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Use of anthropogenic sea floor structures by Australian fur seals: potential positive ecological impacts of marine industrial development?

Arnould, John P. Y., Monk, Jacquomo, Ierodiaconou, Daniel, Hindell, Mark A., Semmens, Jayson, Hoskins, Andrew J., Costa, Daniel P., Abernathy, Kyler and Marshall, Greg J. 2015, Use of anthropogenic sea floor structures by Australian fur seals: potential positive ecological impacts of marine industrial development?, PLoS One, vol. 10, no. 7, pp. 1-13, doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0130581.

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Title Use of anthropogenic sea floor structures by Australian fur seals: potential positive ecological impacts of marine industrial development?
Author(s) Arnould, John P. Y.ORCID iD for Arnould, John P. Y. orcid.org/0000-0003-1124-9330
Monk, JacquomoORCID iD for Monk, Jacquomo orcid.org/0000-0002-1874-0619
Ierodiaconou, DanielORCID iD for Ierodiaconou, Daniel orcid.org/0000-0002-7832-4801
Hindell, Mark A.
Semmens, Jayson
Hoskins, Andrew J.
Costa, Daniel P.
Abernathy, Kyler
Marshall, Greg J.
Journal name PLoS One
Volume number 10
Issue number 7
Start page 1
End page 13
Total pages 13
Publisher Public Library of Science (PLoS)
Place of publication San Francisco, Calif.
Publication date 2015
ISSN 1932-6203
Keyword(s) Science & Technology
Multidisciplinary Sciences
Science & Technology - Other Topics
ARCTOCEPHALUS-PUSILLUS-DORIFERUS
PORPOISES PHOCOENA-PHOCOENA
GULF-OF-MEXICO
HABITAT LOSS
FISH ASSEMBLAGES
CONTINENTAL-SHELF
BASS STRAIT
OIL
SELECTION
MAMMALS
Summary Human-induced changes to habitats can have deleterious effects on many species that occupy them. However, some species can adapt and even benefit from such modifications. Artificial reefs have long been used to provide habitat for invertebrate communities and promote local fish populations. With the increasing demand for energy resources within ocean systems, there has been an expansion of infrastructure in near-shore benthic environments which function as de facto artificial reefs. Little is known of their use by marine mammals. In this study, the influence of anthropogenic sea floor structures (pipelines, cable routes, wells and shipwrecks) on the foraging locations of 36 adult female Australian fur seals (Arctocephalus pusillus doriferus) was investigated. For 9 (25%) of the individuals, distance to anthropogenic sea floor structures was the most important factor in determining the location of intensive foraging activity. Whereas the influence of anthropogenic sea floor structures on foraging locations was not related to age and mass, it was positively related to flipper length/standard length (a factor which can affect manoeuvrability). A total of 26 (72%) individuals tracked with GPS were recorded spending time in the vicinity of structures (from <1% to >75% of the foraging trip duration) with pipelines and cable routes being the most frequented. No relationships were found between the amount of time spent frequenting anthropogenic structures and individual characteristics. More than a third (35%) of animals foraging near anthropogenic sea floor structures visited more than one type of structure. These results further highlight potentially beneficial ecological outcomes of marine industrial development.
Language eng
DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0130581
Field of Research 060201 Behavioural Ecology
060205 Marine and Estuarine Ecology (incl Marine Ichthyology)
Socio Economic Objective 970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2015, Public Library of Science (PLoS)
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30077894

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Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that permission has been obtained for items included in DRO. If you believe that your rights have been infringed by this repository, please contact drosupport@deakin.edu.au.