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Distribution and habitat partitioning of cetaceans (Mammalia: Cetartiodactyla) in the Bohol Sea, Philippines.

Senigaglia, V., Hanf, D. and Ponzo, A. (2022) Distribution and habitat partitioning of cetaceans (Mammalia: Cetartiodactyla) in the Bohol Sea, Philippines. Journal of Asia-Pacific Biodiversity .

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Free to read: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.japb.2022.05.010
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Abstract

Understanding broad-scale species distribution and finer-scale ecological interactions is essential for conservation. We assessed species richness, distribution, habitat use and interspecific associations of cetacean in the Bohol Sea, Philippines. During 72 days of dedicated survey (2010 - 2013), we encountered 12 species of cetacean in 291 sightings, 16.8% of which involved mixed species. We used maximum entropy (MaxEnt) models to assess species’ habitat suitability and found slope and distance from the coast to be influential contributors to cetacean distribution. To explore habitat use, through foraging ecology and niche segregation of sympatric species, we compared behavioral budgets across species and found significant differences (chi-sq = 21.44; p-value = 0.044). We then used GLMs to determine the foraging likelihood in relation to oceanographic features, group size and presence of associated species. Results from model selection complimented those derived from MaxEnt. However, some inter-specific exclusion behavior might also occur. Overall, our study suggests that the Bohol Sea supports a high cetacean biodiversity while more complex inter-specific dynamics might further shape species’ ecological niches. These results highlight the importance of multi-species ecology and can be used to develop management actions.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): Centre for Sustainable Aquatic Ecosystems
Publisher: National Science Museum of Korea
Copyright: © 2022 National Science Museum of Korea (NSMK) and Korea National Arboretum
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/65746
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