Using modelled prey to predict the distribution of a highly mobile marine mammal.
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Pendleton, Daniel E.
Holmes, Elizabeth E.
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Species distribution models (SDMs) are a widely used tool to estimate and map habitat suitability for wildlife populations. Most studies that model marine mammal density or distributions use oceanographic proxies for marine mammal prey. However, proxies could be a problem for forecasting because the relationships between the proxies and prey may change in a changing climate. We examined the use of model-derived prey estimates in SDMs using an iconic species, the western Arctic bowhead whale (Balaena mysticetus). Location Western Beaufort Sea, Alaska, USA. Methods: We used Biology Ice Ocean Modeling and Assimilation System (BIOMAS) to simulate ocean conditions important to western Arctic bowhead whales, including important prey species. Using both static and dynamic predictors, we applied Maxent and boosted regression tree (BRT) SDMs to predict bowhead whale habitat suitability on an 8-day timescale. We compared results from models that used bathymetry with those that used only BIOMAS .....
JournalDiversity And Distributions
Sustainable Development Goals (SDG)14.a
Maturity LevelPilot or Demonstrated
Spatial CoverageBeaufort Sea
CitationPendleton, D. E., Holmes, E. E., Redfern, J. and Zhang, J. (2020) Using modelled prey to predict the distribution of a highly mobile marine mammal. Diversity and Distributions, 26:13149, pp.1612–1626. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/ddi.13149
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