Winter and spring diving behavior of bowhead whales relative to prey

Handle URI:
http://hdl.handle.net/10754/583361
Title:
Winter and spring diving behavior of bowhead whales relative to prey
Authors:
Heide-Jørgensen, Mads; Laidre, Kristin L; Nielsen, Nynne H; Hansen, Rikke G; Røstad, Anders ( 0000-0002-2512-9033 )
Abstract:
Background Little is known about bowhead whale (Balaena mysticetus) foraging behavior and what concentrations of prey are required to balance the energetic trade-offs of feeding. We used satellite telemetry, archival depth recorders, and water column echo sounding data to study bowhead whale diving behavior relative to prey depth and concentration in Disko Bay, West Greenland. Results Between March and May 2008 to 2011, nine bowhead whales were tagged in Disko Bay, West Greenland with instruments that collected data on location and diving over a period of 1 to 33 days. The frequency of U-dives (presumed to be foraging dives) was low during winter months but more than doubled in spring concurrent with a decrease in diving depth. The mean speed of the horizontal bottom phase of the U-dives was 0.9 ms-1 and on average, whales spent 37% of their time at the bottom phase of the dive. In March, bowhead whales presumably fed on copepods (Calanus spp.) close to the seabed (between 100 and 400 m). In April and May, after the copepods ascended to shallower depths, bowhead whales also dove to shallower depths (approximately 30 m) more often. However, echo sounding surveys in the vicinity of feeding whales in early May indicated that patches of copepods could still be found close to the seabed. Conclusions There was a marked change in diving behavior from winter through spring and this was likely in response to the changes in sea ice conditions, primary production and potential copepod abundance in the upper part of the water column. Depth and duration of dives changed significantly during this period; however, other dive parameters (for example the proportion of time spent feeding on the bottom of U-dives) remained fairly constant indicating a constant feeding effort. Bowhead whales target copepods at or close to the seabed in winter months in Disko Bay and continue feeding on copepods when they migrate to the surface. However, bowhead whales leave West Greenland before peak abundance of copepods occurs at the surface.
KAUST Department:
Red Sea Research Center (RSRC)
Citation:
Winter and spring diving behavior of bowhead whales relative to prey 2013, 1 (1):15 Animal Biotelemetry
Publisher:
Springer Nature
Journal:
Animal Biotelemetry
Issue Date:
23-Oct-2013
DOI:
10.1186/2050-3385-1-15
Type:
Article
ISSN:
2050-3385
Additional Links:
http://www.animalbiotelemetry.com/content/1/1/15
Appears in Collections:
Articles; Red Sea Research Center (RSRC)

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.contributor.authorHeide-Jørgensen, Madsen
dc.contributor.authorLaidre, Kristin Len
dc.contributor.authorNielsen, Nynne Hen
dc.contributor.authorHansen, Rikke Gen
dc.contributor.authorRøstad, Andersen
dc.date.accessioned2015-12-08T05:54:35Zen
dc.date.available2015-12-08T05:54:35Zen
dc.date.issued2013-10-23en
dc.identifier.citationWinter and spring diving behavior of bowhead whales relative to prey 2013, 1 (1):15 Animal Biotelemetryen
dc.identifier.issn2050-3385en
dc.identifier.doi10.1186/2050-3385-1-15en
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10754/583361en
dc.description.abstractBackground Little is known about bowhead whale (Balaena mysticetus) foraging behavior and what concentrations of prey are required to balance the energetic trade-offs of feeding. We used satellite telemetry, archival depth recorders, and water column echo sounding data to study bowhead whale diving behavior relative to prey depth and concentration in Disko Bay, West Greenland. Results Between March and May 2008 to 2011, nine bowhead whales were tagged in Disko Bay, West Greenland with instruments that collected data on location and diving over a period of 1 to 33 days. The frequency of U-dives (presumed to be foraging dives) was low during winter months but more than doubled in spring concurrent with a decrease in diving depth. The mean speed of the horizontal bottom phase of the U-dives was 0.9 ms-1 and on average, whales spent 37% of their time at the bottom phase of the dive. In March, bowhead whales presumably fed on copepods (Calanus spp.) close to the seabed (between 100 and 400 m). In April and May, after the copepods ascended to shallower depths, bowhead whales also dove to shallower depths (approximately 30 m) more often. However, echo sounding surveys in the vicinity of feeding whales in early May indicated that patches of copepods could still be found close to the seabed. Conclusions There was a marked change in diving behavior from winter through spring and this was likely in response to the changes in sea ice conditions, primary production and potential copepod abundance in the upper part of the water column. Depth and duration of dives changed significantly during this period; however, other dive parameters (for example the proportion of time spent feeding on the bottom of U-dives) remained fairly constant indicating a constant feeding effort. Bowhead whales target copepods at or close to the seabed in winter months in Disko Bay and continue feeding on copepods when they migrate to the surface. However, bowhead whales leave West Greenland before peak abundance of copepods occurs at the surface.en
dc.language.isoenen
dc.publisherSpringer Natureen
dc.relation.urlhttp://www.animalbiotelemetry.com/content/1/1/15en
dc.rightsThis article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://​creativecommons.​org/​licenses/​by/​2.​0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.en
dc.subjectBowhead whaleen
dc.subjectCalanusen
dc.subjectCopepodsen
dc.subjectArcticen
dc.subjectGreenlanden
dc.subjectFeedingen
dc.subjectFastLoc GPS tagsen
dc.subjectDiving behavioren
dc.titleWinter and spring diving behavior of bowhead whales relative to preyen
dc.typeArticleen
dc.contributor.departmentRed Sea Research Center (RSRC)en
dc.identifier.journalAnimal Biotelemetryen
dc.eprint.versionPublisher's Version/PDFen
dc.contributor.institutionGreenland Institute of Natural Resources, Box 570, Nuuk 3900, Greenlanden
dc.contributor.institutionPolar Science Center, Applied Physics Laboratory, University of Washington, 1013 NE 40th Street, Seattle, WA 98105, USAen
dc.contributor.institutionDepartment of Biosciences, University of Oslo, PO Box 1066, Blindern N-0316, Oslo, Norwayen
dc.contributor.affiliationKing Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST)en
kaust.authorRøstad, Andersen
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