Skip to content

Research at St Andrews

Anthropogenic disturbance in a changing environment: modelling lifetime reproductive success to predict the consequences of multiple stressors on a migratory population

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

DOI

Open Access permissions

Open

Author(s)

Enrico Pirotta, Marc Mangel, Daniel P. Costa, Jeremy Goldbogen, John Harwood, Vincent Hin, Ladd M. Irvine, Bruce R. Mate, Elizabeth A. McHuron, Daniel M. Palacios, Lisa K. Schwarz, Leslie New

School/Research organisations

Abstract

Animals make behavioural and reproductive decisions that maximise their lifetime reproductive success, and thus their fitness, in light of periodic and stochastic variability of the environment. Modelling the variation of an individual's energy levels formalises this tradeoff and helps to quantify the population‐level consequences of stressors (e.g. disturbance from human activities and environmental change) that can affect behaviour or physiology. In this study, we develop a dynamic state variable model for the spatially explicit behaviour, physiology and reproduction of a female, long‐lived, migratory marine vertebrate. The model can be used to investigate the spatio‐temporal patterns of behaviour and reproduction that allow an individual to maximise its overall reproductive output. We parametrised the model for eastern North Pacific blue whales Balaenoptera musculus, and used it to predict the effects of changing environmental conditions and increasing human disturbance on the population's vital rates. In baseline conditions, the model output had high fidelity to observed energy dynamics, movement patterns and reproductive strategies. Simulated scenarios suggested that environmental changes could have severe consequences on the population's vital rates, but that individuals could tolerate high levels of anthropogenic disturbance. However, this ability depended on where, when and how often disturbance occurred. In scenarios with both environmental change and anthropogenic disturbance, synergistic interactions caused stronger effects than in isolation. In general, larger body size offered a buffer against stochasticity and disturbance, and, consequently, we predicted juveniles to be more susceptible to disturbance. We also predicted that females prioritise their own survival at the expense of the current reproductive attempt, presumably the result of their long lifespan. Our approach provides a general framework to make predictions of the cumulative and synergistic effects of human disturbance and climate change on migratory populations, which can inform effective management and conservation efforts.
Close

Details

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1340-1357
Number of pages18
JournalOikos
Volume128
Issue number9
Early online date17 May 2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2019

    Research areas

  • Climate change, Dynamic state variable modelling, Marine mammals, Population consequences of disturbance, Synergistic effects, Vital rates

Discover related content
Find related publications, people, projects and more using interactive charts.

View graph of relations

Related by author

  1. Density dependence can obscure nonlethal effects of disturbance on life history of medium-sized cetaceans

    Hin, V., Harwood, J. & de Roos, A. M., 3 Jun 2021, In: PLoS ONE. 16, 6, 24 p., e0252677.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

  2. Context-dependent variability in the predicted daily energetic costs of disturbance for blue whales

    Pirotta, E., Booth, C. G., Cade, D. E., Calambokidis, J., Costa, D. P., Fahlbusch, J. A., Friedlaender, A. S., Goldbogen, J. A., Harwood, J., Hazen, E. L., New, L. & Southall, B. L., 16 Jan 2021, In: Conservation Physiology. 9, 1, 15 p., coaa137.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

  3. The Epidemiological Framework for Biological Invasions (EFBI): an interdisciplinary foundation for the assessment of biosecurity threats

    Hulme, P. E., Baker, R., Freckleton, R., Hails, R. S., Hartley, M., Harwood, J., Marion, G., Smith, G. C. & Williamson, M., 15 Oct 2020, In: NeoBiota. 62, p. 161-192

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

  4. Expenditure, investment, and acquisition of energy in southern elephant seals

    Fedak, M. A., Arnbom, T. A., McConnell, B. J., Chambers, C., Boyd, I. L., Harwood, J. . & McCann, T. S., 12 Oct 2020, Elephant Seals: Population Ecology, Behavior, and Physiology . Le Boeuf, B. J. & Laws, R. M. (eds.). reprint ed. University of California Press, p. 354-373

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

  5. Propensity for risk in reproductive strategy affects susceptibility to anthropogenic disturbance

    Pirotta, E., Hin, V., Mangel, M., New, L., Costa, D. P., de Roos, A. M. & Harwood, J., Oct 2020, In: American Naturalist. 196, 4, p. E71–E87

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Related by journal

  1. Species differences drive spatial scaling of foraging patterns in herbivorous reef fishes

    Chow, C. F. Y., Wassénius, E., Dornelas, M. & Hoey, A. S., Dec 2021, In: Oikos. 130, 12, p. 2217-2230 14 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

  2. Agent-based models to investigate sound impact on marine animals: bridging the gap between effects on individual behaviour and population level consequences

    Mortensen, L. O., Chudzinska, M. E., Slabbekoorn, H. & Thomsen, F., 18 Apr 2021, (E-pub ahead of print) In: Oikos. Early View, 13 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

  3. A latent process model approach to improve the utility of indicator species

    Fleming, J., Sutherland, C., Sterrett, S. C. & Campbell Grant, E. H., Dec 2020, In: Oikos. 129, 12, p. 1753-1762 10 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

  4. From pup to predator: generalized hidden Markov models reveal rapid development of movement strategies in a naïve long-lived vertebrate

    Carter, M., McClintock, B. T., Embling, C. B., Bennett, K. A., Thompson, D. & Russell, D. J. F., May 2020, In: Oikos. 129, 5, p. 630-642 12 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Related by journal

  1. Oikos (Journal)

    Sophie Caroline Smout (Reviewer)

    6 May 2020

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesPeer review of manuscripts

ID: 259579933

Top