    Systematic conservation planning is increasingly used to identify priority areas for protection in marine systems. However, ecosystem-based approaches typically use density estimates as surrogates for animal presence and spatial modeling to identify areas for protection and may not take into account daily or seasonal movements of animals. Additionally, sympatric and inter-related species are often managed separately, which may not be cost-effective. This study aims to demonstrate an evidence-based method to inform the biological basis for co-management of two sympatric species, dugongs and green sea turtles. This approach can then be used in conservation planning to delineate areas to maximize species protection. Fast-acquisition satellite telemetry was used to track eleven dugongs and ten green turtles at two geographically distinct foraging locations in Queensland, Australia to evaluate the inter- and intra-species spatial relationships and assess the efficacy of existing protection zones. Home-range analysis and bathymetric modeling were used to determine spatial use and compared with existing protection areas using GIS. Dugong and green turtle home-ranges significantly overlapped in both locations. However, both species used different core areas and differences existed between regions in depth zone use and home-range size, especially for dugongs. Both species used existing protection areas in Shoalwater Bay, but only a single tracked dugong used the existing protection area in Torres Strait. Fast-acquisition satellite telemetry can provide evidence-based information on individual animal movements to delineate relationships between dugongs and green turtles in regions where they co-occur. This information can be used to increase the efficacy of conservation planning and complement more broadly based survey information. These species also use similar habitats, making complimentary co-management possible, but important differences exist between locations making it

  17. Ontogeny of head and caudal fin shape of an apex marine predator: The tiger shark (Galeocerdo cuvier).

    PubMed

    Fu, Amy L; Hammerschlag, Neil; Lauder, George V; Wilga, Cheryl D; Kuo, Chi-Yun; Irschick, Duncan J

    2016-05-01

    How morphology changes with size can have profound effects on the life history and ecology of an animal. For apex predators that can impact higher level ecosystem processes, such changes may have consequences for other species. Tiger sharks (Galeocerdo cuvier) are an apex predator in tropical seas, and, as adults, are highly migratory. However, little is known about ontogenetic changes in their body form, especially in relation to two aspects of shape that influence locomotion (caudal fin) and feeding (head shape). We captured digital images of the heads and caudal fins of live tiger sharks from Southern Florida and the Bahamas ranging in body size (hence age), and quantified shape of each using elliptical Fourier analysis. This revealed changes in the shape of the head and caudal fin of tiger sharks across ontogeny. Smaller juvenile tiger sharks show an asymmetrical tail with the dorsal (upper) lobe being substantially larger than the ventral (lower) lobe, and transition to more symmetrical tail in larger adults, although the upper lobe remains relatively larger in adults. The heads of juvenile tiger sharks are more conical, which transition to relatively broader heads over ontogeny. We interpret these changes as a result of two ecological transitions. First, adult tiger sharks can undertake extensive migrations and a more symmetrical tail could be more efficient for swimming longer distances, although we did not test this possibility. Second, adult tiger sharks expand their diet to consume larger and more diverse prey with age (turtles, mammals, and elasmobranchs), which requires substantially greater bite area and force to process. In contrast, juvenile tiger sharks consume smaller prey, such as fishes, crustaceans, and invertebrates. Our data reveal significant morphological shifts in an apex predator, which could have effects for other species that tiger sharks consume and interact with. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  18. A novel spatio-temporal scale based on ocean currents unravels environmental drivers of reproductive timing in a marine predator

    PubMed Central

    Afán, Isabel; Chiaradia, André; Forero, Manuela G.; Dann, Peter; Ramírez, Francisco

    2015-01-01

    Life-history strategies have evolved in response to predictable patterns of environmental features. In practice, linking life-history strategies and changes in environmental conditions requires comparable space–time scales between both processes, a difficult match in most marine system studies. We propose a novel spatio-temporal and dynamic scale to explore marine productivity patterns probably driving reproductive timing in the inshore little penguin (Eudyptula minor), based on monthly data on ocean circulation in the Southern Ocean, Australia. In contrast to what occurred when considering any other fixed scales, little penguin's highly variable laying date always occurred within the annual peak of ocean productivity that emerged from our newly defined dynamic scale. Additionally, local sea surface temperature seems to have triggered the onset of reproduction, acting as an environmental cue informing on marine productivity patterns at our dynamic scale. Chlorophyll-a patterns extracted from this scale revealed that environment factors in marine ecosystems affecting breeding decisions are related to a much wider region than foraging areas that are commonly used in current studies investigating the link between animals' life history and their environment. We suggest that marine productivity patterns may be more predictable than previously thought when environmental and biological data are examined at appropriate scales. PMID:26063848

  19. A novel spatio-temporal scale based on ocean currents unravels environmental drivers of reproductive timing in a marine predator.

    PubMed

    Afán, Isabel; Chiaradia, André; Forero, Manuela G; Dann, Peter; Ramírez, Francisco

    2015-07-07

    Life-history strategies have evolved in response to predictable patterns of environmental features. In practice, linking life-history strategies and changes in environmental conditions requires comparable space-time scales between both processes, a difficult match in most marine system studies. We propose a novel spatio-temporal and dynamic scale to explore marine productivity patterns probably driving reproductive timing in the inshore little penguin (Eudyptula minor), based on monthly data on ocean circulation in the Southern Ocean, Australia. In contrast to what occurred when considering any other fixed scales, little penguin's highly variable laying date always occurred within the annual peak of ocean productivity that emerged from our newly defined dynamic scale. Additionally, local sea surface temperature seems to have triggered the onset of reproduction, acting as an environmental cue informing on marine productivity patterns at our dynamic scale. Chlorophyll-a patterns extracted from this scale revealed that environment factors in marine ecosystems affecting breeding decisions are related to a much wider region than foraging areas that are commonly used in current studies investigating the link between animals' life history and their environment. We suggest that marine productivity patterns may be more predictable than previously thought when environmental and biological data are examined at appropriate scales.

  20. Adaptations for marine habitat and the effect of Triassic and Jurassic predator pressure on development of decompression syndrome in ichthyosaurs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rothschild, B. M.; Xiaoting, Z.; Martin, L. D.

    2012-06-01

    Decompression syndrome (caisson disease or the "the bends") resulting in avascular necrosis has been documented in mosasaurs, sauropterygians, ichthyosaurs, and turtles from the Middle Jurassic to Late Cretaceous, but it was unclear that this disease occurred as far back as the Triassic. We have examined a large Triassic sample of ichthyosaurs and compared it with an equally large post-Triassic sample. Avascular necrosis was observed in over 15 % of Late Middle Jurassic to Cretaceous ichthyosaurs with the highest occurrence (18 %) in the Early Cretaceous, but was rare or absent in geologically older specimens. Triassic reptiles that dive were either physiologically protected, or rapid changes of their position in the water column rare and insignificant enough to prevent being recorded in the skeleton. Emergency surfacing due to a threat from an underwater predator may be the most important cause of avascular necrosis for air-breathing divers, with relative frequency of such events documented in the skeleton. Diving in the Triassic appears to have been a "leisurely" behavior until the evolution of large predators in the Late Jurassic that forced sudden depth alterations contributed to a higher occurrence of bends.

  1. Adaptations for marine habitat and the effect of Triassic and Jurassic predator pressure on development of decompression syndrome in ichthyosaurs.

    PubMed

    Rothschild, B M; Xiaoting, Z; Martin, L D

    2012-06-01

    Decompression syndrome (caisson disease or the "the bends") resulting in avascular necrosis has been documented in mosasaurs, sauropterygians, ichthyosaurs, and turtles from the Middle Jurassic to Late Cretaceous, but it was unclear that this disease occurred as far back as the Triassic. We have examined a large Triassic sample of ichthyosaurs and compared it with an equally large post-Triassic sample. Avascular necrosis was observed in over 15% of Late Middle Jurassic to Cretaceous ichthyosaurs with the highest occurrence (18%) in the Early Cretaceous, but was rare or absent in geologically older specimens. Triassic reptiles that dive were either physiologically protected, or rapid changes of their position in the water column rare and insignificant enough to prevent being recorded in the skeleton. Emergency surfacing due to a threat from an underwater predator may be the most important cause of avascular necrosis for air-breathing divers, with relative frequency of such events documented in the skeleton. Diving in the Triassic appears to have been a "leisurely" behavior until the evolution of large predators in the Late Jurassic that forced sudden depth alterations contributed to a higher occurrence of bends.

  2. Tracking the sources and sinks of local marine debris in Hawai'i.

    PubMed

    Carson, Henry S; Lamson, Megan R; Nakashima, Davis; Toloumu, Derek; Hafner, Jan; Maximenko, Nikolai; McDermid, Karla J

    2013-03-01

    Plastic pollution has biological, chemical, and physical effects on marine environments and economic effects on coastal communities. These effects are acute on southeastern Hawai'i Island, where volunteers remove 16 metric tons of debris annually from a 15 km coastline. Although the majority is foreign-origin, a portion is locally-generated. We used floating debris-retention booms in two urban waterways to measure the input of debris from Hilo, the island's largest community, and released wooden drifters in nearby coastal waters to track the fate of that debris. In 205 days, 30 kilograms of debris (73.6% plastic) were retained from two watersheds comprising 10.2% of Hilo's developed land area. Of 851 wooden drifters released offshore of Hilo in four events, 23.3% were recovered locally, 1.4% at distant locations, and 6.5% on other islands. Comparisons with modeled surface currents and wind were mixed, indicating the importance of nearshore and tidal dynamics not included in the model. This study demonstrated that local pollutants can be retained nearby, contribute to the island's debris-accumulation area, and quickly contaminate other islands.

  3. Decay of sewage-sourced microbial source tracking markers and fecal indicator bacteria in marine waters.

    PubMed

    Mattioli, Mia Catharine; Sassoubre, Lauren M; Russell, Todd L; Boehm, Alexandria B

    2017-01-01

    The decay of sewage-sourced enterococci, Escherichia coli, three human-associated microbial source tracking (MST) markers, Salmonella, Campylobacter, and norovirus GII was measured in situ in coastal, marine waters. Experiments examined the effects of sunlight intensity and season on decay. Seawater was seeded with untreated sewage, placed into permeable dialysis bags, and deployed in the coastal ocean near the water surface, and at 18 cm, and 99 cm depths, to vary solar intensity, during winter and summer seasons. Microbial decay was modeled using a log-linear or shoulder log-linear decay model. Pathogen levels were too low in sewage to obtain kinetic parameters. Human-associated MST markers all decayed with approximately the same rate constant (k ∼ 1.5 d(-1)) in all experimental treatments, suggesting markers could be detectable up to ∼6 days after a raw sewage spill. E. coli and enterococci (culturable and molecular marker) k significantly varied with season and depth; enterococci decayed faster at shallow depths and during the summer, while E. coli decayed faster at shallow depths and during the winter. Rate constants for MST markers and culturable FIB diverged except at the deepest depth in the water column potentially complicating the use of MST marker concentrations to allocate sources of FIB contamination. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. Plant protein-based feeds and commercial feed enable isotopic tracking of aquaculture emissions into marine macrozoobenthic bioindicator species.

    PubMed

    Kusche, Henrik; Hillgruber, Nicola; Rößner, Yvonne; Focken, Ulfert

    2017-06-01

    Brittle stars (Ophiura spp.) and other benthic macrofauna were collected in a prospective mariculture area in the North Sea to determine if these taxa could be used as indicator species to track nutrients released from future offshore aquaculture sites. We analysed natural carbon and nitrogen stable isotopic signatures in tissues from macrofauna and compared these to six feed ingredients and four experimental diets made thereof, as well as to a commercial feed with and without lipid and carbonate removal. Our data suggest practicability of using isotopic signatures of Ophiura spp. to track aquaculture-derived organic material if plant-based fish diet ingredients and commercial feed were used for fish farming in the German Exclusive Economic Zone. Diets with high fish meal content would not be detected in Ophiura spp. using isotopic measures due to the similarity with the marine background. Our data provide valuable baseline information for studies on the impact of offshore aquaculture on the marine environment.

  5. Use of Electronic Tag Data and Associated Analytical Tools to Identify and Predict Habitat Utilization of Marine Predators

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2012-01-01

    Convergence Zone (blue and mako sharks, leatherback turtles), or the eastern Pacific and Hawaiian Islands (white sharks, albacore tuna, and black...the nearshore CCLME, but also migrated into warmer, offshore waters of the Subtropical Gyre12 and the Hawaiian Islands (Figure 5c). Shortfin makos...Costa, and F. Trillmich. 2012a. Age, body mass and environmental variation shape the foraging ontogeny of Galapagos sea lions. Marine Ecology

  6. Geometric optimization for prey-predator strategies.

    PubMed

    Alshamary, Bader; Calin, Ovidiu

    2011-11-01

    This paper investigates several strategies for prey and predator in both bounded and unbounded domains, assuming they have the same speed. The work describes how the prey should move to escape from the predator and how predator should move to catch the prey. The approach is agent-based and explicitly tracks movement of individuals as prey and predator. We show that the prey escapes one or two competing predators, while might be caught in the case of three predators. The paper also describes a strategy for finding a well camouflaged static prey which emits signals.

  7. Fine-scale tracking of marine turtles using GPS-Argos PTTs.

    PubMed

    Yasuda, Tohya; Arai, Nobuaki

    2005-05-01

    High-accuracy location data of wildlife telemetry using conventional satellite location systems are difficult to obtain. However, such data are necessary to clarify the nature of movements and home range sizes of animals. In order to measure the high-accuracy location data, we developed new GPS-Argos Platform Terminal Transmitters (PTTs) which transmit both the conventional location and GPS location simultaneously. Two experiments, one in an artificial rearing pond and the other in the open sea, were performed. First, two hawksbill turtles were tracked with the PTTs in a 5 ha breeding pond in Thailand. Their home ranges using both data were calculated and found to be 2.96 ha and 0.93 ha by the GPS data, and 156,740 ha and 184,478 ha by a conventional data. Secondly, a female green turtle attached with the GPS-Argos was released from the coast of Pangnga Province, Thailand. There was a relationship between depth and speed of travel based on the GPS data. The data from the PTT showed that the turtle moved south along the coastline at the depth of less than 20 m for 5 days, and then stayed at a depth of less than 10 m for 4 days. However, we could not find any clear relationship using conventional data. Only a meandering movement at a variety of depths was observed. The results of the two experiments indicated the PTTs have an enormous potential for enhancing our understanding of fine-scale movement patterns and home ranges of marine turtles.

  8. Response of rocky reef top predators (Serranidae: Epinephelinae) in and around marine protected areas in the Western Mediterranean Sea.

    PubMed

    Hackradt, Carlos Werner; García-Charton, José Antonio; Harmelin-Vivien, Mireille; Pérez-Ruzafa, Ángel; Le Diréach, Laurence; Bayle-Sempere, Just; Charbonnel, Eric; Ody, Denis; Reñones, Olga; Sanchez-Jerez, Pablo; Valle, Carlos

    2014-01-01

    Groupers species are extremely vulnerable to overfishing and many species are threatened worldwide. In recent decades, Mediterranean groupers experienced dramatic population declines. Marine protected areas (MPAs) can protect populations inside their boundaries and provide individuals to adjacent fishing areas through the process of spillover and larval export. This study aims to evaluate the effectiveness of six marine reserves in the Western Mediterranean Sea to protect the populations of three species of grouper, Epinephelus marginatus, Epinephelus costae and Mycteroperca rubra, and to understand in which circumstances MPAs are able to export biomass to neighbouring areas. All the studied MPAs, except one where no grouper was observed, were able to maintain high abundance, biomass and mean weight of groupers. Size classes were more evenly distributed inside than outside MPAs. In two reserves, biomass gradients could be detected through the boundaries of the reserve as an indication of spillover. In some cases, habitat structure appeared to exert a great influence on grouper abundance, biomass and mean individual weight, influencing the gradient shape. Because groupers are generally sedentary animals with a small home range, we suggest that biomass gradients could only occur where groupers attain sufficient abundance inside MPA limits, indicating a strongly density-dependent process.

  9. Response of Rocky Reef Top Predators (Serranidae: Epinephelinae) in and Around Marine Protected Areas in the Western Mediterranean Sea

    PubMed Central

    Hackradt, Carlos Werner; García-Charton, José Antonio; Harmelin-Vivien, Mireille; Pérez-Ruzafa, Ángel; Le Diréach, Laurence; Bayle-Sempere, Just; Charbonnel, Eric; Ody, Denis; Reñones, Olga; Sanchez-Jerez, Pablo; Valle, Carlos

    2014-01-01

    Groupers species are extremely vulnerable to overfishing and many species are threatened worldwide. In recent decades, Mediterranean groupers experienced dramatic population declines. Marine protected areas (MPAs) can protect populations inside their boundaries and provide individuals to adjacent fishing areas through the process of spillover and larval export. This study aims to evaluate the effectiveness of six marine reserves in the Western Mediterranean Sea to protect the populations of three species of grouper, Epinephelus marginatus, Epinephelus costae and Mycteroperca rubra, and to understand in which circumstances MPAs are able to export biomass to neighbouring areas. All the studied MPAs, except one where no grouper was observed, were able to maintain high abundance, biomass and mean weight of groupers. Size classes were more evenly distributed inside than outside MPAs. In two reserves, biomass gradients could be detected through the boundaries of the reserve as an indication of spillover. In some cases, habitat structure appeared to exert a great influence on grouper abundance, biomass and mean individual weight, influencing the gradient shape. Because groupers are generally sedentary animals with a small home range, we suggest that biomass gradients could only occur where groupers attain sufficient abundance inside MPA limits, indicating a strongly density-dependent process. PMID:24905331

  10. The role of sustained observations in tracking impacts of environmental change on marine biodiversity and ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Mieszkowska, N; Sugden, H; Firth, L B; Hawkins, S J

    2014-09-28

    Marine biodiversity currently faces unprecedented threats from multiple pressures arising from human activities. Global drivers such as climate change and ocean acidification interact with regional eutrophication, exploitation of commercial fish stocks and localized pressures including pollution, coastal development and the extraction of aggregates and fuel, causing alteration and degradation of habitats and communities. Segregating natural from anthropogenically induced change in marine ecosystems requires long-term, sustained observations of marine biota. In this review, we outline the history of biological recording in the coastal and shelf seas of the UK and Ireland and highlight where sustained observations have contributed new understanding of how anthropogenic activities have impacted on marine biodiversity. The contributions of sustained observations, from those collected at observatories, single station platforms and multiple-site programmes to the emergent field of multiple stressor impacts research, are discussed, along with implications for management and sustainable governance of marine resources in an era of unprecedented use of the marine environment.

  11. The role of sustained observations in tracking impacts of environmental change on marine biodiversity and ecosystems

    PubMed Central

    Mieszkowska, N.; Sugden, H.; Firth, L. B.; Hawkins, S. J.

    2014-01-01

    Marine biodiversity currently faces unprecedented threats from multiple pressures arising from human activities. Global drivers such as climate change and ocean acidification interact with regional eutrophication, exploitation of commercial fish stocks and localized pressures including pollution, coastal development and the extraction of aggregates and fuel, causing alteration and degradation of habitats and communities. Segregating natural from anthropogenically induced change in marine ecosystems requires long-term, sustained observations of marine biota. In this review, we outline the history of biological recording in the coastal and shelf seas of the UK and Ireland and highlight where sustained observations have contributed new understanding of how anthropogenic activities have impacted on marine biodiversity. The contributions of sustained observations, from those collected at observatories, single station platforms and multiple-site programmes to the emergent field of multiple stressor impacts research, are discussed, along with implications for management and sustainable governance of marine resources in an era of unprecedented use of the marine environment. PMID:25157190

  12. Stable isotope analyses reveal individual variability in the trophic ecology of a top marine predator, the southern elephant seal.

    PubMed

    Hückstädt, L A; Koch, P L; McDonald, B I; Goebel, M E; Crocker, D E; Costa, D P

    2012-06-01

    Identifying individuals' foraging strategies is critical to understanding the ecology of a species, and can provide the means to predict possible ecological responses to environmental change. Our study combines stable isotope analysis and satellite telemetry to study the variability in individual foraging strategies of adult female southern elephant seals (Mirounga leonina). Our hypothesis is that female elephant seals from the Western Antarctica Peninsula (WAP) display individual specialization in their diets. We captured adult female elephant seals (n = 56, 2005-2009) at Livingston Island (Antarctica), and instrumented them with SMRU-CTD satellite tags. We collected blood, fur, and vibrissae samples for δ(13)C and δ(15)N analyses. The mean values for all vibrissae were -21.0 ± 0.7‰ for δ(13)C, and 10.4 ± 0.8‰, for δ(15)N. The individual variability of δ(13)C (60%) was more important than the within-individual variability (40%) in explaining the total variance observed in our data. For δ(15)N, the results showed the opposite trend, with the within-individual variability (64%) contributing more to the total variance than the individual variability (36%), likely associated with the effect that the fasting periods have on δ(15)N values. Most individuals were specialists, as inferred from the low intra-individual variability of δ(13)C values with respect to the population variability, with half the individuals utilizing 31% or less of their available niche. We found eight different foraging strategies for these animals. Female elephant seals from the WAP are a diverse group of predators with individuals utilizing only a small portion of the total available niche, with the consequent potential to expand their foraging habits to exploit other resources or environments in the Southern Ocean.

  13. Marine Ship Automatic Identification System (AIS) for Enhanced Coastal Security Capabilities: An Oil Spill Tracking Application

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2007-09-01

    MARPOL ( Marine Pollution ) Convention is a combination of two treaties put forward in 1973 and 1978, largely in response to several catastrophic oil...spills. This Convention, sometimes referred to as MARPOL 73/78, governs international shipping regulations with regard to marine pollution , and has...to address by the IMO and other organizations concerned with marine pollution . However illegal high seas oil discharges have increasingly become a

  14. The cost of foraging by a marine predator, the Weddell seal Leptonychotes weddellii: pricing by the stroke.

    PubMed

    Williams, Terrie M; Fuiman, Lee A; Horning, Markus; Davis, Randall W

    2004-02-01

    Foraging by mammals is a complex suite of behaviors that can entail high energetic costs associated with supporting basal metabolism, locomotion and the digestion of prey. To determine the contribution of these various costs in a free-ranging marine mammal, we measured the post-dive oxygen consumption of adult Weddell seals (N=9) performing foraging and non-foraging dives from an isolated ice hole in McMurdo Sound, Antarctica. Dives were classified according to behavior as monitored by an attached video-data logging system (recording activity, time, depth, velocity and stroking). We found that recovery oxygen consumption showed a biphasic relationship with dive duration that corresponded to the onset of plasma lactate accumulation at approximately 23 min. Locomotor costs for diving Weddell seals increased linearly with the number of strokes taken according to the relationship: locomotor cost = -3.78+0.04 x stroke number (r(2)=0.74, N=90 dives), where locomotor cost is in ml O(2) kg(-1). Foraging dives in which seals ingested Pleuragramma antarcticum resulted in a 44.7% increase in recovery oxygen consumption compared to non-foraging dives, which we attributed to the digestion and warming of prey. The results show that the energy expended in digestion for a free-ranging marine mammal are additive to locomotor and basal costs. By accounting for each of these costs and monitoring stroking mechanics, it is possible to estimate the aerobic cost of diving in free-ranging seals where cryptic behavior and remote locations prevent direct energetic measurements.

  15. Under the Sea Ice: Exploration of the Relationships Between Sea Ice Patterns and Foraging Movements of a Marine Predator in East Antarctica.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Labrousse, S.; Sallee, J. B.; Fraser, A. D.; Massom, R. A.; Reid, P.; Sumner, M.; Guinet, C.; Harcourt, R.; Bailleul, F.; Hindell, M.; Charrassin, J. B.

    2016-02-01

    Investigating ecological relationships between top predators and their environment is essential to understand the response of marine ecosystems to climate variability. Specifically, variability and changes in sea ice, which is known as an important habitat for marine ecosystems, presents complex patterns in East Antarctic. The impact for ecosystems of such changes of their habitat is however still unknown. Acting as an ecological double-edged sword, sea ice can impede access to marine resources while harboring a rich ecosystem during winter. Here, we investigated which type of sea ice habitat is used by male and female southern elephant seals during winter and examine if and how the spatio-temporal variability of sea ice concentration (SIC) influence their foraging strategies. We also examined over a 10 years time-series the impact of SIC and sea ice advance anomaly on foraging activity. To do this, we studied 46 individuals equipped with Satellite linked data recorders between 2004 and 2014, undertaking post-moult trips in winter from Kerguelen to the peri-Antarctic shelf. The general patterns of sea ice use by males and females are clearly distinct; while females tended to follow the sea ice edge as it extended northward, males remained on the continental shelf. Female foraging activity was higher in late autumn in the outer part of the pack ice in concentrated SIC and spatially stable. They remained in areas of variable SIC over time and low persistence. The seal hunting time, a proxy of foraging activity inferred from the diving behaviour, was much higher during earlier advance of sea ice over female time-series. The females were possibly taking advantage of the ice algal autumn bloom sustaining krill and an under ice ecosystem without being trapped in sea ice. Males foraging activity increased when they remained deep inside sea ice over the shelf using variable SIC in time and space, presumably in polynyas or flaw leads between fast and pack ice. This strategy

  16. The JPL Mars gravity field, Mars50c, based upon Viking and Mariner 9 Doppler tracking data

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Konopliv, Alexander S.; Sjogren, William L.

    1995-01-01

    This report summarizes the current JPL efforts of generating a Mars gravity field from Viking 1 and 2 and Mariner 9 Doppler tracking data. The Mars 50c solution is a complete gravity field to degree and order 50 with solutions as well for the gravitational mass of Mars, Phobos, and Deimos. The constants and models used to obtain the solution are given and the method for determining the gravity field is presented. The gravity field is compared to the best current gravity GMM1 of Goddard Space Flight Center.

  17. Ocean acidification alters predator behaviour and reduces predation rate.

    PubMed

    Watson, Sue-Ann; Fields, Jennifer B; Munday, Philip L

    2017-02-01

    Ocean acidification poses a range of threats to marine invertebrates; however, the emerging and likely widespread effects of rising carbon dioxide (CO2) levels on marine invertebrate behaviour are still little understood. Here, we show that ocean acidification alters and impairs key ecological behaviours of the predatory cone snail Conus marmoreus Projected near-future seawater CO2 levels (975 µatm) increased activity in this coral reef molluscivore more than threefold (from less than 4 to more than 12 mm min(-1)) and decreased the time spent buried to less than one-third when compared with the present-day control conditions (390 µatm). Despite increasing activity, elevated CO2 reduced predation rate during predator-prey interactions with control-treated humpbacked conch, Gibberulus gibberulus gibbosus; 60% of control predators successfully captured and consumed their prey, compared with only 10% of elevated CO2 predators. The alteration of key ecological behaviours of predatory invertebrates by near-future ocean acidification could have potentially far-reaching implications for predator-prey interactions and trophic dynamics in marine ecosystems. Combined evidence that the behaviours of both species in this predator-prey relationship are altered by elevated CO2 suggests food web interactions and ecosystem structure will become increasingly difficult to predict as ocean acidification advances over coming decades. © 2017 The Author(s).

  18. Accelerating Electronic Tag Development for Tracking Free-Ranging Marine Animals at Sea

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2007-08-01

    Ph.D. Dissertation University of California Santa Cruz June 2006. Teo, S. L. H. 2006. The biology and oceanography of Atlantic bluefin tuna on their...movement, diving and foraging behavior, and diving capacity. Ph.D. Dissertation University of California Santa Cruz June 2006. Weng, K. 2006...Effects on The Fofaging Success of an Apex Predator, The Northern Elephant Seal (Mirounga angustirostris). Ph.D. Dissertation University of California Santa Cruz June 2007.

  19. Satellite telemetry reveals higher fishing mortality rates than previously estimated, suggesting overfishing of an apex marine predator.

    PubMed

    Byrne, Michael E; Cortés, Enric; Vaudo, Jeremy J; Harvey, Guy C McN; Sampson, Mark; Wetherbee, Bradley M; Shivji, Mahmood

    2017-08-16

    Overfishing is a primary cause of population declines for many shark species of conservation concern. However, means of obtaining information on fishery interactions and mortality, necessary for the development of successful conservation strategies, are often fisheries-dependent and of questionable quality for many species of commercially exploited pelagic sharks. We used satellite telemetry as a fisheries-independent tool to document fisheries interactions, and quantify fishing mortality of the highly migratory shortfin mako shark (Isurus oxyrinchus) in the western North Atlantic Ocean. Forty satellite-tagged shortfin mako sharks tracked over 3 years entered the Exclusive Economic Zones of 19 countries and were harvested in fisheries of five countries, with 30% of tagged sharks harvested. Our tagging-derived estimates of instantaneous fishing mortality rates (F = 0.19-0.56) were 10-fold higher than previous estimates from fisheries-dependent data (approx. 0.015-0.024), suggesting data used in stock assessments may considerably underestimate fishing mortality. Additionally, our estimates of F were greater than those associated with maximum sustainable yield, suggesting a state of overfishing. This information has direct application to evaluations of stock status and for effective management of populations, and thus satellite tagging studies have potential to provide more accurate estimates of fishing mortality and survival than traditional fisheries-dependent methodology. © 2017 The Author(s).

  20. Spatial variation in foraging behaviour of a marine top predator (Phoca vitulina) determined by a large-scale satellite tagging program.

    PubMed

    Sharples, Ruth J; Moss, Simon E; Patterson, Toby A; Hammond, Philip S

    2012-01-01

    The harbour seal (Phoca vitulina) is a widespread marine predator in Northern Hemisphere waters. British populations have been subject to rapid declines in recent years. Food supply or inter-specific competition may be implicated but basic ecological data are lacking and there are few studies of harbour seal foraging distribution and habits. In this study, satellite tagging conducted at the major seal haul outs around the British Isles showed both that seal movements were highly variable among individuals and that foraging strategy appears to be specialized within particular regions. We investigated whether these apparent differences could be explained by individual level factors: by modelling measures of trip duration and distance travelled as a function of size, sex and body condition. However, these were not found to be good predictors of foraging trip duration or distance, which instead was best predicted by tagging region, time of year and inter-trip duration. Therefore, we propose that local habitat conditions and the constraints they impose are the major determinants of foraging movements. Specifically the distance to profitable feeding grounds from suitable haul-out locations may dictate foraging strategy and behaviour. Accounting for proximity to productive foraging resources is likely to be an important component of understanding population processes. Despite more extensive offshore movements than expected, there was also marked fidelity to the local haul-out region with limited connectivity between study regions. These empirical observations of regional exchange at short time scales demonstrates the value of large scale electronic tagging programs for robust characterization of at-sea foraging behaviour at a wide spatial scale.

  1. Predator diversity and density affect levels of predation upon strongly interactive species in temperate rocky reefs.

    PubMed

    Guidetti, Paolo

    2007-12-01

    Indirect effects of predators in the classic trophic cascade theory involve the effects of basal species (e.g. primary producers) mediated by predation upon strongly interactive consumers (e.g. grazers). The diversity and density of predators, and the way in which they interact, determine whether and how the effects of different predators on prey combine. Intraguild predation, for instance, was observed to dampen the effects of predators on prey in many ecosystems. In marine systems, species at high trophic levels are particularly susceptible to extinction (at least functionally). The loss of such species, which is mainly attributed to human activities (mostly fishing), is presently decreasing the diversity of marine predators in many areas of the world. Experimental studies that manipulate predator diversity and investigate the effects of this on strongly interactive consumers (i.e. those potentially capable of causing community-wide effects) in marine systems are scant, especially in the rocky sublittoral. I established an experiment that utilised cage enclosures to test whether the diversity and density of fish predators (two sea breams and two wrasses) would affect predation upon juvenile and adult sea urchins, the most important grazers in Mediterranean sublittoral rocky reefs. Changes in species identity (with sea breams producing major effects) and density of predators affected predation upon sea urchins more than changes in species richness per se. Predation upon adult sea urchins decreased in the presence of multiple predators, probably due to interference competition between sea breams and wrasses. This study suggests that factors that influence both fish predator diversity and density in Mediterranean rocky reefs (e.g. fishing and climate change) may have the potential to affect the predators' ability to control sea urchin population density, with possible repercussions for the whole benthic community structure.

  2. Determining origin in a migratory marine vertebrate: a novel method to integrate stable isotopes and satellite tracking

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Vander Zanden, Hannah B.; Tucker, Anton D.; Hart, Kristen M.; Lamont, Margaret M.; Fujisaki, Ikuko; Addison, David S.; Mansfield, Katherine L.; Phillips, Katrina F.; Wunder, Michael B.; Bowen, Gabriel J.; Pajuelo, Mariela; Bolten, Alan B.; Bjorndal, Karen A.

    2015-01-01

    Stable isotope analysis is a useful tool to track animal movements in both terrestrial and marine environments. These intrinsic markers are assimilated through the diet and may exhibit spatial gradients as a result of biogeochemical processes at the base of the food web. In the marine environment, maps to predict the spatial distribution of stable isotopes are limited, and thus determining geographic origin has been reliant upon integrating satellite telemetry and stable isotope data. Migratory sea turtles regularly move between foraging and reproductive areas. Whereas most nesting populations can be easily accessed and regularly monitored, little is known about the demographic trends in foraging populations. The purpose of the present study was to examine migration patterns of loggerhead nesting aggregations in the Gulf of Mexico (GoM), where sea turtles have been historically understudied. Two methods of geographic assignment using stable isotope values in known-origin samples from satellite telemetry were compared: 1) a nominal approach through discriminant analysis and 2) a novel continuous-surface approach using bivariate carbon and nitrogen isoscapes (isotopic landscapes) developed for this study. Tissue samples for stable isotope analysis were obtained from 60 satellite-tracked individuals at five nesting beaches within the GoM. Both methodological approaches for assignment resulted in high accuracy of foraging area determination, though each has advantages and disadvantages. The nominal approach is more appropriate when defined boundaries are necessary, but up to 42% of the individuals could not be considered in this approach. All individuals can be included in the continuous-surface approach, and individual results can be aggregated to identify geographic hotspots of foraging area use, though the accuracy rate was lower than nominal assignment. The methodological validation provides a foundation for future sea turtle studies in the region to inexpensively

  3. Determining origin in a migratory marine vertebrate: a novel method to integrate stable isotopes and satellite tracking.

    PubMed

    Zanden, Hannah B Vander; Tucker, Anton D; Hart, Kristen M; Lamont, Margaret M; Fuisaki, Ikuko; Addison, David; Mansfield, Katherine L; Phillips, Katrina F; Wunder, Michael B; Bowen, Gabriel J; Pajuelo, Mariela; Bolten, Alan B; Bjorndal, Karen A

    2015-03-01

    Stable isotope analysis is a useful tool to track animal movements in both terrestrial and marine environments. These intrinsic markers are assimilated through the diet and may exhibit spatial gradients as a result of biogeochemical processes at the base of the food web. In the marine environment, maps to predict the spatial distribution of stable isotopes are limited, and thus determining geographic origin has been reliant upon integrating satellite telemetry and stable isotope data. Migratory sea turtles regularly move between foraging and reproductive areas. Whereas most nesting populations can be easily accessed and regularly monitored, little is known about the demographic trends in foraging populations. The purpose of the present study was to examine migration patterns of loggerhead nesting aggregations in the Gulf of Mexico (GoM), where sea turtles have been historically understudied. Two methods of geographic assignment using stable isotope values in known-origin samples from satellite telemetry were compared: (1) a nominal approach through discriminant analysis and (2) a novel continuous-surface approach using bivariate carbon and nitrogen isoscapes (isotopic landscapes) developed for this study. Tissue samples for stable isotope analysis were obtained from 60 satellite-tracked individuals at five nesting beaches within the GoM. Both methodological approaches for assignment resulted in high accuracy of foraging area determination, though each has advantages and disadvantages. The nominal approach is more appropriate when defined boundaries are necessary, but up to 42% of the individuals could not be considered in this approach. All individuals can be included in the continuous-surface approach, and individual results can be aggregated to identify geographic hotspots of foraging area use, though the accuracy rate was lower than nominal assignment. The methodological validation provides a foundation for future sea turtle studies in the region to

  4. Passive Acoustic Methods for Tracking Marine Mammals Using Widely-Spaced Bottom-Mounted Hydrophones

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2011-10-26

    whales , minke whales , humpback whales , and sperm whales were the main species...of interest. io. auBJEUi i Lmvia Passive acoustic monitoring, localization, tracking, minke whale , beaked whale , sperm whale , humpback whale ...The main species of interest were sperm whales , beaked whales , minke whales , and humpback whales . Methods developed are generalizable to

  5. A novel shear vane used to determine the evolution of hydraulic dredge tracks in sub-tidal marine sediments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hauton, C.; Paterson, D. M.

