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Biophysical correlates of relative abundances of marine megafauna at Ningaloo Reef, Western Australia

Sleeman, J. C., Meekan, Mark G., Wilson, S., Jenner, C., Jenner, M., Boggs, Guy S., Steinberg, C. and Bradshaw, Corey J. A. (2007). Biophysical correlates of relative abundances of marine megafauna at Ningaloo Reef, Western Australia. Marine and Freshwater Research,58(7):608-623.

Document type: Journal Article
Citation counts: Scopus Citation Count Cited 15 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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IRMA ID A00006xPUB14
Title Biophysical correlates of relative abundances of marine megafauna at Ningaloo Reef, Western Australia
Author Sleeman, J. C.
Meekan, Mark G.
Wilson, S.
Jenner, C.
Jenner, M.
Boggs, Guy S.
Steinberg, C.
Bradshaw, Corey J. A.
Journal Name Marine and Freshwater Research
Publication Date 2007
Volume Number 58
Issue Number 7
ISSN 1323-1650   (check CDU catalogue open catalogue search in new window)
Scopus ID 2-s2.0-34547606496
Start Page 608
End Page 623
Total Pages 16
Place of Publication Collingwood, VIC, Australia
Publisher CSIRO Publishing
Field of Research 0602 - Ecology
0405 - Oceanography
HERDC Category C1 - Journal Article (DEST)
Abstract Changes in the relative abundance of marine megafauna (whales, dolphins, sharks, turtles, manta rays, dugongs) from aerial survey sightings in the waters adjacent to Ningaloo Reef between June 2000 and April 2002 are described. Generalised linear models were used to explore relationships between different trophic guilds of animals (based on animal sighting biomass estimates) and biophysical features of the oceanscape that were likely to indicate foraging habitats (regions of primary/secondary production) including sea surface temperature (SST), SST gradient, chlorophyll-a (Chl-a), bathymetry (BTH) and bathymetry gradient (BTHg). Relative biomass of krill feeders (i.e. minke whales, whale sharks, manta rays) were related to SST, Chl-a and bathymetry (model [AICc] weight = 0.45) and the model combining these variables explained a relatively large amount (32.3%) of the variation in relative biomass. Relative biomass of fish/cephalopod feeders (dolphins, sharks) were weakly correlated with changes in SST, whereas that of other invertebrate/macroalgal feeders (turtles, dugong) was weakly correlated with changes in steepness of the shelf (bathymetry gradient). Our results indicate that biophysical variables describe only a small proportion of the variance in the relative abundance and biomass of marine megafauna at Ningaloo reef.
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/MF06213   (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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