Predicting Geographic Ranges of Marine Animal Populations Using Stable Isotopes: A Case Study of Great Hammerhead Sharks in Eastern Australia

Type Article
Date 2020-12
Language English
Author(s) Raoult Vincent1, Trueman Clive N2, Kingsbury Kelsey M3, Gillanders Bronwyn M3, Broadhurst Matt K4, Williamson Jane E5, Nagelkerken Ivan3, Booth David J6, Peddemors Victor7, Couturier Lydie Ir8, Gaston Troy F1
Affiliation(s) 1 : School of Environmental and Life Sciences, University of Newcastle, Ourimbah, NSW, Australia
2 : Ocean and Earth Science, University of Southampton, Southampton, United Kingdom
3 : Southern Seas Ecology Laboratories, School of Biological Sciences and The Environment Institute, The University of Adelaide, Adelaide, SA, Australia
4 : Fisheries Conservation Technology Unit, National Marine Science Centre, New South Wales Department of Primary Industries, Southern Cross University, Coffs Harbour, NSW, Australia
5 : Department of Biological Sciences, Macquarie University, Sydney, NSW, Australia
6 : School of Life Sciences, University of Technology Sydney, Sydney, NSW, Australia
7 : New South Wales Department of Primary Industries, Sydney Institute of Marine Science, Mosman, NSW, Australia
8 : Univ Brest, IRD, Ifremer, CNRS, LEMAR, Plouzané, France
Source Frontiers In Marine Science (2296-7745) (Frontiers Media), 2020-12 , Vol. 7 , P. 594636 (12p.)
DOI 10.3389/fmars.2020.594636
WOS© Times Cited 5
Keyword(s) habitat range population distributions, movement, species distribution model, sharks, manta rays, stable isotopes, tracking, isoscape

Determining the geographic range of widely dispersed or migratory marine organisms is notoriously difficult, often requiring considerable costs and typically extensive tagging or exploration programs. While these approaches are accurate and can reveal important information on the species, they are usually conducted on only a small number of individuals and can take years to produce relevant results, so alternative approaches may be preferable. The presence of latitudinal gradients in stable carbon isotope compositions of marine phytoplankton offers a means to quickly determine likely geographic population ranges of species that rely on productivity from these resources. Across sufficiently large spatial and temporal scales, the stable carbon isotopes of large coastal or pelagic marine species should reflect broad geographic patterns of resource use, and could be used to infer geographic ranges of marine populations. Using two methods, one based on a global mechanistic model and the other on targeted low-cost latitudinal sampling of fishes, we demonstrate and compare these stable isotope approaches to determine the core population geography of an apex predator, the great hammerhead (Sphyrna mokarran). Both methods indicated similar geographic ranges and suggested that S. mokarran recorded in south-eastern Australia are likely to be from more northern Australian waters. These approaches could be replicated in other areas where coastlines span predictable geographic gradients in isotope values and be used to determine the core population geography of highly mobile species to inform management decisions.

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Raoult Vincent, Trueman Clive N, Kingsbury Kelsey M, Gillanders Bronwyn M, Broadhurst Matt K, Williamson Jane E, Nagelkerken Ivan, Booth David J, Peddemors Victor, Couturier Lydie Ir, Gaston Troy F (2020). Predicting Geographic Ranges of Marine Animal Populations Using Stable Isotopes: A Case Study of Great Hammerhead Sharks in Eastern Australia. Frontiers In Marine Science, 7, 594636 (12p.). Publisher's official version : , Open Access version :