Using the Continuous Plankton Recorder to investigate the absence of North Atlantic right whales (Eubalaena glacialis) from the Roseway Basin foraging ground

Patrician, MR; Kenney, RD. 2010 Using the Continuous Plankton Recorder to investigate the absence of North Atlantic right whales (Eubalaena glacialis) from the Roseway Basin foraging ground. Journal of Plankton Research, 32 (12). 1685-1695.

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Abstract/Summary

North Atlantic right whales (Eubalaena glacialis) were absent from Roseway Basin, located off southeastern Nova Scotia, for a 7-year period (1993–1999). The objective of this study was to examine the availability of the right whale's main prey, Calanus finmarchicus, in Roseway Basin during those 7 years to determine if the whales’ absence was due to inadequate prey resources. Since we had no historical data on zooplankton abundances at depth on the Scotian Shelf, near-surface zooplankton abundance data from the Continuous Plankton Recorder were used to infer water-column abundances. In addition, environmental parameters that are often correlated with high zooplankton concentrations were examined. The hypotheses tested were that changes in these parameters would be detectable between three time periods: pre-1993, 1993–1999 and post-1999. Calanus finmarchicus abundance was found to be lowest during 1993–1999, suggesting that right whales were not foraging in Roseway Basin because of the near-absence of their main prey species. Decreased in situ salinity and density proved to be indicators of the changes in circulation in the 1990s that may have affected the advection of C. finmarchicus onto the Scotian Shelf.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Depositing User: Miss Gemma Brice
Date made live: 26 Mar 2014 14:09
Last Modified: 06 Mar 2017 17:57
URI: http://plymsea.ac.uk/id/eprint/5889

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