Habitat-mediated dive behavior in free-ranging grey seals

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dc.contributor.author Jessopp, Mark J.
dc.contributor.author Cronin, Michelle A.
dc.contributor.author Hart, Tom
dc.date.accessioned 2016-02-17T11:46:18Z
dc.date.available 2016-02-17T11:46:18Z
dc.date.issued 2013
dc.identifier.citation Jessopp M, Cronin M, Hart T (2013) Habitat-Mediated Dive Behavior in Free-Ranging Grey Seals. PLoS ONE 8(5): e63720. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0063720 en
dc.identifier.volume 8 en
dc.identifier.issued 5 en
dc.identifier.issn 1932-6203
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10468/2378
dc.identifier.doi 10.1371/journal.pone.0063720
dc.description.abstract Understanding the links between foraging behaviour and habitat use of key species is essential to addressing fundamental questions about trophic interactions and ecosystem functioning. Eight female grey seals (Halichoerus grypus) were equipped with time-depth recorders linked to Fastloc GPS tags following the annual moult in southwest Ireland. Individual dives were coupled with environmental correlates to investigate the habitat use and dive behaviour of free-ranging seals. Dives were characterised as either pelagic, benthic, or shallow (where errors in location and charted water depth made differentiating between pelagic and benthic dives unreliable). Sixty-nine percent of dives occurring in water >50 m were benthic. Pelagic dives were more common at night than during the day. Seals performed more pelagic dives over fine sediments (mud/sand), and more benthic dives when foraging over more three-dimensionally complex rock substrates. We used Markov chain analysis to determine the probability of transiting between dive states. A low probability of repeat pelagic dives suggests that pelagic prey were encountered en route to the seabed. This approach could be applied to make more accurate predictions of habitat use in data-poor areas, and investigate contentious issues such as resource overlap and competition between top predators and fisheries, essential for the effective conservation of these key marine species. en
dc.description.sponsorship Marine Institute (Beaufort Marine Research Award); Irish Government (Sea Change Strategy and the Strategy for Science Technology and Innovation (2006–2013), funded under the Marine Research Sub-Programme of the National Development Plan (2007–2013)); Higher Education Authority Ireland (PTRLI4 funding mechanism) en
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf en
dc.language.iso en en
dc.publisher Public Library of Science en
dc.rights © 2013 Jessopp et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited en
dc.rights.uri http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/ en
dc.subject Southern elephant seals en
dc.subject Foraging behavior en
dc.subject Fur seals en
dc.subject Diet en
dc.subject Tracking en
dc.subject Prey en
dc.subject GPS en
dc.subject Associations en
dc.subject Bathymetry en
dc.subject Selection en
dc.title Habitat-mediated dive behavior in free-ranging grey seals en
dc.type Article (peer-reviewed) en
dc.internal.authorcontactother Mark Jessop, Coastal & Marine Research Centre, Environmental Research Institute, University College Cork, Cork, Ireland. +353-21-490-3000 Email: m.jessopp@ucc.ie en
dc.internal.availability Full text available en
dc.description.version Published Version en
dc.internal.wokid WOS:000319654700180
dc.contributor.funder Marine Institute en
dc.contributor.funder Higher Education Authority en
dc.contributor.funder Irish Government en
dc.description.status Peer reviewed en
dc.identifier.journaltitle PLOS ONE en
dc.identifier.articleid e63720


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© 2013 Jessopp et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as © 2013 Jessopp et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited
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