Skip to content

Research at St Andrews

Influence of the physical environment and conspecific aggression on the spatial arrangement of breeding grey seals

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Author(s)

Catriona M Harris, Jason Matthiopoulos, John Harwood

School/Research organisations

Abstract

Understanding the habitat requirements of a species for breeding is essential for its conservation, particularly if the availability of suitable habitat is a limiting factor for population growth. This is postulated to be the case for grey seals, one of the more abundant marine apex predators in northern European waters. In common with similar studies that have investigated the habitat preferences of breeding grey seals, we use abiotic (topographical, climatological) attributes but, unlike previous work, we also incorporate behavioural variables, particularly the occurrence of aggressive interactions between females and the presence of neighbouring seals. We used two Generalized Additive Models (GAM) in a sequential and iterative fashion. The first model links the occurrence of aggression at particular points in the colony to local topography derived from a Geographical Information System (GIS), presence of neighbouring seal pups and the day of the breeding season. The output of this GAM is used as one of the explanatory variables in a GAM of daily variation in the spatial distribution of births. Although proximity of a birth site to a water source and the presence of neighbouring seal pups both had significant influences on the distribution of newborn pups over time and space, at the scale of the study site it was found that simple rules could predict pup distribution more efficiently than a complex individual-based simulation model. (c) 2007 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Close

Details

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)308-317
Number of pages10
JournalEcological Informatics
Volume2
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2007

    Research areas

  • Generalized additive models, GIS, Habitat suitability, Individual-based model, Pupping site selection, Spatial and temporal simulation modelling, Halichoerus-grypus, Site fidelity, North-Rona, Relating poulations, Landscape patterns, Models, Scotland, Distributions, Availability

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

View graph of relations

Related by author

  1. A simulation approach to assessing environmental risk of sound exposure to marine mammals

    Donovan, C. R., Harris, C. M., Milazzo, L., Harwood, J., Marshall, L. & Williams, R., Apr 2017, In : Ecology and Evolution. 7, 7, p. 2101-2111 11 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  2. Environmental Risk Management Capability: Advice on Minimising the Impact of Both Sonar and Seismic Offshore Operations on Marine Mammals

    Mollett, A., Schofield, C., Miller, I., Harwood, J., Harris, C. M. & Donovan, C. R., 2009, Offshore Europe Oil and Gas Conference and Exhibition : proceedings : 8-11 September 2009, Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Center UK, Aberdeen UK. Society of Petroleum Engineers, p. 1-8 8 p.

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

  3. Defining biologically relevant management units for seal populations in the UK

    Everard, K., Harwood, J., Matthiopoulos, J., McConnell, B. J., Sharples, R., Harris, C. M. & Warnes, C. Z., 2005, Unknown Publisher.

    Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned report

  4. Bio-energetic modeling of medium-sized cetaceans shows high sensitivity to disturbance in seasons of low resource supply

    Hin, V., Harwood, J. & de Roos, A. M., 16 May 2019, In : Ecological Applications. Early View, 19 p., e01903.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Related by journal

  1. Management of acoustic metadata for bioacoustics

    Roch, M., Batchelor, H., Baumann-Pickering, S., Berchok, C., Cholewiak, D., Fujioka, E., Garland, E. C., Herbert, S., Hildebrand, J., Oleson, E., Van Parijs, S., Risch, D., Širović, A. & Soldevilla, M., Jan 2016, In : Ecological Informatics. 31, p. 122-136 15 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  2. Modelling spatial distributions of alpine vegetation: a graph theory approach to delineate ecologically-consistent species assemblages

    Mikolajczak, A., Maréchal, D., Sanz, T., Isenmann, M., Thierion, V. & Luque, S., 2015, In : Ecological Informatics. In press

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  3. Hierarchical Bayesian models in ecology: Reconstructing species interaction networks from non-homogeneous species abundance data

    Aderhold, A., Husmeier, D., Lennon, J. J., Beale, C. M. & Smith, V. A., 2012, In : Ecological Informatics. 11, p. 55-64

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  4. Integrating demographic data and a mechanistic dispersal model to predict invasion spread of Rhododendron ponticum in different habitats

    Harris, C. M., Stanford, H. L., Edwards, C., Travis, J. MJ. & Park, K. J., 2011, In : Ecological Informatics. 6, p. 187-195 9 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  5. Invasive species control: Incorporating demographic data and seed dispersal into a management model for Rhododendron ponticum

    Harris, C. M., Park, K. J., Atkinson, R., Edwards, C. & Travis, J. M. J., Sep 2009, In : Ecological Informatics. 4, 4, p. 226-233

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

ID: 374465