    2003-08-01

    A novel shear vane is described which can be used to record the shear strength of discrete depth horizons of a variety of marine sediment types in situ. This vane, or modifications of it, has great potential in allowing measurement of in situ shear strength without requiring any samples to be removed from the sea bed, a process which can often destroy the fine structure of the sediment. The vane was used to monitor the change in sediment shear strength caused by a hydraulic dredge, which was used to fish razor clams ( Ensis arcuatus) in a sheltered bay within the Clyde Sea area, Scotland. Data collected using this apparatus provided valuable and immediate information on the stratification of the sea bed post-dredging and allowed the evolution of the dredge track to be regularly monitored by divers over a period of 100 d.

  6. Tracking the Debate Around Marine Protected Areas: Key Issues and the BEG Framework

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thorpe, Andy; Bavinck, Maarten; Coulthard, Sarah

    2011-04-01

    Marine conservation is often criticized for a mono-disciplinary approach, which delivers fragmented solutions to complex problems with differing interpretations of success. As a means of reflecting on the breadth and range of scientific research on the management of the marine environment, this paper develops an analytical framework to gauge the foci of policy documents and published scientific work on Marine Protected Areas. We evaluate the extent to which MPA research articles delineate objectives around three domains: biological-ecological [B]; economic-social[E]; and governance-management [G]. This permits us to develop an analytic [BEG] framework which we then test on a sample of selected journal article cohorts. While the framework reveals the dominance of biologically focussed research [B], analysis also reveals a growing frequency of the use of governance/management terminology in the literature over the last 15 years, which may be indicative of a shift towards more integrated consideration of governance concerns. However, consideration of the economic/social domain appears to lag behind biological and governance concerns in both frequency and presence in MPA literature.

  7. Ultrafiltration and Microarray for Detection of Microbial Source Tracking Marker and Pathogen Genes in Riverine and Marine Systems.

    PubMed

    Li, Xiang; Harwood, Valerie J; Nayak, Bina; Weidhaas, Jennifer L

    2016-01-04

    Pathogen identification and microbial source tracking (MST) to identify sources of fecal pollution improve evaluation of water quality. They contribute to improved assessment of human health risks and remediation of pollution sources. An MST microarray was used to simultaneously detect genes for multiple pathogens and indicators of fecal pollution in freshwater, marine water, sewage-contaminated freshwater and marine water, and treated wastewater. Dead-end ultrafiltration (DEUF) was used to concentrate organisms from water samples, yielding a recovery efficiency of >95% for Escherichia coli and human polyomavirus. Whole-genome amplification (WGA) increased gene copies from ultrafiltered samples and increased the sensitivity of the microarray. Viruses (adenovirus, bocavirus, hepatitis A virus, and human polyomaviruses) were detected in sewage-contaminated samples. Pathogens such as Legionella pneumophila, Shigella flexneri, and Campylobacter fetus were detected along with genes conferring resistance to aminoglycosides, beta-lactams, and tetracycline. Nonmetric dimensional analysis of MST marker genes grouped sewage-spiked freshwater and marine samples with sewage and apart from other fecal sources. The sensitivity (percent true positives) of the microarray probes for gene targets anticipated in sewage was 51 to 57% and was lower than the specificity (percent true negatives; 79 to 81%). A linear relationship between gene copies determined by quantitative PCR and microarray fluorescence was found, indicating the semiquantitative nature of the MST microarray. These results indicate that ultrafiltration coupled with WGA provides sufficient nucleic acids for detection of viruses, bacteria, protozoa, and antibiotic resistance genes by the microarray in applications ranging from beach monitoring to risk assessment. Copyright © 2016, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.

  8. Ultrafiltration and Microarray for Detection of Microbial Source Tracking Marker and Pathogen Genes in Riverine and Marine Systems

    PubMed Central

    Li, Xiang; Harwood, Valerie J.; Nayak, Bina

    2016-01-01

    Pathogen identification and microbial source tracking (MST) to identify sources of fecal pollution improve evaluation of water quality. They contribute to improved assessment of human health risks and remediation of pollution sources. An MST microarray was used to simultaneously detect genes for multiple pathogens and indicators of fecal pollution in freshwater, marine water, sewage-contaminated freshwater and marine water, and treated wastewater. Dead-end ultrafiltration (DEUF) was used to concentrate organisms from water samples, yielding a recovery efficiency of >95% for Escherichia coli and human polyomavirus. Whole-genome amplification (WGA) increased gene copies from ultrafiltered samples and increased the sensitivity of the microarray. Viruses (adenovirus, bocavirus, hepatitis A virus, and human polyomaviruses) were detected in sewage-contaminated samples. Pathogens such as Legionella pneumophila, Shigella flexneri, and Campylobacter fetus were detected along with genes conferring resistance to aminoglycosides, beta-lactams, and tetracycline. Nonmetric dimensional analysis of MST marker genes grouped sewage-spiked freshwater and marine samples with sewage and apart from other fecal sources. The sensitivity (percent true positives) of the microarray probes for gene targets anticipated in sewage was 51 to 57% and was lower than the specificity (percent true negatives; 79 to 81%). A linear relationship between gene copies determined by quantitative PCR and microarray fluorescence was found, indicating the semiquantitative nature of the MST microarray. These results indicate that ultrafiltration coupled with WGA provides sufficient nucleic acids for detection of viruses, bacteria, protozoa, and antibiotic resistance genes by the microarray in applications ranging from beach monitoring to risk assessment. PMID:26729716

  9. Site-specific effects on productivity of an upper trophic-level marine predator: Bottom-up, top-down, and mismatch effects on reproduction in a colonial seabird

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Suryan, R.M.; Irons, D.B.; Brown, E.D.; Jodice, P.G.R.; Roby, D.D.

    2006-01-01

    We investigated the relative roles of bottom-up and top-down factors in limiting productivity of an upper trophic level marine predator. Our primary working hypothesis was that the reproductive success of black-legged kittiwakes (Rissa tridactyla) a piscivorous, colonial-nesting seabird, was most limited by the abundance, distribution, and species composition of surface-schooling forage fishes. A secondary working hypothesis was that reproductive loss to kittiwake nest predators was greatest during years of reduced prey availability. We report on a broad-scale, integrated study of kittiwakes and their prey in Prince William Sound, Alaska. Our study spanned five breeding seasons (1995-1999) and focused on three colonies that differed in size (ranging from ca. 220 to ca. 7000 breeding pairs) and proximity to each other (50-135 km apart). Kittiwakes in PWS encountered a variety of aquatic habitats, creating a complex foraging environment for breeding birds. We measured kittiwake reproductive success and foraging activities, while simultaneously measuring the abundance of surface schooling forage fishes throughout the foraging range of breeding kittiwakes. The abundance of primary prey species for kittiwakes (Pacific herring Clupea pallasi, Pacific sand lance Ammodytes hexapterus, and capelin Mallotus villosus) varied both annually and regionally, with no one region consistently having the greatest abundance of prey. Likewise, kittiwake reproductive success varied considerably among colonies and years. We found that bottom-up, top-down, timing mismatch, and colony-specific effects were all important to kittiwake productivity. Although bottom-up effects appeared to be strongest, they were not evident in some cases until other effects, such as geographic location (proximity of colony to prey concentrations) and top-down predation, were considered. Important bottom-up effects on kittiwake reproductive success were not only total prey abundance and distribution, but also

  10. Site-specific effects on productivity of an upper trophic-level marine predator: Bottom-up, top-down, and mismatch effects on reproduction in a colonial seabird

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Suryan, Robert M.; Irons, David B.; Brown, Evelyn D.; Jodice, Patrick G. R.; Roby, Daniel D.

    2006-02-01

    We investigated the relative roles of bottom-up and top-down factors in limiting productivity of an upper trophic level marine predator. Our primary working hypothesis was that the reproductive success of black-legged kittiwakes ( Rissa tridactyla) a piscivorous, colonial-nesting seabird, was most limited by the abundance, distribution, and species composition of surface-schooling forage fishes. A secondary working hypothesis was that reproductive loss to kittiwake nest predators was greatest during years of reduced prey availability. We report on a broad-scale, integrated study of kittiwakes and their prey in Prince William Sound, Alaska. Our study spanned five breeding seasons (1995-1999) and focused on three colonies that differed in size (ranging from ca. 220 to ca. 7000 breeding pairs) and proximity to each other (50-135 km apart). Kittiwakes in PWS encountered a variety of aquatic habitats, creating a complex foraging environment for breeding birds. We measured kittiwake reproductive success and foraging activities, while simultaneously measuring the abundance of surface schooling forage fishes throughout the foraging range of breeding kittiwakes. The abundance of primary prey species for kittiwakes (Pacific herring Clupea pallasi, Pacific sand lance Ammodytes hexapterus, and capelin Mallotus villosus) varied both annually and regionally, with no one region consistently having the greatest abundance of prey. Likewise, kittiwake reproductive success varied considerably among colonies and years. We found that bottom-up, top-down, timing mismatch, and colony-specific effects were all important to kittiwake productivity. Although bottom-up effects appeared to be strongest, they were not evident in some cases until other effects, such as geographic location (proximity of colony to prey concentrations) and top-down predation, were considered. Important bottom-up effects on kittiwake reproductive success were not only total prey abundance and distribution, but also

  11. The mass of Mars, Phobos, and Deimos, from the analysis of the Mariner 9 and Viking Orbiter tracking data

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Smith, D. E.; Lemoine, F. G.; Fricke, S. K.

    1994-01-01

    We have estimated the mass of Phobos, Deimos, and Mars using the Viking Orbiter and Mariner 9 tracking data. We divided the data into 282 arcs and sorted the data by periapse height, by inclination, and by satellite. The data were processed with the GEODYN/SOLVE orbit determination programs, which have previously been used to analyze planetary tracking data. The a priori Mars gravity field applied in this study was the 50th degree and order GMM-1 (Goddard Mars Model-1) model. The subsets of data were carefully edited to remove any arcs with close encounters of less than 500 km with either Phobos or Deimos. Whereas previous investigators have used close flybys (less than 500 km) to estimate the satellite masses, we have attempted to estimate the masses of Phobos and Deimos from multiday arcs which only included more distant encounters. The subsets of data were further edited to eliminate spurious data near solar conjunction (Nov.-Dec. 1976 and January 1979). In addition, the Viking-1 data from Oct. through Dec. 1978 were also excluded because of the low periapse altitude (as low as 232 km) and thus high sensitivity to atmospheric drag.

  12. Concepts for Design of Lightweight Track for the U.S. Marine Landing Vehicle Assault (LVA)

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1976-02-20

    used on MSO Hawk Missile Loader Vehicle (sectioned through the centerguide). Track block is 2014- T6 aluminum forging integral centerguide is bonded to...resistance to ical equipment. Catle clamps for corrosion , electrical industry. 2014 - T6 High tensile and yield strength Widcly used for aircraft and -T61... 2219 - T6 Good mechanical properties at room Tankage tor liquid fuel rockets. -T852 temperatures. Ability to retain Structural parts which must 3per

  13. Can otolith elemental chemistry retrospectively track migrations in fully marine fishes?

    PubMed

    Sturrock, A M; Trueman, C N; Darnaude, A M; Hunter, E

    2012-07-01

    Otolith microchemistry can provide valuable information about stock structure and mixing patterns when the magnitude of environmental differences among areas is greater than the cumulative influence of any vital effects. Here, the current understanding of the underlying mechanisms governing element incorporation into the otolith is reviewed. Hard and soft acid and base (HSAB) theory is employed to explore the differences in chemical behaviours, distributions and affinities between elements. Hard acid cations (e.g. Mg(2+) , Li(+) and Ba(2+) ) tend to be less physiologically influenced and accepted more readily into the otolith crystal lattice but are relatively homogeneous in seawater. Soft acid cations (e.g. Zn(2+) and Cu(2+) ) on the other hand, exhibit more varied distributions in seawater, but are more likely to be bound to blood proteins and less available for uptake into the otolith. The factors influencing the geographical distribution of elements in the sea, and their incorporation into the otoliths of marine fishes are reviewed. Particular emphasis is placed on examining physiological processes, including gonad development, on the uptake of elements commonly used in population studies, notably Sr. Finally, case studies are presented that either directly or indirectly compare population structuring or movements inferred by otolith elemental fingerprints with the patterns indicated by additional, alternative proxies. The main obstacle currently limiting the application of otolith elemental microchemistry to infer movements of marine fishes appears to lie in the largely homogeneous distribution of those elements most reliably measured in the otolith. Evolving technologies will improve the discriminatory power of otolith chemistry by allowing measurement of spatially explicit, low level elements; however, for the time being, the combination of otolith minor and trace element fingerprints with alternative proxies and stable isotopic ratios can greatly extend the

  14. Combining Remote Temperature Sensing with in-Situ Sensing to Track Marine/Freshwater Mixing Dynamics

    PubMed Central

    McCaul, Margaret; Barland, Jack; Cleary, John; Cahalane, Conor; McCarthy, Tim; Diamond, Dermot

    2016-01-01

    The ability to track the dynamics of processes in natural water bodies on a global scale, and at a resolution that enables highly localised behaviour to be visualized, is an ideal scenario for understanding how local events can influence the global environment. While advances in in-situ chem/bio-sensing continue to be reported, costs and reliability issues still inhibit the implementation of large-scale deployments. In contrast, physical parameters like surface temperature can be tracked on a global scale using satellite remote sensing, and locally at high resolution via flyovers and drones using multi-spectral imaging. In this study, we show how a much more complete picture of submarine and intertidal groundwater discharge patterns in Kinvara Bay, Galway can be achieved using a fusion of data collected from the Earth Observation satellite (Landsat 8), small aircraft and in-situ sensors. Over the course of the four-day field campaign, over 65,000 in-situ temperatures, salinity and nutrient measurements were collected in parallel with high-resolution thermal imaging from aircraft flyovers. The processed in-situ data show highly correlated patterns between temperature and salinity at the southern end of the bay where freshwater springs can be identified at low tide. Salinity values range from 1 to 2 ppt at the southern end of the bay to 30 ppt at the mouth of the bay, indicating the presence of a freshwater wedge. The data clearly show that temperature differences can be used to track the dynamics of freshwater and seawater mixing in the inner bay region. This outcome suggests that combining the tremendous spatial density and wide geographical reach of remote temperature sensing (using drones, flyovers and satellites) with ground-truthing via appropriately located in-situ sensors (temperature, salinity, chemical, and biological) can produce a much more complete and accurate picture of the water dynamics than each modality used in isolation. PMID:27589770

  15. Combining Remote Temperature Sensing with in-Situ Sensing to Track Marine/Freshwater Mixing Dynamics.

    PubMed

    McCaul, Margaret; Barland, Jack; Cleary, John; Cahalane, Conor; McCarthy, Tim; Diamond, Dermot

    2016-08-31

    The ability to track the dynamics of processes in natural water bodies on a global scale, and at a resolution that enables highly localised behaviour to be visualized, is an ideal scenario for understanding how local events can influence the global environment. While advances in in-situ chem/bio-sensing continue to be reported, costs and reliability issues still inhibit the implementation of large-scale deployments. In contrast, physical parameters like surface temperature can be tracked on a global scale using satellite remote sensing, and locally at high resolution via flyovers and drones using multi-spectral imaging. In this study, we show how a much more complete picture of submarine and intertidal groundwater discharge patterns in Kinvara Bay, Galway can be achieved using a fusion of data collected from the Earth Observation satellite (Landsat 8), small aircraft and in-situ sensors. Over the course of the four-day field campaign, over 65,000 in-situ temperatures, salinity and nutrient measurements were collected in parallel with high-resolution thermal imaging from aircraft flyovers. The processed in-situ data show highly correlated patterns between temperature and salinity at the southern end of the bay where freshwater springs can be identified at low tide. Salinity values range from 1 to 2 ppt at the southern end of the bay to 30 ppt at the mouth of the bay, indicating the presence of a freshwater wedge. The data clearly show that temperature differences can be used to track the dynamics of freshwater and seawater mixing in the inner bay region. This outcome suggests that combining the tremendous spatial density and wide geographical reach of remote temperature sensing (using drones, flyovers and satellites) with ground-truthing via appropriately located in-situ sensors (temperature, salinity, chemical, and biological) can produce a much more complete and accurate picture of the water dynamics than each modality used in isolation.

  16. Understanding Apex Predator and Pelagic Fish Habitat Utilization in the California Current System by Integrating Animal Tracking with in situ Oceanographic Observations

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2008-01-01

    environments: North Pacific Transition Zone: Albatrosses breeding sympatrically in the northwest Hawaiian Islands forage extensively within the NPTZ...density distributions of Laysan (blue) and Black-footed (red) albatross tagged on Tern Island . 5 Mesoscale Eddies: Several years of vertical...predator, the Galapagos sea lion. Mar. Eco. Prog. Ser. 363: 299–309. Wells, B. K., Field, J. C., Thayer, J. A., Grimes, C. B., Bograd, S. J., Sydeman, W. J

  17. Pasta Predation.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Waugh, Michael L.

    1986-01-01

    Presents a predator-prey simulation which involves students in collecting data, solving problems, and making predictions on the evolution of prey populations. Provides directives on how to perform the chi-square test and also includes an Applesoft BASK program that performs the calculations. (ML)

  18. Predator Arithmetic

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Shutler, Paul M. E.; Fong, Ng Swee

    2010-01-01

    Modern Hindu-Arabic numeration is the end result of a long period of evolution, and is clearly superior to any system that has gone before, but is it optimal? We compare it to a hypothetical base 5 system, which we dub Predator arithmetic, and judge which of the two systems is superior from a mathematics education point of view. We find that…

  19. Predator Arithmetic

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Shutler, Paul M. E.; Fong, Ng Swee

    2010-01-01

    Modern Hindu-Arabic numeration is the end result of a long period of evolution, and is clearly superior to any system that has gone before, but is it optimal? We compare it to a hypothetical base 5 system, which we dub Predator arithmetic, and judge which of the two systems is superior from a mathematics education point of view. We find that…

  20. Pasta Predation.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Waugh, Michael L.

    1986-01-01

    Presents a predator-prey simulation which involves students in collecting data, solving problems, and making predictions on the evolution of prey populations. Provides directives on how to perform the chi-square test and also includes an Applesoft BASK program that performs the calculations. (ML)

  1. Oceanographer tracks marine debris from the Japan tsunami and other incidents

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Showstack, Randy

    2011-09-01

    In the wake of the 11 March 2011 Tohoku earthquake and resulting tsunami that struck Japan, much of the debris that washed out to sea continues to float slowly on ocean currents across the Pacific Ocean. The leading edge of a dispersed field of debris that has not already sunk or biodegraded was estimated by a computer model to be about halfway across the Pacific, north of Midway Island, as of 31 July, 142 days after the tsunami. According to Curtis Ebbesmeyer, a consulting oceanographer who has been involved with tracking various kinds of ocean flotsam for decades, the debris field, which encompasses an area about the size of California, could begin to reach the U.S. West Coast by March 2012. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) Satellite and Information Service was able to track the debris field until mid-April, when the debris became too dispersed to be detected in satellite imagery. Ebbesmeyer, formerly an oceanographer with Mobil and Standard Oil, told Eos that he does not have any recent physical evidence of the debris field because it is now widely dispersed and still far away from any landfall. Ebbesmeyer said, though, that his confidence level for the debris field's estimated size and location is “very high.”

  2. Finding food: how marine invertebrates use chemical cues to track and select food.

    PubMed

    Kamio, Michiya; Derby, Charles D

    2017-02-20

    Benthic marine invertebrates sense molecules from other organisms and use these molecules to find and evaluate the organisms as sources of food. These processes depend on the detection and discrimination of molecules carried in sea water around and in the mouths of these animals. To understand these processes, researchers have studied how molecules released from food distribute in the sea water as a plume, how animals respond to the plume, the molecular identity of the attractants in the plume, the effect of turbulence on food-searching success, and how animals evaluate the quality of food and make decisions to eat or not. This review covers recent progress on this topic involving interdisciplinary studies of natural products chemistry, fluid dynamics, neuroethology, and ecology.

  3. [Sound reception of marine mammales depending on parameters and sound-conducting tracks].

    PubMed

    Babushina, E S

    2000-01-01

    Underwater audiograms of a northern fur seal, a Caspic seal and a dolphin aphalina were measured under conditions of full or partial (the head above the water) submergence of animals using the method of instrumental conditioned reflexes with food reinforcement. The possibility and peculiarities of sound conduction through the body of marine mammals were investigated by isolating the auricle from the medium of sound spreading (under conditions of partial submergence). By the same technique, the hearing thresholds of Caspic seal were measured in the presence of broad- and narrow-band noises with different central frequencies depending on the medium (underwater or in air) the signal and the noise masker were presented and on the sound-conducting ways (under conditions of full or partial submergence of animals). It was found that aerial and underwater sound-conducting canals of the Caspic seal were functionally connected with each other. The level of hearing masking in the Caspic seal is determined by the tracts of signal and noise conduction, by the differences in sensitivity to the signal and masker, and by their spectral structure. Apparently, the tissues of the seal body considerably change the amplitude-frequency characteristics of the sound.

  4. Tracking the Hercules 265 marine gas well blowout in the Gulf of Mexico

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Romero, Isabel C.; Özgökmen, Tamay; Snyder, Susan; Schwing, Patrick; O'Malley, Bryan J.; Beron-Vera, Francisco J.; Olascoaga, Maria J.; Zhu, Ping; Ryan, Edward; Chen, Shuyi S.; Wetzel, Dana L.; Hollander, David; Murawski, Steven A.

    2016-01-01

    On 23 July 2013, a marine gas rig (Hercules 265) ignited in the northern Gulf of Mexico. The rig burned out of control for 2 days before being extinguished. We conducted a rapid-response sampling campaign near Hercules 265 after the fire to ascertain if sediments and fishes were polluted above earlier baseline levels. A surface drifter study confirmed that surface ocean water flowed to the southeast of the Hercules site, while the atmospheric plume generated by the blowout was in eastward direction. Sediment cores were collected to the SE of the rig at a distance of ˜0.2, 8, and 18 km using a multicorer, and demersal fishes were collected from ˜0.2 to 8 km SE of the rig using a longline (508 hooks). Recently deposited sediments document that only high molecular weight (HMW) polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) concentrations decreased with increasing distance from the rig suggesting higher pyrogenic inputs associated with the blowout. A similar trend was observed in the foraminifera Haynesina germanica, an indicator species of pollution. In red snapper bile, only HMW PAH metabolites increased in 2013 nearly double those from 2012. Both surface sediments and fish bile analyses suggest that, in the aftermath of the blowout, increased concentration of pyrogenically derived hydrocarbons was transported and deposited in the environment. This study further emphasizes the need for an ocean observing system and coordinated rapid-response efforts from an array of scientific disciplines to effectively assess environmental impacts resulting from accidental releases of oil contaminants.

  5. Subcellular tracking reveals the location of dimethylsulfoniopropionate in microalgae and visualises its uptake by marine bacteria

    PubMed Central

    Raina, Jean-Baptiste; Clode, Peta L; Cheong, Soshan; Bougoure, Jeremy; Kilburn, Matt R; Reeder, Anthony; Forêt, Sylvain; Stat, Michael; Beltran, Victor; Thomas-Hall, Peter; Tapiolas, Dianne; Motti, Cherie M; Gong, Bill; Pernice, Mathieu; Marjo, Christopher E; Seymour, Justin R; Willis, Bette L; Bourne, David G

    2017-01-01

    Phytoplankton-bacteria interactions drive the surface ocean sulfur cycle and local climatic processes through the production and exchange of a key compound: dimethylsulfoniopropionate (DMSP). Despite their large-scale implications, these interactions remain unquantified at the cellular-scale. Here we use secondary-ion mass spectrometry to provide the first visualization of DMSP at sub-cellular levels, tracking the fate of a stable sulfur isotope (34S) from its incorporation by microalgae as inorganic sulfate to its biosynthesis and exudation as DMSP, and finally its uptake and degradation by bacteria. Our results identify for the first time the storage locations of DMSP in microalgae, with high enrichments present in vacuoles, cytoplasm and chloroplasts. In addition, we quantify DMSP incorporation at the single-cell level, with DMSP-degrading bacteria containing seven times more 34S than the control strain. This study provides an unprecedented methodology to label, retain, and image small diffusible molecules, which can be transposable to other symbiotic systems. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.23008.001 PMID:28371617

  6. Subcellular tracking reveals the location of dimethylsulfoniopropionate in microalgae and visualises its uptake by marine bacteria.

    PubMed

    Raina, Jean-Baptiste; Clode, Peta L; Cheong, Soshan; Bougoure, Jeremy; Kilburn, Matt R; Reeder, Anthony; Forêt, Sylvain; Stat, Michael; Beltran, Victor; Thomas-Hall, Peter; Tapiolas, Dianne; Motti, Cherie M; Gong, Bill; Pernice, Mathieu; Marjo, Christopher E; Seymour, Justin R; Willis, Bette L; Bourne, David G

    2017-04-04

    Phytoplankton-bacteria interactions drive the surface ocean sulfur cycle and local climatic processes through the production and exchange of a key compound: dimethylsulfoniopropionate (DMSP). Despite their large-scale implications, these interactions remain unquantified at the cellular-scale. Here we use secondary-ion mass spectrometry to provide the first visualization of DMSP at sub-cellular levels, tracking the fate of a stable sulfur isotope ((34)S) from its incorporation by microalgae as inorganic sulfate to its biosynthesis and exudation as DMSP, and finally its uptake and degradation by bacteria. Our results identify for the first time the storage locations of DMSP in microalgae, with high enrichments present in vacuoles, cytoplasm and chloroplasts. In addition, we quantify DMSP incorporation at the single-cell level, with DMSP-degrading bacteria containing seven times more (34)S than the control strain. This study provides an unprecedented methodology to label, retain, and image small diffusible molecules, which can be transposable to other symbiotic systems.

  7. Mercury exposure and source tracking in distinct marine-caged fish farm in southern China.

    PubMed

    Xu, Xiaoyu; Wang, Wen-Xiong

    2017-01-01

    Coasts of South China have experienced an unprecedented growth in its marine-caged fish industry. We analyzed mercury concentrations and stable mercury isotope ratios in fourteen fish species from two cage-cultured farms in Southern China. Total mercury concentrations of all species were lower than the human health screening values, but the human exposures through consumption of several carnivorous fish exceeded the USEPA's reference dose. Isotopic compositions in the sediment (δ(202)Hg: -1.45‰ to -1.23‰; Δ(199)Hg: -0.04‰ to -0.01‰) suggested that mercury in these farms were from coal combustion and industrial inputs. Commercial food pellets and fresh fish viscera provided the major sources of methylmercury to the farmed fish and dominated their mercury isotopic signatures. Non-carnivorous fish presented lower δ(202)Hg and Δ(199)Hg values than the carnivorous fish. Using a mixing model, we demonstrated that the majority of mercury in non-carnivorous species came from pellets and in carnivorous fish came from combined diets of pellets and viscera. Meanwhile, methylmercury concentrations and % methylmercury in the fish were positively correlated with δ(202)Hg values but not with Δ(199)Hg values, mainly because fish eating similar feeds maintained similar Δ(199)Hg values. Environmental influences of cage farming such as fish feces and uneaten viscera that continuously provide organic mercury to the environments need to be considered. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. Identifying and tracking proteins through the marine water column: insights into the inputs and preservation mechanisms of protein in sediments

    PubMed Central

    Moore, Eli K.; Nunn, Brook L.; Goodlett, David R.; Harvey, H. Rodger

    2012-01-01

    Proteins generated during primary production represent an important fraction of marine organic nitrogen and carbon, and have the potential to provide organism-specific information in the environment. The Bering Sea is a highly productive system dominated by seasonal blooms and was used as a model system for algal proteins to be tracked through the water column and incorporated into detrital sedimentary material. Samples of suspended and sinking particles were collected at multiple depths along with surface sediments on the continental shelf and deeper basin of the Bering Sea. Modified standard proteomic preparations were used in conjunction with high pressure liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry to identify the suite of proteins present and monitor changes in their distribution. In surface waters 207 proteins were identified, decreasing through the water column to 52 proteins identified in post-bloom shelf surface sediments and 24 proteins in deeper (3490 m) basin sediments. The vast majority of identified proteins in all samples were diatom in origin, reflecting their dominant contribution of biomass during the spring bloom. Identified proteins were predominantly from metabolic, binding/structural, and transport-related protein groups. Significant linear correlations were observed between the number of proteins identified and the concentration of total hydrolysable amino acids normalized to carbon and nitrogen. Organelle-bound, transmembrane, photosynthetic, and other proteins involved in light harvesting were preferentially retained during recycling. These findings suggest that organelle and membrane protection represent important mechanisms that enhance the preservation of protein during transport and incorporation into sediments. PMID:22711915

  9. Interstellar Predation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cockell, C. S.; Lee, M.

    Although chemosynthesis and photosynthesis can theoretically supply enough energy for intelligence, for reasons elucidated here, heterotrophy and specifically phagotrophy (ingestion of prey) are likely to make predation a characteristic of life and extraterrestrial intelligence (ETI). Here, the Earth's biota is used to consider the nature of interstellar predation. The ability of the ETI to directly ingest a biota will be determined by the chiral preference of the ETI, the compatibility of the biochemistry used in life on Earth with the molecules required by the ETI and the potential toxicity of the macromolecules. If chirality is determined by astrophysical factors and not by the specificities of terrestrial origins of life and if molecules found in terrestrial organisms are also represented in ETIs (which could plausibly include hydrated carbohydrides and many amino acids that are similar or identical to amino acids found in meteoritic or cometary material) then the Earth might represent a universally appreciated resource. The Earth's biota could be used as an energy supply or, if other forms of technology have advanced to the point where bioreactors can be exclusively used to supply a civilization with food, as a culinary curiosity. Even in the absence of metabolic compatibility, technology can be used to extract useful products from an undigestible biota, similarly to the industrial biotransformation of cellulose. The value of the resource will also be determined by the availability of prey. Planets at stages in biological evolution where the surface is dominated by just one or several large (>5kg), abundant, easily captured organisms are particu- larly attractive to predators because harvesting techniques can be standardized. We discuss implications for exobiology and the `Fermi Paradox'.

  10. Predators and Prey

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kramm, Kenneth R.

    1975-01-01

    Reviews basic concepts of predator-prey interaction, encourages the presentation of the predator's role and describes a model of predator behavior to be used in secondary school or college classes. (LS)

  11. Predator arithmetic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shutler, Paul M. E.; Swee Fong, Ng

    2010-01-01

    Modern Hindu-Arabic numeration is the end result of a long period of evolution, and is clearly superior to any system that has gone before, but is it optimal? We compare it to a hypothetical base 5 system, which we dub Predator arithmetic, and judge which of the two systems is superior from a mathematics education point of view. We find that complex calculations such as long multiplication can be carried out more efficiently in base 5 than in base 10, and that base 5 is in fact close to being optimal in this regard. We also show that base 5 is small enough so that the intuitiveness of simple grouping and the efficiency of fully ciphered numerals can be combined effectively in a single notation, something which Hindu-Arabic numeration tries but fails to achieve. Furthermore, as a consequence of these notational advantages, we show that the basic operations of arithmetic, addition and subtraction, also borrowing and carrying (regrouping), are easier to teach and to learn in base 5 than in base 10. Finally we show that, even though a shift from base 10 to base 5 may not be a realistic possibility, there are many ways in which the teaching of elementary arithmetic could be improved significantly, along the lines of Predator arithmetic, and which could be implemented at little cost within our current Hindu-Arabic system.

  12. Using satellite tracking to optimize protection of long-lived marine species: olive ridley sea turtle conservation in Central Africa.

    PubMed

    Maxwell, Sara M; Breed, Greg A; Nickel, Barry A; Makanga-Bahouna, Junior; Pemo-Makaya, Edgard; Parnell, Richard J; Formia, Angela; Ngouessono, Solange; Godley, Brendan J; Costa, Daniel P; Witt, Matthew J; Coyne, Michael S

    2011-05-11

    Tractable conservation measures for long-lived species require the intersection between protection of biologically relevant life history stages and a socioeconomically feasible setting. To protect breeding adults, we require knowledge of animal movements, how movement relates to political boundaries, and our confidence in spatial analyses of movement. We used satellite tracking and a switching state-space model to determine the internesting movements of olive ridley sea turtles (Lepidochelys olivacea) (n = 18) in Central Africa during two breeding seasons (2007-08, 2008-09). These movements were analyzed in relation to current park boundaries and a proposed transboundary park between Gabon and the Republic of Congo, both created to reduce unintentional bycatch of sea turtles in marine fisheries. We additionally determined confidence intervals surrounding home range calculations. Turtles remained largely within a 30 km radius from the original nesting site before departing for distant foraging grounds. Only 44.6 percent of high-density areas were found within the current park but the proposed transboundary park would incorporate 97.6 percent of high-density areas. Though tagged individuals originated in Gabon, turtles were found in Congolese waters during greater than half of the internesting period (53.7 percent), highlighting the need for international cooperation and offering scientific support for a proposed transboundary park. This is the first comprehensive study on the internesting movements of solitary nesting olive ridley sea turtles, and it suggests the opportunity for tractable conservation measures for female nesting olive ridleys at this and other solitary nesting sites around the world. We draw from our results a framework for cost-effective protection of long-lived species using satellite telemetry as a primary tool.

  13. Using Satellite Tracking to Optimize Protection of Long-Lived Marine Species: Olive Ridley Sea Turtle Conservation in Central Africa

    PubMed Central

    Maxwell, Sara M.; Breed, Greg A.; Nickel, Barry A.; Makanga-Bahouna, Junior; Pemo-Makaya, Edgard; Parnell, Richard J.; Formia, Angela; Ngouessono, Solange; Godley, Brendan J.; Costa, Daniel P.; Witt, Matthew J.; Coyne, Michael S.

    2011-01-01

    Tractable conservation measures for long-lived species require the intersection between protection of biologically relevant life history stages and a socioeconomically feasible setting. To protect breeding adults, we require knowledge of animal movements, how movement relates to political boundaries, and our confidence in spatial analyses of movement. We used satellite tracking and a switching state-space model to determine the internesting movements of olive ridley sea turtles (Lepidochelys olivacea) (n = 18) in Central Africa during two breeding seasons (2007-08, 2008-09). These movements were analyzed in relation to current park boundaries and a proposed transboundary park between Gabon and the Republic of Congo, both created to reduce unintentional bycatch of sea turtles in marine fisheries. We additionally determined confidence intervals surrounding home range calculations. Turtles remained largely within a 30 km radius from the original nesting site before departing for distant foraging grounds. Only 44.6 percent of high-density areas were found within the current park but the proposed transboundary park would incorporate 97.6 percent of high-density areas. Though tagged individuals originated in Gabon, turtles were found in Congolese waters during greater than half of the internesting period (53.7 percent), highlighting the need for international cooperation and offering scientific support for a proposed transboundary park. This is the first comprehensive study on the internesting movements of solitary nesting olive ridley sea turtles, and it suggests the opportunity for tractable conservation measures for female nesting olive ridleys at this and other solitary nesting sites around the world. We draw from our results a framework for cost-effective protection of long-lived species using satellite telemetry as a primary tool. PMID:21589942

  14. Predicting Human Mobility Patterns in Marine Ecosystems: Entropy and Home Range Calculations Based on High-Resolution Fishing Vessel Tracking Data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Murawski, S. A.

    2016-02-01

    A number of recent studies have developed metrics of human mobility patterns based on georeferenced cell phone records. The studies generally indicate a high degree of predictability in human location and relatively narrow home ranges for most people. In marine ecosystems there are a number of important uses for such calculations including marine spatial planning and predicting the impacts of marine management options such as establishing marine protected areas (MPAs). In this study we use individual fishing vessel satellite tracking (VMS) records ( 30 million records) obtained from commercial reef fish fishing vessels in the Gulf of Mexico during 2006-2014. This period witnessed the establishment of a variety of new regulations including individual fishing quotas (IFQs) for snapper, grouper, and tilefish, establishment of spatial-area closures, and the temporary closure of as much as 85,000 nautical miles of productive fishing grounds associated with the Deepwater Horizon oil spill accident. Vessel positions were obtained, with a location frequency of one hour. From these VMS data we calculated three measures of entropy (degree of repeatability in spatial use), as well as calculated the axis of gyration (home range) for each vessel in the data set. These calculations were related to a variety of descriptor variables including vessel size, distance from home port to predominant fishing grounds, revenue generated on fishing trips, and fishing regulations. The applicability of these calculations to marine resource management applications is discussed.

