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Resource partitioning through oceanic segregation of foraging juvenile southern elephant seals (Mirounga leonina)

Field, Iain Craig, Bradshaw, Corey J. A., Burton, H., Sumner, M. and Hindell, Mark A. (2005). Resource partitioning through oceanic segregation of foraging juvenile southern elephant seals (Mirounga leonina). Oecologia,142(1):127-135.

Document type: Journal Article
Citation counts: Scopus Citation Count Cited 60 times in Scopus Article | Citations

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IRMA ID 78671349xPUB16
Title Resource partitioning through oceanic segregation of foraging juvenile southern elephant seals (Mirounga leonina)
Author Field, Iain Craig
Bradshaw, Corey J. A.
Burton, H.
Sumner, M.
Hindell, Mark A.
Journal Name Oecologia
Publication Date 2005
Volume Number 142
Issue Number 1
ISSN 1432-1939   (check CDU catalogue open catalogue search in new window)
Scopus ID 2-s2.0-11944261308
Start Page 127
End Page 135
Total Pages 9
Place of Publication Berlin
Publisher Springer
Field of Research 0602 - Ecology
0502 - Environmental Science and Management
HERDC Category C1 - Journal Article (DEST)
Abstract In highly dynamic and unpredictable environments such as the Southern Ocean, species that have evolved behaviors that reduce the effects of intra-specific competition may have a selective advantage. This is particularly true when juveniles face disadvantages when foraging due to morphological or physiological limitation, which is the case for many marine mammals. We tracked the at-sea movements of 48 juvenile southern elephant seals (Mirounga leonina) between the ages of 1 and 4 years from the population at Macquarie Island using locations derived from recorded light levels. There were significant differences in the total amount of the Southern Ocean covered by the different age-groups. The younger seals used a smaller area than the older seals. On average, the younger individuals also made more trips to sea than the older seals and did not travel as far on each trip. Females spent more time at sea than males and there were no significant differences between the total areas used by male and females. In summary, younger seals remained closer to the island at all times, and they spent more time in more northerly regions that older seals. These differences in behavior created temporal and spatial segregation between juveniles of different ages. Therefore, we suggest that these temporal and spatial separations help to avoid intra-specific competition for resources on land, space on beaches, and at-sea foraging areas. Such modifications of haul-out timing and behavior enable them to exploit a patchy and unpredictable environment.
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00442-004-1704-2   (check subscription with CDU E-Gateway service for CDU Staff and Students  check subscription with CDU E-Gateway in new window)
 
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