Exploring Change in the Relative Abundance of Marine Megafauna in the Bay of Biscay, 2004-2016

Type Article
Date 2018-09
Language English
Author(s) Authier Matthieu1, Doremus Ghislain1, Van Canneyt Olivier1, Boubert Jean-Jacques1, Gautier Gerard1, Doray MathieuORCID2, Duhamel ErwanORCID3, Masse Jacques2, Petitgas PierreORCID2, Ridoux Vincent1, 4, Spitz Jerome1
Affiliation(s) 1 : Univ La Rochelle, Observ PELAGIS UMS CNRS ULR 3462, 5 Allee Ocean, F-17000 La Rochelle, France.
2 : Ifremer Ctr Atlantique, Unite Ecol & Modeles Halieut EMH, Rue Ile Yeu,BP 21105, F-44311 Nantes 03, France.
3 : Ifremer Stn Lorient, LTBH, 8 Rue Francois Toullec, F-56100 Lorient, France.
4 : CEBC, UMR CNRS ULR 7372, F-79360 Villiers En Bois, France.
Source Progress In Oceanography (0079-6611) (Pergamon-elsevier Science Ltd), 2018-09 , Vol. 166 , P. 159-167
DOI 10.1016/j.pocean.2017.09.014
WOS© Times Cited 16
Keyword(s) Marine megafauna, Relative abundance, MSFD, Ecosystemic surveys

Conservation has moved from species-centered to ecosystem-based approaches: the Marine Strategy Framework Directive requires the maintenance or restoration of ‘Good Environmental Status’ of all European marine waters. Monitoring biodiversity at the scale of whole ecosystems is salient, but challenging owing to the large spatial scale involved and the large spatio-temporal heterogeneity of marine ecosystems. We capitalized on the integrated ecosystemic PELGAS survey carried out in spring in the Bay of Biscay to document patterns of change in marine megafauna relative abundance at the community level over more than a decade (2004-2016). The relative abundance of the twenty three most frequently sighted species (6 cetaceans and 17 seabirds) was estimated by distance sampling, and averaged over the study period and area. Temporal changes were investigated with a Dynamic Factor Analysis. This exploratory analysis suggested that approximately one third of all species showed an increase, another third a decrease, and the last third no overall change in relative abundance. The relative abundance of offshore species, including that of all studied cetaceans, slightly increased in spring between 2004 and 2016. Further investigations will correlate the uncovered changes at the marine megafauna community level with concommittent biological and oceanographic processes that are routinely monitored on the PELGAS integrated ecosystemic surveys.

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Authier Matthieu, Doremus Ghislain, Van Canneyt Olivier, Boubert Jean-Jacques, Gautier Gerard, Doray Mathieu, Duhamel Erwan, Masse Jacques, Petitgas Pierre, Ridoux Vincent, Spitz Jerome (2018). Exploring Change in the Relative Abundance of Marine Megafauna in the Bay of Biscay, 2004-2016. Progress In Oceanography, 166, 159-167. Publisher's official version : https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pocean.2017.09.014 , Open Access version : https://archimer.ifremer.fr/doc/00403/51405/