  15. Identifying Risk: Concurrent Overlap of the Antarctic Krill Fishery with Krill-Dependent Predators in the Scotia Sea.

    PubMed

    Hinke, Jefferson T; Cossio, Anthony M; Goebel, Michael E; Reiss, Christian S; Trivelpiece, Wayne Z; Watters, George M

    2017-01-01

    Mitigating direct and indirect interactions between marine predators and fisheries is a motivating factor for ecosystem-based fisheries management (EBFM), especially where predators and fisheries compete for a shared resource. One difficulty in advancing EBFM is parameterizing clear functional responses of predators to indices of prey availability. Alternative characterizations of fishery-predator interactions may therefore benefit the implementation of EBFM. Telemetry data identify foraging areas used by predators and, therefore, represent critical information to mitigate potential competition between predators and fisheries. We analyzed six years (2009-2014) of telemetry data collected at Cape Shirreff, Livingston Island and Admiralty Bay, King George Island, Antarctica, on three species of Pygoscelid penguins and female Antarctic fur seals. In this region, all four species are primarily dependent on Antarctic krill. The tracking data demonstrate local movements near breeding colonies during the austral summer and dispersal from breeding colonies during the winter. We then assessed overlap between predators and the Antarctic krill fishery on a suite of spatiotemporal scales to examine how different data aggregations affect the extent and location of overlap. Concurrent overlap was observed on all spatiotemporal scales considered throughout the Antarctic Peninsula and South Orkney Islands region, including near tagging locations and in distant areas where recent fishing activity has concentrated. Overlap occurred at depths where mean krill densities were relatively high. Our results demonstrate that direct overlap of krill-dependent predators with the krill fishery on small spatiotemporal scales is relatively common throughout the Antarctic Peninsula region. As the krill fishery continues to develop and efforts to implement ecosystem-based management mature, indices of overlap may provide a useful metric for indicating where the risks of fishing are highest. A

  16. Identifying Risk: Concurrent Overlap of the Antarctic Krill Fishery with Krill-Dependent Predators in the Scotia Sea

    PubMed Central

    Hinke, Jefferson T.

    2017-01-01

    Mitigating direct and indirect interactions between marine predators and fisheries is a motivating factor for ecosystem-based fisheries management (EBFM), especially where predators and fisheries compete for a shared resource. One difficulty in advancing EBFM is parameterizing clear functional responses of predators to indices of prey availability. Alternative characterizations of fishery-predator interactions may therefore benefit the implementation of EBFM. Telemetry data identify foraging areas used by predators and, therefore, represent critical information to mitigate potential competition between predators and fisheries. We analyzed six years (2009–2014) of telemetry data collected at Cape Shirreff, Livingston Island and Admiralty Bay, King George Island, Antarctica, on three species of Pygoscelid penguins and female Antarctic fur seals. In this region, all four species are primarily dependent on Antarctic krill. The tracking data demonstrate local movements near breeding colonies during the austral summer and dispersal from breeding colonies during the winter. We then assessed overlap between predators and the Antarctic krill fishery on a suite of spatiotemporal scales to examine how different data aggregations affect the extent and location of overlap. Concurrent overlap was observed on all spatiotemporal scales considered throughout the Antarctic Peninsula and South Orkney Islands region, including near tagging locations and in distant areas where recent fishing activity has concentrated. Overlap occurred at depths where mean krill densities were relatively high. Our results demonstrate that direct overlap of krill-dependent predators with the krill fishery on small spatiotemporal scales is relatively common throughout the Antarctic Peninsula region. As the krill fishery continues to develop and efforts to implement ecosystem-based management mature, indices of overlap may provide a useful metric for indicating where the risks of fishing are highest. A

  17. Impact of small-scale environmental perturbations on local marine food resources: a case study of a predator, the little penguin.

    PubMed

    Ropert-Coudert, Yan; Kato, Akiko; Chiaradia, André

    2009-12-07

    Although the impact of environmental changes on the demographic parameters of top predators is well established, the mechanisms by which populations are affected remain poorly understood. Here, we show that a reduction in the thermal stratification of coastal water masses between 2005 and 2006 was associated with reduced foraging and breeding success of little penguins Eudyptula minor, major bio-indicators of the Bass Strait ecosystem in southern Australia. The foraging patterns of the penguins suggest that their prey disperse widely in poorly stratified waters, leading to reduced foraging efficiency and poor breeding success. Mixed water regimes resulting from storms are currently unusual during the breeding period of these birds, but are expected to become more frequent due to climate change.

  18. Effects of metal burden and food avoidance on the transfer of metals from naturally contaminated prey to a marine predator Nassarius siquijorensis.

    PubMed

    Guo, Feng; Yang, Lulu; Wang, Wen-Xiong

    2013-05-15

    Nassarid snails are important opportunistic scavengers widely found in marine intertidal shores and trophic transfer is a predominant source of metal accumulation in these species, thus there is a significant need to understand the controls of metal trophic transfer. In the present study, we took advantage of a severely contaminated estuary and collected two prey organisms (oysters Crassostrea angulata and barnacles Fistulobalanus albicostatus) with different contamination histories. These naturally contaminated prey were fed to a marine neogastropod Nassarius siquijorensis for a period of up to 7 weeks. We then investigated the influences of prey type, metal burden, and subcellular distribution in the prey on the metal accumulation, trophic transfer, and potential toxicity on N. siquijorensis. We demonstrated an obvious negative relationship between the trophic transfer and the metal concentration in prey or the metal dosage. N. siquijorensis exhibited food avoidance behavior to the Cu contaminated food, which effectively reduced the metal ingestion and resulted in a decrease of trophic transfer, as well as a potential toxic effect from dietary exposure. On the other hand, our results also implied the metal-specific impact of subcellular metal distribution in prey on the trophic transfer to N. siquijorensis. Our study suggested that metal burden and feeding avoidance should be considered in studying the trophic transfer of metals in marine benthic food chain.

  19. Tameness and stress physiology in a predator-naive island species confronted with novel predation threat.

    PubMed

    Rödl, Thomas; Berger, Silke; Romero, L Michael; Wikelski, Martin

    2007-02-22

    Tame behaviour, i.e. low wariness, in terrestrial island species is often attributed to low predation pressure. However, we know little about its physiological control and its flexibility in the face of predator introductions. Marine iguanas (Amblyrhynchus cristatus) on the Galapagos Islands are a good model to study the physiological correlates of low wariness. They have lived virtually without predation for 5-15 Myr until some populations were first confronted with feral cats and dogs some 150 years ago. We tested whether and to what extent marine iguanas can adjust their behaviour and endocrine stress response to novel predation threats. Here, we show that a corticosterone stress response to experimental chasing is absent in naive animals, but is quickly restored with experience. Initially, low wariness also increases with experience, but remains an order of magnitude too low to allow successful escape from introduced predators. Our data suggest that the ability of marine iguanas to cope with predator introductions is limited by narrow reaction norms for behavioural wariness rather than by constraints in the underlying physiological stress system. In general, we predict that island endemics show flexible physiological stress responses but are restricted by narrow behavioural plasticity.

  20. Tameness and stress physiology in a predator-naive island species confronted with novel predation threat

    PubMed Central

    Rödl, Thomas; Berger, Silke; Michael Romero, L; Wikelski, Martin

    2006-01-01

    Tame behaviour, i.e. low wariness, in terrestrial island species is often attributed to low predation pressure. However, we know little about its physiological control and its flexibility in the face of predator introductions. Marine iguanas (Amblyrhynchus cristatus) on the Galápagos Islands are a good model to study the physiological correlates of low wariness. They have lived virtually without predation for 5–15 Myr until some populations were first confronted with feral cats and dogs some 150 years ago. We tested whether and to what extent marine iguanas can adjust their behaviour and endocrine stress response to novel predation threats. Here, we show that a corticosterone stress response to experimental chasing is absent in naive animals, but is quickly restored with experience. Initially, low wariness also increases with experience, but remains an order of magnitude too low to allow successful escape from introduced predators. Our data suggest that the ability of marine iguanas to cope with predator introductions is limited by narrow reaction norms for behavioural wariness rather than by constraints in the underlying physiological stress system. In general, we predict that island endemics show flexible physiological stress responses but are restricted by narrow behavioural plasticity. PMID:17476779

  1. Post-Breeding Season Migrations of a Top Predator, the Harbor Seal (Phoca vitulina richardii), from a Marine Protected Area in Alaska

    PubMed Central

    Womble, Jamie N.; Gende, Scott M.

    2013-01-01

    Marine protected areas (MPAs) are increasingly being used as a conservation tool for highly mobile marine vertebrates and the focus is typically on protecting breeding areas where individuals are aggregated seasonally. Yet movements during the non-breeding season can overlap with threats that may be equally as important to population dynamics. Thus understanding habitat use and movements of species during the non-breeding periods is critical for conservation. Glacier Bay National Park, Alaska, is one of the largest marine mammal protected areas in the world and has the only enforceable protection measures for reducing disturbance to harbor seals in the United States. Yet harbor seals have declined by up to 11.5%/year from 1992 to 2009. We used satellite-linked transmitters that were attached to 37 female harbor seals to quantify the post-breeding season migrations of seals and the amount of time that seals spent inside vs. outside of the MPA of Glacier Bay. Harbor seals traveled extensively beyond the boundaries of the MPA of Glacier Bay during the post-breeding season, encompassing an area (25,325 km2) significantly larger than that used by seals during the breeding season (8,125 km2). These movements included the longest migration yet recorded for a harbor seal (3,411 km) and extended use (up to 23 days) of pelagic areas by some seals. Although the collective utilization distribution of harbor seals during the post-breeding season was quite expansive, there was a substantial degree of individual variability in the percentage of days that seals spent in the MPA. Nevertheless, harbor seals demonstrated a high degree of inter-annual site fidelity (93%) to Glacier Bay the following breeding season. Our results highlight the importance of understanding the threats that seals may interact with outside of the boundaries of the MPA of Glacier Bay for understanding population dynamics of seals in Glacier Bay. PMID:23457468

  2. Post-breeding season migrations of a top predator, the harbor seal (Phoca vitulina richardii), from a marine protected area in Alaska.

    PubMed

    Womble, Jamie N; Gende, Scott M

    2013-01-01

    Marine protected areas (MPAs) are increasingly being used as a conservation tool for highly mobile marine vertebrates and the focus is typically on protecting breeding areas where individuals are aggregated seasonally. Yet movements during the non-breeding season can overlap with threats that may be equally as important to population dynamics. Thus understanding habitat use and movements of species during the non-breeding periods is critical for conservation. Glacier Bay National Park, Alaska, is one of the largest marine mammal protected areas in the world and has the only enforceable protection measures for reducing disturbance to harbor seals in the United States. Yet harbor seals have declined by up to 11.5%/year from 1992 to 2009. We used satellite-linked transmitters that were attached to 37 female harbor seals to quantify the post-breeding season migrations of seals and the amount of time that seals spent inside vs. outside of the MPA of Glacier Bay. Harbor seals traveled extensively beyond the boundaries of the MPA of Glacier Bay during the post-breeding season, encompassing an area (25,325 km(2)) significantly larger than that used by seals during the breeding season (8,125 km(2)). These movements included the longest migration yet recorded for a harbor seal (3,411 km) and extended use (up to 23 days) of pelagic areas by some seals. Although the collective utilization distribution of harbor seals during the post-breeding season was quite expansive, there was a substantial degree of individual variability in the percentage of days that seals spent in the MPA. Nevertheless, harbor seals demonstrated a high degree of inter-annual site fidelity (93%) to Glacier Bay the following breeding season. Our results highlight the importance of understanding the threats that seals may interact with outside of the boundaries of the MPA of Glacier Bay for understanding population dynamics of seals in Glacier Bay.

  3. Bio-rescue of marine environments: On the track of microbially-based metal/metalloid remediation.

    PubMed

    Marques, Catarina R

    2016-09-15

    The recent awareness of the huge relevance of marine resources and ecological services is driving regulatory demands for their protection from overwhelming contaminants, such as metals/metalloids. These contaminants enter and accumulate in different marine niches, hence deeply compromising their quality and integrity. Bioremediation has been flourishing to counteract metal/metalloid impacts, since it provides cost-effective and sustainable options by relying on ecology-based technologies. The potential of marine microbes for metal/metalloid bioremediation is the core of many studies, due to their high plasticity to overcome successive environmental hurdles. However, any thorough review on the advances of metal/metalloid bioremediation in marine environments was so far unveiled. This review is designed to (i) outline the characteristics and potential of marine microbes for metal/metalloid bioremediation, (ii) describe the underlying pathways of resistance and detoxification, as well as useful methodologies for their characterization, (iii) identify major bottlenecks on metal/metalloid bioremediation with marine microbes, (iv) present alternative strategies based on microbial consortia and engineered microbes for enhanced bioremediation, and (v) propose key research avenues to keep pace with a changing society, science and economy in a sustainable manner.

  4. Direct Tracking and Compound-Specific Stable Isotope Analysis Identifies Dispersal Routes and Cryptic Latitudinal Trends in the Winter Distribution of Two Antarctic Penguin Species

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Polito, M. J.; Houghton, L. A.; Hinke, J.; Thorrold, S.

    2016-02-01

    Animal dispersal behaviors have both ecological and evolutionary significance. However, due to the logistical challenges of tracking animals in the Antarctic marine environment little is known about the winter dispersal and migration of Antarctic marine predators. We used a combination of direct tracking (Geolocation sensors; GLS) and compound-specific stable isotope analysis of carbon in essential amino acids (CSIA-AA) to describe the winter distribution of two wide-ranging marine predators, the Adélie penguin (Pygoscelis adeliae) and chinstrap penguin (P. antarctica) along the Antarctic Peninsula and Scotia Arc. GLS and CSIA-AA identified two general migration strategies, with animals overwintering to the east or west of the Antarctic Peninsula, with CSIA-AA also being able to discriminate between ice-free vs. pack-ice habitats. In addition, CSIA-AA provided the ability to assign non GLS-tracked chinstrap penguins from multiple breeding sites across the Scotia Arc to specific over-wintering areas. This provided a first ever, regional-scale analyses of the winter movements and distributions of the species and identified a cryptic latitudinal trend that would have been otherwise undetectable. Breeding colonies farther north were more likely to have individuals dispersing eastwards relative to colonies further south where most individual dispersed westwards, possibly due to a combination of proximity and competition avoidance. Finally we highlight how CSIA-AA approaches can be applied to other studies of the distribution and ecology of marine top predators.

  5. Foraging in the darkness of the Southern Ocean: influence of bioluminescence on a deep diving predator.

    PubMed

    Vacquié-Garcia, Jade; Royer, François; Dragon, Anne-Cécile; Viviant, Morgane; Bailleul, Frédéric; Guinet, Christophe

    2012-01-01

    How non-echolocating deep diving marine predators locate their prey while foraging remains mostly unknown. Female southern elephant seals (SES) (Mirounga leonina) have vision adapted to low intensity light with a peak sensitivity at 485 nm. This matches the wavelength of bioluminescence produced by a large range of marine organisms including myctophid fish, SES's main prey. In this study, we investigated whether bioluminescence provides an accurate estimate of prey occurrence for SES. To do so, four SES were satellite-tracked during their post-breeding foraging trip and were equipped with Time-Depth-Recorders that also recorded light levels every two seconds. A total of 3386 dives were processed through a light-treatment model that detected light events higher than ambient level, i.e. bioluminescence events. The number of bioluminescence events was related to an index of foraging intensity for SES dives deep enough to avoid the influence of natural ambient light. The occurrence of bioluminescence was found to be negatively related to depth both at night and day. Foraging intensity was also positively related to bioluminescence both during day and night. This result suggests that bioluminescence likely provides SES with valuable indications of prey occurrence and might be a key element in predator-prey interactions in deep-dark marine environments.

  6. Foraging in the Darkness of the Southern Ocean: Influence of Bioluminescence on a Deep Diving Predator

    PubMed Central

    Vacquié-Garcia, Jade; Royer, François; Dragon, Anne-Cécile; Viviant, Morgane; Bailleul, Frédéric; Guinet, Christophe

    2012-01-01

    How non-echolocating deep diving marine predators locate their prey while foraging remains mostly unknown. Female southern elephant seals (SES) (Mirounga leonina) have vision adapted to low intensity light with a peak sensitivity at 485 nm. This matches the wavelength of bioluminescence produced by a large range of marine organisms including myctophid fish, SES’s main prey. In this study, we investigated whether bioluminescence provides an accurate estimate of prey occurrence for SES. To do so, four SES were satellite-tracked during their post-breeding foraging trip and were equipped with Time-Depth-Recorders that also recorded light levels every two seconds. A total of 3386 dives were processed through a light-treatment model that detected light events higher than ambient level, i.e. bioluminescence events. The number of bioluminescence events was related to an index of foraging intensity for SES dives deep enough to avoid the influence of natural ambient light. The occurrence of bioluminescence was found to be negatively related to depth both at night and day. Foraging intensity was also positively related to bioluminescence both during day and night. This result suggests that bioluminescence likely provides SES with valuable indications of prey occurrence and might be a key element in predator-prey interactions in deep-dark marine environments. PMID:22952706

  7. Bridging the gap from ocean models to population dynamics of large marine predators: A model of mid-trophic functional groups

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lehodey, Patrick; Murtugudde, Raghu; Senina, Inna

    2010-01-01

    The modeling of mid-trophic organisms of the pelagic ecosystem is a critical step in linking the coupled physical-biogeochemical models to population dynamics of large pelagic predators. Here, we provide an example of a modeling approach with definitions of several pelagic mid-trophic functional groups. This application includes six different groups characterized by their vertical behavior, i.e., occurrence of diel migration between epipelagic, mesopelagic and bathypelagic layers. Parameterization of the dynamics of these components is based on a temperature-linked time development relationship. Estimated parameters of this relationship are close to those predicted by a model based on a theoretical description of the allocation of metabolic energy at the cellular level, and that predicts a species metabolic rate in terms of its body mass and temperature. Then, a simple energy transfer from primary production is used, justified by the existence of constant slopes in log-log biomass size spectrum relationships. Recruitment, ageing, mortality and passive transport with horizontal currents, taking into account vertical behavior of organisms, are modeled by a system of advection-diffusion-reaction equations. Temperature and currents averaged in each vertical layer are provided independently by an Ocean General Circulation Model and used to drive the mid-trophic level (MTL) model. Simulation outputs are presented for the tropical Pacific Ocean to illustrate how different temperature and oceanic circulation conditions result in spatial and temporal lags between regions of high primary production and regions of aggregation of mid-trophic biomass. Predicted biomasses are compared against available data. Data requirements to evaluate outputs of these types of models are discussed, as well as the prospects that they offer both for ecosystem models of lower and upper trophic levels.

  8. Delayed recovery of non-marine tetrapods after the end-Permian mass extinction tracks global carbon cycle

    PubMed Central

    Irmis, Randall B.; Whiteside, Jessica H.

    2012-01-01

    During the end-Permian mass extinction, marine ecosystems suffered a major drop in diversity, which was maintained throughout the Early Triassic until delayed recovery during the Middle Triassic. This depressed diversity in the Early Triassic correlates with multiple major perturbations to the global carbon cycle, interpreted as either intrinsic ecosystem or external palaeoenvironmental effects. In contrast, the terrestrial record of extinction and recovery is less clear; the effects and magnitude of the end-Permian extinction on non-marine vertebrates are particularly controversial. We use specimen-level data from southern Africa and Russia to investigate the palaeodiversity dynamics of non-marine tetrapods across the Permo-Triassic boundary by analysing sample-standardized generic richness, evenness and relative abundance. In addition, we investigate the potential effects of sampling, geological and taxonomic biases on these data. Our analyses demonstrate that non-marine tetrapods were severely affected by the end-Permian mass extinction, and that these assemblages did not begin to recover until the Middle Triassic. These data are congruent with those from land plants and marine invertebrates. Furthermore, they are consistent with the idea that unstable low-diversity post-extinction ecosystems were subject to boom–bust cycles, reflected in multiple Early Triassic perturbations of the carbon cycle. PMID:22031757

  9. Delayed recovery of non-marine tetrapods after the end-Permian mass extinction tracks global carbon cycle.

    PubMed

    Irmis, Randall B; Whiteside, Jessica H

    2012-04-07

    During the end-Permian mass extinction, marine ecosystems suffered a major drop in diversity, which was maintained throughout the Early Triassic until delayed recovery during the Middle Triassic. This depressed diversity in the Early Triassic correlates with multiple major perturbations to the global carbon cycle, interpreted as either intrinsic ecosystem or external palaeoenvironmental effects. In contrast, the terrestrial record of extinction and recovery is less clear; the effects and magnitude of the end-Permian extinction on non-marine vertebrates are particularly controversial. We use specimen-level data from southern Africa and Russia to investigate the palaeodiversity dynamics of non-marine tetrapods across the Permo-Triassic boundary by analysing sample-standardized generic richness, evenness and relative abundance. In addition, we investigate the potential effects of sampling, geological and taxonomic biases on these data. Our analyses demonstrate that non-marine tetrapods were severely affected by the end-Permian mass extinction, and that these assemblages did not begin to recover until the Middle Triassic. These data are congruent with those from land plants and marine invertebrates. Furthermore, they are consistent with the idea that unstable low-diversity post-extinction ecosystems were subject to boom-bust cycles, reflected in multiple Early Triassic perturbations of the carbon cycle.

  10. How predation shapes the social interaction rules of shoaling fish

    PubMed Central

    Rosén, Emil; Ioannou, Christos C.; Rogell, Björn; Perna, Andrea; Ramnarine, Indar W.; Kolm, Niclas

    2017-01-01

    Predation is thought to shape the macroscopic properties of animal groups, making moving groups more cohesive and coordinated. Precisely how predation has shaped individuals' fine-scale social interactions in natural populations, however, is unknown. Using high-resolution tracking data of shoaling fish (Poecilia reticulata) from populations differing in natural predation pressure, we show how predation adapts individuals' social interaction rules. Fish originating from high predation environments formed larger, more cohesive, but not more polarized groups than fish from low predation environments. Using a new approach to detect the discrete points in time when individuals decide to update their movements based on the available social cues, we determine how these collective properties emerge from individuals' microscopic social interactions. We first confirm predictions that predation shapes the attraction–repulsion dynamic of these fish, reducing the critical distance at which neighbours move apart, or come back together. While we find strong evidence that fish align with their near neighbours, we do not find that predation shapes the strength or likelihood of these alignment tendencies. We also find that predation sharpens individuals' acceleration and deceleration responses, implying key perceptual and energetic differences associated with how individuals move in different predation regimes. Our results reveal how predation can shape the social interactions of individuals in groups, ultimately driving differences in groups' collective behaviour. PMID:28855361

  11. Lagrangian analysis of multi-satellite data in support of open ocean Marine Protected Area design

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Della Penna, Alice; Koubbi, Philippe; Cotté, Cedric; Bon, Cécile; Bost, Charles-André; d'Ovidio, Francesco

    2017-06-01

    Compared to ecosystem conservation in territorial seas, protecting the open ocean has peculiar geopolitical, economic and scientific challenges. One of the major obstacle is defining the boundary of an open ocean Marine Protected Area (MPA). In contrast to coastal ecosystems, which are mostly constrained by topographic structures fixed in time, the life of marine organisms in the open ocean is entrained by fluid dynamical structures like eddies and fronts, whose lifetime occurs on ecologically-relevant timescales. The position of these highly dynamical structures can vary interannually by hundreds of km, and so too will regions identified as ecologically relevant such as the foraging areas of marine predators. Thus, the expected foraging locations suggested from tracking data cannot be directly extrapolated beyond the year in which the data were collected. Here we explore the potential of Lagrangian methods applied to multisatellite data as a support tool for a MPA proposal by focusing on the Crozet archipelago oceanic area (Indian Sector of the Southern Ocean). By combining remote sensing with biologging information from a key marine top predator (Eudyptes chrysolophus, or Macaroni penguin) of the Southern Ocean foodweb, we identify a highly dynamic branch of the Subantarctic front as a foraging hotspot. By tracking this feature in historical satellite data (1993-2012) we are able to extrapolate the position of this foraging ground beyond the years in which tracking data are available and study its spatial variability.

  12. Predation at the Shore.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cook, Helen M.; Matthews, Catherine E.; Hildreth, David P.; Couch, Emma

    2003-01-01

    Describes 10 predator/prey relationships that occur on the coast. Predators are compared to criminals and prey to their victims along with details of crime scenes. Accurately describes the habits and habitats of the criminals and presents games and activities that feature the relationships between predators and their prey. (Author/SOE)

  13. Predation at the Shore.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cook, Helen M.; Matthews, Catherine E.; Hildreth, David P.; Couch, Emma

    2003-01-01

    Describes 10 predator/prey relationships that occur on the coast. Predators are compared to criminals and prey to their victims along with details of crime scenes. Accurately describes the habits and habitats of the criminals and presents games and activities that feature the relationships between predators and their prey. (Author/SOE)

  14. Testing the threat-sensitive predator avoidance hypothesis: physiological responses and predator pressure in wild rabbits.

    PubMed

    Monclús, Raquel; Palomares, Francisco; Tablado, Zulima; Martínez-Fontúrbel, Ana; Palme, Rupert

    2009-01-01

    Predation is a strong selective force with both direct and indirect effects on an animal's fitness. In order to increase the chances of survival, animals have developed different antipredator strategies. However, these strategies have associated costs, so animals should assess their actual risk of predation and shape their antipredator effort accordingly. Under a stressful situation, such as the presence of predators, animals display a physiological stress response that might be proportional to the risk perceived. We tested this hypothesis in wild European rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus), subjected to different predator pressures, in Doñana National Park (Spain). We measured the concentrations of fecal corticosterone metabolites (FCM) in 20 rabbit populations. By means of track censuses we obtained indexes of mammalian predator presence for each rabbit population. Other factors that could modify the physiological stress response, such as breeding status, food availability and rabbit density, were also considered. Model selection based on information theory showed that predator pressure was the main factor triggering the glucocorticoid release and that the physiological stress response was positively correlated with the indexes of the presence of mammalian carnivore predators. Other factors, such as food availability and density of rabbits, were considerably less important. We conclude that rabbits are able to assess their actual risk of predation and show a threat-sensitive physiological response.

  15. HUMAN IMPACTS. The unique ecology of human predators.

    PubMed

    Darimont, Chris T; Fox, Caroline H; Bryan, Heather M; Reimchen, Thomas E

    2015-08-21

    Paradigms of sustainable exploitation focus on population dynamics of prey and yields to humanity but ignore the behavior of humans as predators. We compared patterns of predation by contemporary hunters and fishers with those of other predators that compete over shared prey (terrestrial mammals and marine fishes). Our global survey (2125 estimates of annual finite exploitation rate) revealed that humans kill adult prey, the reproductive capital of populations, at much higher median rates than other predators (up to 14 times higher), with particularly intense exploitation of terrestrial carnivores and fishes. Given this competitive dominance, impacts on predators, and other unique predatory behavior, we suggest that humans function as an unsustainable "super predator," which—unless additionally constrained by managers—will continue to alter ecological and evolutionary processes globally.

  16. Seabird diversity hotspot linked to ocean productivity in the Canary Current Large Marine Ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Grecian, W James; Witt, Matthew J; Attrill, Martin J; Bearhop, Stuart; Becker, Peter H; Egevang, Carsten; Furness, Robert W; Godley, Brendan J; González-Solís, Jacob; Grémillet, David; Kopp, Matthias; Lescroël, Amélie; Matthiopoulos, Jason; Patrick, Samantha C; Peter, Hans-Ulrich; Phillips, Richard A; Stenhouse, Iain J; Votier, Stephen C

    2016-08-01

    Upwelling regions are highly productive habitats targeted by wide-ranging marine predators and industrial fisheries. In this study, we track the migratory movements of eight seabird species from across the Atlantic; quantify overlap with the Canary Current Large Marine Ecosystem (CCLME) and determine the habitat characteristics that drive this association. Our results indicate the CCLME is a biodiversity hotspot for migratory seabirds; all tracked species and more than 70% of individuals used this upwelling region. Relative species richness peaked in areas where sea surface temperature averaged between 15 and 20°C, and correlated positively with chlorophyll a, revealing the optimum conditions driving bottom-up trophic effects for seabirds. Marine vertebrates are not confined by international boundaries, making conservation challenging. However, by linking diversity to ocean productivity, our research reveals the significance of the CCLME for seabird populations from across the Atlantic, making it a priority for conservation action.

  17. Seabird diversity hotspot linked to ocean productivity in the Canary Current Large Marine Ecosystem

    PubMed Central

    Attrill, Martin J.; Becker, Peter H.; Egevang, Carsten; Furness, Robert W.; Grémillet, David; Kopp, Matthias; Lescroël, Amélie; Matthiopoulos, Jason; Peter, Hans-Ulrich; Phillips, Richard A.

    2016-01-01

    Upwelling regions are highly productive habitats targeted by wide-ranging marine predators and industrial fisheries. In this study, we track the migratory movements of eight seabird species from across the Atlantic; quantify overlap with the Canary Current Large Marine Ecosystem (CCLME) and determine the habitat characteristics that drive this association. Our results indicate the CCLME is a biodiversity hotspot for migratory seabirds; all tracked species and more than 70% of individuals used this upwelling region. Relative species richness peaked in areas where sea surface temperature averaged between 15 and 20°C, and correlated positively with chlorophyll a, revealing the optimum conditions driving bottom-up trophic effects for seabirds. Marine vertebrates are not confined by international boundaries, making conservation challenging. However, by linking diversity to ocean productivity, our research reveals the significance of the CCLME for seabird populations from across the Atlantic, making it a priority for conservation action. PMID:27531154

  18. Interactive effects of ocean acidification and rising sea temperatures alter predation rate and predator selectivity in reef fish communities.

    PubMed

    Ferrari, Maud C O; Munday, Philip L; Rummer, Jodie L; McCormick, Mark I; Corkill, Katherine; Watson, Sue-Ann; Allan, Bridie J M; Meekan, Mark G; Chivers, Douglas P

    2015-05-01

    Ocean warming and acidification are serious threats to marine life. While each stressor alone has been studied in detail, their combined effects on the outcome of ecological interactions are poorly understood. We measured predation rates and predator selectivity of two closely related species of damselfish exposed to a predatory dottyback. We found temperature and CO2 interacted synergistically on overall predation rate, but antagonistically on predator selectivity. Notably, elevated CO2 or temperature alone reversed predator selectivity, but the interaction between the two stressors cancelled selectivity. Routine metabolic rates of the two prey showed strong species differences in tolerance to CO2 and not temperature, but these differences did not correlate with recorded mortality. This highlights the difficulty of linking species-level physiological tolerance to resulting ecological outcomes. This study is the first to document both synergistic and antagonistic effects of elevated CO2 and temperature on a crucial ecological process like predator-prey dynamics. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  19. Time-delay test of general relativity and Earth-Mars ephemeris improvement from analysis of Mariner 9 tracking data

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Shapiro, I. I.; Reasenberg, R. D.

    1973-01-01

    Because of the large systematic errors that accompany the conversion of spacecraft ranging data to equivalent Earth-Mars time delays, the corresponding determination of gamma does not now allow the predictions of general relativity to be distinguished from those of the Brans-Dicke scalar-tensor theory with the fraction s of scalar field admixture being 0.06. The uncertainty in the determination of (1 plus gamma)/2 at the present stage of the Mariner 9 data analysis is at about the 10% level. The ephemeris of Mars suffers from the same problem: Only with the elimination of a major fraction of the systematic errors affecting the Mariner 9 pseudo observables will a truly substantial improvement be possible in the determination of the orbit.

  20. Fatal attraction? Intraguild facilitation and suppression among predators

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sivy, Kelly J.; Pozzanghera, Casey B.; Grace, James B.; Prugh, Laura R.

    2017-01-01

    Competition and suppression are recognized as dominant forces that structure predator communities. Facilitation via carrion provisioning, however, is a ubiquitous interaction among predators that could offset the strength of suppression. Understanding the relative importance of these positive and negative interactions is necessary to anticipate community-wide responses to apex predator declines and recoveries worldwide. Using state-sponsored wolf (Canis lupus) control in Alaska as a quasi experiment, we conducted snow track surveys of apex, meso-, and small predators to test for evidence of carnivore cascades (e.g., mesopredator release). We analyzed survey data using an integrative occupancy and structural equation modeling framework to quantify the strengths of hypothesized interaction pathways, and we evaluated fine-scale spatiotemporal responses of nonapex predators to wolf activity clusters identified from radio-collar data. Contrary to the carnivore cascade hypothesis, both meso- and small predator occupancy patterns indicated guild-wide, negative responses of nonapex predators to wolf abundance variations at the landscape scale. At the local scale, however, we observed a near guild-wide, positive response of nonapex predators to localized wolf activity. Local-scale association with apex predators due to scavenging could lead to landscape patterns of mesopredator suppression, suggesting a key link between occupancy patterns and the structure of predator communities at different spatial scales.

  1. Marine Animal Sound Database. Twelve Years of Tracking 52-Hz Whale Calls from a Unique Source in the North Pacific

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2007-11-02

    THIS PAGE ABSTRACT OF William A. Watkins PAGESUnclass Unclass Unclass UL 19b. TELEPHONE NUMBER Ilnclude area code) (508) 289-3258 (Mary Ann Daher ...ABSTRACTS: In Press: Watkins, W.A., Daher , M.A. and George, J.E. 2004. Twelve years of tracking 52-Hz whale calls from a unique source in the North...Watkins, Mary Ann Daher *, Joseph E. George, David Rodriguez Woodv Hole Oceanographic Institution. MS 36, Woodv Hole, MA 02543, USA Received 2 March 2004

  2. Anthropogenic noise increases fish mortality by predation

    PubMed Central

    Simpson, Stephen D.; Radford, Andrew N.; Nedelec, Sophie L.; Ferrari, Maud C. O.; Chivers, Douglas P.; McCormick, Mark I.; Meekan, Mark G.

    2016-01-01

    Noise-generating human activities affect hearing, communication and movement in terrestrial and aquatic animals, but direct evidence for impacts on survival is rare. We examined effects of motorboat noise on post-settlement survival and physiology of a prey fish species and its performance when exposed to predators. Both playback of motorboat noise and direct disturbance by motorboats elevated metabolic rate in Ambon damselfish (Pomacentrus amboinensis), which when stressed by motorboat noise responded less often and less rapidly to simulated predatory strikes. Prey were captured more readily by their natural predator (dusky dottyback, Pseudochromis fuscus) during exposure to motorboat noise compared with ambient conditions, and more than twice as many prey were consumed by the predator in field experiments when motorboats were passing. Our study suggests that a common source of noise in the marine environment has the potential to impact fish demography, highlighting the need to include anthropogenic noise in management plans. PMID:26847493

  3. Anthropogenic noise increases fish mortality by predation.

    PubMed

    Simpson, Stephen D; Radford, Andrew N; Nedelec, Sophie L; Ferrari, Maud C O; Chivers, Douglas P; McCormick, Mark I; Meekan, Mark G

    2016-02-05

    Noise-generating human activities affect hearing, communication and movement in terrestrial and aquatic animals, but direct evidence for impacts on survival is rare. We examined effects of motorboat noise on post-settlement survival and physiology of a prey fish species and its performance when exposed to predators. Both playback of motorboat noise and direct disturbance by motorboats elevated metabolic rate in Ambon damselfish (Pomacentrus amboinensis), which when stressed by motorboat noise responded less often and less rapidly to simulated predatory strikes. Prey were captured more readily by their natural predator (dusky dottyback, Pseudochromis fuscus) during exposure to motorboat noise compared with ambient conditions, and more than twice as many prey were consumed by the predator in field experiments when motorboats were passing. Our study suggests that a common source of noise in the marine environment has the potential to impact fish demography, highlighting the need to include anthropogenic noise in management plans.

