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Marine Ecology-Progress Series

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Abstract/ Summary

Balancing human uses of the marine environment with the recovery of protected species requires accurate information on when and where species of interest are likely to be present. Here, we describe a system that can produce useful estimates of right whale Eubalaena glacialis presence and abundance on their feeding grounds in the Gulf of Maine. The foundation of our system is a coupled physical-biological model of the copepod Calan us finmarchicus, the preferred prey of right whales. From the modeled prey densities, we can estimate when whales will appear in the Great South Channel feeding ground. Based on our experience with the system, we consider how the relationship between right whales and copepods changes across spatial scales. The scale-dependent relationship between whales and copepods provides insight into how to improve future estimates of the distribution of right whales and other pelagic predators.

Citation/Publisher Attribution

Pershing AJ, Record NR, Monger BC, Mayo CA, Brown MW, Cole TVN, Kenney RD, Pendleton DE, Woodard LA. Model-Based Estimates of Right Whale Habitat Use in the Gulf of Maine. Marine Ecology-Progress Series. 2009;378: 245-257.

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Copyright 2009 Inter-Research.




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