Assessing cetacean surveys throughout the Mediterranean Sea: a gap analysis in environmental space

Type Article
Date 2018-02
Language English
Author(s) Mannocci Laura1, 2, Roberts Jason J.1, Halpin Patrick N.1, Authier MatthieuORCID3, Boisseau Oliver4, 5, Bradai Mohamed Nejmeddine6, Canadas Ana7, Chicote Carla8, David Lea9, Di-Meglio Nathalie9, Fortuna Caterina M10, Frantzis Alexandros11, Gazo Manel8, Genov TilenORCID12, 13, 14, Hammond Philip S.14, Holcer DraskoORCID15, 16, Kaschner Kristin17, Kerem Dani18, Lauriano Giancarlo10, Lewis Tim4, 5, 19, Di Sciara Giuseppe Notarbartolo20, Panigada Simone20, Antonio Raga Juan21, Scheinin Aviad18, 22, Ridoux VincentORCID23, Vella Adriana24, 25, Vella Joseph25, 26
Affiliation(s) 1 : Duke Univ, Nicholas Sch Environm, Marine Geospatial Ecol Lab, Durham, NC 27708 USA.
2 : Univ Montpellier, CNRS, UMR MARBEC, IRD,Ifreme, Ave Jean Monnet,CS 30171, F-34203 Sete, France.
3 : Univ La Rochelle, CNRS, Observ PELAGIS UMS 3462, 5 Allees Ocean, F-17000 La Rochelle, France.
4 : MCR, 94 High St, Kelvedon CO5 9AA, England.
5 : IFAW, Song Whale Res Team, 87-90 Albert Embankment, London SE1 7UD, England.
6 : Ctr Sfax, INSTM, BP 1035, Sfax 3018, Tunisia.
7 : Alnilam Res & Conservat, Pradillos 29, Madrid 28491, Spain.
8 : SUBMON Marine Environm Serv, Rabassa 49, Barcelona 08024, Spain.
9 : EcoOcean Inst, 18 Rue Hosp, F-34090 Montpellier, France.
10 : Italian Natl Inst Environm Protect & Res ISPRA, Via Vitaliano Brancati 60, I-00144 Rome, Italy.
11 : Pelagos Cetacean Res Inst, Terpsichoris 21, Vouliagmeni 16671, Greece.
12 : Morigenos Slovenian Marine Mammal Soc, Kidricevo Nabrezje 4, Piran 6330, Slovenia.
13 : Univ Primorska, Fac Math Nat Sci & Informat Technol, Dept Biodivers, Glagoljaska 8, Koper 6000, Slovenia.
14 : Univ St Andrews, Scottish Oceans Inst, Sea Mammal Res Unit, St Andrews KY16 8LB, Fife, Scotland.
15 : Blue World Inst Marine Res & Conservat, Kastel 24, HR-51551 Veli Losinj, Croatia.
16 : Croatian Nat Hist Museum, Demetrova 1, Zagreb 10000, Croatia.
17 : Albert Ludwigs Univ Freiburg, Dept Biometry & Environm Syst Anal, Tennenbacher Str 4, D-79106 Freiburg, Germany.
18 : Univ Haifa, Israel Marine Mammal Res & Assistance Ctr, Sch Marine Sci, Inst Maritime Studies, IL-31095 Haifa, Israel.
19 : North Atlantic & Mediterranean Sperm Whale Catalo, London, England.
20 : Tethys Res Inst, Acquario Civ, Viale GB Gadio 2, I-20121 Milan, Italy.
21 : Univ Valencia, Unidad Zool Marina, Inst Cavanilles Biodiversidad & Biol Evolut, Aptdo 22085, Valencia 46071, Spain.
22 : Univ Haifa, Morris Kahn Marine Res Ctr, Haifa, Israel.
23 : Univ La Rochelle, CEBC, UMR 7372, CNRS, 2 Ave Olympe de Gouges, F-17000 La Rochelle, France.
24 : Univ Malta, Dept Biol, Conservat Biol Res Grp, MSD-2080 Msida, Malta.
25 : Biol Conservat Res Fdn, BICREF, POB 30, Hamrun, Malta.
26 : Univ Malta, Dept Comp Informat Syst, MSD-2080 Msida, Malta.
Source Scientific Reports (2045-2322) (Nature Publishing Group), 2018-02 , Vol. 8 , P. 3126 (14p.)
DOI 10.1038/s41598-018-19842-9
WOS© Times Cited 11
Abstract

Heterogeneous data collection in the marine environment has led to large gaps in our knowledge of marine species distributions. To fill these gaps, models calibrated on existing data may be used to predict species distributions in unsampled areas, given that available data are sufficiently representative. Our objective was to evaluate the feasibility of mapping cetacean densities across the entire Mediterranean Sea using models calibrated on available survey data and various environmental covariates. We aggregated 302,481 km of line transect survey effort conducted in the Mediterranean Sea within the past 20 years by many organisations. Survey coverage was highly heterogeneous geographically and seasonally: large data gaps were present in the eastern and southern Mediterranean and in non-summer months. We mapped the extent of interpolation versus extrapolation and the proportion of data nearby in environmental space when models calibrated on existing survey data were used for prediction across the entire Mediterranean Sea. Using model predictions to map cetacean densities in the eastern and southern Mediterranean, characterised by warmer, less productive waters, and more intense eddy activity, would lead to potentially unreliable extrapolations. We stress the need for systematic surveys of cetaceans in these environmentally unique Mediterranean waters, particularly in non-summer months.

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Mannocci Laura, Roberts Jason J., Halpin Patrick N., Authier Matthieu, Boisseau Oliver, Bradai Mohamed Nejmeddine, Canadas Ana, Chicote Carla, David Lea, Di-Meglio Nathalie, Fortuna Caterina M, Frantzis Alexandros, Gazo Manel, Genov Tilen, Hammond Philip S., Holcer Drasko, Kaschner Kristin, Kerem Dani, Lauriano Giancarlo, Lewis Tim, Di Sciara Giuseppe Notarbartolo, Panigada Simone, Antonio Raga Juan, Scheinin Aviad, Ridoux Vincent, Vella Adriana, Vella Joseph (2018). Assessing cetacean surveys throughout the Mediterranean Sea: a gap analysis in environmental space. Scientific Reports, 8, 3126 (14p.). Publisher's official version : https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-018-19842-9 , Open Access version : https://archimer.ifremer.fr/doc/00626/73789/