  4. Fish with chips: tracking reef fish movements to evaluate size and connectivity of Caribbean marine protected areas.

    PubMed

    Pittman, Simon J; Monaco, Mark E; Friedlander, Alan M; Legare, Bryan; Nemeth, Richard S; Kendall, Matthew S; Poti, Matthew; Clark, Randall D; Wedding, Lisa M; Caldow, Chris

    2014-01-01

    Coral reefs and associated fish populations have experienced rapid decline in the Caribbean region and marine protected areas (MPAs) have been widely implemented to address this decline. The performance of no-take MPAs (i.e., marine reserves) for protecting and rebuilding fish populations is influenced by the movement of animals within and across their boundaries. Very little is known about Caribbean reef fish movements creating a critical knowledge gap that can impede effective MPA design, performance and evaluation. Using miniature implanted acoustic transmitters and a fixed acoustic receiver array, we address three key questions: How far can reef fish move? Does connectivity exist between adjacent MPAs? Does existing MPA size match the spatial scale of reef fish movements? We show that many reef fishes are capable of traveling far greater distances and in shorter duration than was previously known. Across the Puerto Rican Shelf, more than half of our 163 tagged fish (18 species of 10 families) moved distances greater than 1 km with three fish moving more than 10 km in a single day and a quarter spending time outside of MPAs. We provide direct evidence of ecological connectivity across a network of MPAs, including estimated movements of more than 40 km connecting a nearshore MPA with a shelf-edge spawning aggregation. Most tagged fish showed high fidelity to MPAs, but also spent time outside MPAs, potentially contributing to spillover. Three-quarters of our fish were capable of traveling distances that would take them beyond the protection offered by at least 40-64% of the existing eastern Caribbean MPAs. We recommend that key species movement patterns be used to inform and evaluate MPA functionality and design, particularly size and shape. A re-scaling of our perception of Caribbean reef fish mobility and habitat use is imperative, with important implications for ecology and management effectiveness.

  5. Fish with Chips: Tracking Reef Fish Movements to Evaluate Size and Connectivity of Caribbean Marine Protected Areas

    PubMed Central

    Pittman, Simon J.; Monaco, Mark E.; Friedlander, Alan M.; Legare, Bryan; Nemeth, Richard S.; Kendall, Matthew S.; Poti, Matthew; Clark, Randall D.; Wedding, Lisa M.; Caldow, Chris

    2014-01-01

    Coral reefs and associated fish populations have experienced rapid decline in the Caribbean region and marine protected areas (MPAs) have been widely implemented to address this decline. The performance of no-take MPAs (i.e., marine reserves) for protecting and rebuilding fish populations is influenced by the movement of animals within and across their boundaries. Very little is known about Caribbean reef fish movements creating a critical knowledge gap that can impede effective MPA design, performance and evaluation. Using miniature implanted acoustic transmitters and a fixed acoustic receiver array, we address three key questions: How far can reef fish move? Does connectivity exist between adjacent MPAs? Does existing MPA size match the spatial scale of reef fish movements? We show that many reef fishes are capable of traveling far greater distances and in shorter duration than was previously known. Across the Puerto Rican Shelf, more than half of our 163 tagged fish (18 species of 10 families) moved distances greater than 1 km with three fish moving more than 10 km in a single day and a quarter spending time outside of MPAs. We provide direct evidence of ecological connectivity across a network of MPAs, including estimated movements of more than 40 km connecting a nearshore MPA with a shelf-edge spawning aggregation. Most tagged fish showed high fidelity to MPAs, but also spent time outside MPAs, potentially contributing to spillover. Three-quarters of our fish were capable of traveling distances that would take them beyond the protection offered by at least 40–64% of the existing eastern Caribbean MPAs. We recommend that key species movement patterns be used to inform and evaluate MPA functionality and design, particularly size and shape. A re-scaling of our perception of Caribbean reef fish mobility and habitat use is imperative, with important implications for ecology and management effectiveness. PMID:24797815

  6. A comparison of indirect measures of feeding behaviour based on ARGOS tracking data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Robinson, P. W.; Tremblay, Y.; Crocker, D. E.; Kappes, M. A.; Kuhn, C. E.; Shaffer, S. A.; Simmons, S. E.; Costa, D. P.

    2007-02-01

    ARGOS tracking data are frequently used to infer feeding locations of marine predators. Most track-based methods rely on the assumption that feeding takes place within regions of area-restricted search (ARS); however, it is unclear whether the spatial accuracy and temporal resolution of ARGOS-quality data are sufficient to extract the location of ARSs at the resolution of individual feeding bouts. Using ARGOS tracking data from northern elephant seals ( Mirounga angustirostris) and Laysan albatrosses ( Phoebastria immutabilis), we tested several track-based estimators of feeding locations against independent feeding proxies (dive type or shape and number of landing events). The track-based methods were: turn angle, transit rate, first-passage time, and fractal dimension. None of these methods provided a reliable estimate of putative feeding activity at the species level, as measured by dive-type analysis or landing events. At the individual level, variation in agreement between track-based estimates and feeding proxies highlighted the importance of considering the effect of spatial scale. Biological justification of track-based metrics should be more carefully assessed before assigning particular functions to individual tracks (feeding/foraging/searching/transit) or groups of tracks (biological hotspots).

  7. Cascading top-down effects of changing oceanic predator abundances.

    PubMed

    Baum, Julia K; Worm, Boris

    2009-07-01

    1. Top-down control can be an important determinant of ecosystem structure and function, but in oceanic ecosystems, where cascading effects of predator depletions, recoveries, and invasions could be significant, such effects had rarely been demonstrated until recently. 2. Here we synthesize the evidence for oceanic top-down control that has emerged over the last decade, focusing on large, high trophic-level predators inhabiting continental shelves, seas, and the open ocean. 3. In these ecosystems, where controlled manipulations are largely infeasible, 'pseudo-experimental' analyses of predator-prey interactions that treat independent predator populations as 'replicates', and temporal or spatial contrasts in predator populations and climate as 'treatments', are increasingly employed to help disentangle predator effects from environmental variation and noise. 4. Substantial reductions in marine mammals, sharks, and piscivorous fishes have led to mesopredator and invertebrate predator increases. Conversely, abundant oceanic predators have suppressed prey abundances. Predation has also inhibited recovery of depleted species, sometimes through predator-prey role reversals. Trophic cascades have been initiated by oceanic predators linking to neritic food webs, but seem inconsistent in the pelagic realm with effects often attenuating at plankton. 5. Top-down control is not uniformly strong in the ocean, and appears contingent on the intensity and nature of perturbations to predator abundances. Predator diversity may dampen cascading effects except where nonselective fisheries deplete entire predator functional groups. In other cases, simultaneous exploitation of predator and prey can inhibit prey responses. Explicit consideration of anthropogenic modifications to oceanic foodwebs should help inform predictions about trophic control. 6. Synthesis and applications. Oceanic top-down control can have important socio-economic, conservation, and management implications as

  8. Tracking and data system support for the Mariner Mars 1971 mission. Prelaunch phase through first trajectory correction maneuver, volume 1

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Laeser, R. P.; Textor, G. P.; Kelly, L. B.; Kelly, M.

    1972-01-01

    The DSN command system provided the capability to enter commands in a computer at the deep space stations for transmission to the spacecraft. The high-rate telemetry system operated at 16,200 bits/sec. This system will permit return to DSS 14 of full-resolution television pictures from the spacecraft tape recorder, plus the other science experiment data, during the two playback periods of each Goldstone pass planned for each corresponding orbit. Other features included 4800 bits/sec modem high-speed data lines from all deep space stations to Space Flight Operations Facility (SFOF) and the Goddard Space Flight Center, as well as 50,000 bits/sec wideband data lines from DSS 14 to the SFOF, thus providing the capability for data flow of two 16,200 bits/sec high-rate telemetry data streams in real time. The TDS performed prelaunch training and testing and provided support for the Mariner Mars 1971/Mission Operations System training and testing. The facilities of the ETR, DSS 71, and stations of the MSFN provided flight support coverage at launch and during the near-earth phase. The DSSs 12, 14, 41, and 51 of the DSN provided the deep space phase support from 30 May 1971 through 4 June 1971.

  9. Tracking the critical offshore conditions leading to marine inundation via active learning of full-process based models

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rohmer, Jeremy; Idier, Deborah; Bulteau, Thomas; Paris, François

    2016-04-01

    From a risk management perspective, it can be of high interest to identify the critical set of offshore conditions that lead to inundation on key assets for the studied territory (e.g., assembly points, evacuation routes, hospitals, etc.). This inverse approach of risk assessment (Idier et al., NHESS, 2013) can be of primary importance either for the estimation of the coastal flood hazard return period or for constraining the early warning networks based on hydro-meteorological forecast or observations. However, full-process based models for coastal flooding simulation have very large computational time cost (typically of several hours), which often limits the analysis to a few scenarios. Recently, it has been shown that meta-modelling approaches can efficiently handle this difficulty (e.g., Rohmer & Idier, NHESS, 2012). Yet, the full-process based models are expected to present strong non-linearities (non-regularities) or shocks (discontinuities), i.e. dynamics controlled by thresholds. For instance, in case of coastal defense, the dynamics is characterized first by a linear behavior of the waterline position (increase with increasing offshore conditions), as long as there is no overtopping, and then by a very strong increase (as soon as the offshore conditions are energetic enough to lead to wave overtopping, and then overflow). Such behavior might make the training phase of the meta-model very tedious. In the present study, we propose to explore the feasibility of active learning techniques, aka semi-supervised machine learning, to track the set of critical conditions with a reduced number of long-running simulations. The basic idea relies on identifying the simulation scenarios which should both reduce the meta-model error and improve the prediction of the critical contour of interest. To overcome the afore-described difficulty related to non-regularity, we rely on Support Vector Machines, which have shown very high performance for structural reliability

  10. Let's go beyond taxonomy in diet description: testing a trait-based approach to prey-predator relationships.

    PubMed

    Spitz, Jérôme; Ridoux, Vincent; Brind'Amour, Anik

    2014-09-01

    Understanding 'Why a prey is a prey for a given predator?' can be facilitated through trait-based approaches that identify linkages between prey and predator morphological and ecological characteristics and highlight key functions involved in prey selection. Enhanced understanding of the functional relationships between predators and their prey is now essential to go beyond the traditional taxonomic framework of dietary studies and to improve our knowledge of ecosystem functioning for wildlife conservation and management. We test the relevance of a three-matrix approach in foraging ecology among a marine mammal community in the northeast Atlantic to identify the key functional traits shaping prey selection processes regardless of the taxonomy of both the predators and prey. Our study reveals that prey found in the diet of marine mammals possess functional traits which are directly and significantly linked to predator characteristics, allowing the establishment of a functional typology of marine mammal-prey relationships. We found prey selection of marine mammals was primarily shaped by physiological and morphological traits of both predators and prey, confirming that energetic costs of foraging strategies and muscular performance are major drivers of prey selection in marine mammals. We demonstrate that trait-based approaches can provide a new definition of the resource needs of predators. This framework can be used to anticipate bottom-up effects on marine predator population dynamics and to identify predators which are sensitive to the loss of key prey functional traits when prey availability is reduced.

  11. Ocean Tracks: College Edition - Promoting Data Literacy in Science Education at the Undergraduate Level

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kochevar, R. E.; Krumhansl, R.; Louie, J.; Aluwihare, L.; Bardar, E. W.; Hirsch, L.; Hoyle, C.; Krumhansl, K.; Madura, J.; Mueller-Northcott, J.; Peach, C. L.; Trujillo, A.; Winney, B.; Zetterlind, V.

    2015-12-01

    Ocean Tracks is a Web-based interactive learning experience which allows users to explore the migrations of marine apex predators, and the way their behaviors relate to the physical and chemical environment surrounding them. Ocean Tracks provides access to data from the Tagging of Pelagic Predators (TOPP) program, NOAA's Global Drifter Program, and Earth-orbiting satellites via the Ocean Tracks interactive map interface; customized data analysis tools; multimedia supports; along with laboratory modules customized for undergraduate student use. It is part of a broader portfolio of projects comprising the Oceans of Data Institute, dedicated to transforming education to prepare citizens for a data-intensive world. Although originally developed for use in high school science classrooms, the Ocean Tracks interface and associated curriculum has generated interest among instructors at the undergraduate level, who wanted to engage their students in hands-on work with real scientific datasets. In 2014, EDC and the Scripps Institution of Oceanography received funding from NSF's IUSE program for Ocean Tracks: College Edition, to investigate how a learning model that includes a data interface, set of analysis tools, and curricula can be used to motivate students to learn and do science with real data; bringing opportunities to engage broad student populations, including both in-classroom and remote, on-line participants, in scientific practice. Phase 1, completed in the summer of 2015, was a needs assessment, consisting of a survey and interviews with students in oceanography classes at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography and Palomar Community College; a document review of course syllabi and primary textbooks used in current college marine science courses across the country; and interviews and a national survey of marine science faculty. We will present the results of this work, and will discuss new curriculum materials that are being classroom tested in the fall of 2015.

  12. Predator identity can explain nest predation patterns. Chapter 11

    Treesearch

    Jennifer L. Reidy; Frank R., III Thompson

    2012-01-01

    Knowledge of dominant predators is necessary to identify predation patterns and mitigate losses to nest predation, especially for endangered songbirds. We monitored songbird nests with timelapse infrared video cameras at Fort Hood Military Reservation, Texas, from 1997 to 2002 and 2005, and in Austin, Texas, during 2005, 2006, 2008, and 2009. Predation was the most...

  13. Plankton reach new heights in effort to avoid predators.

    PubMed

    Gemmell, Brad J; Jiang, Houshuo; Strickler, J Rudi; Buskey, Edward J

    2012-07-22

    The marine environment associated with the air-water interface (neuston) provides an important food source to pelagic organisms where subsurface prey is limited. However, studies on predator-prey interactions within this environment are lacking. Copepods are known to produce strong escape jumps in response to predators, but must contend with a low-Reynolds-number environment where viscous forces limit escape distance. All previous work on copepod interaction with predators has focused on a liquid environment. Here, we describe a novel anti-predator behaviour in two neustonic copepod species, where individuals frequently exit the water surface and travel many times their own body length through air to avoid predators. Using both field recordings with natural predators and high-speed laboratory recordings, we obtain detailed kinematics of this behaviour, and estimate energetic cost associated with this behaviour. We demonstrate that despite losing up to 88 per cent of their initial kinetic energy, copepods that break the water surface travel significantly further than those escaping underwater and successfully exit the perceptive field of the predator. This behaviour provides an effective defence mechanism against subsurface-feeding visual predators and the results provide insight into trophic interactions within the neustonic environment.

  14. Predator swamping reduces predation risk during nocturnal migration of juvenile salmon in a high-mortality landscape.

    PubMed

    Furey, Nathan B; Hinch, Scott G; Bass, Arthur L; Middleton, Collin T; Minke-Martin, Vanessa; Lotto, Andrew G

    2016-07-01

    Animal migrations are costly and are often characterized by high predation risk for individuals. Three of the most oft-assumed mechanisms for reducing risk for migrants are swamping predators with high densities, specific timing of migrations and increased body size. Assessing the relative importance of these mechanisms in reducing predation risk particularly for migrants is generally lacking due to the difficulties in tracking the fate of individuals and population-level characteristics simultaneously. We used acoustic telemetry to track migration behaviour and survival of juvenile sockeye salmon (Oncorhynchus nerka) smolts released over a wide range of conspecific outmigration densities in a river associated with poor survival. The landscape was indeed high risk; smolt survival was poor (˜68%) over 13·5 km of river examined even though migration was rapid (generally <48 h). Our results demonstrate that smolts largely employ swamping of predators to reduce predation risk. Increased densities of co-migrant conspecifics dramatically improved survival of smolts. The strong propensity for nocturnal migration resulted in smolts pausing downstream movements until the next nightfall, greatly increasing relative migration durations for smolts that could not traverse the study area in a single night. Smolt size did not appear to impact predation risk, potentially due to unique characteristics of the system or our inability to tag the entire size range of outmigrants. Movement behaviours were important in traversing this high-risk landscape and provide rare evidence for swamping to effectively reduce individual predation risk.

  15. The Predator-Prey Relationship

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mitchell, Charles W.

    1977-01-01

    Many children develop a mistaken attitude about the predator-prey relationship in the ecosystem. Fairy tales portray the predator as evil or worthless. This article attempts to clarify the role of the predator by giving numerous examples of the value of predators. (MA)

  16. The effect of turbidity on recognition and generalization of predators and non-predators in aquatic ecosystems

    PubMed Central

    Chivers, Douglas P; Al-Batati, Fawaz; Brown, Grant E; Ferrari, Maud C O

    2013-01-01

    Recent anthropogenic activities have caused a considerable change in the turbidity of freshwater and marine ecosystems. Concomitant with such perturbations are changes in community composition. Understanding the mechanisms through which species interactions are influenced by anthropogenic change has come to the forefront of many ecological disciplines. Here, we examine how a change in the availability of visual information influences the behavior of prey fish exposed to potential predators and non-predators. When fathead minnows, Pimephales promelas, were conditioned to recognize predators and non-predators in clear water, they showed a highly sophisticated ability to distinguish predators from non-predators. However, when learning occurred under conditions of increased turbidity, the ability of the prey to learn and generalize recognition of predators and non-predators was severely impaired. Our work highlights that changes at the community level associated with anthropogenic perturbations may be mediated through altered trophic interactions, and highlights the need to closely examine behavioral interactions to understand how species interactions change. PMID:23467451

  17. Application of human and animal viral microbial source tracking tools in fresh and marine waters from five different geographical areas.

    PubMed

    Rusiñol, Marta; Fernandez-Cassi, Xavier; Hundesa, Ayalkibet; Vieira, Carmen; Kern, Anita; Eriksson, Irene; Ziros, Panos; Kay, David; Miagostovich, Marize; Vargha, Marta; Allard, Annika; Vantarakis, Apostolos; Wyn-Jones, Peter; Bofill-Mas, Sílvia; Girones, Rosina

    2014-08-01

    Integrated river basin management planning to mitigate the impacts of economic, demographic and climate change is an important issue for the future protection of water resources. Identifying sources of microbial contamination via the emerging science of Microbial Source Tracking (MST) plays a key role in risk assessment and the design of remediation strategies. Following an 18-month surveillance program within the EU-FP7-funded VIROCLIME project, specific MST tools were used to assess human markers such as adenoviruses (HAdV) and JC polyomaviruses (JCPyV) and porcine and bovine markers such as porcine adenoviruses (PAdV) and bovine polyomaviruses (BPyV) via quantification with real-time PCR to analyze surface water collected from five sites within different climatic zones: the Negro River (Brazil), Glafkos River (Greece), Tisza River (Hungary), Llobregat River (Spain) and Umeälven River (Sweden). The utility of the viral MST tools and the prevalence and abundance of specific human and animal viruses in the five river catchments and adjacent seawater, which is impacted by riverine contributions from the upstream catchments, were examined. In areas where no sanitation systems have been implemented, sewage can directly enter surface waters, and river water exhibited high viral loads; HAdV and JCPyV could be detected at mean concentrations of 10(5) and 10(4) Genome Copies/Liter (GC/L), respectively. In general, river water samples upstream of urban discharges presented lower human viral loads than downstream sampling sites, and those differences appeared to increase with urban populations but decrease in response to high river flow, as the elevated river water volume dilutes microbial loads. During dry seasons, river water flow decreases dramatically, and secondary effluents can represent the bulk of the riverine discharge. We also observed that ice cover that formed over the river during the winter in the studied areas in North Europe could preserve viral stability

  18. Predator diversity hotspots in the blue ocean.

    PubMed

    Worm, Boris; Lotze, Heike K; Myers, Ransom A

    2003-08-19

    Concentrations of biodiversity, or hotspots, represent conservation priorities in terrestrial ecosystems but remain largely unexplored in marine habitats. In the open ocean, many large predators such as tunas, sharks, billfishes, and sea turtles are of current conservation concern because of their vulnerability to overfishing and ecosystem role. Here we use scientific-observer records from pelagic longline fisheries in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans to show that oceanic predators concentrate in distinct diversity hotspots. Predator diversity consistently peaks at intermediate latitudes (20-30 degrees N and S), where tropical and temperate species ranges overlap. Individual hotspots are found close to prominent habitat features such as reefs, shelf breaks, or seamounts and often coincide with zooplankton and coral reef hotspots. Closed-area models in the northwest Atlantic predict that protection of hotspots outperforms other area closures in safeguarding threatened pelagic predators from ecological extinction. We conclude that the seemingly monotonous landscape of the open ocean shows rich structure in species diversity and that these features should be used to focus future conservation efforts.

  19. Predator interference and stability of predator-prey dynamics.

    PubMed

    Přibylová, Lenka; Berec, Luděk

    2015-08-01

    Predator interference, that is, a decline in the per predator consumption rate as predator density increases, is generally thought to promote predator-prey stability. Indeed, this has been demonstrated in many theoretical studies on predator-prey dynamics. In virtually all of these studies, the stabilization role is demonstrated as a weakening of the paradox of enrichment. With predator interference, stable limit cycles that appear as a result of environmental enrichment occur for higher values of the environmental carrying capacity of prey, and even a complete absence of the limit cycles can happen. Here we study predator-prey dynamics using the Rosenzweig-MacArthur-like model in which the Holling type II functional response has been replaced by a predator-dependent family which generalizes many of the commonly used descriptions of predator interference. By means of a bifurcation analysis we show that sufficiently strong predator interference may bring about another stabilizing mechanism. In particular, hysteresis combined with (dis)appearance of stable limit cycles imply abrupt increases in both the prey and predator densities and enhanced persistence and resilience of the predator-prey system. We encourage refitting the previously collected data on predator consumption rates as well as for conducting further predation experiments to see what functional response from the explored family is the most appropriate.

  20. Otters, Marine

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Estes, James A.; Bodkin, James L.; Ben-David, M.; Perrin, William F.; Würsing, Bernd; Thewissen, J.G.M.

    2009-01-01

    The otters (Mustelidae; Lutrinae) provide an exceptional perspective into the evolution of marine living by mammals. Most extant marine mammals (e.g. the cetaceans, pinnipeds, and sirenians) have been so highly modified by long periods of selection for life in the sea that they bear little resemblance to their terrestrial ancestors. Marine otters, in contrast, are more recent expatriates from freshwater habitats and some species still live in both environments. Contrasts among species within the otters, and among the otters, terrestrial mammals, and the more highly adapted pinnipeds and cetaceans provide powerful insights into mammalian adaptations to life in the sea (Estes, 1989). Among the marine mammals, sea otters (Enhydra lutris, Fig. 1) provide the clearest understanding of consumer-induced effects on ecosystem function. This is due in part to opportunities provided by history and in part to the relative ease with which shallow coastal systems where sea otters live can be observed and studied. Although more difficult to study than sea otters, other otter species reveal the connectivity among the marine, freshwater, and terrestrial systems. These three qualities of the otters – their comparative biology, their role as predators, and their role as agents of ecosystem connectivity – are what make them interesting to marine mammalogy.The following account provides a broad overview of the comparative biology and ecology of the otters, with particular emphasis on those species or populations that live in the sea. Sea otters are features prominently, in part because they live exclusively in the sea whereas other otters have obligate associations with freshwater and terrestrial environments (Kenyon, 1969; Riedman and Estes, 1990).

  1. Foraging Behavior of Subantarctic Fur Seals Supports Efficiency of a Marine Reserve’s Design

    PubMed Central

    Kirkman, Stephen P.; Yemane, Dawit G.; Lamont, Tarron; Meÿer, Michael A.; Pistorius, Pierre A.

    2016-01-01

    Foraging behaviour of marine top predators is increasingly being used to identify areas of ecological importance. This is largely enabled by the ability of many such species to forage extensively in search of prey that is often concentrated in oceanographically productive areas. To identify important habitat in the Southern Indian Ocean within and around South Africa’s Prince Edward Islands’ Marine Protected Area (MPA), satellite transmitters were deployed on 12 lactating Subantarctic fur seals Arctocephalus tropicalis at Prince Edward Island (PEI) itself. Switching state space models were employed to correct ARGOS tracks and estimate behavioural states for locations along predicted tracks, namely travelling or area restricted search (ARS). A random forest model showed that distance from the study colony, longitude and distance from the Subantarctic Front were the most important predictors of suitable foraging habitat (inferred from ARS). Model-predicted suitable habitat occurred within the MPA in relatively close access to the colony during summer and autumn, but shifted northwards concurrently with frontal movements in winter and spring. The association of ARS with the MPA during summer-autumn was highly significant, highlighting the effectiveness of the recently declared reserve’s design for capturing suitable foraging habitat for this and probably other marine top predator species. PMID:27163373

  2. The influence of intraguild predation on prey suppression and prey release: a meta-analysis.

    PubMed

    Vance-Chalcraft, Heather D; Rosenheim, Jay A; Vonesh, James R; Osenberg, Craig W; Sih, Andrew

    2007-11-01

    Intraguild predation (IGP) occurs when one predator species consumes another predator species with whom it also competes for shared prey. One question of interest to ecologists is whether multiple predator species suppress prey populations more than a single predator species, and whether this result varies with the presence of IGP. We conducted a meta-analysis to examine this question, and others, regarding the effects of IGP on prey suppression. When predators can potentially consume one another (mutual IGP), prey suppression is greater in the presence of one predator species than in the presence of multiple predator species; however, this result was not found for assemblages with unidirectional or no IGP. With unidirectional IGP, intermediate predators were generally more effective than the top predator at suppressing the shared prey, in agreement with IGP theory. Adding a top predator to an assemblage generally caused prey to be released from predation, while adding an intermediate predator caused prey populations to be suppressed. However, the effects of adding a top or intermediate predator depended on the effectiveness of these predators when they were alone. Effects of IGP varied across different ecosystems (e.g., lentic, lotic, marine, terrestrial invertebrate, and terrestrial vertebrate), with the strongest patterns being driven by terrestrial invertebrates. Finally, although IGP theory is based on equilibrium conditions, data from short-term experiments can inform us about systems that are dominated by transient dynamics. Moreover, short-term experiments may be connected in some way to equilibrium models if the predator and prey densities used in experiments approximate the equilibrium densities in nature.

  3. Predator removal and nesting waterbird success at San Francisco Bay, California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Meckstroth, A.M.; Miles, A.K.

    2005-01-01

    The efficacy of long-term predator removal in urbanized areas is poorly understood. The impact of predation on ground-nesting waterbirds, as well as predator abundance and composition in predator removal versus non-removal or reference sites were examined at South San Francisco Bay. The success of natural nests and predator activity was monitored using track plates, trip cameras, wire haircatchers and simulated nests. Removal sites had higher nest densities, but lower hatching success than reference sites. Predator composition and abundance were not different at the removal and reference sites for any predator other than feral Cat (Felis domesticus). Striped Skunk (Mephitis mephitis) comprised the majority (84%) of predators removed, yet remained the most abundant predators in removal and reference sites. Urban environments provide supplemental food that may influence skunks and other nest predators to immigrate into vacancies created by predator removal. Based on the findings from this study, predator removal should be applied intensively over a larger geographic area in order to be a viable management strategy for some mammalian species in urbanized areas.

  4. Who are the important predators of sea turtle nests at Wreck Rock beach?

    PubMed Central

    Booth, David T.

    2017-01-01

    Excessive sea turtle nest predation is a problem for conservation management of sea turtle populations. This study assessed predation on nests of the endangered loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta) at Wreck Rock beach adjacent to Deepwater National Park in Southeast Queensland, Australia after a control program for feral foxes was instigated. The presence of predators on the nesting dune was evaluated by tracking plots (2 × 1 m) every 100 m along the dune front. There were 21 (2014–2015) and 41 (2015–2016) plots established along the dune, and these were monitored for predator tracks daily over three consecutive months in both nesting seasons. Predator activities at nests were also recorded by the presence of tracks on top of nests until hatchlings emerged. In addition, camera traps were set to record the predator activity around selected nests. The tracks of the fox (Vulpes vulpes) and goanna (Varanus spp) were found on tracking plots. Tracking plots, nest tracks and camera traps indicated goanna abundance varied strongly between years. Goannas were widely distributed along the beach and had a Passive Activity Index (PAI) (0.31 in 2014–2015 and 0.16 in 2015–2016) approximately seven times higher than that of foxes (PAI 0.04 in 2014–2015 and 0.02 in 2015–2016). Five hundred and twenty goanna nest visitation events were recorded by tracks but no fox tracks were found at turtle nests. Camera trap data indicated that yellow-spotted goannas (Varanus panoptes) appeared at loggerhead turtle nests more frequently than lace monitors (V. varius) did, and further that lace monitors only predated nests previously opened by yellow-spotted goannas. No foxes were recorded at nests with camera traps. This study suggests that large male yellow-spotted goannas are the major predator of sea turtle nests at the Wreck Rock beach nesting aggregation and that goanna activity varies between years. PMID:28674666

  5. Who are the important predators of sea turtle nests at Wreck Rock beach?

    PubMed

    Lei, Juan; Booth, David T

    2017-01-01

    Excessive sea turtle nest predation is a problem for conservation management of sea turtle populations. This study assessed predation on nests of the endangered loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta) at Wreck Rock beach adjacent to Deepwater National Park in Southeast Queensland, Australia after a control program for feral foxes was instigated. The presence of predators on the nesting dune was evaluated by tracking plots (2 × 1 m) every 100 m along the dune front. There were 21 (2014-2015) and 41 (2015-2016) plots established along the dune, and these were monitored for predator tracks daily over three consecutive months in both nesting seasons. Predator activities at nests were also recorded by the presence of tracks on top of nests until hatchlings emerged. In addition, camera traps were set to record the predator activity around selected nests. The tracks of the fox (Vulpes vulpes) and goanna (Varanus spp) were found on tracking plots. Tracking plots, nest tracks and camera traps indicated goanna abundance varied strongly between years. Goannas were widely distributed along the beach and had a Passive Activity Index (PAI) (0.31 in 2014-2015 and 0.16 in 2015-2016) approximately seven times higher than that of foxes (PAI 0.04 in 2014-2015 and 0.02 in 2015-2016). Five hundred and twenty goanna nest visitation events were recorded by tracks but no fox tracks were found at turtle nests. Camera trap data indicated that yellow-spotted goannas (Varanus panoptes) appeared at loggerhead turtle nests more frequently than lace monitors (V. varius) did, and further that lace monitors only predated nests previously opened by yellow-spotted goannas. No foxes were recorded at nests with camera traps. This study suggests that large male yellow-spotted goannas are the major predator of sea turtle nests at the Wreck Rock beach nesting aggregation and that goanna activity varies between years.

  6. Marine biorhythms: bridging chronobiology and ecology.

    PubMed

    Bulla, Martin; Oudman, Thomas; Bijleveld, Allert I; Piersma, Theunis; Kyriacou, Charalambos P

    2017-11-19

    Marine organisms adapt to complex temporal environments that include daily, tidal, semi-lunar, lunar and seasonal cycles. However, our understanding of marine biological rhythms and their underlying molecular basis is mainly confined to a few model organisms in rather simplistic laboratory settings. Here, we use new empirical data and recent examples of marine biorhythms to highlight how field ecologists and laboratory chronobiologists can complement each other's efforts. First, with continuous tracking of intertidal shorebirds in the field, we reveal individual differences in tidal and circadian foraging rhythms. Second, we demonstrate that shorebird species that spend 8-10 months in tidal environments rarely maintain such tidal or circadian rhythms during breeding, likely because of other, more pertinent, temporally structured, local ecological pressures such as predation or social environment. Finally, we use examples of initial findings from invertebrates (arthropods and polychaete worms) that are being developed as model species to study the molecular bases of lunar-related rhythms. These examples indicate that canonical circadian clock genes (i.e. the homologous clock genes identified in many higher organisms) may not be involved in lunar/tidal phenotypes. Together, our results and the examples we describe emphasize that linking field and laboratory studies is likely to generate a better ecological appreciation of lunar-related rhythms in the wild.This article is part of the themed issue 'Wild clocks: integrating chronobiology and ecology to understand timekeeping in free-living animals'. © 2017 The Authors.

  7. Coupled predator-prey oscillations in a chaotic food web.

    PubMed

    Benincà, Elisa; Jöhnk, Klaus D; Heerkloss, Reinhard; Huisman, Jef

    2009-12-01

    Coupling of several predator-prey oscillations can generate intriguing patterns of synchronization and chaos. Theory predicts that prey species will fluctuate in phase if predator-prey cycles are coupled through generalist predators, whereas they will fluctuate in anti-phase if predator-prey cycles are coupled through competition between prey species. Here, we investigate predator-prey oscillations in a long-term experiment with a marine plankton community. Wavelet analysis of the species fluctuations reveals two predator-prey cycles that fluctuate largely in anti-phase. The phase angles point at strong competition between the phytoplankton species, but relatively little prey overlap among the zooplankton species. This food web architecture is consistent with the size structure of the plankton community, and generates highly dynamic food webs. Continued alternations in species dominance enable coexistence of the prey species through a non-equilibrium 'killing-the-winner' mechanism, as the system shifts back and forth between the two predator-prey cycles in a chaotic fashion.

  8. Plankton reach new heights in effort to avoid predators

    PubMed Central

    Gemmell, Brad J.; Jiang, Houshuo; Strickler, J. Rudi; Buskey, Edward J.

    2012-01-01

    The marine environment associated with the air–water interface (neuston) provides an important food source to pelagic organisms where subsurface prey is limited. However, studies on predator–prey interactions within this environment are lacking. Copepods are known to produce strong escape jumps in response to predators, but must contend with a low-Reynolds-number environment where viscous forces limit escape distance. All previous work on copepod interaction with predators has focused on a liquid environment. Here, we describe a novel anti-predator behaviour in two neustonic copepod species, where individuals frequently exit the water surface and travel many times their own body length through air to avoid predators. Using both field recordings with natural predators and high-speed laboratory recordings, we obtain detailed kinematics of this behaviour, and estimate energetic cost associated with this behaviour. We demonstrate that despite losing up to 88 per cent of their initial kinetic energy, copepods that break the water surface travel significantly further than those escaping underwater and successfully exit the perceptive field of the predator. This behaviour provides an effective defence mechanism against subsurface-feeding visual predators and the results provide insight into trophic interactions within the neustonic environment. PMID:22438496

  9. Predation cues rather than resource availability promote cryptic behaviour in a habitat-forming sea urchin.

    PubMed

    Spyksma, Arie J P; Taylor, Richard B; Shears, Nick T

    2017-03-01

    It is well known that predators often influence the foraging behaviour of prey through the so-called "fear effect". However, it is also possible that predators could change prey behaviour indirectly by altering the prey's food supply through a trophic cascade. The predator-sea urchin-kelp trophic cascade is widely assumed to be driven by the removal of sea urchins by predators, but changes in sea urchin behaviour in response to predators or increased food availability could also play an important role. We tested whether increased crevice occupancy by herbivorous sea urchins in the presence of abundant predatory fishes and lobsters is a response to the increased risk of predation, or an indirect response to higher kelp abundances. Inside two New Zealand marine reserves with abundant predators and kelp, individuals of the sea urchin Evechinus chloroticus were rarer and remained cryptic (i.e. found in crevices) to larger sizes than on adjacent fished coasts where predators and kelp are rare. In a mesocosm experiment, cryptic behaviour was induced by simulated predation (the addition of crushed conspecifics), but the addition of food in the form of drift kelp did not induce cryptic behaviour. These findings demonstrate that the 'fear' of predators is more important than food availability in promoting sea urchin cryptic behaviour and suggest that both density- and behaviourally mediated interactions are important in the predator-sea urchin-kelp trophic cascade.

  10. How detectable is predation in stage-structured populations? Insights from a simulation-testing analysis.

    PubMed

    Oken, Kiva L; Essington, Timothy E

    2015-01-01

    The potential of predation to structure marine food webs is widely acknowledged. However, available tools to detect the regulation of prey population dynamics by predation are limited, partly because available population data often aggregate a population's age structure into a single biomass or abundance metric. Additionally, many food webs are relatively complex, with prey species subject to different assemblages of predators throughout their ontogeny. The goal of this study was to evaluate the extent to which stage-structured predation could be reliably detected from time series of total biomass of predators and prey. We simulated age-structured populations of four mid-trophic-level fish species with distinct life-history traits, exposed them to variable predation at different life stages and fit production models to resulting population biomass to determine how reliably the effects of predators could be detected. Predation targeting early life history and juvenile life stages generally led to larger fluctuations in annual production and was therefore more detectable. However, ecologically realistic levels of observation error and environmental stochasticity masked most predator signals. The addition of predation at a second life stage sharply decreased the ability to detect the effect of each predator. We conclude that the absence of detectable species interactions from biomass time series may be partly due to the interactive effects of environmental variability and complex food web linkages and life histories. We also note that predation signals are most robust for predator-prey systems where predators primarily act on mortality of submature life-history stages. Simulation testing can be applied widely to evaluate the statistical power of analyses to detect predation effects.

  11. Archaeal- and Bacterial-Specific Predation in the Deep North Atlantic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Seyler, L. M.; Tuorto, S. J.; McGuinness, L. R.; Gong, D.; Kerkhof, L. J.

