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Southern elephant seals replenish their lipid reserves at different rates according to foraging habitat

Richard, Gaetan, Cox, Samantha L., Picard, Baptiste, Vacquié-Garcia, Jade and Guinet, Christophe 2016, Southern elephant seals replenish their lipid reserves at different rates according to foraging habitat, PLOS ONE, vol. 11, no. 11, pp. 1-15, doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0166747.

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Title Southern elephant seals replenish their lipid reserves at different rates according to foraging habitat
Author(s) Richard, Gaetan
Cox, Samantha L.
Picard, Baptiste
Vacquié-Garcia, Jade
Guinet, Christophe
Contributor(s) Miller, PJO
Journal name PLOS ONE
Volume number 11
Issue number 11
Article ID e0166747
Start page 1
End page 15
Total pages 15
Publisher Public Library of Science
Place of publication San Francisco, Calif.
Publication date 2016-11-30
ISSN 1932-6203
Summary Assessing energy gain and expenditure in free ranging marine predators is difficult. However,such measurements are critical if we are to understand how variation in foraging efficiency,and in turn individual body condition, is impacted by environmentally driven changesin prey abundance and/or accessibility. To investigate the influence of oceanographic habitattype on foraging efficiency, ten post-breeding female southern elephant seals Miroungaleonina (SES) were equipped and tracked with bio-loggers to give continuous information ofprey catch attempts, body density and body activity. Variations in these indices of foragingefficiency were then compared between three different oceanographic habitats, delineatedby the main frontal structures of the Southern Ocean. Results show that changes in bodydensity are related not only to the number of previous prey catch attempts and to the bodyactivity (at a 6 day lag), but also foraging habitat type. For example, despite a lower dailyprey catch attempt rate, SESs foraging north of the sub-Antarctic front improve their bodydensity at a higher rate than individuals foraging south of the sub-Antarctic and polar fronts,suggesting that they may forage on easier to catch and/or more energetically rich prey inthis area. Our study highlights a need to understand the influence of habitat type on toppredator foraging behaviour and efficiency when attempting a better comprehension ofmarine ecosystems.
Language eng
DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0166747
Field of Research MD Multidisciplinary
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2016, Richard et al.
Free to Read? Yes
Use Rights Creative Commons Attribution licence
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30112958

Document type: Journal Article
Collections: School of Life and Environmental Sciences
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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.