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Spatio-temporal foraging patterns of a giant zooplanktivore, the leatherback turtle

Sabrina Fossette, Victoria Hobson, Charlotte Girard, Beatriz Calmettes, Philippe Gaspar, Jean-Yves Georges, Graeme Hays

Journal of Marine Systems, Volume: 81, Issue: 3, Pages: 225 - 234

Swansea University Authors: Victoria Hobson, Graeme Hays

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Abstract

Understanding food web functioning through the study of natural bio-indicators may constitute a valuable and original approach. In the context of jellyfish proliferation in many overexploited marine ecosystems studying the spatio-temporal foraging patterns of the giant "jellyvore" leatherb...

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Published in: Journal of Marine Systems
ISSN: 0924-7963
Published: 2010
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URI: https://cronfa.swan.ac.uk/Record/cronfa6125
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spelling 2011-10-01T00:00:00.0000000 v2 6125 2011-10-01 Spatio-temporal foraging patterns of a giant zooplanktivore, the leatherback turtle 9024f9f0a80d2d248c7c6efb2e715c37 Victoria Hobson Victoria Hobson true false e40f098395f86f19debb12442dd95ac3 Graeme Hays Graeme Hays true false 2011-10-01 SBI Understanding food web functioning through the study of natural bio-indicators may constitute a valuable and original approach. In the context of jellyfish proliferation in many overexploited marine ecosystems studying the spatio-temporal foraging patterns of the giant "jellyvore" leatherback turtle turns out to be particularly relevant. Here we analyzed long-term tracking data to assess spatio-temporal foraging patterns in 21 leatherback turtles during their pluri-annual migration in the Northern Atlantic. Through an analytical approach based on the animal's own motion (independent of currents) and diving behavior distinct zones of high and low foraging success were identified. High foraging success occurred in a sub-equatorial zone spanning the width of the Atlantic and at high (>30 degrees N) latitudes. Between these zones in the centre of North Atlantic gyre there was low foraging success. This "ocean desert" area was traversed at high speed by leatherbacks on their way to more productive areas at higher latitudes. Animals traveled slowly in high foraging success areas and dived shallower (17.2+/-8.0 km day(-1) and 53.6+/-33.1 m mean+/-SD respectively) than in low foraging success areas (51.0+/-13.1 km day(-1) and 81.8+/-56.2 m mean+/-SD respectively). These spatio-temporal foraging patterns seem to relatively closely match the main features of the integrated meso-zooplankton distribution in the North Atlantic. Our method of defining high foraging success areas is intuitive and relatively easy to implement but also takes into account the impact of oceanic currents on animal's behaviour. Journal Article Journal of Marine Systems 81 3 225 234 0924-7963 Leatherback turtle; Migration strategy; Foraging behavior; Zooplankton distribution; Diving pattern; North Atlantic Ocean 31 12 2010 2010-12-31 10.1016/j.jmarsys.2009.12.002 COLLEGE NANME Biosciences COLLEGE CODE SBI Swansea University 2011-10-01T00:00:00.0000000 2011-10-01T00:00:00.0000000 College of Science Biosciences Sabrina Fossette 1 Victoria Hobson 2 Charlotte Girard 3 Beatriz Calmettes 4 Philippe Gaspar 5 Jean-Yves Georges 6 Graeme Hays 7
title Spatio-temporal foraging patterns of a giant zooplanktivore, the leatherback turtle
spellingShingle Spatio-temporal foraging patterns of a giant zooplanktivore, the leatherback turtle
Victoria Hobson
Graeme Hays
title_short Spatio-temporal foraging patterns of a giant zooplanktivore, the leatherback turtle
title_full Spatio-temporal foraging patterns of a giant zooplanktivore, the leatherback turtle
title_fullStr Spatio-temporal foraging patterns of a giant zooplanktivore, the leatherback turtle
title_full_unstemmed Spatio-temporal foraging patterns of a giant zooplanktivore, the leatherback turtle
title_sort Spatio-temporal foraging patterns of a giant zooplanktivore, the leatherback turtle
author_id_str_mv 9024f9f0a80d2d248c7c6efb2e715c37
e40f098395f86f19debb12442dd95ac3
author_id_fullname_str_mv 9024f9f0a80d2d248c7c6efb2e715c37_***_Victoria Hobson
e40f098395f86f19debb12442dd95ac3_***_Graeme Hays
author Victoria Hobson
Graeme Hays
author2 Sabrina Fossette
Victoria Hobson
Charlotte Girard
Beatriz Calmettes
Philippe Gaspar
Jean-Yves Georges
Graeme Hays
format Journal article
container_title Journal of Marine Systems
container_volume 81
container_issue 3
container_start_page 225
publishDate 2010
institution Swansea University
issn 0924-7963
doi_str_mv 10.1016/j.jmarsys.2009.12.002
college_str College of Science
hierarchytype
hierarchy_top_id collegeofscience
hierarchy_top_title College of Science
hierarchy_parent_id collegeofscience
hierarchy_parent_title College of Science
department_str Biosciences{{{_:::_}}}College of Science{{{_:::_}}}Biosciences
document_store_str 0
active_str 0
description Understanding food web functioning through the study of natural bio-indicators may constitute a valuable and original approach. In the context of jellyfish proliferation in many overexploited marine ecosystems studying the spatio-temporal foraging patterns of the giant "jellyvore" leatherback turtle turns out to be particularly relevant. Here we analyzed long-term tracking data to assess spatio-temporal foraging patterns in 21 leatherback turtles during their pluri-annual migration in the Northern Atlantic. Through an analytical approach based on the animal's own motion (independent of currents) and diving behavior distinct zones of high and low foraging success were identified. High foraging success occurred in a sub-equatorial zone spanning the width of the Atlantic and at high (>30 degrees N) latitudes. Between these zones in the centre of North Atlantic gyre there was low foraging success. This "ocean desert" area was traversed at high speed by leatherbacks on their way to more productive areas at higher latitudes. Animals traveled slowly in high foraging success areas and dived shallower (17.2+/-8.0 km day(-1) and 53.6+/-33.1 m mean+/-SD respectively) than in low foraging success areas (51.0+/-13.1 km day(-1) and 81.8+/-56.2 m mean+/-SD respectively). These spatio-temporal foraging patterns seem to relatively closely match the main features of the integrated meso-zooplankton distribution in the North Atlantic. Our method of defining high foraging success areas is intuitive and relatively easy to implement but also takes into account the impact of oceanic currents on animal's behaviour.
published_date 2010-12-31T03:16:15Z
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