    2016-02-01

    Archaea and bacteria are thought to have existed on Earth for nearly 3.5 billion years. Furthermore, bacterial and TACK-archaeota populations have been shown to compete for the same organic resources including acetate, glycine, lipids, and high levels of urea in salt marsh sediments. This competition should lead to a competitive exclusion by one domain or another. However, multiple mechanisms have been proposed to account for this co-occurrence, such as temporal/seasonal separation of activity, resource partitioning, and differential responses to predation. In this study, stable isotope probing (SIP) was used to track archaeal, bacterial, and eukaryotic 13C-uptake in the North Atlantic along a 3800 km transect (52˚W) to assess resource partitioning between archaea and bacteria and determine if 13C-labeled DNA from eukaryotic predators could be detected. Microcosms were amended with 13C-acetate or 13C-urea (20-30 µM) and incubated for 48 hrs along with 12C-controls. The results indicated archaea often outcompeted bacteria for 13C-urea while both archaea and bacteria could incorporate 13C-acetate. This 13C label could also be detected in 37 eukaryotic OTUs in the SIP incubations. The largest number of 13C-labeled eukaryotic OTUs were observed in the absence of either 13C-archaeal or 13C-bacterial signal, suggesting an osmotrophic lifestyle. However, other specific 13C-eukaryotic OTUs were exclusively associated with either 13C-archaeal or 13C-bacterial OTUs or both. These archaeal-specific and bacterial-specific eukaryotic OTUs are often related to known bactivorous predators. Our findings suggests both resource partitioning and selective predation can account for a portion of the archaeal/bacterial coexistence in the deep-sea environment. These types of SIP approaches can map out these trophic interaction between microbial predators and their prey to better predict the fate of dissolved and particulate organic carbon in marine ecosystems.

  12. Mapping risk for nest predation on a barrier island

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hackney, Amanda D.; Baldwin, Robert F.; Jodice, Patrick G.

    2013-01-01

    Barrier islands and coastal beach systems provide nesting habitat for marine and estuarine turtles. Densely settled coastal areas may subsidize nest predators. Our purpose was to inform conservation by providing a greater understanding of habitat-based risk factors for nest predation, for an estuarine turtle. We expected that habitat conditions at predated nests would differ from random locations at two spatial extents. We developed and validated an island-wide model for the distribution of predated Diamondback terrapin nests using locations of 198 predated nests collected during exhaustive searches at Fisherman Island National Wildlife Refuge, USA. We used aerial photographs to identify all areas of possible nesting habitat and searched each and surrounding environments for nests, collecting location and random-point microhabitat data. We built models for the probability of finding a predated nest using an equal number of random points and validated them with a reserve set (N = 67). Five variables in 9 a priori models were used and the best selected model (AIC weight 0.98) reflected positive associations with sand patches near marshes and roadways. Model validation had an average capture rate of predated nests of 84.14 % (26.17–97.38 %, Q1 77.53 %, median 88.07 %, Q3 95.08 %). Microhabitat selection results suggest that nests placed at the edges of sand patches adjacent to upland shrub/forest and marsh systems are vulnerable to predation. Forests and marshes provide cover and alternative resources for predators and roadways provide access; a suggestion is to focus nest protection efforts on the edges of dunes, near dense vegetation and roads.

  13. Speed-accuracy tradeoffs and false alarms in bee responses to cryptic predators.

    PubMed

    Ings, Thomas C; Chittka, Lars

    2008-10-14

    Learning plays a crucial role in predator avoidance [1-3], but little is known about how the type of experience with predators molds future prey behavior. Specifically, is predator-avoidance learning and memory retention disrupted by cryptic coloration of predators, such as crab spiders [4, 5]? How does experience with different predators affect foraging decisions? We evaluated these questions by exposing foraging bumblebees to controlled predation risk from predators (robotic crab spiders) that were either cryptic or highly contrasting, as assessed by a quantitative model of bee color perception [6]. Our results from 3D tracking software reveal a speed-accuracy tradeoff [7]: Bees slow their inspection flights after learning that there is a risk from cryptic spiders. The adjustment of inspection effort results in accurate predator detection, leveling out predation risk at the expense of foraging time. Overnight-retention tests reveal no decline in performance, but bees that had experienced cryptic predators are more prone to "false alarms" (rejection of foraging opportunities on safe flowers) than those that had experienced conspicuous predators. Therefore, bees in the cryptic-spider treatment made a functional decision to trade off reduced foraging efficiency via increased inspection times and false-alarm rates against higher potential fitness loss from being injured or eaten.

  14. Production of coleopteran predators

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    The research literature reveals moderate advances in technology to produce coleopteran predators especially lady beetles. We have several factitious prey/foods and insect-free artificial diets for polyphagous species. It might be more time and cost effective to develop artificial diet-based producti...

  15. Production of heteropteran predators

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    This chapter treats several key aspects of rearing procedures for predatory bugs. The value of natural, factitious, and artificial foods for the major species used in biological control is reviewed. Whereas several types of factitious foods are routinely used in the production of heteropteran predat...

  16. Predation of freshwater fish in environments with elevated carbon dioxide

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Midway, Stephen R.; Hasler, Caleb T.; Wagner, Tyler; Suski, Cory D.

    2017-01-01

    Carbon dioxide (CO2) in fresh-water environments is poorly understood, yet in marine environments CO2 can affect fish behaviour, including predator–prey relationships. To examine changes in predator success in elevated CO2, we experimented with predatory Micropterus salmoides and Pimephales promelas prey. We used a two-factor fully crossed experimental design; one factor was 4-day (acclimation) CO2 concentration and the second factor CO2 concentration during 20-min predation experiments. Both factors had three treatment levels, including ambient partial pressure of CO2(pCO2; 0–1000 μatm), low pCO2 (4000–5000 μatm) and high pCO2 (8000–10 000 μatm). Micropterus salmoides was exposed to both factors, whereas P. promelas was not exposed to the acclimation factor. In total, 83 of the 96 P. promelas were consumed (n = 96 trials) and we saw no discernible effect of CO2 on predator success or time to predation. Failed strikes and time between failed strikes were too infrequent to model. Compared with marine systems, our findings are unique in that we not only saw no changes in prey capture success with increasing CO2, but we also used CO2 treatments that were substantially higher than those in past experiments. Our work demonstrated a pronounced resiliency of freshwater predators to elevated CO2 exposure, and a starting point for future work in this area.

  17. Prey-predator system with parental care for predators.

    PubMed

    Wang, Wendi; Takeuchi, Yasuhiro; Saito, Yasuhisa; Nakaoka, Shinji

    2006-08-07

    A stage structure is incorporated into a prey-predator model in which predators are split into immature predators and mature predators. It is assumed that immature predators are raised by their parents in the sense that they cannot catch the prey and their foods are provided by parents. Further, it is assumed that the maturation rate of immature predators is a function of the food availability for one immature individual. It is found that the model admits periodic solutions which are produced from the stage structure. Further, it is shown that two stability switches of positive equilibria may occur due to the transition rate incorporating the influence of nutrient, and that the enrichment of adult predators may lead to the catastrophe of the ecological system.

  18. Brain development and predation: plastic responses depend on evolutionary history.

    PubMed

    Gonda, Abigél; Välimäki, Kaisa; Herczeg, Gábor; Merilä, Juha

    2012-04-23

    Although the brain is known to be a very plastic organ, the effects of common ecological interactions like predation or competition on brain development have remained largely unexplored. We reared nine-spined sticklebacks (Pungitius pungitius) from two coastal marine (predation-adapted) and two isolated pond (competition-adapted) populations in a factorial experiment, manipulating perceived predatory risk and food supply to see (i) if the treatments affected brain development and (ii) if there was population differentiation in the response to treatments. We detected differences in plasticity of the bulbus olfactorius (chemosensory centre) between habitats: marine fish were not plastic, whereas pond fish had larger bulbi olfactorii in the presence of perceived predation. Marine fish had larger bulbus olfactorius overall. Irrespective of population origin, the hypothalamus was smaller in the presence of perceived predatory risk. Our results demonstrate that perceived predation risk can influence brain development, and that the effect of an environmental factor on brain development may depend on the evolutionary history of a given population in respect to this environmental factor.

  19. Assessing Fukushima-Derived Radiocesium in Migratory Pacific Predators.

    PubMed

    Madigan, Daniel J; Baumann, Zofia; Snodgrass, Owyn E; Dewar, Heidi; Berman-Kowalewski, Michelle; Weng, Kevin C; Nishikawa, Jun; Dutton, Peter H; Fisher, Nicholas S

    2017-08-15

    The 2011 release of Fukushima-derived radionuclides into the Pacific Ocean made migratory sharks, teleosts, and marine mammals a source of speculation and anxiety regarding radiocesium ((134+137)Cs) contamination, despite a lack of actual radiocesium measurements for these taxa. We measured radiocesium in a diverse suite of large predators from the North Pacific Ocean and report no detectable (i.e., ≥ 0.1 Bq kg(-1) dry wt) Fukushima-derived (134)Cs in all samples, except in one olive ridley sea turtle (Lepidochelys olivacea) with trace levels (0.1 Bq kg(-1)). Levels of (137)Cs varied within and across taxa, but were generally consistent with pre-Fukushima levels and were lower than naturally occurring (40)K by one to one to two orders of magnitude. Predator size had a weaker effect on (137)Cs and (40)K levels than tissue lipid content. Predator stable isotope values (δ(13)C and δ(15)N) were used to infer recent migration patterns, and showed that predators in the central, eastern, and western Pacific should not be assumed to accumulate detectable levels of radiocesium a priori. Nondetection of (134)Cs and low levels of (137)Cs in diverse marine megafauna far from Fukushima confirms negligible increases in radiocesium, with levels comparable to those prior to the release from Fukushima. Reported levels can inform recently developed models of cesium transport and bioaccumulation in marine species.

  20. Brain development and predation: plastic responses depend on evolutionary history

    PubMed Central

    Gonda, Abigél; Välimäki, Kaisa; Herczeg, Gábor; Merilä, Juha

    2012-01-01

    Although the brain is known to be a very plastic organ, the effects of common ecological interactions like predation or competition on brain development have remained largely unexplored. We reared nine-spined sticklebacks (Pungitius pungitius) from two coastal marine (predation-adapted) and two isolated pond (competition-adapted) populations in a factorial experiment, manipulating perceived predatory risk and food supply to see (i) if the treatments affected brain development and (ii) if there was population differentiation in the response to treatments. We detected differences in plasticity of the bulbus olfactorius (chemosensory centre) between habitats: marine fish were not plastic, whereas pond fish had larger bulbi olfactorii in the presence of perceived predation. Marine fish had larger bulbus olfactorius overall. Irrespective of population origin, the hypothalamus was smaller in the presence of perceived predatory risk. Our results demonstrate that perceived predation risk can influence brain development, and that the effect of an environmental factor on brain development may depend on the evolutionary history of a given population in respect to this environmental factor. PMID:21957092

  1. Fertilization of terrestrial vegetation by spawning Pacific salmon: the role of flooding and predator activity.

    Treesearch

    M. Ben-David; T.A. Hanley; D.M. Schell

    1998-01-01

    Spawning Pacific salmon (Onchorhynchus) transport marine-derived nutrients into streams and rivers. Subsequently, these marine-derived nutrients are incorporated into freshwater and terrestrial food webs through decomposition and predation. In this study, we investigated the influence of spawning Pacific salmon on terrestrial vegetation using...

  2. Interactions between Multiple Recruitment Drivers: Post-Settlement Predation Mortality and Flow-Mediated Recruitment

    PubMed Central

    Knights, Antony M.; Firth, Louise B.; Walters, Keith

    2012-01-01

    Background Dispersal is a primary driver in shaping the future distribution of species in both terrestrial and marine systems. Physical transport by advection can regulate the distance travelled and rate of propagule supply to a habitat but post-settlement processes such as predation can decouple supply from recruitment. The effect of flow-mediated recruitment and predation on the recruitment success of an intertidal species, the eastern oyster Crassostrea virginica was evaluated in two-replicated field experiments. Two key crab species were manipulated to test predator identity effects on oyster mortality. Findings Recruitment was ∼58% higher in high flow compared to low flow, but predation masked those differences. Predation mortality was primarily attributed to the blue crab Callinectes sapidus, whilst the mud crab Panopeus herbstii had no effect on recruit mortality. Recruit mortality from predation was high when recruit densities were high, but when recruit density was low, predation effects were not seen. Under high recruitment (supply), predation determined maximum population size and in low flow environments, recruitment success is likely determined by a combination of recruitment and resource limitation but not predation. Conclusions Four processes are demonstrated: (1) Increases in flow rate positively affect recruitment success; (2) In high flow (recruitment) environments, resource availability is less important than predation; (3) predation is an important source of recruit mortality, but is dependent upon recruit density; and (4) recruitment and/or resource limitation is likely a major driver of population structure and functioning, modifying the interaction between predators and prey. Simultaneous testing of flow-mediated recruitment and predation was required to differentiate between the role of each process in determining population size. Our results reinforce the importance of propagule pressure, predation and post-settlement mortality as

  3. Marine ecosystem dynamics, ocean circulation and horizontal stirring

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rossi, V.; Tewkai, E.; López, C.; Sudre, J.; Hernández-García, E.; Garcon, V.

    2009-04-01

    The oceanic submeso and mesoscale circulation and its eddies, filaments, meanders play a major role in marine ecosystems dynamics from the lower trophic levels to the marine top predators. We study here the interplay between turbulence in fluid dynamics on these scales and biological activity at different trophic levels using two cases study. The first example focuses on the four eastern boundary upwelling zones, the Canary, Benguela, California and Humboldt upwelling systems which constitute the largest contribution to the world ocean productivity. These areas are spatially heterogeneous, populated with a large variety of mesoscale and sub-mesoscale structures such as filaments, plumes and eddies, which control exchange processes between the shelf and open ocean and play a major role in modulating the biomass, rates and structure of marine ecosystems. We will present here results from a lagrangian approach based on Finite Size Lyapunov Exponents (FSLE) using altimetric and scatterometric data to estimate the spatial and temporal variations in the lateral stirring and mixing of tracers in the upper ocean within the four areas. When investigating links with chlorophyll a concentration as a proxy for biological activity in these upwelling systems, results show that surface horizontal stirring and mixing vary inversely with chlorophyll standing stocks. FSLEs lead to a clear clustering of the systems suggesting that one may use them as integrated and comparative indices for characterizing horizontal dynamical features in all eastern boundary upwellings. Then we investigate the role of submesoscale structures in the Mozambique Channel on the distribution of a top marine predator, the Great Frigatebird. Using similar dynamical concept, the FSLE, we have identified Lagrangian Coherent Structures (LCSs) present in the surface flow in the Channel. By comparing seabirds' satellite positions with LCSs locations, we demonstrate that frigatebirds track precisely these

  4. Coral Reef Fish Rapidly Learn to Identify Multiple Unknown Predators upon Recruitment to the Reef

    PubMed Central

    Mitchell, Matthew D.; McCormick, Mark I.; Ferrari, Maud C. O.; Chivers, Douglas P.

    2011-01-01

    Organisms often undergo shifts in habitats as their requirements change with ontogeny. Upon entering a new environment, it is vitally important to be able to rapidly assess predation risk. Predation pressure should selectively promote mechanisms that enable the rapid identification of novel predators. Here we tested the ability of a juvenile marine fish to simultaneously learn the identity of multiple previously unknown predators. Individuals were conditioned with a ‘cocktail’ of novel odours (from two predators and two non-predators) paired with either a conspecific alarm cue or a saltwater control and then tested for recognition of the four odours individually and two novel odours (one predator and one non-predator) the following day. Individuals conditioned with the ‘cocktail’ and alarm cue responded to the individual ‘cocktail’ odours with an antipredator response compared to controls. These results demonstrate that individuals acquire recognition of novel odours and that the responses were not due to innate recognition of predators or due to a generalised response to novel odours. Upon entering an unfamiliar environment prey species are able to rapidly assess the risk of predation, enhancing their chances of survival, through the assessment of chemical stimuli. PMID:21249216

  5. Sharks modulate their escape behavior in response to predator size, speed and approach orientation.

    PubMed

    Seamone, Scott; Blaine, Tristan; Higham, Timothy E

    2014-12-01

    Escape responses are often critical for surviving predator-prey interactions. Nevertheless, little is known about how predator size, speed and approach orientation impact escape performance, especially in larger prey that are primarily viewed as predators. We used realistic shark models to examine how altering predatory behavior and morphology (size, speed and approach orientation) influences escape behavior and performance in Squalus acanthias, a shark that is preyed upon by apex marine predators. Predator models induced C-start escape responses, and increasing the size and speed of the models triggered a more intense response (increased escape turning rate and acceleration). In addition, increased predator size resulted in greater responsiveness from the sharks. Among the responses, predator approach orientation had the most significant impact on escapes, such that the head-on approach, as compared to the tail-on approach, induced greater reaction distances and increased escape turning rate, speed and acceleration. Thus, the anterior binocular vision in sharks renders them less effective at detecting predators approaching from behind. However, it appears that sharks compensate by performing high-intensity escapes, likely induced by the lateral line system, or by a sudden visual flash of the predator entering their field of view. Our study reveals key aspects of escape behavior in sharks, highlighting the modulation of performance in response to predator approach. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

  6. Predator diversity, intraguild predation, and indirect effects drive parasite transmission.

    PubMed

    Rohr, Jason R; Civitello, David J; Crumrine, Patrick W; Halstead, Neal T; Miller, Andrew D; Schotthoefer, Anna M; Stenoien, Carl; Johnson, Lucinda B; Beasley, Val R

    2015-03-10

    Humans are altering biodiversity globally and infectious diseases are on the rise; thus, there is interest in understanding how changes to biodiversity affect disease. Here, we explore how predator diversity shapes parasite transmission. In a mesocosm experiment that manipulated predator (larval dragonflies and damselflies) density and diversity, non-intraguild (non-IG) predators that only consume free-living cercariae (parasitic trematodes) reduced metacercarial infections in tadpoles, whereas intraguild (IG) predators that consume both parasites and tadpole hosts did not. This likely occurred because IG predators reduced tadpole densities and anticercarial behaviors, increasing per capita exposure rates of the surviving tadpoles (i.e., via density- and trait-mediated effects) despite the consumption of parasites. A mathematical model demonstrated that non-IG predators reduce macroparasite infections, but IG predation weakens this "dilution effect" and can even amplify parasite burdens. Consistent with the experiment and model, a wetland survey revealed that the diversity of IG predators was unrelated to metacercarial burdens in amphibians, but the diversity of non-IG predators was negatively correlated with infections. These results are strikingly similar to generalities that have emerged from the predator diversity-pest biocontrol literature, suggesting that there may be general mechanisms for pest control and that biocontrol research might inform disease management and vice versa. In summary, we identified a general trait of predators--where they fall on an IG predation continuum--that predicts their ability to reduce infections and possibly pests in general. Consequently, managing assemblages of predators represents an underused tool for the management of human and wildlife diseases and pest populations.

  7. The scale-dependent impact of wolf predation risk on resource selection by three sympatric ungulates.

    PubMed

    Kittle, Andrew M; Fryxell, John M; Desy, Glenn E; Hamr, Joe

    2008-08-01

    Resource selection is a fundamental ecological process impacting population dynamics and ecosystem structure. Understanding which factors drive selection is vital for effective species- and landscape-level management. We used resource selection probability functions (RSPFs) to study the influence of two forms of wolf (Canis lupus) predation risk, snow conditions and habitat variables on white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus), elk (Cervus elaphus) and moose (Alces alces) resource selection in central Ontario's mixed forest French River-Burwash ecosystem. Direct predation risk was defined as the frequency of a predator's occurrence across the landscape and indirect predation risk as landscape features associated with a higher risk of predation. Models were developed for two winters, each at two spatial scales, using a combination of GIS-derived and ground-measured data. Ungulate presence was determined from snow track transects in 64 16- and 128 1-km(2) resource units, and direct predation risk from GPS radio collar locations of four adjacent wolf packs. Ungulates did not select resources based on the avoidance of areas of direct predation risk at any scale, and instead exhibited selection patterns that tradeoff predation risk minimization with forage and/or mobility requirements. Elk did not avoid indirect predation risk, while both deer and moose exhibited inconsistent responses to this risk. Direct predation risk was more important to models than indirect predation risk but overall, abiotic topographical factors were most influential. These results indicate that wolf predation risk does not limit ungulate habitat use at the scales investigated and that responses to spatial sources of predation risk are complex, incorporating a variety of anti-predator behaviours. Moose resource selection was influenced less by snow conditions than cover type, particularly selection for dense forest, whereas deer showed the opposite pattern. Temporal and spatial scale

  8. Tests of landscape influence: nest predation and brood parasitism in fragmented ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Tewksbury, Joshua J; Garner, Lindy; Garner, Shannon; Lloyd, John D; Saab, Victoria; Martin, Thomas E

    2006-03-01

    The effects of landscape fragmentation on nest predation and brood parasitism, the two primary causes of avian reproductive failure, have been difficult to generalize across landscapes, yet few studies have clearly considered the context and spatial scale of fragmentation. Working in two river systems fragmented by agricultural and rural-housing development, we tracked nesting success and brood parasitism in > 2500 bird nests in 38 patches of deciduous riparian woodland. Patches on both river systems were embedded in one of two local contexts (buffered from agriculture by coniferous forest, or adjacent to agriculture), but the abundance of agriculture and human habitation within 1 km of each patch was highly variable. We examined evidence for three models of landscape effects on nest predation based on (1) the relative importance of generalist agricultural nest predators, (2) predators associated with the natural habitats typically removed by agricultural development, or (3) an additive combination of these two predator communities. We found strong support for an additive predation model in which landscape features affect nest predation differently at different spatial scales. Riparian habitat with forest buffers had higher nest predation rates than sites adjacent to agriculture, but nest predation also increased with increasing agriculture in the larger landscape surrounding each site. These results suggest that predators living in remnant woodland buffers, as well as generalist nest predators associated with agriculture, affect nest predation rates, but they appear to respond at different spatial scales. Brood parasitism, in contrast, was unrelated to agricultural abundance on the landscape, but showed a strong nonlinear relationship with farm and house density, indicating a critical point at which increased human habitat causes increased brood parasitism. Accurate predictions regarding landscape effects on nest predation and brood parasitism will require an

  9. Tests of landscape influence: Nest predation and brood parasitism in fragmented ecosystems

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Tewksbury, J.J.; Garner, L.; Garner, S.; Lloyd, J.D.; Saab, V.; Martin, T.E.

    2006-01-01

    The effects of landscape fragmentation on nest predation and brood parasitism, the two primary causes of avian reproductive failure, have been difficult to generalize across landscapes, yet few studies have clearly considered the context and spatial scale of fragmentation. Working in two river systems fragmented by agricultural and rural-housing development, we tracked nesting success and brood parasitism in >2500 bird nests in 38 patches of deciduous riparian woodland. Patches on both river systems were embedded in one of two local contexts (buffered from agriculture by coniferous forest, or adjacent to agriculture), but the abundance of agriculture and human habitation within 1 km of each patch was highly variable. We examined evidence for three models of landscape effects on nest predation based on (1) the relative importance of generalist agricultural nest predators, (2) predators associated with the natural habitats typically removed by agricultural development, or (3) an additive combination of these two predator communities. We found strong support for an additive predation model in which landscape features affect nest predation differently at different spatial scales. Riparian habitat with forest buffers had higher nest predation rates than sites adjacent to agriculture, but nest predation also increased with increasing agriculture in the larger landscape surrounding each site. These results suggest that predators living in remnant woodland buffers, as well as generalist nest predators associated with agriculture, affect nest predation rates, but they appear to respond at different spatial scales. Brood parasitism, in contrast, was unrelated to agricultural abundance on the landscape, but showed a strong nonlinear relationship with farm and house density, indicating a critical point at which increased human habitat causes increased brood parasitism. Accurate predictions regarding landscape effects on nest predation and brood parasitism will require an

  10. Zooplankton and Micronekton Distribution and Interaction with Predators at the Northwest Atlantic Shelf Break and its Canyons

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2012-09-30

    2012 2. REPORT TYPE N/A 3. DATES COVERED - 4. TITLE AND SUBTITLE Zooplankton and Micronekton Distribution and Interaction with Predators at...DISTRIBUTION STATEMENT A. Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited. Zooplankton and Micronekton Distribution and Interaction with...distribution, abundance, community composition, and association with predators, including marine mammals, seabirds, and fish, of zooplankton and

  11. Predator Avoidance in Extremophile Fish

    PubMed Central

    Bierbach, David; Schulte, Matthias; Herrmann, Nina; Zimmer, Claudia; Arias-Rodriguez, Lenin; Indy, Jeane Rimber; Riesch, Rüdiger; Plath, Martin

    2013-01-01

    Extreme habitats are often characterized by reduced predation pressures, thus representing refuges for the inhabiting species. The present study was designed to investigate predator avoidance of extremophile populations of Poecilia mexicana and P. sulphuraria that either live in hydrogen sulfide-rich (sulfidic) springs or cave habitats, both of which are known to have impoverished piscine predator regimes. Focal fishes that inhabited sulfidic springs showed slightly weaker avoidance reactions when presented with several naturally occurring predatory cichlids, but strongest differences to populations from non-sulfidic habitats were found in a decreased shoaling tendency with non-predatory swordtail (Xiphophorus hellerii) females. When comparing avoidance reactions between P. mexicana from a sulfidic cave (Cueva del Azufre) and the adjacent sulfidic surface creek (El Azufre), we found only slight differences in predator avoidance, but surface fish reacted much more strongly to the non-predatory cichlid Vieja bifasciata. Our third experiment was designed to disentangle learned from innate effects of predator recognition. We compared laboratory-reared (i.e., predator-naïve) and wild-caught (i.e., predator-experienced) individuals of P. mexicana from a non-sulfidic river and found no differences in their reaction towards the presented predators. Overall, our results indicate (1) that predator avoidance is still functional in extremophile Poecilia spp. and (2) that predator recognition and avoidance reactions have a strong genetic basis. PMID:25371337

  12. Marine ostracod turnover tracks orbitally forced palaeoenvironmental changes at the Lower-Middle Pleistocene transition: the case study of the Valle di Manche section (Calabria, southern Italy)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rossi, Veronica; Scarponi, Daniele; Capraro, Luca; Ferretti, Patrizia; Macrì, Patrizia

    2017-04-01

    Ostracods, small crustaceans living in almost every aquatic depositional setting, are widely used in palaeoenvironmental reconstructions due to their well-known ecological sensitivity. A close connection between the composition of ostracod fauna and the Milankovitch climate-eustatic variability has been documented in several Plio-Pleistocene marine sections of the Central Mediterranean area. The Valle di Manche section (VdM; Calabria, southern Italy), one of the suitable candidates to host the Global Stratotype Section and Point (GSSP) of the Ionian Stage-Middle Pleistocene, represents an ideal venue where to investigate ostracod turnover in relation to orbitally forced palaeoenvironmental changes, being firmly constrained in time and well documented by a number of independent climatic proxy. A high-resolution, quantitative analysis of the ostracod fauna has been undertaken on the middle part of the VdM, ca. 30 m-thick and showing two T-R cycles developed at the Lower-Middle Pleistocene transition (late MIS 21 to early MIS 18). Within each cycle, a relatively thin, fining-upward transgressive muddy unit is overlain by gradually coarsening upward and more expanded regressive silty to sand packages. A total of 40 samples have been selected to characterise the whole spectrum of lithofacies and detect high-frequency palaeoenvironmental variations especially within homogeneous clayey stratigraphic intervals. Taxa typical of circalittoral (>70/100 m) depths (e.g., Bosquetina dentata, Cytherella vulgatella, Cytheropteron monoceros, Pterygocythereis ceratoptera and Krithe species), commonly accompanied by the lower circalittoral-bathyal species Henryhowella sarsii, occur within the fine-grained units developed during the full interglacials of MIS 21 and MIS 19. Furthermore, ostracod assemblages document that the oxygen availability at the sea floor changed during MIS 19. In contrast, a less-diversified ostracod fauna dominated by Aurila convexa, a species preferring

  13. Predator diversity, intraguild predation, and indirect effects drive parasite transmission

    PubMed Central

    Rohr, Jason R.; Civitello, David J.; Crumrine, Patrick W.; Halstead, Neal T.; Miller, Andrew D.; Schotthoefer, Anna M.; Stenoien, Carl; Johnson, Lucinda B.; Beasley, Val R.

    2015-01-01

    Humans are altering biodiversity globally and infectious diseases are on the rise; thus, there is interest in understanding how changes to biodiversity affect disease. Here, we explore how predator diversity shapes parasite transmission. In a mesocosm experiment that manipulated predator (larval dragonflies and damselflies) density and diversity, non-intraguild (non-IG) predators that only consume free-living cercariae (parasitic trematodes) reduced metacercarial infections in tadpoles, whereas intraguild (IG) predators that consume both parasites and tadpole hosts did not. This likely occurred because IG predators reduced tadpole densities and anticercarial behaviors, increasing per capita exposure rates of the surviving tadpoles (i.e., via density- and trait-mediated effects) despite the consumption of parasites. A mathematical model demonstrated that non-IG predators reduce macroparasite infections, but IG predation weakens this “dilution effect” and can even amplify parasite burdens. Consistent with the experiment and model, a wetland survey revealed that the diversity of IG predators was unrelated to metacercarial burdens in amphibians, but the diversity of non-IG predators was negatively correlated with infections. These results are strikingly similar to generalities that have emerged from the predator diversity–pest biocontrol literature, suggesting that there may be general mechanisms for pest control and that biocontrol research might inform disease management and vice versa. In summary, we identified a general trait of predators—where they fall on an IG predation continuum—that predicts their ability to reduce infections and possibly pests in general. Consequently, managing assemblages of predators represents an underused tool for the management of human and wildlife diseases and pest populations. PMID:25713379

  14. Revisiting the classics: considering nonconsumptive effects in textbook examples of predator-prey interactions.

    PubMed

    Peckarsky, Barbara L; Abrams, Peter A; Bolnick, Daniel I; Dill, Lawrence M; Grabowski, Jonathan H; Luttbeg, Barney; Orrock, John L; Peacor, Scott D; Preisser, Evan L; Schmitz, Oswald J; Trussell, Geoffrey C

    2008-09-01

    Predator effects on prey dynamics are conventionally studied by measuring changes in prey abundance attributed to consumption by predators. We revisit four classic examples of predator-prey systems often cited in textbooks and incorporate subsequent studies of nonconsumptive effects of predators (NCE), defined as changes in prey traits (e.g., behavior, growth, development) measured on an ecological time scale. Our review revealed that NCE were integral to explaining lynx-hare population dynamics in boreal forests, cascading effects of top predators in Wisconsin lakes, and cascading effects of killer whales and sea otters on kelp forests in nearshore marine habitats. The relative roles of consumption and NCE of wolves on moose and consequent indirect effects on plant communities of Isle Royale depended on climate oscillations. Nonconsumptive effects have not been explicitly tested to explain the link between planktonic alewives and the size structure of the zooplankton, nor have they been invoked to attribute keystone predator status in intertidal communities or elsewhere. We argue that both consumption and intimidation contribute to the total effects of keystone predators, and that characteristics of keystone consumers may differ from those of predators having predominantly NCE. Nonconsumptive effects are often considered as an afterthought to explain observations inconsistent with consumption-based theory. Consequently, NCE with the same sign as consumptive effects may be overlooked, even though they can affect the magnitude, rate, or scale of a prey response to predation and can have important management or conservation implications. Nonconsumptive effects may underlie other classic paradigms in ecology, such as delayed density dependence and predator-mediated prey coexistence. Revisiting classic studies enriches our understanding of predator-prey dynamics and provides compelling rationale for ramping up efforts to consider how NCE affect traditional predator

  15. Effects of climate and exurban development on nest predation and predator presence in the southern Appalachian Mountains (USA).

    PubMed

    Lumpkin, Heather A; Pearson, Scott M; Turner, Monica G

    2012-08-01

    In the eastern United States, land-use and climate change have likely contributed to declines in the abundance of Neotropical migrant birds that occupy forest interiors, but the mechanisms are not well understood. We conducted a nest-predation experiment in southern Appalachian Mountain forests (North Carolina, U.S.A.) during the 2009 and 2010 breeding seasons to determine the effects of exurban development and temperature on predator presence and the average number of days until eggs in an artificial nest were disturbed by predators. We baited artificial nests with quail (Excalfactoria chinensi) eggs and monitored them for 18 days. We used clay eggs, track plates, and motion-triggered cameras to detect and identify nest predators. The average number of days a nest was undisturbed decreased as mean temperature increased and, to a lesser extent, as the density of buildings increased. Nests on the ground were more often depredated than those in trees, likely due to increased predation by opossum (Didelphis virginiana) and other carnivores. Raccoons (Procyon lotor), opossums, corvids (Corvus brachyrhynchos and Cyanocitta cristata), chipmunks (Tamias striatus), black bears (Ursus americanus), and domestic cats (Felis catus) were the most commonly detected predators. Presence of these predators did not vary as a function of mean temperature. Domestic cats and corvids were detected more frequently in plots with high rather than low densities of buildings. Forest-interior specialists and Neotropical migrants often nest in cool, high-elevation areas with low housing density. These bird species, especially those that nest on the ground, may be most vulnerable to increased nest predation if temperature and exurban development increase at higher elevations as anticipated.

  16. Understanding predation: implications toward forest management

    Treesearch

    Harvey R. Smith

    1991-01-01

    It is generally accepted that when gypsy moths rest in the litter survival is low due to predation by ground-foraging generalist predators and that predation can maintain these populations indefinitely. Forest Service research on predators of gypsy moth continues to focus on population dynamics, the mechanisms of predation and forest management implications.

  17. Bat Predation by Spiders

    PubMed Central

    Nyffeler, Martin; Knörnschild, Mirjam

    2013-01-01

    In this paper more than 50 incidences of bats being captured by spiders are reviewed. Bat-catching spiders have been reported from virtually every continent with the exception of Antarctica (∼90% of the incidences occurring in the warmer areas of the globe between latitude 30° N and 30° S). Most reports refer to the Neotropics (42% of observed incidences), Asia (28.8%), and Australia-Papua New Guinea (13.5%). Bat-catching spiders belong to the mygalomorph family Theraphosidae and the araneomorph families Nephilidae, Araneidae, and Sparassidae. In addition to this, an attack attempt by a large araneomorph hunting spider of the family Pisauridae on an immature bat was witnessed. Eighty-eight percent of the reported incidences of bat catches were attributable to web-building spiders and 12% to hunting spiders. Large tropical orb-weavers of the genera Nephila and Eriophora in particular have been observed catching bats in their huge, strong orb-webs (of up to 1.5 m diameter). The majority of identifiable captured bats were small aerial insectivorous bats, belonging to the families Vespertilionidae (64%) and Emballonuridae (22%) and usually being among the most common bat species in their respective geographic area. While in some instances bats entangled in spider webs may have died of exhaustion, starvation, dehydration, and/or hyperthermia (i.e., non-predation death), there were numerous other instances where spiders were seen actively attacking, killing, and eating the captured bats (i.e., predation). This evidence suggests that spider predation on flying vertebrates is more widespread than previously assumed. PMID:23516436

  18. Bat predation by spiders.

    PubMed

    Nyffeler, Martin; Knörnschild, Mirjam

    2013-01-01

    In this paper more than 50 incidences of bats being captured by spiders are reviewed. Bat-catching spiders have been reported from virtually every continent with the exception of Antarctica (≈ 90% of the incidences occurring in the warmer areas of the globe between latitude 30° N and 30° S). Most reports refer to the Neotropics (42% of observed incidences), Asia (28.8%), and Australia-Papua New Guinea (13.5%). Bat-catching spiders belong to the mygalomorph family Theraphosidae and the araneomorph families Nephilidae, Araneidae, and Sparassidae. In addition to this, an attack attempt by a large araneomorph hunting spider of the family Pisauridae on an immature bat was witnessed. Eighty-eight percent of the reported incidences of bat catches were attributable to web-building spiders and 12% to hunting spiders. Large tropical orb-weavers of the genera Nephila and Eriophora in particular have been observed catching bats in their huge, strong orb-webs (of up to 1.5 m diameter). The majority of identifiable captured bats were small aerial insectivorous bats, belonging to the families Vespertilionidae (64%) and Emballonuridae (22%) and usually being among the most common bat species in their respective geographic area. While in some instances bats entangled in spider webs may have died of exhaustion, starvation, dehydration, and/or hyperthermia (i.e., non-predation death), there were numerous other instances where spiders were seen actively attacking, killing, and eating the captured bats (i.e., predation). This evidence suggests that spider predation on flying vertebrates is more widespread than previously assumed.

  19. The rate of predation by fishes on hatchlings of the green turtle ( Chelonia mydas)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gyuris, E.

