Marine Mammals Trace Anthropogenic Structures at Sea

Journal Article

Title: Marine Mammals Trace Anthropogenic Structures at Sea
Publication Date:
July 21, 2014
Journal: Current Biology
Volume: 24
Issue: 14
Pages: R638-R639
Publisher: Elsevier

Document Access

Website: External Link
Attachment: Access File
(416 KB)


Russell, D.; Brasseur, S.; Thompson, D.; Hastie, G.; Janik, V.; Aarts, G.; McClintock, B.; Matthiopoulos, J.; Moss, S.; McConnell, B. (2014). Marine Mammals Trace Anthropogenic Structures at Sea. Current Biology, 24(14), R638-R639.

On land, species from all trophic levels have adapted to fill vacant niches in environments heavily modified by humans. In the marine environment, ocean infrastructure has led to artificial reefs, resulting in localized increases in fish and crustacean density. Whether marine apex predators exhibit behavioural adaptations to utilise such a scattered potential resource is unknown. Using high resolution GPS data we show how infrastructure, including wind turbines and pipelines, shapes the movements of individuals from two seal species (Phoca vitulina and Halichoerus grypus). Using state-space models, we infer that these animals are using structures to forage. We highlight the ecological consequences of such behaviour, at a time of unprecedented developments in marine infrastructure.

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