Markov models and network analysis reveal sex-specific differences in the space-use of a coastal apex predator

Stehfest, Kilian M., Patterson, Toby A., Barnett, Adam and Semmens, Jayson M. 2015, Markov models and network analysis reveal sex-specific differences in the space-use of a coastal apex predator, Oikos: synthesising ecology, vol. 124, no. 3, pp. 307-318, doi: 10.1111/oik.01429.

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Title Markov models and network analysis reveal sex-specific differences in the space-use of a coastal apex predator
Author(s) Stehfest, Kilian M.
Patterson, Toby A.
Barnett, Adam
Semmens, Jayson M.
Journal name Oikos: synthesising ecology
Volume number 124
Issue number 3
Start page 307
End page 318
Total pages 12
Publisher Wiley
Place of publication London, Eng.
Publication date 2015-03
ISSN 0030-1299
Keyword(s) Apex predator
Markov models
Animal space-use
Science & Technology
Life Sciences & Biomedicine
Environmental Sciences & Ecology
Summary Understanding the links between external variables such as habitat and interactions with conspecifics and animal space-use is fundamental to developing effective management measures. In the marine realm, automated acoustic tracking has become a widely used method for monitoring the movement of free-ranging animals, yet researchers generally lack robust methods for analysing the resulting spatial-usage data. In this study, acoustic tracking data from male and female broadnose sevengill sharks Notorynchus cepedianus, collected in a system of coastal embayments in southeast Tasmania were analyzed to examine sex-specific differences in the sharks' coastal space-use and test novel methods for the analysis of acoustic telemetry data. Sex-specific space-use of the broadnose sevengill shark from acoustic telemetry data was analysed in two ways: The recently proposed spatial network analysis of between-receiver movements was employed to identify sex-specific space-use patterns. To include the full breadth of temporal information held in the data, movements between receivers were furthermore considered as transitions between states of a Markov chain, with the resulting transition probability matrix allowing the ranking of the relative importance of different parts of the study area. Both spatial network and Markov chain analysis revealed sex-specific preferences of different sites within the study area. The identification of priority areas differed for the methods, due to the fact that in contrast to network analysis, our Markov chain approach preserves the chronological sequence of detections and accounts for both residency periods and movements. In addition to adding to our knowledge of the ecology of a globally distributed apex predator, this study presents a promising new step towards condensing the vast amounts of information collected with acoustic tracking technology into straightforward results which are directly applicable to the management and conservation of any species that meet the assumptions of our model.
Language eng
DOI 10.1111/oik.01429
Field of Research 060205 Marine and Estuarine Ecology (incl Marine Ichthyology)
0602 Ecology
Socio Economic Objective 960507 Ecosystem Assessment and Management of Marine Environments
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2015, Wiley
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