    1994-07-01

    This study addresses the need for empirical data on the survival of sea turtle hatchlings after entry into the sea by (1) developing a method for measuring marine predation; (2) estimating predation rates while crossing the reef; and (3) investigating the effect of environmental variables on predation rates. Predation rates were quantified by following individual hatchlings, tethered by a 10m monofilament nylon line, as they swam from the water's edge towards the reef crest. Predation rates under particular combinations of environmental variables (tide, time of day, and moon phase) were measured in separate trials. Predation rates varied among trials from 0 to 85% with a mean of 31% (SE=2.5%). The simplest logistic regression model that explained variation in predation contained tide and moon phase as predictor variables. The results suggest that noctural emergence from the nest is a behavioral adaptation to minimize exposure to the heat of the day rather than a predator-escape mechanism. For the green turtle populations breeding in eastern Australia, most first year mortality is caused by predation while crossing the reef within the first hour of entering the sea.

  20. Parasites as prey in aquatic food webs: implications for predator infection and parasite transmission

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Thieltges, David W.; Amundsen, Per-Arne; Hechinger, Ryan F.; Johnson, Pieter T.J.; Lafferty, Levin D.; Mouritsen, Kim N.; Preston, Daniel L.; Reise, Karsten; Zander, C. Dieter; Poulin, Robert

    2013-01-01

    While the recent inclusion of parasites into food-web studies has highlighted the role of parasites as consumers, there is accumulating evidence that parasites can also serve as prey for predators. Here we investigated empirical patterns of predation on parasites and their relationships with parasite transmission in eight topological food webs representing marine and freshwater ecosystems. Within each food web, we examined links in the typical predator–prey sub web as well as the predator–parasite sub web, i.e. the quadrant of the food web indicating which predators eat parasites. Most predator– parasite links represented ‘concomitant predation’ (consumption and death of a parasite along with the prey/host; 58–72%), followed by ‘trophic transmission’ (predator feeds on infected prey and becomes infected; 8–32%) and predation on free-living parasite life-cycle stages (4–30%). Parasite life-cycle stages had, on average, between 4.2 and 14.2 predators. Among the food webs, as predator richness increased, the number of links exploited by trophically transmitted parasites increased at about the same rate as did the number of links where these stages serve as prey. On the whole, our analyses suggest that predation on parasites has important consequences for both predators and parasites, and food web structure. Because our analysis is solely based on topological webs, determining the strength of these interactions is a promising avenue for future research.

  1. Predator-induced macroevolutionary trends in Mesozoic crinoids

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gorzelak, Przemysław; Salamon, Mariusz A.; Baumiller, Tomasz K.

    2012-05-01

    Sea urchins are a major component of recent marine communities where they exert a key role as grazers and benthic predators. However, their impact on past marine organisms, such as crinoids, is hard to infer in the fossil record. Analysis of bite mark frequencies on crinoid columnals and comprehensive genus-level diversity data provide unique insights into the importance of sea urchin predation through geologic time. These data show that over the Mesozoic, predation intensity on crinoids, as measured by bite mark frequencies on columnals, changed in step with diversity of sea urchins. Moreover, Mesozoic diversity changes in the predatory sea urchins show a positive correlation with diversity of motile crinoids and a negative correlation with diversity of sessile crinoids, consistent with a crinoid motility representing an effective escape strategy. We contend that the Mesozoic diversity history of crinoids likely represents a macroevolutionary response to changes in sea urchin predation pressure and that it may have set the stage for the recent pattern of crinoid diversity in which motile forms greatly predominate and sessile forms are restricted to deep-water refugia.

  2. Predator-induced macroevolutionary trends in Mesozoic crinoids.

    PubMed

    Gorzelak, Przemyslaw; Salamon, Mariusz A; Baumiller, Tomasz K

    2012-05-01

    Sea urchins are a major component of recent marine communities where they exert a key role as grazers and benthic predators. However, their impact on past marine organisms, such as crinoids, is hard to infer in the fossil record. Analysis of bite mark frequencies on crinoid columnals and comprehensive genus-level diversity data provide unique insights into the importance of sea urchin predation through geologic time. These data show that over the Mesozoic, predation intensity on crinoids, as measured by bite mark frequencies on columnals, changed in step with diversity of sea urchins. Moreover, Mesozoic diversity changes in the predatory sea urchins show a positive correlation with diversity of motile crinoids and a negative correlation with diversity of sessile crinoids, consistent with a crinoid motility representing an effective escape strategy. We contend that the Mesozoic diversity history of crinoids likely represents a macroevolutionary response to changes in sea urchin predation pressure and that it may have set the stage for the recent pattern of crinoid diversity in which motile forms greatly predominate and sessile forms are restricted to deep-water refugia.

  3. Predator-induced macroevolutionary trends in Mesozoic crinoids

    PubMed Central

    Gorzelak, Przemysław; Salamon, Mariusz A.; Baumiller, Tomasz K.

    2012-01-01

    Sea urchins are a major component of recent marine communities where they exert a key role as grazers and benthic predators. However, their impact on past marine organisms, such as crinoids, is hard to infer in the fossil record. Analysis of bite mark frequencies on crinoid columnals and comprehensive genus-level diversity data provide unique insights into the importance of sea urchin predation through geologic time. These data show that over the Mesozoic, predation intensity on crinoids, as measured by bite mark frequencies on columnals, changed in step with diversity of sea urchins. Moreover, Mesozoic diversity changes in the predatory sea urchins show a positive correlation with diversity of motile crinoids and a negative correlation with diversity of sessile crinoids, consistent with a crinoid motility representing an effective escape strategy. We contend that the Mesozoic diversity history of crinoids likely represents a macroevolutionary response to changes in sea urchin predation pressure and that it may have set the stage for the recent pattern of crinoid diversity in which motile forms greatly predominate and sessile forms are restricted to deep-water refugia. PMID:22509040

  4. Intraguild predation in pioneer predator communities of alpine glacier forelands

    PubMed Central

    Raso, Lorna; Sint, Daniela; Mayer, Rebecca; Plangg, Simon; Recheis, Thomas; Brunner, Silvia; Kaufmann, Rüdiger; Traugott, Michael

    2014-01-01

    Pioneer communities establishing themselves in the barren terrain in front of glacier forelands consist principally of predator species such as carabid beetles and lycosid spiders. The fact that so many different predators can co-inhabit an area with no apparent primary production was initially explained by allochthonous material deposited in these forelands. However, whether these populations can be sustained on allochthonous material alone is questionable and recent studies point towards this assumption to be flawed. Intraguild predation (IGP) might play an important role in these pioneer predator assemblages, especially in the very early successional stages where other prey is scarce. Here, we investigated IGP between the main predator species and their consumption of Collembola, an important autochthonous alternative prey, within a glacier foreland in the Ötztal (Austrian Alps). Multiplex PCR and stable isotope analysis were used to characterize the trophic niches in an early and late pioneer stage over 2 years. Results showed that intraguild prey was consumed by all invertebrate predators, particularly the larger carabid species. Contrary to our initial hypothesis, the DNA detection frequency of IGP prey was not significantly higher in early than in late pioneer stage, which was corroborated by the stable isotope analysis. Collembola were the most frequently detected prey in all of the predators, and the overall prey DNA detection patterns were consistent between years. Our findings show that IGP appears as a constant in these pioneer predator communities and that it remains unaffected by successional changes. PMID:24383765

  5. Quantitative Analysis of Lysobacter Predation

    PubMed Central

    Seccareccia, Ivana; Kost, Christian

    2015-01-01

    Bacteria of the genus Lysobacter are considered to be facultative predators that use a feeding strategy similar to that of myxobacteria. Experimental data supporting this assumption, however, are scarce. Therefore, the predatory activities of three Lysobacter species were tested in the prey spot plate assay and in the lawn predation assay, which are commonly used to analyze myxobacterial predation. Surprisingly, only one of the tested Lysobacter species showed predatory behavior in the two assays. This result suggested that not all Lysobacter strains are predatory or, alternatively, that the assays were not appropriate for determining the predatory potential of this bacterial group. To differentiate between the two scenarios, predation was tested in a CFU-based bioassay. For this purpose, defined numbers of Lysobacter cells were mixed together with potential prey bacteria featuring phenotypic markers, such as distinctive pigmentation or antibiotic resistance. After 24 h, cocultivated cells were streaked out on agar plates and sizes of bacterial populations were individually determined by counting the respective colonies. Using the CFU-based predation assay, we observed that Lysobacter spp. strongly antagonized other bacteria under nutrient-deficient conditions. Simultaneously, the Lysobacter population was increasing, which together with the killing of the cocultured bacteria indicated predation. Variation of the predator/prey ratio revealed that all three Lysobacter species tested needed to outnumber their prey for efficient predation, suggesting that they exclusively practiced group predation. In summary, the CFU-based predation assay not only enabled the quantification of prey killing and consumption by Lysobacter spp. but also provided insights into their mode of predation. PMID:26231654

  6. Public health potential of a disability tracking system: analysis of U.S. Navy and Marine Corps physical evaluation boards 2005-2006.

    PubMed

    Litow, C D R Francesca K; Krahl, Pamela L

    2007-12-01

    Clinical and demographic data in administrative disability tracking systems have the potential to support disability reduction programs. We analyzed recent Navy Physical Evaluation Board data, compared our findings with previous studies, and evaluated the quality of the case-tracking database as a public health information system. The overall rate of cases was 50% higher than in 2000 and 40% higher than the rate of new long-term group disability insurance claims. The most common diagnostic categories remain musculoskeletal disorders, injuries and poisonings, mental health conditions, and neurological syndromes. Diagnosis rates have increased in every category since 2000. The tracking system provided unprecedented timeliness and data accessibility, but fell short of its full potential as a public health tool due to poor information quality. Improved interface design and data entry processes combined with improved reporting capability will enhance its epidemiological value. Continued system improvement requires functional evaluation in conjunction with periodic data analysis.

  7. Predators help protect carbon stocks in blue carbon ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Atwood, Trisha B.; Connolly, Rod M.; Ritchie, Euan G.; Lovelock, Catherine E.; Heithaus, Michael R.; Hays, Graeme C.; Fourqurean, James W.; Macreadie, Peter I.

    2015-12-01

    Predators continue to be harvested unsustainably throughout most of the Earth's ecosystems. Recent research demonstrates that the functional loss of predators could have far-reaching consequences on carbon cycling and, by implication, our ability to ameliorate climate change impacts. Yet the influence of predators on carbon accumulation and preservation in vegetated coastal habitats (that is, salt marshes, seagrass meadows and mangroves) is poorly understood, despite these being some of the Earth's most vulnerable and carbon-rich ecosystems. Here we discuss potential pathways by which trophic downgrading affects carbon capture, accumulation and preservation in vegetated coastal habitats. We identify an urgent need for further research on the influence of predators on carbon cycling in vegetated coastal habitats, and ultimately the role that these systems play in climate change mitigation. There is, however, sufficient evidence to suggest that intact predator populations are critical to maintaining or growing reserves of 'blue carbon' (carbon stored in coastal or marine ecosystems), and policy and management need to be improved to reflect these realities.

  8. Predation by Red Foxes (Vulpes vulpes) at an Outdoor Piggery.

    PubMed

    Fleming, Patricia A; Dundas, Shannon J; Lau, Yvonne Y W; Pluske, John R

    2016-10-08

    Outdoor pig operations are an alternative to intensive systems of raising pigs; however for the majority of outdoor pork producers, issues of biosecurity and predation control require significant management and (or) capital investment. Identifying and quantifying predation risk in outdoor pork operations has rarely been done, but such data would be informative for these producers as part of their financial and logistical planning. We quantified potential impact of fox predation on piglets bred on an outdoor pork operation in south-western Australia. We used remote sensor cameras at select sites across the farm as well as above farrowing huts to record interactions between predators and pigs (sows and piglets). We also identified animal losses from breeding records, calculating weaning rate as a proportion of piglets born. Although only few piglets were recorded lost to fox predation (recorded by piggery staff as carcasses that are "chewed"), it is likely that foxes were contributing substantially to the 20% of piglets that were reported "missing". Both sets of cameras recorded a high incidence of fox activity; foxes appeared on camera soon after staff left for the day, were observed tracking and taking live piglets (despite the presence of sows), and removed dead carcasses from in front of the cameras. Newly born and younger piglets appeared to be the most vulnerable, especially when they are born out in the paddock, but older piglets were also lost. A significant ( p = 0.001) effect of individual sow identification on the weaning rate, but no effect of sow age (parity), suggests that individual sow behavior towards predators influences predation risk for litters. We tracked the movement of piglet carcasses by foxes, and confirmed that foxes make use of patches of native vegetation for cover, although there was no effect of paddock, distance to vegetation, or position on the farm on weaning rate. Trials with non-toxic baits reveal high levels of non-target bait

  9. Intraguild predation and competition impacts on a subordinate predator.

    PubMed

    Björklund, Heidi; Santangeli, Andrea; Blanchet, F Guillaume; Huitu, Otso; Lehtoranta, Hannu; Lindén, Harto; Valkama, Jari; Laaksonen, Toni

    2016-05-01

    Intraguild (IG) predation and interspecific competition may affect the settlement and success of species in their habitats. Using data on forest-dwelling hawks from Finland, we addressed the impact of an IG predator, the northern goshawk Accipiter gentilis (goshawk), on the breeding of an IG prey, the common buzzard Buteo buteo. We hypothesized that the subordinate common buzzard avoids breeding in the proximity of goshawks and that interspecific competitors, mainly Strix owls, may also disturb common buzzards by competing for nests and food. Our results show that common buzzards more frequently occupied territories with a low IG predation threat and with no interspecific competitors. We also observed that common buzzards avoided territories with high levels of grouse, the main food of goshawks, possibly due to a risk of IG predation since abundant grouse can attract goshawks. High levels of small rodents attracted interspecific competitors to common buzzard territories and created a situation where there was not only an abundance of food but also an abundance of competitors for the food. These results suggest interplay between top-down and bottom-up processes which influence the interactions between avian predator species. We conclude that the common buzzard needs to balance the risks of IG predation and interference competition with the availability of its own resources. The presence of other predators associated with high food levels may impede a subordinate predator taking full advantage of the available food. Based on our results, it appears that interspecific interactions with dominant predators have the potential to influence the distribution pattern of subordinate predators.

  10. Warmer temperatures reduce the influence of an important keystone predator.

    PubMed

    Bonaviri, Chiara; Graham, Michael; Gianguzza, Paola; Shears, Nick T

    2017-01-11

    Predator-prey interactions may be strongly influenced by temperature variations in marine ecosystems. Consequently, climate change may alter the importance of predators with repercussions for ecosystem functioning and structure. In North-eastern Pacific kelp forests, the starfish Pycnopodia helianthoides is known to be an important predator of the purple sea urchin Strongylocentrotus purpuratus. Here we investigated the influence of water temperature on this predator-prey interaction by: (i) assessing the spatial distribution and temporal dynamics of both species across a temperature gradient in the northern Channel Islands, California, and (ii) investigating how the feeding rate of P. helianthoides on S. purpuratus is affected by temperature in laboratory tests. On average, at sites where mean annual temperatures were <14 °C, P. helianthoides were common, S. purpuratus was rare and kelp was persistent, whereas where mean annual temperatures exceeded 14 °C, P. helianthoides and kelp were rare and S. purpuratus abundant. Temperature was found to be the primary environmental factor influencing P. helianthoides abundance, and in turn P. helianthoides was the primary determinant of S. purpuratus abundance. In the laboratory, temperatures >16 °C (equivalent to summer temperatures at sites where P. helianthoides were rare) reduced predation rates regardless of predator and prey sizes, although larger sea urchins were consumed only by large starfishes. These results clearly demonstrate that the effect of P. helianthoides on S. purpuratus is strongly mediated by temperature, and that the local abundance and predation rate of P. helianthoides on sea urchins will likely decrease with future warming. A reduction in top-down control on sea urchins, combined with other expected impacts of climate change on kelp, poses significant risks for the persistence of kelp forests in the future.

  11. Smaller predator-prey body size ratios in longer food chains.

    PubMed

    Jennings, Simon; Warr, Karema J

    2003-07-07

    Maximum food-chain length has been correlated with resource availability, ecosystem size, environmental stability and colonization history. Some of these correlations may result from environmental effects on predator-prey body size ratios. We investigate relationships between maximum food-chain length, predator-prey mass ratios, primary production and environmental stability in marine food webs with a natural history of community assembly. Our analyses provide empirical evidence that smaller mean predator-prey body size ratios are characteristic of more stable environments and that food chains are longer when mean predator-prey body size ratios are small. We conclude that environmental effects on predator-prey body size ratios contribute to observed differences in maximum food-chain length.

  12. Experimental records of the effect of food patchiness and predation on egg production of Acartia tonsa

    SciTech Connect

    Saiz, E.; Tiselius, P.; Verity, P.; Paffehofer, G.A. ); Jonsson, P.R. )

    1993-03-01

    The effects of predation and spatial patchiness in food distribution on egg production of the marine calanoid copepod Acartia tonsa were investigated in the laboratory. A postexperiment egg production method was developed to override the decline in number of copepods due to predation. The copepods were able to remain in food patches about 41-47% of the time, and consequently egg production rates were higher than expected from the average food concentration. Predation by the calanoid copepod Labidocera aestiva tended to increase egg production rates of A. tonsa. The interaction of patchiness and predation resulted in relatively less time spent by A. tonsa in the food patches, probably as a consequence of conflict between hunger level and predation risk. 40 refs., 3 figs., 5 tabs.

  13. 76 FR 18773 - Marianas Trench Marine National Monument, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, et al...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-04-05

    ... programs and public outreach regarding the Monument's coral reef ecosystem, related marine resources and... coral reef ecosystem or related marine resources or species, or diminish the Monument's natural... and their habitats, including coral reefs, marine clams, apex predators, marine mammals, sea...

  14. Corridors cause differential seed predation.

    SciTech Connect

    Orrock, John L.; Damschen, Ellen I.

    2005-06-01

    Orrock, John, L., and Ellen I. Damschen. 2005. Corridors cause differential seed predation. Ecol. Apps. 15(3):793-798. Abstract. Corridors that connect disjunct populations are heavily debated in conservation, largely because the effects of corridors have rarely been evaluated by replicated, large-scale studies. Using large-scale experimental landscapes, we found that, in addition to documented positive effects, corridors also have negative impacts on bird-dispersed plants by affecting seed predation, and that overall predation is a function of the seeds primary consumer (rodents or arthropods). Both large-seeded Prunus serotina and small-seeded Rubus allegheniensis experienced greater predation in connected patches. However, P. serotina experienced significantly less seed predation compared to R. allegheniensis in unconnected patches, due to decreased impacts of rodent seed predators on this large-seeded species. Viewed in light of previous evidence that corridors have beneficial impacts by increasing pollination and seed dispersal, this work demonstrates that corridors may have both positive and negative effects for the same plant species at different life stages. Moreover, these effects may differentially affect plant species within the same community: seeds primarily consumed by rodents suffer less predation in unconnected patches. By shifting the impact of rodent and arthropod seed predators, corridors constructed for plant conservation could lead to shifts in the seed bank.

  15. California current system - Predators and the preyscape

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ainley, David G.; Adams, Peter B.; Jahncke, Jaime

    2015-06-01

    The preyscape of the California Current System (CCS), one of the most productive marine areas on Earth (Glantz and Thompson, 1981), is highly variable, as evidenced by the papers in this issue, and as such presents a challenge to Ecosystem-based fishery management (EBFM), which attempts to integrate ecosystem considerations as part of fishery management and conservation decisions. Approaches to EBFM for the waters off Washington, Oregon, and California, the CCS, have been initiated (PFMC, 2007, 2013), and are continually being developed. To inform this process, a workshop was held in September 2013 to: i) gather together the existing information on forage fish and predator dynamics in the CCS; ii) consider temporal (seasonal, annual, decadal) and spatial availability of prey complexes and why these patterns of availability occur and change; iii) summarize and present that information for discussion to a large range of experts in oceanography, fish and fisheries management, seabirds, marine mammals, and ecosystem management; and, iv) synthesize this information to be useable by fishery agencies. The papers in this special Journal of Marine Systems issue address these four points. While the full results and recommendations can be found here - "http://www.pointblue.org/uploads/assets/calcurrent/REPORT_Forage_Fish_Workshop_FINAL.pdf"

  16. Emerging asymmetric interactions between forage and predator fisheries impose management trade-offs.

    PubMed

    Houle, J E; Andersen, K H; Farnsworth, K D; Reid, D G

    2013-10-01

    A size and trait-based marine community model was used to investigate interactions, with potential implications for yields, when a fishery targeting forage fish species (whose main adult diet is zooplankton) co-occurs with a fishery targeting larger-sized predator species. Predicted effects on the size structure of the fish community, growth and recruitment of fishes, and yield from the fisheries were used to identify management trade-offs among the different fisheries. Results showed that moderate fishing on forage fishes imposed only small effects on predator fisheries, whereas predator fisheries could enhance yield from forage fisheries under some circumstances.

  17. Combined influence of meso-scale circulation and bathymetry on the foraging behaviour of a diving predator, the king penguin (Aptenodytes patagonicus)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Scheffer, Annette; Trathan, Philip N.; Edmonston, Johnnie G.; Bost, Charles-André

    2016-02-01

    Investigating the responses of marine predators to environmental features is of key importance for understanding their foraging behaviour and reproductive success. In this study we examined the foraging behaviour of king penguins breeding at Kerguelen (southern Indian Ocean) in relation to oceanographic and bathymetric features within their foraging ambit. We used ARGOS and Global Positioning System tracking together with Time-Depth-Temperature-Recorders (TDR) to follow the at-sea movements of incubating and brooding king penguins. Combining the penguin behaviour with oceanographic data at the surface through satellite data and at depth through in-situ recordings by the TDRs enabled us to explore how these predators adjusted their horizontal and vertical foraging movements in response to their physical environment. Relating the observed behaviour and oceanographic patterns to local bathymetry lead to a comprehensive picture of the combined influence of bathymetry and meso-scale circulation on the foraging behaviour of king penguins. During both breeding stages king penguins foraged in the area to the south-east of Kerguelen, where they explored an influx of cold waters of southern origin interacting with the Kerguelen Plateau bathymetry. Foraging in the Polar Front and at the thermocline was associated with high prey capture rates. However, foraging trip orientation and water mass utilization suggested that bathymetrically entrained cold-water features provided the most favourable foraging locations. Our study explicitly reports the exploration of bathymetry-related oceanographic features by foraging king penguins. It confirms the presence of Areas of Ecological Significance for marine predators on the Kerguelen Plateau, and suggests the importance of further areas related to the cold-water flow along the shelf break of the Kerguelen Plateau.

  18. An island-wide predator manipulation reveals immediate and long-lasting matching of risk by prey

    PubMed Central

    Orrock, John L.; Fletcher, Robert J.

    2014-01-01

    Anti-predator behaviour affects prey population dynamics, mediates cascading effects in food webs and influences the likelihood of rapid extinctions. Predator manipulations in natural settings provide a rare opportunity to understand how prey anti-predator behaviour is affected by large-scale changes in predators. Here, we couple a long-term, island-wide manipulation of an important rodent predator, the island fox (Urocyon littoralis), with nearly 6 years of measurements on foraging by deer mice (Peromyscus maniculatus) to provide unequivocal evidence that prey closely match their foraging behaviour to the number of fox predators present on the island. Peromyscus maniculatus foraging among exposed and sheltered microhabitats (a measure of aversion to predation risk) closely tracked fox density, but the nature of this effect depended upon nightly environmental conditions known to affect rodent susceptibility to predators. These effects could not be explained by changes in density of deer mice over time. Our work reveals that prey in natural settings are cognizant of the dynamic nature of their predators over timescales that span many years, and that predator removals spanning many generations of prey do not result in a loss of anti-predator behaviour. PMID:24759863

  19. An island-wide predator manipulation reveals immediate and long-lasting matching of risk by prey.

    PubMed

    Orrock, John L; Fletcher, Robert J

    2014-06-07

    Anti-predator behaviour affects prey population dynamics, mediates cascading effects in food webs and influences the likelihood of rapid extinctions. Predator manipulations in natural settings provide a rare opportunity to understand how prey anti-predator behaviour is affected by large-scale changes in predators. Here, we couple a long-term, island-wide manipulation of an important rodent predator, the island fox (Urocyon littoralis), with nearly 6 years of measurements on foraging by deer mice (Peromyscus maniculatus) to provide unequivocal evidence that prey closely match their foraging behaviour to the number of fox predators present on the island. Peromyscus maniculatus foraging among exposed and sheltered microhabitats (a measure of aversion to predation risk) closely tracked fox density, but the nature of this effect depended upon nightly environmental conditions known to affect rodent susceptibility to predators. These effects could not be explained by changes in density of deer mice over time. Our work reveals that prey in natural settings are cognizant of the dynamic nature of their predators over timescales that span many years, and that predator removals spanning many generations of prey do not result in a loss of anti-predator behaviour.

  20. Stability of an intraguild predation system with mutual predation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Yuanshi; DeAngelis, Donald L.

    2016-04-01

    We examine intraguild predation (IGP), in which species both compete for resources or space and prey on each other. The IGP system is modeled here by a lattice gas model of the mean-field theory. First, we consider the IGP system of one species in which individuals of the same species cannibalize each other. The dynamical behavior of the model demonstrates a mechanism by which the intraspecific predation promotes persistence of the species. Then we consider the IGP system of two species with mutual predation. Global dynamics of the model exhibit basic properties of IGP: (i) When both species' efficiencies in converting the consumptions into fitness are large, the outcome of their interaction is mutualistic in form and the IGP promotes persistence of both species. (ii) When one species' efficiency is large but the other's is small, the interaction outcomes become parasitic in nature, in which an obligate species can survive through the mutual predation with a facultative one. (iii) When both species' efficiencies are small, the interaction outcomes are competitive in nature and the IGP leads to extinction of one of the species. A novel result of this work is that varying one parameter or population density of the species can lead to transition of interaction outcomes between mutualism, parasitism and competition. On the other hand, dynamics of the models demonstrate that over-predation or under-predation will result in extinction of one/both species, while intermediate predation is favorable under certain parameter ranges.

  1. 2. EXTERIOR OF RUSIN HALL, THE ONLY STRUCTURE TO PREDATED ...

    Library of Congress Historic Buildings Survey, Historic Engineering Record, Historic Landscapes Survey

    2. EXTERIOR OF RUSIN HALL, THE ONLY STRUCTURE TO PRE-DATED THE WORLD WAR II EXPANSION THAT LED TO THE DEMOLITION OF THE FIRST WARD OF HOMESTEAD, AN AREA KNOWN AS BELOW THE TRACKS. THE BUILDING WAS ORIGINALLY BUILT AS A FRATERNAL HALL FOR RUTHENIAN IMMIGRANTS BY THE RUSSKY-NARODNY-DOM, INC. - U.S. Steel Homestead Works, Auxiliary Buildings & Shops, Along Monongahela River, Homestead, Allegheny County, PA

  2. Riding the crimson tide: mobile terrestrial consumers track phenological variation in spawning of an anadromous fish

    PubMed Central

    Schindler, Daniel E.; Armstrong, Jonathan B.; Bentley, Kale T.; Jankowski, KathiJo; Lisi, Peter J.; Payne, Laura X.

    2013-01-01

    When resources are spatially and temporally variable, consumers can increase their foraging success by moving to track ephemeral feeding opportunities as these shift across the landscape; the best examples derive from herbivore–plant systems, where grazers migrate to capitalize on the seasonal waves of vegetation growth. We evaluated whether analogous processes occur in watersheds supporting spawning sockeye salmon (Oncorhynchus nerka), asking whether seasonal activities of predators and scavengers shift spatial distributions to capitalize on asynchronous spawning among populations of salmon. Both glaucous-winged gulls and coastal brown bears showed distinct shifts in their spatial distributions over the course of the summer, reflecting the shifting distribution of spawning sockeye salmon, which was associated with variation in water temperature among spawning sites. By tracking the spatial and temporal variation in the phenology of their principal prey, consumers substantially extended their foraging opportunity on a superabundant, yet locally ephemeral, resource. Ecosystem-based fishery management efforts that seek to balance trade-offs between fisheries and ecosystem processes supported by salmon should, therefore, assess the importance of life-history variation, particularly in phenological traits, for maintaining important ecosystem functions, such as providing marine-derived resources for terrestrial predators and scavengers. PMID:23554279

  3. Riding the crimson tide: mobile terrestrial consumers track phenological variation in spawning of an anadromous fish.

    PubMed

    Schindler, Daniel E; Armstrong, Jonathan B; Bentley, Kale T; Jankowski, Kathijo; Lisi, Peter J; Payne, Laura X

    2013-06-23

    When resources are spatially and temporally variable, consumers can increase their foraging success by moving to track ephemeral feeding opportunities as these shift across the landscape; the best examples derive from herbivore-plant systems, where grazers migrate to capitalize on the seasonal waves of vegetation growth. We evaluated whether analogous processes occur in watersheds supporting spawning sockeye salmon (Oncorhynchus nerka), asking whether seasonal activities of predators and scavengers shift spatial distributions to capitalize on asynchronous spawning among populations of salmon. Both glaucous-winged gulls and coastal brown bears showed distinct shifts in their spatial distributions over the course of the summer, reflecting the shifting distribution of spawning sockeye salmon, which was associated with variation in water temperature among spawning sites. By tracking the spatial and temporal variation in the phenology of their principal prey, consumers substantially extended their foraging opportunity on a superabundant, yet locally ephemeral, resource. Ecosystem-based fishery management efforts that seek to balance trade-offs between fisheries and ecosystem processes supported by salmon should, therefore, assess the importance of life-history variation, particularly in phenological traits, for maintaining important ecosystem functions, such as providing marine-derived resources for terrestrial predators and scavengers.

  4. Scathophagid fly Larvae as Predators of Neophylax rickeri (Trichoptera: Uenoidae) egg Masses

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Purcell, A. H.; Hoffman, A.; Resh, V. H.

    2005-05-01

    We examined the predator-prey interaction of an undescribed predator (Diptera: Scathophagidae) on egg masses of Neophylax rickeri (Trichoptera: Uenoidae). Over a two-year period, we regularly surveyed 14 riffles within a 200-m reach of Redwood Creek and Webb Creek (Marin County, California). In Webb Creek, scathophagid predators were absent despite the abundance of N. rickeri egg masses. However, in Redwood Creek scathophagid predators were found within 11% (n=1594 egg masses) of the N. rickeri egg masses collected. N. rickeri egg masses were more frequently found clustered in aggregations (86%) than singly (14%), and scathophagid predators were more frequently found within N. rickeri egg mass aggregations (23% infestation rate) than in singly deposited egg masses (5%). Scathophagid predators exhibited a bivoltine life cycle with an increase in abundance after the first winter rains (November/December) and again in late spring (May/June). The abundance of predator larvae in the winter coincided with the peak oviposition period of N. rickeri, but in the late spring when N. rickeri egg masses were absent, the predator fed on egg masses of several other trichopteran (Brachycentridae) and dipteran (Ceratopogonidae, Chironomidae) species.

  5. Predator behaviour and predation risk in the heterogeneous Arctic environment.

    PubMed

    Lecomte, Nicolas; Careau, Vincent; Gauthier, Gilles; Giroux, Jean-François

    2008-05-01

    1. Habitat heterogeneity and predator behaviour can strongly affect predator-prey interactions but these factors are rarely considered simultaneously, especially when systems encompass multiple predators and prey. 2. In the Arctic, greater snow geese Anser caerulescens atlanticus L. nest in two structurally different habitats: wetlands that form intricate networks of water channels, and mesic tundra where such obstacles are absent. In this heterogeneous environment, goose eggs are exposed to two types of predators: the arctic fox Vulpes lagopus L. and a diversity of avian predators. We hypothesized that, contrary to birds, the hunting ability of foxes would be impaired by the structurally complex wetland habitat, resulting in a lower predation risk for goose eggs. 3. In addition, lemmings, the main prey of foxes, show strong population cycles. We thus further examined how their fluctuations influenced the interaction between habitat heterogeneity and fox predation on goose eggs. 4. An experimental approach with artificial nests suggested that foxes were faster than avian predators to find unattended goose nests in mesic tundra whereas the reverse was true in wetlands. Foxes spent 3.5 times more time between consecutive attacks on real goose nests in wetlands than in mesic tundra. Their attacks on goose nests were also half as successful in wetlands than in mesic tundra whereas no difference was found for avian predators. 5. Nesting success in wetlands (65%) was higher than in mesic tundra (56%) but the difference between habitats increased during lemming crashes (15%) compared to other phases of the cycle (5%). Nests located at the edge of wetland patches were also less successful than central ones, suggesting a gradient in accessibility of goose nests in wetlands for foxes. 6. Our study shows that the structural complexity of wetlands decreases predation risk from foxes but not avian predators in arctic-nesting birds. Our results also demonstrate that cyclic

  6. Predator-induced fleeing behaviors in phytoplankton: a new mechanism for harmful algal bloom formation?

    PubMed

    Harvey, Elizabeth L; Menden-Deuer, Susanne

    2012-01-01

    In the plankton, heterotrophic microbes encounter and ingest phytoplankton prey, which effectively removes >50% of daily phytoplankton production in the ocean and influences global primary production and biochemical cycling rates. Factors such as size, shape, nutritional value, and presence of chemical deterrents are known to affect predation pressure. Effects of movement behaviors of either predator or prey on predation pressure, and particularly fleeing behaviors in phytoplankton are thus far unknown. Here, we quantified individual 3D movements, population distributions, and survival rates of the toxic phytoplankton species, Heterosigma akashiwo in response to a ciliate predator and predator-derived cues. We observed predator-induced defense behaviors previously unknown for phytoplankton. Modulation of individual phytoplankton movements during and after predator exposure resulted in an effective separation of predator and prey species. The strongest avoidance behaviors were observed when H. akashiwo co-occurred with an actively grazing predator. Predator-induced changes in phytoplankton movements resulted in a reduction in encounter rate and a 3-fold increase in net algal population growth rate. A spatially explicit population model predicted rapid phytoplankton bloom formation only when fleeing behaviors were incorporated. These model predictions reflected field observations of rapid H. akashiwo harmful algal bloom (HAB) formation in the coastal ocean. Our results document a novel behavior in phytoplankton that can significantly reduce predation pressure and suggests a new mechanism for HAB formation. Phytoplankton behaviors that minimize predatory losses, maximize resource acquisition, and alter community composition and distribution patterns could have major implications for our understanding and predictive capacity of marine primary production and biochemical cycling rates.

  7. Intraguild predation in pioneer predator communities of alpine glacier forelands.

    PubMed

    Raso, Lorna; Sint, Daniela; Mayer, Rebecca; Plangg, Simon; Recheis, Thomas; Brunner, Silvia; Kaufmann, Rüdiger; Traugott, Michael

    2014-08-01

    Pioneer communities establishing themselves in the barren terrain in front of glacier forelands consist principally of predator species such as carabid beetles and lycosid spiders. The fact that so many different predators can co-inhabit an area with no apparent primary production was initially explained by allochthonous material deposited in these forelands. However, whether these populations can be sustained on allochthonous material alone is questionable and recent studies point towards this assumption to be flawed. Intraguild predation (IGP) might play an important role in these pioneer predator assemblages, especially in the very early successional stages where other prey is scarce. Here, we investigated IGP between the main predator species and their consumption of Collembola, an important autochthonous alternative prey, within a glacier foreland in the Ötztal (Austrian Alps). Multiplex PCR and stable isotope analysis were used to characterize the trophic niches in an early and late pioneer stage over 2 years. Results showed that intraguild prey was consumed by all invertebrate predators, particularly the larger carabid species. Contrary to our initial hypothesis, the DNA detection frequency of IGP prey was not significantly higher in early than in late pioneer stage, which was corroborated by the stable isotope analysis. Collembola were the most frequently detected prey in all of the predators, and the overall prey DNA detection patterns were consistent between years. Our findings show that IGP appears as a constant in these pioneer predator communities and that it remains unaffected by successional changes. © 2014 The Authors. Molecular Ecology Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  8. Deciphering Scavenging Propensity Among Arthropod Predators.

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Scavenging is a well documented feeding behavior among many arthrop predators. However, quantifying scavenging feeding activity is not well understood because many predators are small elusive. This makes directly observing predation events in nature almost impossible. If predators prefer dead prey ...

  9. Long-term exposure to elevated carbon dioxide does not alter activity levels of a coral reef fish in response to predator chemical cues.

