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Variations in behavior and condition of a Southern Ocean top predator in relation to in situ oceanographic conditions


Biuw, M and Boehme, L and Guinet, C and Hindell, MA and Costa, D and Charrassin, JB and Roquet, F and Bailleul, F and Meredith, M and Thorpe, S and Tremblay, Y and McDonald, B and Park, YH and Rintoul, SR and Bindoff, N and Goebel, M and Crocker, D and Lovell, P and Nicholson, J and Monks, F and Fedak, MA, Variations in behavior and condition of a Southern Ocean top predator in relation to in situ oceanographic conditions, Proceedings National Academy of Sciences, 104, (34) pp. 13705-13710. ISSN 0027-8424 (2007) [Refereed Article]

DOI: doi:10.1073/pnas.0701121104


Responses by marine top predators to environmental variability have previously been almost impossible to observe directly. By using animal-mounted instruments simultaneously recording movements, diving behavior, and in situ oceanographic properties, we studied the behavioral and physiological responses of southern elephant seals to spatial environmental variability throughout their circumpolar range. Improved body condition of seals in the Atlantic sector was associated with Circumpolar Deep Water upwelling regions within the Antarctic Circumpolar Current, whereas High-Salinity Shelf Waters or temperature/salinity gradients under winter pack ice were important in the Indian and Pacific sectors. Energetic consequences of these variations could help explain recently observed population trends, showing the usefulness of this approach in examining the sensitivity of top predators to global and regional-scale climate variability. © 2007 by The National Academy of Sciences of the USA.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Environmental Sciences
Research Group:Environmental management
Research Field:Wildlife and habitat management
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Coastal and estuarine systems and management
Objective Field:Assessment and management of coastal and estuarine ecosystems
UTAS Author:Hindell, MA (Professor Mark Hindell)
ID Code:50731
Year Published:2007
Web of Science® Times Cited:255
Deposited By:Zoology
Deposited On:2007-08-01
Last Modified:2008-04-02

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