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Convergence of marine megafauna movement patterns in coastal and open oceans

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Sequeira, AMM, Rodriguez, JP, Eguiluz, VM, Harcourt, R, Hindell, M ORCID: 0000-0002-7823-7185, Sims, DW, Duarte, CM, Costa, DP, Fernandez-Gracia, J, Ferreira, LC, Hays, GC, Heupel, MR, Meekan, MG, Aven, A, Bailleul, F, Baylis, AMM, Berumen, ML, Braun, CD, Burns, J, Caley, MJ, Campbell, R, Carmichael, RH, Clua, E, Einoder, LD, Friedlaender, A, Goebel, ME, Goldsworthy, SD, Guinet, C, Gunn, J, Hamer, D, Hammerschlag, N, Hammill, M, Huckstadt, LA, Humphries, NE, Lea, MA ORCID: 0000-0001-8318-9299, Lowther, A, Mackay, A, McHuron, E, McKenzie, J, McLeay, L, McMahon, CR, Mengersen, K, Muelbert, MMC, Pagano, AM, Page, B, Queiroz, N, Robinson, PW, Shaffer, SA, Shivji, M, Skomal, GB, Thorrold, SR, Villegas-Amtmann, S, Weise, M, Wells, R, Wetherbee, B, Wiebkin, A, Wienecke, B and Thums, M 2018 , 'Convergence of marine megafauna movement patterns in coastal and open oceans' , Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, vol. 115, no. 12 , pp. 3072-3077 , doi: 10.1073/pnas.1716137115.

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Abstract

The extent of increasing anthropogenic impacts on large marine vertebrates partly depends on the animals' movement patterns. Effective conservation requires identification of the key drivers of movement including intrinsic properties and extrinsic constraints associated with the dynamic nature of the environments the animals inhabit. However, the relative importance of intrinsic versus extrinsic factors remains elusive. We analyze a global dataset of 2.8 million locations from < 2, 600 tracked individuals across 50 marine vertebrates evolutionarily separated by millions of years and using different locomotion modes (fly, swim, walk/paddle). Strikingly, movement patterns show a remarkable convergence, being strongly conserved across species and independent of body length and mass, despite these traits ranging over 10 orders of magnitude among the species studied. This represents a fundamental difference between marine and terrestrial vertebrates not previously identified, likely linked to the reduced costs of locomotion in water. Movement patterns were primarily explained by the interaction between species-specific traits and the habitat(s) they move through, resulting in complex movement patternswhenmoving close to coasts compared with more predictable patterns when moving in open oceans. This distinct difference may be associated with greater complexity within coastal microhabitats, highlighting a critical role of preferred habitat in shaping marine vertebrate global movements. Efforts to develop understanding of the characteristics of vertebrate movement should consider the habitat(s) through which they move to identify how movement patterns will alter with forecasted severe ocean changes, such as reduced Arctic sea ice cover, sea level rise, and declining oxygen content.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Sequeira, AMM and Rodriguez, JP and Eguiluz, VM and Harcourt, R and Hindell, M and Sims, DW and Duarte, CM and Costa, DP and Fernandez-Gracia, J and Ferreira, LC and Hays, GC and Heupel, MR and Meekan, MG and Aven, A and Bailleul, F and Baylis, AMM and Berumen, ML and Braun, CD and Burns, J and Caley, MJ and Campbell, R and Carmichael, RH and Clua, E and Einoder, LD and Friedlaender, A and Goebel, ME and Goldsworthy, SD and Guinet, C and Gunn, J and Hamer, D and Hammerschlag, N and Hammill, M and Huckstadt, LA and Humphries, NE and Lea, MA and Lowther, A and Mackay, A and McHuron, E and McKenzie, J and McLeay, L and McMahon, CR and Mengersen, K and Muelbert, MMC and Pagano, AM and Page, B and Queiroz, N and Robinson, PW and Shaffer, SA and Shivji, M and Skomal, GB and Thorrold, SR and Villegas-Amtmann, S and Weise, M and Wells, R and Wetherbee, B and Wiebkin, A and Wienecke, B and Thums, M
Keywords: movement, marine, vertebrate
Journal or Publication Title: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Publisher: Natl Acad Sciences
ISSN: 0027-8424
DOI / ID Number: 10.1073/pnas.1716137115
Copyright Information:

Copyright the Authors 2018. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/

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