    PubMed

    Sundin, Josefin; Amcoff, Mirjam; Mateos-González, Fernando; Raby, Graham D; Jutfelt, Fredrik; Clark, Timothy D

    2017-01-01

    Levels of dissolved carbon dioxide (CO2) projected to occur in the world's oceans in the near future have been reported to increase swimming activity and impair predator recognition in coral reef fishes. These behavioral alterations would be expected to have dramatic effects on survival and community dynamics in marine ecosystems in the future. To investigate the universality and replicability of these observations, we used juvenile spiny chromis damselfish (Acanthochromis polyacanthus) to examine the effects of long-term CO2 exposure on routine activity and the behavioral response to the chemical cues of a predator (Cephalopholis urodeta). Commencing at ~3-20 days post-hatch, juvenile damselfish were exposed to present-day CO2 levels (~420 μatm) or to levels forecasted for the year 2100 (~1000 μatm) for 3 months of their development. Thereafter, we assessed routine activity before and after injections of seawater (sham injection, control) or seawater-containing predator chemical cues. There was no effect of CO2 treatment on routine activity levels before or after the injections. All fish decreased their swimming activity following the predator cue injection but not following the sham injection, regardless of CO2 treatment. Our results corroborate findings from a growing number of studies reporting limited or no behavioral responses of fishes to elevated CO2. Alarmingly, it has been reported that levels of dissolved carbon dioxide (CO2) forecasted for the year 2100 cause coral reef fishes to be attracted to the chemical cues of predators. However, most studies have exposed the fish to CO2 for very short periods before behavioral testing. Using long-term acclimation to elevated CO2 and automated tracking software, we found that fish exposed to elevated CO2 showed the same behavioral patterns as control fish exposed to present-day CO2 levels. Specifically, activity levels were the same between groups, and fish acclimated to elevated CO2 decreased their swimming

  10. Predator-induced demographic shifts in coral reef fish assemblages

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ruttenberg, B.I.; Hamilton, S.L.; Walsh, S.M.; Donovan, M.K.; Friedlander, A.; DeMartini, E.; Sala, E.; Sandin, S.A.

    2011-01-01

    In recent years, it has become apparent that human impacts have altered community structure in coastal and marine ecosystems worldwide. Of these, fishing is one of the most pervasive, and a growing body of work suggests that fishing can have strong effects on the ecology of target species, especially top predators. However, the effects of removing top predators on lower trophic groups of prey fishes are less clear, particularly in highly diverse and trophically complex coral reef ecosystems. We examined patterns of abundance, size structure, and age-based demography through surveys and collection-based studies of five fish species from a variety of trophic levels at Kiritimati and Palmyra, two nearby atolls in the Northern Line Islands. These islands have similar biogeography and oceanography, and yet Kiritimati has ~10,000 people with extensive local fishing while Palmyra is a US National Wildlife Refuge with no permanent human population, no fishing, and an intact predator fauna. Surveys indicated that top predators were relatively larger and more abundant at unfished Palmyra, while prey functional groups were relatively smaller but showed no clear trends in abundance as would be expected from classic trophic cascades. Through detailed analyses of focal species, we found that size and longevity of a top predator were lower at fished Kiritimati than at unfished Palmyra. Demographic patterns also shifted dramatically for 4 of 5 fish species in lower trophic groups, opposite in direction to the top predator, including decreases in average size and longevity at Palmyra relative to Kiritimati. Overall, these results suggest that fishing may alter community structure in complex and non-intuitive ways, and that indirect demographic effects should be considered more broadly in ecosystem-based management. ?? 2011 Ruttenberg et al.

  11. Predator-Induced Demographic Shifts in Coral Reef Fish Assemblages

    PubMed Central

    Ruttenberg, Benjamin I.; Hamilton, Scott L.; Walsh, Sheila M.; Donovan, Mary K.; Friedlander, Alan; DeMartini, Edward; Sala, Enric; Sandin, Stuart A.

    2011-01-01

    In recent years, it has become apparent that human impacts have altered community structure in coastal and marine ecosystems worldwide. Of these, fishing is one of the most pervasive, and a growing body of work suggests that fishing can have strong effects on the ecology of target species, especially top predators. However, the effects of removing top predators on lower trophic groups of prey fishes are less clear, particularly in highly diverse and trophically complex coral reef ecosystems. We examined patterns of abundance, size structure, and age-based demography through surveys and collection-based studies of five fish species from a variety of trophic levels at Kiritimati and Palmyra, two nearby atolls in the Northern Line Islands. These islands have similar biogeography and oceanography, and yet Kiritimati has ∼10,000 people with extensive local fishing while Palmyra is a US National Wildlife Refuge with no permanent human population, no fishing, and an intact predator fauna. Surveys indicated that top predators were relatively larger and more abundant at unfished Palmyra, while prey functional groups were relatively smaller but showed no clear trends in abundance as would be expected from classic trophic cascades. Through detailed analyses of focal species, we found that size and longevity of a top predator were lower at fished Kiritimati than at unfished Palmyra. Demographic patterns also shifted dramatically for 4 of 5 fish species in lower trophic groups, opposite in direction to the top predator, including decreases in average size and longevity at Palmyra relative to Kiritimati. Overall, these results suggest that fishing may alter community structure in complex and non-intuitive ways, and that indirect demographic effects should be considered more broadly in ecosystem-based management. PMID:21698165

  12. Predation on Japanese quail vs. house sparrow eggs in artificial nests: small eggs reveal small predators

    Treesearch

    Thomas J. Maier; Richard M. DeGraaf

    2000-01-01

    Nest predation studies frequently use eggs such as Japanese Quail (Coturnix japonica) to identify potential predators of Neotropical migrants' eggs, but such eggs may be too large or thick-shelled to identify the full complement of potential predators. We compared predation events and predators of Japanese Quail and smaller House Sparrow (

  13. Landscape of fear influences the relative importance of consumptive and nonconsumptive predator effects.

    PubMed

    Matassa, Catherine M; Trussell, Geoffrey C

    2011-12-01

    Predators can initiate trophic cascades by consuming and/or scaring their prey. Although both forms of predator effect can increase the overall abundance of prey's resources, nonconsumptive effects may be more important to the spatial and temporal distribution of resources because predation risk often determines where and when prey choose to forage. Our experiment characterized temporal and spatial variation in the strength of consumptive and nonconsumptive predator effects in a rocky intertidal food chain consisting of the predatory green crab (Carcinus maenas), an intermediate consumer (the dogwhelk, Nucella lapillus), and barnacles (Semibalanus balanoides) as a resource. We tracked the survival of individual barnacles through time to map the strength of predator effects in experimental communities. These maps revealed striking spatiotemporal patterns in Nucella foraging behavior in response to each predator effect. However, only the nonconsumptive effect of green crabs produced strong spatial patterns in barnacle survivorship. Predation risk may play a pivotal role in determining the small-scale distribution patterns of this important rocky intertidal foundation species. We suggest that the effects of predation risk on individual foraging behavior may scale up to shape community structure and dynamics at a landscape level.

  14. Chemotactic predator-prey dynamics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sengupta, Ankush; Kruppa, Tobias; Löwen, Hartmut

    2011-03-01

    A discrete chemotactic predator-prey model is proposed in which the prey secrets a diffusing chemical which is sensed by the predator and vice versa. Two dynamical states corresponding to catching and escaping are identified and it is shown that steady hunting is unstable. For the escape process, the predator-prey distance is diffusive for short times but exhibits a transient subdiffusive behavior which scales as a power law t1/3 with time t and ultimately crosses over to diffusion again. This allows us to classify the motility and dynamics of various predatory microbes and phagocytes. In particular, there is a distinct region in the parameter space where they prove to be infallible predators.

  15. Predation by Red Foxes (Vulpes vulpes) at an Outdoor Piggery

    PubMed Central

    Fleming, Patricia A.; Dundas, Shannon J.; Lau, Yvonne Y. W.; Pluske, John R.

    2016-01-01

    Simple Summary Predation of piglets by red foxes is a significant risk for outdoor/free-range pork producers, but is often difficult to quantify. Using remote sensing cameras, we recorded substantial evidence of red foxes taking piglets from around farrowing huts, and found that piglets were most likely to be recorded as “missing” over their first week. These data suggest that fox predation contributed to the marked production differences between this outdoor farm and a similar-sized intensive farm under the same management, and warrant greater control of this introduced, invasive predator. Abstract Outdoor pig operations are an alternative to intensive systems of raising pigs; however for the majority of outdoor pork producers, issues of biosecurity and predation control require significant management and (or) capital investment. Identifying and quantifying predation risk in outdoor pork operations has rarely been done, but such data would be informative for these producers as part of their financial and logistical planning. We quantified potential impact of fox predation on piglets bred on an outdoor pork operation in south-western Australia. We used remote sensor cameras at select sites across the farm as well as above farrowing huts to record interactions between predators and pigs (sows and piglets). We also identified animal losses from breeding records, calculating weaning rate as a proportion of piglets born. Although only few piglets were recorded lost to fox predation (recorded by piggery staff as carcasses that are “chewed”), it is likely that foxes were contributing substantially to the 20% of piglets that were reported “missing”. Both sets of cameras recorded a high incidence of fox activity; foxes appeared on camera soon after staff left for the day, were observed tracking and taking live piglets (despite the presence of sows), and removed dead carcasses from in front of the cameras. Newly born and younger piglets appeared to be the most

  16. On Predation of Symbiotic Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chatterjee, Samrat; Venturino, Ezio

    2011-09-01

    In this study we investigate an ecosystem in which a predator population hunts two different prey who live in symbiosis. Under the assumptions we take, the effect of the predators on the symbiotic system does not reveal any substantial change in the system dynamics, except that in sufficient numbers they can drive the ecosystem to extinction, although the prey in their absence might grow unboundedly.

  17. Predators of the Whitetail

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Fagre, Daniel B.

    1994-01-01

    white-tailed deer have long been important prey for large predators. Before Europeans colonized North America, deer roaming the forested region east of the Great Plains and areas along the Gulf of Mexico were hunted by wolves and mountain lions, and by Native Americans for food and clothing materials. Today, wolves and mountain lions are largely gone from the white-tailed deer range of the eastern United States. Deer still face the threat of wolves in northern Minnesota, Michigan, and Wisconsin, and of mountain lions, to a limited extent, in Texas and south Florida. Relatively small populations of whitetails have expanded westward, showing up in the Great Plains and several areas west of the Continental Divide such as northwestern Montana, northern Idaho, and eastern Washington. More than half the prey killed by recolonizing wolves in northwestern Montana are white-tailed deer. Although it has not been well documented, these western whitetails undoubtedly also are preyed on by mountain lions. Wolves and mountain lions have evolved as effective killers of deer but with very different physical characteristics and hunting behaviors. Of course, for their part, whitetails have found ways to protect themselves.

  18. A Mach-Zender digital holographic microscope with sub-micrometer resolution for imaging and tracking of marine micro-organisms.

    PubMed

    Kühn, Jonas; Niraula, Bimochan; Liewer, Kurt; Kent Wallace, J; Serabyn, Eugene; Graff, Emilio; Lindensmith, Christian; Nadeau, Jay L

    2014-12-01

    Digital holographic microscopy is an ideal tool for investigation of microbial motility. However, most designs do not exhibit sufficient spatial resolution for imaging bacteria. In this study we present an off-axis Mach-Zehnder design of a holographic microscope with spatial resolution of better than 800 nm and the ability to resolve bacterial samples at varying densities over a 380 μm × 380 μm × 600 μm three-dimensional field of view. Larger organisms, such as protozoa, can be resolved in detail, including cilia and flagella. The instrument design and performance are presented, including images and tracks of bacterial and protozoal mixed samples and pure cultures of six selected species. Organisms as small as 1 μm (bacterial spores) and as large as 60 μm (Paramecium bursaria) may be resolved and tracked without changes in the instrument configuration. Finally, we present a dilution series investigating the maximum cell density that can be imaged, a type of analysis that has not been presented in previous holographic microscopy studies.

  19. A Mach-Zender digital holographic microscope with sub-micrometer resolution for imaging and tracking of marine micro-organisms

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kühn, Jonas; Niraula, Bimochan; Liewer, Kurt; Kent Wallace, J.; Serabyn, Eugene; Graff, Emilio; Lindensmith, Christian; Nadeau, Jay L.

    2014-12-01

    Digital holographic microscopy is an ideal tool for investigation of microbial motility. However, most designs do not exhibit sufficient spatial resolution for imaging bacteria. In this study we present an off-axis Mach-Zehnder design of a holographic microscope with spatial resolution of better than 800 nm and the ability to resolve bacterial samples at varying densities over a 380 μm × 380 μm × 600 μm three-dimensional field of view. Larger organisms, such as protozoa, can be resolved in detail, including cilia and flagella. The instrument design and performance are presented, including images and tracks of bacterial and protozoal mixed samples and pure cultures of six selected species. Organisms as small as 1 μm (bacterial spores) and as large as 60 μm (Paramecium bursaria) may be resolved and tracked without changes in the instrument configuration. Finally, we present a dilution series investigating the maximum cell density that can be imaged, a type of analysis that has not been presented in previous holographic microscopy studies.

  20. Repeated, long-distance migrations by a philopatric predator targeting highly contrasting ecosystems

    PubMed Central

    Lea, James S. E.; Wetherbee, Bradley M.; Queiroz, Nuno; Burnie, Neil; Aming, Choy; Sousa, Lara L.; Mucientes, Gonzalo R.; Humphries, Nicolas E.; Harvey, Guy M.; Sims, David W.; Shivji, Mahmood S.

    2015-01-01

    Long-distance movements of animals are an important driver of population spatial dynamics and determine the extent of overlap with area-focused human activities, such as fishing. Despite global concerns of declining shark populations, a major limitation in assessments of population trends or spatial management options is the lack of information on their long-term migratory behaviour. For a large marine predator, the tiger shark Galeocerdo cuvier, we show from individuals satellite-tracked for multiple years (up to 1101 days) that adult males undertake annually repeated, round-trip migrations of over 7,500 km in the northwest Atlantic. Notably, these migrations occurred between the highly disparate ecosystems of Caribbean coral reef regions in winter and high latitude oceanic areas in summer, with strong, repeated philopatry to specific overwintering insular habitat. Partial migration also occurred, with smaller, immature individuals displaying reduced migration propensity. Foraging may be a putative motivation for these oceanic migrations, with summer behaviour showing higher path tortuosity at the oceanic range extremes. The predictable migratory patterns and use of highly divergent ecosystems shown by male tiger sharks appear broadly similar to migrations seen in birds, reptiles and mammals, and highlight opportunities for dynamic spatial management and conservation measures of highly mobile sharks. PMID:26057337

  1. Repeated, long-distance migrations by a philopatric predator targeting highly contrasting ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Lea, James S E; Wetherbee, Bradley M; Queiroz, Nuno; Burnie, Neil; Aming, Choy; Sousa, Lara L; Mucientes, Gonzalo R; Humphries, Nicolas E; Harvey, Guy M; Sims, David W; Shivji, Mahmood S

    2015-06-09

    Long-distance movements of animals are an important driver of population spatial dynamics and determine the extent of overlap with area-focused human activities, such as fishing. Despite global concerns of declining shark populations, a major limitation in assessments of population trends or spatial management options is the lack of information on their long-term migratory behaviour. For a large marine predator, the tiger shark Galeocerdo cuvier, we show from individuals satellite-tracked for multiple years (up to 1101 days) that adult males undertake annually repeated, round-trip migrations of over 7,500 km in the northwest Atlantic. Notably, these migrations occurred between the highly disparate ecosystems of Caribbean coral reef regions in winter and high latitude oceanic areas in summer, with strong, repeated philopatry to specific overwintering insular habitat. Partial migration also occurred, with smaller, immature individuals displaying reduced migration propensity. Foraging may be a putative motivation for these oceanic migrations, with summer behaviour showing higher path tortuosity at the oceanic range extremes. The predictable migratory patterns and use of highly divergent ecosystems shown by male tiger sharks appear broadly similar to migrations seen in birds, reptiles and mammals, and highlight opportunities for dynamic spatial management and conservation measures of highly mobile sharks.

  2. Repeated, long-distance migrations by a philopatric predator targeting highly contrasting ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lea, James S. E.; Wetherbee, Bradley M.; Queiroz, Nuno; Burnie, Neil; Aming, Choy; Sousa, Lara L.; Mucientes, Gonzalo R.; Humphries, Nicolas E.; Harvey, Guy M.; Sims, David W.; Shivji, Mahmood S.

    2015-06-01

    Long-distance movements of animals are an important driver of population spatial dynamics and determine the extent of overlap with area-focused human activities, such as fishing. Despite global concerns of declining shark populations, a major limitation in assessments of population trends or spatial management options is the lack of information on their long-term migratory behaviour. For a large marine predator, the tiger shark Galeocerdo cuvier, we show from individuals satellite-tracked for multiple years (up to 1101 days) that adult males undertake annually repeated, round-trip migrations of over 7,500 km in the northwest Atlantic. Notably, these migrations occurred between the highly disparate ecosystems of Caribbean coral reef regions in winter and high latitude oceanic areas in summer, with strong, repeated philopatry to specific overwintering insular habitat. Partial migration also occurred, with smaller, immature individuals displaying reduced migration propensity. Foraging may be a putative motivation for these oceanic migrations, with summer behaviour showing higher path tortuosity at the oceanic range extremes. The predictable migratory patterns and use of highly divergent ecosystems shown by male tiger sharks appear broadly similar to migrations seen in birds, reptiles and mammals, and highlight opportunities for dynamic spatial management and conservation measures of highly mobile sharks.

  3. The role of selective predation in harmful algal blooms

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Solé, Jordi; Garcia-Ladona, Emilio; Estrada, Marta

    2006-08-01

    A feature of marine plankton communities is the occurrence of rapid population explosions. When the blooming species are directly or indirectly noxious for humans, these proliferations are denoted as harmful algal blooms (HAB). The importance of biological interactions for the appearance of HABs, in particular when the proliferating microalgae produce toxins that affect other organisms in the food web, remains still poorly understood. Here we analyse the role of toxins produced by a microalgal species and affecting its predators, in determining the success of that species as a bloom former. A three-species predator-prey model is used to define a criterion that determines whether a toxic microalga will be able to initiate a bloom in competition against a non-toxic one with higher growth rate. Dominance of the toxic species depends on a critical parameter that defines the degree of feeding selectivity by grazers. The criterion is applied to a particular simplified model and to numerical simulations of a full marine ecosystem model. The results suggest that the release of toxic compounds affecting predators may be a plausible biological factor in allowing the development of HABs.

  4. Simulating realistic predator signatures in quantitative fatty acid signature analysis

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bromaghin, Jeffrey F.

    2015-01-01

    Diet estimation is an important field within quantitative ecology, providing critical insights into many aspects of ecology and community dynamics. Quantitative fatty acid signature analysis (QFASA) is a prominent method of diet estimation, particularly for marine mammal and bird species. Investigators using QFASA commonly use computer simulation to evaluate statistical characteristics of diet estimators for the populations they study. Similar computer simulations have been used to explore and compare the performance of different variations of the original QFASA diet estimator. In both cases, computer simulations involve bootstrap sampling prey signature data to construct pseudo-predator signatures with known properties. However, bootstrap sample sizes have been selected arbitrarily and pseudo-predator signatures therefore may not have realistic properties. I develop an algorithm to objectively establish bootstrap sample sizes that generates pseudo-predator signatures with realistic properties, thereby enhancing the utility of computer simulation for assessing QFASA estimator performance. The algorithm also appears to be computationally efficient, resulting in bootstrap sample sizes that are smaller than those commonly used. I illustrate the algorithm with an example using data from Chukchi Sea polar bears (Ursus maritimus) and their marine mammal prey. The concepts underlying the approach may have value in other areas of quantitative ecology in which bootstrap samples are post-processed prior to their use.

  5. Thermal stratification drives movement of a coastal apex predator.

    PubMed

    Aspillaga, Eneko; Bartumeus, Frederic; Starr, Richard M; López-Sanz, Àngel; Linares, Cristina; Díaz, David; Garrabou, Joaquim; Zabala, Mikel; Hereu, Bernat

    2017-04-03

    A characterization of the thermal ecology of fishes is needed to better understand changes in ecosystems and species distributions arising from global warming. The movement of wild animals during changing environmental conditions provides essential information to help predict the future thermal response of large marine predators. We used acoustic telemetry to monitor the vertical movement activity of the common dentex (Dentex dentex), a Mediterranean coastal predator, in relation to the oscillations of the seasonal thermocline during two summer periods in the Medes Islands marine reserve (NW Mediterranean Sea). During the summer stratification period, the common dentex presented a clear preference for the warm suprathermoclinal layer, and adjusted their vertical movements following the depth changes of the thermocline. The same preference was also observed during the night, when fish were less active. Due to this behaviour, we hypothesize that inter-annual thermal oscillations and the predicted lengthening of summer conditions will have a significant positive impact on the metabolic efficiency, activity levels, and population dynamics of this species, particularly in its northern limit of distribution. These changes in the dynamics of an ecosystem's keystone predator might cascade down to lower trophic levels, potentially re-defining the coastal fish communities of the future.

  6. Temporal Dynamics of Top Predators Interactions in the Barents Sea

    PubMed Central

    Durant, Joël M.; Skern-Mauritzen, Mette; Krasnov, Yuri V.; Nikolaeva, Natalia G.; Lindstrøm, Ulf; Dolgov, Andrey

    2014-01-01

    The Barents Sea system is often depicted as a simple food web in terms of number of dominant feeding links. The most conspicuous feeding link is between the Northeast Arctic cod Gadus morhua, the world's largest cod stock which is presently at a historical high level, and capelin Mallotus villosus. The system also holds diverse seabird and marine mammal communities. Previous diet studies may suggest that these top predators (cod, bird and sea mammals) compete for food particularly with respect to pelagic fish such as capelin and juvenile herring (Clupea harengus), and krill. In this paper we explored the diet of some Barents Sea top predators (cod, Black-legged kittiwake Rissa tridactyla, Common guillemot Uria aalge, and Minke whale Balaenoptera acutorostrata). We developed a GAM modelling approach to analyse the temporal variation diet composition within and between predators, to explore intra- and inter-specific interactions. The GAM models demonstrated that the seabird diet is temperature dependent while the diet of Minke whale and cod is prey dependent; Minke whale and cod diets depend on the abundance of herring and capelin, respectively. There was significant diet overlap between cod and Minke whale, and between kittiwake and guillemot. In general, the diet overlap between predators increased with changes in herring and krill abundances. The diet overlap models developed in this study may help to identify inter-specific interactions and their dynamics that potentially affect the stocks targeted by fisheries. PMID:25365430

  7. The diet of a nocturnal pelagic predator, the Bulwer's petrel, across the lunar cycle.

    PubMed

    Waap, S; Symondson, W O C; Granadeiro, J P; Alonso, H; Serra-Gonçalves, C; Dias, M P; Catry, P

    2017-05-03

    The lunar cycle is believed to strongly influence the vertical distribution of many oceanic taxa, with implications for the foraging behaviour of nocturnal marine predators. Most studies to date testing lunar effects on foraging have focused on predator activity at-sea, with some birds and marine mammals demonstrating contrasting behavioural patterns, depending on the lunar-phase. However, to date no study has focused on how the lunar cycle might actually affect predator-prey interactions in the upper layers of the ocean. Here, we tested whether the diet of the predominantly nocturnal pelagic predator, the Bulwer's petrel (Bulweria bulwerii) would change throughout the lunar cycle, using molecular analysis to augment detection and taxonomic resolution of prey collected from stomach-contents. We found no evidence of dietary shifts in species composition or diversity, with Bulwer's petrel always consuming a wide range of mesopelagic species. Other co-variables potentially affecting light availability at-sea, such as percentage of cloud cover, did not confound our results. Moreover, many of the species found are thought not to reach the sea-surface. Our findings reveal that nocturnal predators are probably more specialized than previously assumed, irrespective of ambient-light, but also reveal deficiencies in our current understanding of species vertical distribution and predation-dynamics at-sea.

  8. Evaluating the Accuracy of MODIS Products in the Southern Scean Using Tagged Marine Predators, and Measuring Significant Change in 12 Years of [Chl-a], Zeu and Cloud Fraction Data.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Biermann, L.; Boehme, L.; Guinet, C.

    2016-02-01

    The Southern Ocean is vital to the functioning of our global atmospheric and marine systems. However, this key ocean is also measurably responsive to the Southern Annular Mode (SAM), the dominant mode of atmospheric variability in the Southern Hemisphere. Decreased ozone and increases in greenhouse gases appear to be forcing the SAM towards its positive phase, significantly changing wind patterns and, thus, altering mixing and circulation regimes of Southern Ocean waters. Inevitably, these changes must impact on patterns of phytoplankton abundance and distribution. Using remotely sensed data that have been evaluated alongside in situ data collected by tagged southern elephant seals, this work investigates if changes to summer phytoplankton abundance and distribution in the Southern Ocean can already be measured in the 12-year MODIS record. Patterns and trends in surface chlorophyll-a concentration ([Chl-a]), the depth of the 1% light level (Zeu) and mean cloud fraction are examined over time, as well as relative to the SAM. Trends in [Chl-a] and Zeu over the months of October, November and December suggest overall declines in surface phytoplankton, and shifts in timing of blooms. Indeed, by January and February over the 12-year timeseries, trends reverse to suggest increases in phytoplankton abundance. Relative to the increasingly positive SAM, trends of overall decline in phytoplankton abundance are significant only over Decembers. Trends in cloud cover are more difficult to interpret but the Atlantic Ocean appears to be becoming less cloudy, the southern sector of the Pacific Ocean appears to be becoming cloudier, and that the southern sector of the Indian Ocean is most variable over time. Only the increase in cloud over the southern Pacific in Decembers appears to be significantly related to changes to the SAM. Interestingly, in no cases were the changes to [Chl-a], Zeu or cloud cover strictly zonal. The asymmetry of these results reinforces findings from

  9. Behavioral Hypervolumes of Predator Groups and Predator-Predator Interactions Shape Prey Survival Rates and Selection on Prey Behavior.

    PubMed

    Pruitt, Jonathan N; Howell, Kimberly A; Gladney, Shaniqua J; Yang, Yusan; Lichtenstein, James L L; Spicer, Michelle Elise; Echeverri, Sebastian A; Pinter-Wollman, Noa

    2017-03-01

    Predator-prey interactions often vary on the basis of the traits of the individual predators and prey involved. Here we examine whether the multidimensional behavioral diversity of predator groups shapes prey mortality rates and selection on prey behavior. We ran individual sea stars (Pisaster ochraceus) through three behavioral assays to characterize individuals' behavioral phenotype along three axes. We then created groups that varied in the volume of behavioral space that they occupied. We further manipulated the ability of predators to interact with one another physically via the addition of barriers. Prey snails (Chlorostome funebralis) were also run through an assay to evaluate their predator avoidance behavior before their use in mesocosm experiments. We then subjected pools of prey to predator groups and recorded the number of prey consumed and their behavioral phenotypes. We found that predator-predator interactions changed survival selection on prey traits: when predators were prevented from interacting, more fearful snails had higher survival rates, whereas prey fearfulness had no effect on survival when predators were free to interact. We also found that groups of predators that occupied a larger volume in behavioral trait space consumed 35% more prey snails than homogeneous predator groups. Finally, we found that behavioral hypervolumes were better predictors of prey survival rates than single behavioral traits or other multivariate statistics (i.e., principal component analysis). Taken together, predator-predator interactions and multidimensional behavioral diversity determine prey survival rates and selection on prey traits in this system.

  10. Intense predation cannot always be detected experimentally: A case study of shorebird predation on nereid polychaetes in South Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kalejta, B.

    The effect of predation by curlew sandpipers Calidris ferruginea L. and grey plovers Pluvialis squatarola (L.) on populations of nereid worms Ceratonereis keiskama (Day) and C. erythraeensis (Fauvel) was studied at the Berg River estuary, South Africa, by comparing observations of shorebird-foraging intensity with the results of a population study of two species of nereid worms within and outside bird exclosures. The study was carried out during the four-month period prior to northward migration of shorebirds. Population structure of the two nereid species differed considerably. Ceratonereis keiskama reproduced earlier than C. erythraeensis and only young individuals were present during the study. By contrast, old C. erythraeensis were available to the birds at the start of the experiment and young animals entered the population during the experiment. Despite selective predation on certain size classes of nereids by the birds, no significant changes in the population structure of either nereid were detected by the cage experiment. Numbers and biomass of both Ceratonereis spp. in paired controls and cages tracked each other and did not diverge as predicted. A consistent difference in the depth stratification of the two nereids may, however, have been due to predation pressure. Curlew sandpipers were calculated to remove 3112 nereids per m 2 during the three months, equivalent to 4.4. g (dry weight) per m 2. This represents 58% of the initial numbers and 77% of the initial biomass of nereids. Although predation on nereids by waders was exceptionally high at the Berg River estuary, any depletion in numbers or biomass of nereids caused by these predators was masked by the reproduction of the nereids. The fact that the predators' high energy requirements prior to northward migration coincide with the period of peak production of invertebrate prey makes the Berg River estuary an exceptionally favourable wintering area.

  11. The role of pre-existing disturbances in the effect of marine reserves on coastal ecosystems: a modelling approach.

    PubMed

    Savina, Marie; Condie, Scott A; Fulton, Elizabeth A

    2013-01-01

    We have used an end-to-end ecosystem model to explore responses over 30 years to coastal no-take reserves covering up to 6% of the fifty thousand square kilometres of continental shelf and slope off the coast of New South Wales (Australia). The model is based on the Atlantis framework, which includes a deterministic, spatially resolved three-dimensional biophysical model that tracks nutrient flows through key biological groups, as well as extraction by a range of fisheries. The model results support previous empirical studies in finding clear benefits of reserves to top predators such as sharks and rays throughout the region, while also showing how many of their major prey groups (including commercial species) experienced significant declines. It was found that the net impact of marine reserves was dependent on the pre-existing levels of disturbance (i.e. fishing pressure), and to a lesser extent on the size of the marine reserves. The high fishing scenario resulted in a strongly perturbed system, where the introduction of marine reserves had clear and mostly direct effects on biomass and functional biodiversity. However, under the lower fishing pressure scenario, the introduction of marine reserves caused both direct positive effects, mainly on shark groups, and indirect negative effects through trophic cascades. Our study illustrates the need to carefully align the design and implementation of marine reserves with policy and management objectives. Trade-offs may exist not only between fisheries and conservation objectives, but also among conservation objectives.

  12. The Role of Pre-Existing Disturbances in the Effect of Marine Reserves on Coastal Ecosystems: A Modelling Approach

    PubMed Central

    Savina, Marie; Condie, Scott A.; Fulton, Elizabeth A.

    2013-01-01

    We have used an end-to-end ecosystem model to explore responses over 30 years to coastal no-take reserves covering up to 6% of the fifty thousand square kilometres of continental shelf and slope off the coast of New South Wales (Australia). The model is based on the Atlantis framework, which includes a deterministic, spatially resolved three-dimensional biophysical model that tracks nutrient flows through key biological groups, as well as extraction by a range of fisheries. The model results support previous empirical studies in finding clear benefits of reserves to top predators such as sharks and rays throughout the region, while also showing how many of their major prey groups (including commercial species) experienced significant declines. It was found that the net impact of marine reserves was dependent on the pre-existing levels of disturbance (i.e. fishing pressure), and to a lesser extent on the size of the marine reserves. The high fishing scenario resulted in a strongly perturbed system, where the introduction of marine reserves had clear and mostly direct effects on biomass and functional biodiversity. However, under the lower fishing pressure scenario, the introduction of marine reserves caused both direct positive effects, mainly on shark groups, and indirect negative effects through trophic cascades. Our study illustrates the need to carefully align the design and implementation of marine reserves with policy and management objectives. Trade-offs may exist not only between fisheries and conservation objectives, but also among conservation objectives. PMID:23593432

  13. Mismatched anti-predator behavioral responses in predator-naïve larval anurans

    PubMed Central

    Vance-Chalcraft, Heather D.

    2015-01-01

    Organisms are adept at altering behaviors to balance the tradeoff between foraging and predation risk in spatially and temporally shifting predator environments. In order to optimize this tradeoff, prey need to be able to display an appropriate response based on degree of predation risk. To be most beneficial in the earliest life stages in which many prey are vulnerable to predation, innate anti-predator responses should scale to match the risk imposed by predators until learned anti-predator responses can occur. We conducted an experiment that examined whether tadpoles with no previous exposure to predators (i.e., predator-naive) exhibit innate antipredator behavioral responses (e.g., via refuge use and spatial avoidance) that match the actual risk posed by each predator. Using 7 treatments (6 free-roaming, lethal predators plus no-predator control), we determined the predation rates of each predator on Lithobates sphenocephalus tadpoles. We recorded behavioral observations on an additional 7 nonlethal treatments (6 caged predators plus no-predator control). Tadpoles exhibited innate responses to fish predators, but not non-fish predators, even though two non-fish predators (newt and crayfish) consumed the most tadpoles. Due to a mismatch between innate response and predator consumption, tadpoles may be vulnerable to greater rates of predation at the earliest life stages before learning can occur. Thus, naïve tadpoles in nature may be at a high risk to predation in the presence of a novel predator until learned anti-predator responses provide additional defenses to the surviving tadpoles. PMID:26664805

  14. Predation risk, stoichiometric plasticity and ecosystem elemental cycling.

    PubMed

    Leroux, Shawn J; Hawlena, Dror; Schmitz, Oswald J

    2012-10-22

    It is widely held that herbivore growth and production is limited by dietary nitrogen (N) that in turn constrains ecosystem elemental cycling. Yet, emerging evidence suggests that this conception of limitation may be incomplete, because chronic predation risk heightens herbivore metabolic rate and shifts demand from N-rich proteins to soluble carbohydrate-carbon (C). Because soluble C can be limiting, predation risk may cause ecosystem elemental cycling rates and stoichiometric balance to depend on herbivore physiological plasticity. We report on a stoichiometrically explicit ecosystem model that investigates this problem. The model tracks N, and soluble and recalcitrant C through ecosystem compartments. We evaluate how soluble plant C influences C and N stocks and flows in the presence and absence of predation risk. Without risk, herbivores are limited by N and respire excess C so that plant-soluble C has small effects only on elemental stocks and flows. With predation risk, herbivores are limited by soluble C and release excess N, so plant-soluble C critically influences ecosystem elemental stocks flows. Our results emphasize that expressing ecosystem stoichiometric balance using customary C:N ratios that do not distinguish between soluble and recalcitrant C may not adequately describe limitations on elemental cycling.

  15. Predation risk, stoichiometric plasticity and ecosystem elemental cycling

    PubMed Central

    Leroux, Shawn J.; Hawlena, Dror; Schmitz, Oswald J.

    2012-01-01

    It is widely held that herbivore growth and production is limited by dietary nitrogen (N) that in turn constrains ecosystem elemental cycling. Yet, emerging evidence suggests that this conception of limitation may be incomplete, because chronic predation risk heightens herbivore metabolic rate and shifts demand from N-rich proteins to soluble carbohydrate–carbon (C). Because soluble C can be limiting, predation risk may cause ecosystem elemental cycling rates and stoichiometric balance to depend on herbivore physiological plasticity. We report on a stoichiometrically explicit ecosystem model that investigates this problem. The model tracks N, and soluble and recalcitrant C through ecosystem compartments. We evaluate how soluble plant C influences C and N stocks and flows in the presence and absence of predation risk. Without risk, herbivores are limited by N and respire excess C so that plant-soluble C has small effects only on elemental stocks and flows. With predation risk, herbivores are limited by soluble C and release excess N, so plant-soluble C critically influences ecosystem elemental stocks flows. Our results emphasize that expressing ecosystem stoichiometric balance using customary C : N ratios that do not distinguish between soluble and recalcitrant C may not adequately describe limitations on elemental cycling. PMID:22896643

  16. Adaptation of prey and predators between patches.

    PubMed

    Wang, Wendi; Takeuchi, Yasuhiro

    2009-06-21

    Mathematical models are proposed to simulate migrations of prey and predators between patches. In the absence of predators, it is shown that the adaptation of prey leads to an ideal spatial distribution in the sense that the maximal capacity of each patch is achieved. With the introduction of co-adaptation of predators, it is proved that both prey and predators achieve ideal spatial distributions when the adaptations are weak. Further, it is shown that the adaptation of prey and predators increases the survival probability of predators from the extinction in both patches to the persistence in one patch. It is also demonstrated that there exists a pattern that prey and predators cooperate well through adaptations such that predators are permanent in every patch in the case that predators become extinct in each patch in the absence of adaptations. For strong adaptations, it is proved that the model admits periodic cycles and multiple stability transitions.

