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Type: Journal article
Title: At-sea distribution of female southern elephant seals relative to variation in ocean surface properties
Author: Bradshaw, C.
Higgins, J.
Michael, K.
Wotherspoon, S.
Hindell, M.
Citation: ICES Journal of Marine Science: journal du conseil, 2004; 61(6):1014-1027
Publisher: Academic Press Ltd Elsevier Science Ltd
Issue Date: 2004
ISSN: 1054-3139
Statement of
Corey J.A. Bradshaw, Jane Higgins, Kelvin J. Michael, Simon J. Wotherspoon and Mark A. Hindell
Abstract: We examined the relationships between physical oceanography (sea surface temperature – SST, sea surface height anomaly – SSH, ocean colour – OC, bathymetry – BA, sea-ice concentration – SI, and their associated gradients) and the foraging distribution (time at sea) of female southern elephant seals using generalized linear and generalized additive models (GLM and GAM). Using data from 28 separate foraging trips (22 unique individuals) over two years, we found that during the post-lactation trips (summer), the best GLM demonstrated a negative relationship between time at sea and SST and BA, but a positive relationship with SST gradient and SSH. During the post-moult (winter) trips, there was a negative relationship with OC gradient, SSH, and BA. The best post-lactation GAM identified a positive relationship with OC gradient, negative relationships with OC and SST gradient, and a non-linear relationship with SST. For the post-moult trip there was a negative relationship with OC, SST, BA and BA gradient, and a positive relationship with SST gradient. The relationship between the predicted time and observed time at sea was significant only for the post-lactation GAM, although predictability was low. That SST and its gradient predicted a small, but significant proportion of the variation in time at sea is indicative of the frontal zones within this area that are generally more biologically productive than surrounding regions. It appears that coarse-scale oceanographic configuration influences foraging behaviour in southern elephant seals only subtly. Nonetheless, some of the mechanisms influencing predator foraging are congruent with expectations of distribution of marine food resources at coarse spatial scales.
Keywords: bathymetry
elephant seals
environmental variation
generalized additive model
generalized linear model
sea surface temperature
Description: © 2004 by ICES/CIEM International Council for the Exploration of the Sea/Conseil International pour l'Exploration de la Mer
DOI: 10.1016/j.icesjms.2004.07.012
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Appears in Collections:Aurora harvest 6
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