17oct1:00 pm2:00 pmHarbour seals in a tidally energetic environment: movement ecology and the effects of a renewable energy installationJoe Onoufriou1:00 pm - 2:00 pm SOI old lecture theatre Speaker organisation: SMRU
Marine megafauna play a vital role in balancing delicate marine ecosystem dynamics and impacts on their populations can lead to trophic cascades with significant effects on ecological resilience. As industrialisation
Marine megafauna play a vital role in balancing delicate marine ecosystem dynamics and impacts on their populations can lead to trophic cascades with significant effects on ecological resilience. As industrialisation of the world’s oceans increases, several populations have been heavily negatively impacted at various scales ranging from the oceanic effects of climate change and plastic pollution to more localised effects of fisheries by-catch, collisions with shipping traffic and displacement by renewable energy installations. Increasing evidence suggests that tidally influenced features ranging from mixing fronts to tidal streams are vitally important habitat for many marine vertebrates both for migration and foraging. Owing largely to the predictability of tidal dynamics, tidal currents have also been targeted by humans as a potential energy source to offset the carbon production produced by reliance on fossil fuels. The implementation of tidal energy devices is relatively new and although it is known that there is an overlap between population home-ranges and renewable devices in tidally influenced areas, the sparsity of data informing the potential impacts of this has become of paramount importance to address. In addition to understanding the potential for negative interactions in these sites, studies in these biologically important areas present an interesting opportunity to investigate movement dynamics of animals living in areas where flow conditions may be far greater than their own propulsive abilities allow them to travel. By describing how animals are using tidally dynamic areas to satisfy their basic needs over a large temporal scale, we can study how animals adopt various strategies to efficiently forage and in what ways they may be vulnerable to anthropogenic disturbance in the future.
(Thursday) 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
SOI old lecture theatre