  17. Direct evidence of hybodont shark predation on Late Jurassic ammonites

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vullo, Romain

    2011-06-01

    Sharks are known to have been ammonoid predators, as indicated by analysis of bite marks or coprolite contents. However, body fossil associations attesting to this predator-prey relationship have never been described so far. Here, I report a unique finding from the Late Jurassic of western France: a complete specimen of the Kimmeridgian ammonite Orthaspidoceras bearing one tooth of the hybodont shark Planohybodus. Some possible tooth puncture marks are also observed. This is the first direct evidence of such a trophic link between these two major Mesozoic groups, allowing an accurate identification of both organisms. Although Planohybodus displays a tearing-type dentition generally assumed to have been especially adapted for large unshelled prey, our discovery clearly shows that this shark was also able to attack robust ammonites such as aspidoceratids. The direct evidence presented here provides new insights into the Mesozoic marine ecosystem food webs.

  18. Identifying when tagged fishes have been consumed by piscivorous predators: application of multivariate mixture models to movement parameters of telemetered fishes

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Romine, Jason G.; Perry, Russell W.; Johnston, Samuel V.; Fitzer, Christopher W.; Pagliughi, Stephen W.; Blake, Aaron R.

    2013-01-01

    Mixture models proved valuable as a means to differentiate between salmonid smolts and predators that consumed salmonid smolts. However, successful application of this method requires that telemetered fishes and their predators exhibit measurable differences in movement behavior. Our approach is flexible, allows inclusion of multiple track statistics and improves upon rule-based manual classification methods.

  19. Multi-species generalist predation on the stochastic harvested clam Tivela mactroides (Mollusca, Bivalvia)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Turra, Alexander; Fernandez, Wellington S.; Bessa, Eduardo; Santos, Flavia B.; Denadai, Márcia R.

    2015-12-01

    Top-down control is an important force modulating the abundance of prey and structuring marine communities. The harvested trigonal clam Tivela mactroides is hypothesized to be part of the diet of a variety of marine organisms, with its stock influencing predator abundance and being influenced by them. Here we analyzed the diet of potential predators of T. mactroides in Caraguatatuba Bay, northern coast of São Paulo State, Brazil, to identify the main consumers of this marine resource, and also to address the importance of this clam in the diet of each predator. Samples were taken year-round by trawls; all specimens collected were identified and measured and the food items identified and quantified. Twenty-one species consumed T. mactroides, whose importance in the diet varied greatly in both the volume ingested and the frequency of occurrence (pompano Trachinotus carolinus > blue crab Callinectes danae > starfish Astropecten marginatus). Top-down influence on T. mactroides was also dependent on the abundance of consumers (yellow catfish Cathorops spixii > rake stardrum Stellifer rastrifer > barred grunt Conodon nobilis > A. marginatus). Considering the mean volume ingested, the frequency of occurrence of T. mactroides in the diet, and the relative abundance of consumers, the predators that most influenced T. mactroides were T. carolinus, A. marginatus, and C. danae, in decreasing order. Large numbers of small-sized individuals of T. mactroides (<10 mm) were generally preyed upon by A. marginatus, which may have a stronger effect on clam abundance in comparison to C. danae and T. carolinus, which preyed upon larger clams. In conclusion, the results of this study indicate that predators' consumption of T. mactroides in Caraguatatuba Bay can influence its stocks, mainly due to the type and/or abundance of predator species, the volume and number of individuals of T. mactroides preyed upon, and the temporal variations in the abundance of predators.

  20. Variation in the population demographics of Scolopsis bilineatus in response to predators

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hall, A. E.; Kingsford, M. J.

    2016-12-01

    Predatory fishes play critical roles in the trophodynamics of coral reefs, and the biomass of predatory fish can be a strong determinant of the structure of reef fish assemblages. In this study, we used variations in predator biomass between management zones on the Great Barrier Reef to examine how predators influence the biomass, mortality, condition, and reproductive potential of a common prey species Scolopsis bilineatus (bridled monocle bream; Nemipteridae). Despite no numerical differences in biomass or mortality, we found significant differences in a variety of demographic traits for S. bilineatus between multiple areas of high and low predator biomass. The size-at-age, condition, and reproductive potential of fish were reduced in marine reserves where predator biomass was high. The response of fish to predators was highly sex dependent; females suffered the greatest reductions in condition and reproductive potential. This study supports the notion that predators can play important roles in regulating prey dynamics and emphasises the importance of understanding top-down control by predators when considering fisheries management techniques and conservation strategies.

  1. Inducible defenses in Olympia oysters in response to an invasive predator.

    PubMed

    Bible, Jillian M; Griffith, Kaylee R; Sanford, Eric

    2017-03-01

    The prey naiveté hypothesis suggests that native prey may be vulnerable to introduced predators because they have not evolved appropriate defenses. However, recent evidence suggests that native prey sometimes exhibit induced defenses to introduced predators, as a result of rapid evolution or other processes. We examined whether Olympia oysters (Ostrea lurida) display inducible defenses in the presence of an invasive predator, the Atlantic oyster drill (Urosalpinx cinerea), and whether these responses vary among oyster populations from estuaries with and without this predator. We spawned oysters from six populations distributed among three estuaries in northern California, USA, and raised their offspring through two generations under common conditions to minimize effects of environmental history. We exposed second-generation oysters to cue treatments: drills eating oysters, drills eating barnacles, or control seawater. Oysters from all populations grew smaller shells when exposed to drill cues, and grew thicker and harder shells when those drills were eating oysters. Oysters exposed to drills eating other oysters were subsequently preyed upon at a slower rate. Although all oyster populations exhibited inducible defenses, oysters from the estuary with the greatest exposure to drills grew the smallest shells suggesting that oyster populations have evolved adaptive differences in the strength of their responses to predators. Our findings add to a growing body of literature that suggests that marine prey may be less likely to exhibit naiveté in the face of invasive predators than prey in communities that are more isolated from native predators, such as many freshwater and terrestrial island ecosystems.

  2. Are lemmings prey or predators?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Turchin, P.; Oksanen, L.; Ekerholm, P.; Oksanen, T.; Henttonen, H.

    2000-06-01

    Large oscillations in the populations of Norwegian lemmings have mystified both professional ecologists and lay public. Ecologists suspect that these oscillations are driven by a trophic mechanism: either an interaction between lemmings and their food supply, or an interaction between lemmings and their predators. If lemming cycles are indeed driven by a trophic interaction, can we tell whether lemmings act as the resource (`prey') or the consumer (`predator')? In trophic interaction models, peaks of resource density generally have a blunt, rounded shape, whereas peaks of consumer density are sharp and angular. Here we have applied several statistical tests to three lemming datasets and contrasted them with comparable data for cyclic voles. We find that vole peaks are blunt, consistent with their cycles being driven by the interaction with predators. In contrast, the shape of lemming peaks is consistent with the hypothesis that lemmings are functional predators, that is, their cycles are driven by their interaction with food plants. Our findings suggest that a single mechanism, such as interaction between rodents and predators, is unlikely to provide the `universal' explanation of all cyclic rodent dynamics.

  3. Scared sick? Predator-pathogen facilitation enhances exploitation of a shared resource.

    PubMed

    Ramirez, Ricardo A; Snyder, William E

    2009-10-01

    Resource use generally increases with greater consumer diversity, an effect often attributed to resource partitioning. Pathogens and predators are two classes of consumer that exhibit differences in ecologically important traits (e.g., size, resource acquisition strategy, foraging location) that could lead to complementary effects on shared prey/hosts. To examine this possibility, we manipulated diversity among a community of predators and pathogens that together attack an herbivorous beetle, Leptinotarsa decemlineata, and measured resulting effects on herbivore suppression and resulting plant damage. We found that herbivore mortality increased, and plant damage decreased, when more natural enemy species were present. However, closer examination revealed that it was the pairing of predator with pathogen species, rather than greater biodiversity per se, that strengthened herbivore suppression. In this community, predators occur aboveground, attacking herbivore juvenile stages feeding on plant foliage, whereas pathogens occur belowground and attack herbivores pupating in the soil. In a subsequent field experiment, we tracked the emergence of predator-pathogen complementarity throughout the course of beetle development. We found that herbivores exposed to predators aboveground were more susceptible to subsequent pathogen infection belowground, consistent with our observation in the laboratory that predator exposure weakens beetles' immune response. Thus, predators facilitated resource capture by pathogens, perhaps reflecting an inherent conflict for the herbivore in allocating energetic resources toward anti-predator vs. anti-pathogen defenses. Our results suggest that predator-pathogen combinations were particularly taxing not because the consumer species partitioned resources among themselves, but instead because they enforced the partitioning of resources internal to prey/host individuals.

  4. Multiple interaction types determine the impact of ant predation of caterpillars in a forest community.

    PubMed

    Clark, Robert E; Farkas, Timothy E; Lichter-Marck, Isaac; Johnson, Emily R; Singer, Michael S

    2016-12-01

    Direct and indirect effects of predators are highly variable in complex communities, and understanding the sources of this variation is a research priority in community ecology. Recent evidence indicates that herbivore community structure is a primary determinant of predation strength and its cascading impacts on plants. In this study, we use variation in herbivore community structure among plant species to experimentally test two hypotheses in a temperate forest food web. First, variation in the strength of predator effects, such as ant predation of caterpillars, is predicted to be density dependent, exhibiting stronger effects when prey abundance is high (density-dependent predation hypothesis). Second, mutualistic interactions between ants and sap-feeding herbivores are expected to increase the abundance of predatory ants, strengthening predation effects on herbivores with cascading effects on host plants (keystone mutualism hypothesis). Using a large-scale predator exclusion experiment across eight dominant tree species, we tracked changes in insect density on 862 plants across two years, recording 2,322 ants, 1,062 sap-feeders, 5,322 caterpillars, and quantifying herbivory on 199, 338 leaves. In this experiment, density-dependent predation did not explain variation in the direct or indirect effects of ants on caterpillars and herbivory. In partial support of the keystone mutualism hypothesis, sap-feeders strengthened top-down effects of ants on caterpillars under some conditions. However, stronger ant predation of caterpillars did not lead to measurable trophic cascades on trees occupied by sap-feeders. Instead, the presence of sap-feeders was associated with increased per capita feeding damage by caterpillars, and this bottom-up effect attenuated the indirect effects of ants on host plants. These findings demonstrate that examining the multi-trophic impacts of mutualisms and predation in the context of the broader community can reveal patterns otherwise

  5. Behavioral refuges and predator-prey coexistence.

    PubMed

    Křivan, Vlastimil

    2013-12-21

    The effects of a behavioral refuge caused either by the predator optimal foraging or prey adaptive antipredator behavior on the Gause predator-prey model are studied. It is shown that both of these mechanisms promote predator-prey coexistence either at an equilibrium, or along a limit cycle. Adaptive prey refuge use leads to hysteresis in prey antipredator behavior which allows predator-prey coexistence along a limit cycle. Similarly, optimal predator foraging leads to sigmoidal functional responses with a potential to stabilize predator-prey population dynamics at an equilibrium, or along a limit cycle.

  6. Pelagic cephalopods in the western Indian Ocean: New information from diets of top predators

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ménard, Frédéric; Potier, Michel; Jaquemet, Sébastien; Romanov, Evgeny; Sabatié, Richard; Cherel, Yves

    2013-10-01

    Using a combination of diverse large predatory fishes and one seabird, we collected information on the cephalopod fauna of the western Indian Ocean. We analyzed the stomach contents of 35 fishes representing ten families (Xiphiidae, Istiophoridae, Scombridae, Carangidae, Coryphaenidae, Alepisauridae, Dasyatidae, Carcharhinidae, Alopiidae and Sphyrnidae) and of the sooty tern Onychoprion fuscata of the Mozambique Channel from 2000 to 2010. Both fresh and accumulated beaks were used for identifying cephalopod prey. Cephalopods were important prey for twelve predators; swordfish Xiphias gladius had the highest cephalopod proportion; sooty tern (O. fuscata) and bigeye tuna (Thunnus obesus) had high proportions too. We recovered 23 cephalopod families and identified 38 species. Ten species from four Teuthida families (Ommastrephidae, Onychoteuthidae, Histioteuthidae and Ancistrocheiridae) and two Octopoda families (Argonautidae and Bolitaenidae) occurred very frequently in the stomach contents, while Sepiida were rare. Ommastrephidae were the most cephalopod food sources: the purpleback flying squid Sthenoteuthis oualaniensis was the most prevalent prey by far, Ornithoteuthis volatilis was important for eleven predators and few but large specimens of the neon flying squid Ommastrephes bartramii were recovered in the stomachs of swordfish in the Indian South Subtropical Gyre province only. Predators' groups were identified based on cephalopod prey composition, on depth in which they forage, and on prey size. Surface predators' diets were characterized by lower cephalopod diversity but greater average numbers of cephalopod prey, whereas the deep-dwelling predators (swordfish and bigeye tuna) preyed on larger specimens than surface predators (O. fuscata or yellowfin tunas Thunnus albacares). Our findings emphasized the usefulness of a community of marine predators to gain valuable information on the biology and the distribution of the cephalopod forage fauna that are

  7. Marine Toxins: An Overview

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fusetani, Nobuhiro

    Oceans provide enormous and diverse space for marine life. Invertebrates are conspicuous inhabitants in certain zones such as the intertidal; many are soft-bodied, relatively immobile and lack obvious physical defenses. These animals frequently have evolved chemical defenses against predators and overgrowth by fouling organisms. Marine animals may accumulate and use a variety of toxins from prey organisms and from symbiotic microorganisms for their own purposes. Thus, toxic animals are particularly abundant in the oceans. The toxins vary from small molecules to high molecular weight proteins and display unique chemical and biological features of scientific interest. Many of these substances can serve as useful research tools or molecular models for the design of new drugs and pesticides. This chapter provides an initial survey of these toxins and their salient properties.

  8. Mariner-Venus 1967

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1971-01-01

    Detailed information on the spacecraft performance, mission operations, and tracking and data acquisition is presented for the Mariner Venus 1967 and Mariner Venus 1967 extension projects. Scientific and engineering results and conclusions are discussed, and include the scientific mission, encounter with Venus, observations near Earth, and cruise phase of the mission. Flight path analysis, spacecraft subsystems, and mission-related hardware and computer program development are covered. The scientific experiments carried by Mariner 5 were ultraviolet photometer, solar plasma probe, helium magnetometer, trapped radiation detector, S-band radio occultation, dual-frequency radio propagation, and celestial mechanics. The engineering experience gained by converting a space Mariner Mars 1964 spacecraft into one flown to Venus is also described.

  9. Analyzing Ocean Tracks: A model for student engagement in authentic scientific practices using data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Krumhansl, K.; Krumhansl, R.; Brown, C.; DeLisi, J.; Kochevar, R.; Sickler, J.; Busey, A.; Mueller-Northcott, J.; Block, B.

    2013-12-01

    The collection of large quantities of scientific data has not only transformed science, but holds the potential to transform teaching and learning by engaging students in authentic scientific work. Furthermore, it has become imperative in a data-rich world that students gain competency in working with and interpreting data. The Next Generation Science Standards reflect both the opportunity and need for greater integration of data in science education, and emphasize that both scientific knowledge and practice are essential elements of science learning. The process of enabling access by novice learners to data collected and used by experts poses significant challenges, however, recent research has demonstrated that barriers to student learning with data can be overcome by the careful design of data access and analysis tools that are specifically tailored to students. A group of educators at Education Development Center, Inc. (EDC) and scientists at Stanford University's Hopkins Marine Station are collaborating to develop and test a model for student engagement with scientific data using a web-based platform. This model, called Ocean Tracks: Investigating Marine Migrations in a Changing Ocean, provides students with the ability to plot and analyze tracks of migrating marine animals collected through the Tagging of Pacific Predators program. The interface and associated curriculum support students in identifying relationships between animal behavior and physical oceanographic variables (e.g. SST, chlorophyll, currents), making linkages between the living world and climate. Students are also supported in investigating possible sources of human impact to important biodiversity hotspots in the Pacific Ocean. The first round of classroom testing revealed that students were able to easily access and display data on the interface, and collect measurements from the animal tracks and oceanographic data layers. They were able to link multiple types of data to draw powerful

  10. Hunting cooperation and Allee effects in predators.

    PubMed

    Teixeira Alves, Mickaël; Hilker, Frank M

    2017-04-21

    Cooperation is a ubiquitous behavior in many biological systems and is well-known for promoting Allee effects. However, few studies have paid attention to mechanisms inducing Allee effects in predators. Here, we focus on hunting cooperation and use a classical predator-prey system for identifying the impact of this mechanism. We add a cooperation term to the attack rate of the predator population, and investigate the equilibrium stability in phase plane and bifurcation diagrams. We show that hunting cooperation can be beneficial to the predator population by increasing the attack rate. We identify a scenario in which hunting cooperation produces Allee effects in predators and allows the latter to persist when the prey population does not sustain them in the absence of hunting cooperation. However, hunting cooperation can turn detrimental to predators when prey density drastically decreases because of increased predation pressure, which in turn decreases the predator intake. Hunting cooperation can also destabilize the system and promote a sudden collapse of the predator population. We generalize the model and prove that demographic Allee effects always occur when (1) the attack rate increases with the predator density, and (2) the functional response increases with the attack rate. We conclude that Allee effects in predators might be more widespread than expected. Mechanisms inducing such effects may strongly influence not only predators, but also the fate of ecosystems involving predators as in biological control programs. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. Shipboard surveys track magnetic sources in marine sediments--geophysical studies of the Stono and North Edisto Inlets near Charleston, South Carolina

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Shah, Anjana K.; Harris, M. Scott

    2012-01-01

    Magnetic field data are traditionally used to analyze igneous and metamorphic rocks, but recent efforts have shown that magnetic sources within sediments may be detectable, suggesting new applications for high-resolution magnetic field surveys. Candidates for sedimentary sources include heavy mineral sand concentrations rich in magnetite or hematite, alteration-induced glauconite, or biogenic magnetite. Magnetic field surveys can be used to map the distributions of such sources with much denser and more widespread coverage than possible by sampling. These data can then provide constraints on the composition history of local sediments. Mapping such sediments requires the sensor to be relatively close to the source, and filtering approaches may be needed to distinguish signals from both system noise and deeper basement features. Marine geophysical surveys conducted in July, 2010, over the Stono and North Edisto River inlets and their riverine inputs south of Charleston, South Carolina, showed 10- to 40-m-wide, 1- to 6-nT magnetic anomalies associated with shallow, sand-covered seabed. These anomalies are distinct from system noise but are too narrow to represent basement features. The anomalies are present mostly in shallow areas where river sediments originating from upland areas enter the inlets. Surface grab samples from the North Edisto River contain trace amounts of heavy mineral sediments including hematite, maghemite, ilmenite, and magnetite, as well as garnet, epidote, zircon, and rutile. Previous stream sediment analyses show enhanced titanium over much of the Atlantic Coastal Plain. The combined data suggest that the anomalies are generated by titanium- and iron-rich heavy mineral sands ultimately originating from the Piedmont and Blue Ridge provinces, which are then reworked and concentrated by tidal currents.

  12. Selective Predation of a Stalking Predator on Ungulate Prey.

    PubMed

    Heurich, Marco; Zeis, Klara; Küchenhoff, Helmut; Müller, Jörg; Belotti, Elisa; Bufka, Luděk; Woelfing, Benno

    2016-01-01

    Prey selection is a key factor shaping animal populations and evolutionary dynamics. An optimal forager should target prey that offers the highest benefits in terms of energy content at the lowest costs. Predators are therefore expected to select for prey of optimal size. Stalking predators do not pursue their prey long, which may lead to a more random choice of prey individuals. Due to difficulties in assessing the composition of available prey populations, data on prey selection of stalking carnivores are still scarce. We show how the stalking predator Eurasian lynx (Lynx lynx) selects prey individuals based on species identity, age, sex and individual behaviour. To address the difficulties in assessing prey population structure, we confirm inferred selection patterns by using two independent data sets: (1) data of 387 documented kills of radio-collared lynx were compared to the prey population structure retrieved from systematic camera trapping using Manly's standardized selection ratio alpha and (2) data on 120 radio-collared roe deer were analysed using a Cox proportional hazards model. Among the larger red deer prey, lynx selected against adult males-the largest and potentially most dangerous prey individuals. In roe deer lynx preyed selectively on males and did not select for a specific age class. Activity during high risk periods reduced the risk of falling victim to a lynx attack. Our results suggest that the stalking predator lynx actively selects for size, while prey behaviour induces selection by encounter and stalking success rates.

  13. Selective Predation of a Stalking Predator on Ungulate Prey

    PubMed Central

    Heurich, Marco; Zeis, Klara; Küchenhoff, Helmut; Müller, Jörg; Belotti, Elisa; Bufka, Luděk; Woelfing, Benno

    2016-01-01

    Prey selection is a key factor shaping animal populations and evolutionary dynamics. An optimal forager should target prey that offers the highest benefits in terms of energy content at the lowest costs. Predators are therefore expected to select for prey of optimal size. Stalking predators do not pursue their prey long, which may lead to a more random choice of prey individuals. Due to difficulties in assessing the composition of available prey populations, data on prey selection of stalking carnivores are still scarce. We show how the stalking predator Eurasian lynx (Lynx lynx) selects prey individuals based on species identity, age, sex and individual behaviour. To address the difficulties in assessing prey population structure, we confirm inferred selection patterns by using two independent data sets: (1) data of 387 documented kills of radio-collared lynx were compared to the prey population structure retrieved from systematic camera trapping using Manly’s standardized selection ratio alpha and (2) data on 120 radio-collared roe deer were analysed using a Cox proportional hazards model. Among the larger red deer prey, lynx selected against adult males—the largest and potentially most dangerous prey individuals. In roe deer lynx preyed selectively on males and did not select for a specific age class. Activity during high risk periods reduced the risk of falling victim to a lynx attack. Our results suggest that the stalking predator lynx actively selects for size, while prey behaviour induces selection by encounter and stalking success rates. PMID:27548478

  14. Island tameness: an altered cardiovascular stress response in Galápagos marine iguanas.

    PubMed

    Vitousek, Maren N; Romero, L Michael; Tarlow, Elisa; Cyr, Nicole E; Wikelski, Martin

    2010-03-30

    Island tameness is a widely documented phenomenon in which island species, particularly those that have evolved with no or few natural predators, show a greatly reduced behavioral response when faced with unfamiliar predators. This insufficient anti-predator response has led to widespread population declines among many island species exposed to novel predators, and has become a serious conservation problem. Despite its prevalence, the underlying physiology of island tameness is not known. Here we report that although Galápagos marine iguanas (Amblyrhynchus cristatus) initiated flight from an evolutionarily recent and unfamiliar potential predator (humans), they failed to show the cardiovascular stress response that facilitates successful escape, even after a prior capture experience. In contrast, when approached by a native predator (the Galápagos hawk; Buteo galapagoensis), marine iguanas show markedly increased heart rate independent of initiating escape movement. The secretion of catecholamines appears to be central to the initiation of escape behavior: naïve animals remotely injected with epinephrine immediately increased flight initiation distance, whereas those injected with corticosterone did not. Our results provide the first evidence that muted escape behavior in predator-naïve species is indicative of both a cognitive deficit in recognizing potential predators and a catecholamine deficit in response. Understanding how the response to predators differs in predator-naïve species could enable the design of maximally effective techniques for inducing an anti-predator response in these vulnerable species.

  15. Predators and the public trust.

    PubMed

    Treves, Adrian; Chapron, Guillaume; López-Bao, Jose V; Shoemaker, Chase; Goeckner, Apollonia R; Bruskotter, Jeremy T

    2017-02-01

    Many democratic governments recognize a duty to conserve environmental resources, including wild animals, as a public trust for current and future citizens. These public trust principles have informed two centuries of U.S.A. Supreme Court decisions and environmental laws worldwide. Nevertheless numerous populations of large-bodied, mammalian carnivores (predators) were eradicated in the 20th century. Environmental movements and strict legal protections have fostered predator recoveries across the U.S.A. and Europe since the 1970s. Now subnational jurisdictions are regaining management authority from central governments for their predator subpopulations. Will the history of local eradication repeat or will these jurisdictions adopt public trust thinking and their obligation to broad public interests over narrower ones? We review the role of public trust principles in the restoration and preservation of controversial species. In so doing we argue for the essential roles of scientists from many disciplines concerned with biological diversity and its conservation. We look beyond species endangerment to future generations' interests in sustainability, particularly non-consumptive uses. Although our conclusions apply to all wild organisms, we focus on predators because of the particular challenges they pose for government trustees, trust managers, and society. Gray wolves Canis lupus L. deserve particular attention, because detailed information and abundant policy debates across regions have exposed four important challenges for preserving predators in the face of interest group hostility. One challenge is uncertainty and varied interpretations about public trustees' responsibilities for wildlife, which have created a mosaic of policies across jurisdictions. We explore how such mosaics have merits and drawbacks for biodiversity. The other three challenges to conserving wildlife as public trust assets are illuminated by the biology of predators and the interacting

  16. Effects of timber size-class on predation of artificial nests in extensive forest

    Treesearch

    Richard M. DeGraaf; Per. Angelstam

    1993-01-01

    Depredation on artificial ground and cup nests in even-aged seedling/sapling, pole, and mature stands of continuous northern hardwood forest was studied in the White Mountain National Forest in New Hampshire, USA from May to June 1988. Track-board nests were used to identify predators of ground nests; plain ground nests and cup nests were used to investigate the...

  17. Tests of landscape influence: nest predation and brood parasitism in fragmented ecosystems

    Treesearch

    Joshua J. Tewksbury; Lindy Garner; Shannon H. Garner; John D. Lloyd; Victoria A. Saab; Thomas E. Martin

    2006-01-01

    The effects of landscape fragmentation on nest predation and brood parasitism, the two primary causes of avian reproductive failure, have been difficult to generalize across landscapes, yet few studies have clearly considered the context and spatial scale of fragmentation. Working in two river systems fragmented by agricultural and rural-housing development, we tracked...

  18. Lake Pend Oreille Predation Research, Annual Report 2002-2003.

    SciTech Connect

    Bassista, Thomas

    2004-02-01

    During August 2002 we conducted a hydroacoustic survey to enumerate pelagic fish >406 mm in Lake Pend Oreille, Idaho. The purpose of this survey was to determine a collective lakewide biomass estimate of pelagic bull trout Salvelinus confluentus, rainbow trout Oncorhynchus mykiss, and lake trout S. namaycush and compare it to pelagic prey (kokanee salmon O. nerka) biomass. By developing hydroacoustic techniques to determine the pelagic predator to prey ratio, we can annually monitor their balance. Hydroacoustic surveys were also performed during December 2002 and February 2003 to investigate the effectiveness of autumn and winter surveys for pelagic predators. The inherent problem associated with hydroacoustic sampling is the inability to directly identify fish species. Therefore, we utilized sonic tracking techniques to describe rainbow trout and lake trout habitat use during our winter hydroacoustic survey to help identify fish targets from the hydroacoustic echograms. During August 2002 we estimated there were 39,044 pelagic fish >406 mm in Lake Pend Oreille (1.84 f/ha). Based on temperature and depth utilization, two distinct groups of pelagic fish >406 mm were located during August; one group was located between 10 and 35 m and the other between 40 and 70 m. The biomass for pelagic fish >406 mm during August 2002 was 73 t (metric ton). This would account for a ratio of 1 kg of pelagic predator for every 2.63 kg of kokanee prey, assuming all pelagic fish >406 mm are predators. During our late fall and winter hydroacoustic surveys, pelagic fish >406 mm were observed at lake depths between 20 and 90 m. During late fall and winter, we tracked three rainbow trout (168 habitat observations) and found that they mostly occupied pelagic areas and predominantly stayed within the top 10 m of the water column. During late fall (one lake trout) and winter (four lake trout), we found that lake trout (184 habitat observations) utilized benthic-nearshore areas 65% of the time

  19. Predation of Songbird Nests Differs By Predator and Between Field and Forest Habitats

    Treesearch

    Frank R., III Thompson; Dirk E. Burhans

    2003-01-01

    Our understanding of factors affecting nest predation and ability to mitigate high nest predation rates is hampered by a lack of information on the importance of various nest predator species in different habitats and landscapes. We identified predators of songbird nests in old-field and forest habitats in central Missouri, USA, with miniature video cameras. We used an...

  20. Intraguild Predation and Native Lady Beetle Decline

    PubMed Central

    Gardiner, Mary M.; O'Neal, Matthew E.; Landis, Douglas A.

    2011-01-01

    Coccinellid communities across North America have experienced significant changes in recent decades, with declines in several native species reported. One potential mechanism for these declines is interference competition via intraguild predation; specifically, increased predation of native coccinellid eggs and larvae following the introduction of exotic coccinellids. Our previous studies have shown that agricultural fields in Michigan support a higher diversity and abundance of exotic coccinellids than similar fields in Iowa, and that the landscape surrounding agricultural fields across the north central U.S. influences the abundance and activity of coccinellid species. The goal of this study was to quantify the amount of egg predation experienced by a native coccinellid within Michigan and Iowa soybean fields and explore the influence of local and large-scale landscape structure. Using the native lady beetle Coleomegilla maculata as a model, we found that sentinel egg masses were subject to intense predation within both Michigan and Iowa soybean fields, with 60.7% of egg masses attacked and 43.0% of available eggs consumed within 48 h. In Michigan, the exotic coccinellids Coccinella septempunctata and Harmonia axyridis were the most abundant predators found in soybean fields whereas in Iowa, native species including C. maculata, Hippodamia parenthesis and the soft-winged flower beetle Collops nigriceps dominated the predator community. Predator abundance was greater in soybean fields within diverse landscapes, yet variation in predator numbers did not influence the intensity of egg predation observed. In contrast, the strongest predictor of native coccinellid egg predation was the composition of edge habitats bordering specific fields. Field sites surrounded by semi-natural habitats including forests, restored prairies, old fields, and pasturelands experienced greater egg predation than fields surrounded by other croplands. This study shows that intraguild

  1. Field assessment of the predation risk-food availability trade-off in crab megalopae settlement.

    PubMed

    Tapia-Lewin, Sebastián; Pardo, Luis Miguel

    2014-01-01

    Settlement is a key process for meroplanktonic organisms as it determines distribution of adult populations. Starvation and predation are two of the main mortality causes during this period; therefore, settlement tends to be optimized in microhabitats with high food availability and low predator density. Furthermore, brachyuran megalopae actively select favorable habitats for settlement, via chemical, visual and/or tactile cues. The main objective in this study was to assess the settlement of Metacarcinus edwardsii and Cancer plebejus under different combinations of food availability levels and predator presence. We determined, in the field, which factor is of greater relative importance when choosing a suitable microhabitat for settling. Passive larval collectors were deployed, crossing different scenarios of food availability and predator presence. We also explore if megalopae actively choose predator-free substrates in response to visual and/or chemical cues. We tested the response to combined visual and chemical cues and to each individually. Data was tested using a two-way factorial design ANOVA. In both species, food did not cause significant effect on settlement success, but predator presence did, therefore there was not trade-off in this case and megalopae respond strongly to predation risk by active aversion. Larvae of M. edwardsii responded to chemical and visual cues simultaneously, but there was no response to either cue by itself. Statistically, C. plebejus did not exhibit a differential response to cues, but reacted with a strong similar tendency as M. edwardsii. We concluded that crab megalopae actively select predator-free microhabitat, independently of food availability, using chemical and visual cues combined. The findings in this study highlight the great relevance of predation on the settlement process and recruitment of marine invertebrates with complex life cycles.

  2. Field Assessment of the Predation Risk - Food Availability Trade-Off in Crab Megalopae Settlement

    PubMed Central

    Tapia-Lewin, Sebastián; Pardo, Luis Miguel

    2014-01-01

    Settlement is a key process for meroplanktonic organisms as it determines distribution of adult populations. Starvation and predation are two of the main mortality causes during this period; therefore, settlement tends to be optimized in microhabitats with high food availability and low predator density. Furthermore, brachyuran megalopae actively select favorable habitats for settlement, via chemical, visual and/or tactile cues. The main objective in this study was to assess the settlement of Metacarcinus edwardsii and Cancer plebejus under different combinations of food availability levels and predator presence. We determined, in the field, which factor is of greater relative importance when choosing a suitable microhabitat for settling. Passive larval collectors were deployed, crossing different scenarios of food availability and predator presence. We also explore if megalopae actively choose predator-free substrates in response to visual and/or chemical cues. We tested the response to combined visual and chemical cues and to each individually. Data was tested using a two-way factorial design ANOVA. In both species, food did not cause significant effect on settlement success, but predator presence did, therefore there was not trade-off in this case and megalopae respond strongly to predation risk by active aversion. Larvae of M. edwardsii responded to chemical and visual cues simultaneously, but there was no response to either cue by itself. Statistically, C. plebejus did not exhibit a differential response to cues, but reacted with a strong similar tendency as M. edwardsii. We concluded that crab megalopae actively select predator-free microhabitat, independently of food availability, using chemical and visual cues combined. The findings in this study highlight the great relevance of predation on the settlement process and recruitment of marine invertebrates with complex life cycles. PMID:24748151

  3. Learning Temporal Patterns of Risk in a Predator-Diverse Environment

    PubMed Central

    Bosiger, Yoland J.; Lonnstedt, Oona M.; McCormick, Mark I.; Ferrari, Maud C. O.

    2012-01-01

    Predation plays a major role in shaping prey behaviour. Temporal patterns of predation risk have been shown to drive daily activity and foraging patterns in prey. Yet the ability to respond to temporal patterns of predation risk in environments inhabited by highly diverse predator communities, such as rainforests and coral reefs, has received surprisingly little attention. In this study, we investigated whether juvenile marine fish, Pomacentrus moluccensis (lemon damselfish), have the ability to learn to adjust the intensity of their antipredator response to match the daily temporal patterns of predation risk they experience. Groups of lemon damselfish were exposed to one of two predictable temporal risk patterns for six days. “Morning risk” treatment prey were exposed to the odour of Cephalopholis cyanostigma (rockcod) paired with conspecific chemical alarm cues (simulating a rockcod present and feeding) during the morning, and rockcod odour only in the evening (simulating a rockcod present but not feeding). “Evening risk” treatment prey had the two stimuli presented to them in the opposite order. When tested individually for their response to rockcod odour alone, lemon damselfish from the morning risk treatment responded with a greater antipredator response intensity in the morning than in the evening. In contrast, those lemon damselfish previously exposed to the evening risk treatment subsequently responded with a greater antipredator response when tested in the evening. The results of this experiment demonstrate that P. moluccensis have the ability to learn temporal patterns of predation risk and can adjust their foraging patterns to match the threat posed by predators at a given time of day. Our results provide the first experimental demonstration of a mechanism by which prey in a complex, multi-predator environment can learn and respond to daily patterns of predation risk. PMID:22493699

  4. Marine Mammals and Climate Change in the Pacific Arctic: Impacts & Resilience

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moore, S. E.

    2014-12-01

    Extreme reductions in Arctic sea ice extent and thickness have become a hallmark of climate change, but impacts to the marine ecosystem are poorly understood. As top predators, marine mammals must adapt to biological responses to physical forcing and thereby become sentinels to ecosystem variability and reorganization. Recent sea ice retreats have influenced the ecology of marine mammals in the Pacific Arctic sector. Walruses now often haul out by the thousands along the NW Alaska coast in late summer, and reports of harbor porpoise, humpback, fin and minke whales in the Chukchi Sea demonstrate that these temperate species routinely occur there. In 2010, satellite tagged bowhead whales from Atlantic and Pacific populations met in the Northwest Passage, an overlap thought precluded by sea ice since the Holocene. To forage effectively, baleen whales must target dense patches of zooplankton and small fishes. In the Pacific Arctic, bowhead and gray whales appear to be responding to enhanced prey availability delivered both by new production and advection pathways. Two programs, the Distributed Biological Observatory (DBO) and the Synthesis of Arctic Research (SOAR), include tracking of marine mammal and prey species' responses to ecosystem shifts associated with sea ice loss. Both programs provide an integrated-ecosystem baseline in support of the development of a web-based Marine Mammal Health Map, envisioned as a component of the U.S. Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS). An overarching goal is to identify ecological patterns for marine mammals in the 'new' Arctic, as a foundation for integrative research, local response and adaptive management.

  5. Are the mediterraneantop predators exposed to toxicological risk due to endocrine disrupters?

    PubMed

    Fossi, M C; Casini, S; Marsili, L; Ausili, A; di Sciara, G N

    2001-12-01

    Man-made endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) range across all continents and oceans; some geographic areas are potentially more threatened than others: one of these is the Mediterranean Sea. This basin has limited exchange of water with the Atlantic Ocean and is surrounded by some of the most heavily populated and industrialized countries in the world. Accordingly, levels of some xenobiotics are much higher here than in other seas and oceans. In this research the unexplored hyp