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CHION, C., P. LAMONTAGNE, S. TURGEON, L. PARROTT, J.-A. LANDRY, D.J. MARCEAU, C.C.A. MARTINS, R. MICHAUD, N. MÉNARD, G. CANTIN, S. DIONNE, 2011. Eliciting cognitive processes underlying patterns of human-wildlife interactions for agent-based modelling. Ecol. Model., 222(14): 2213--2226 .
Integrating humans in our perception of ecosystems is of critical importance to adequately protect natural resources. This poses the challenge of understanding human decision making in the context of decisions potentially threatening natures integrity. We developed a spatially explicit agent-based model that simulates commercial whale-watching vessel movements based on a representation of the captains decision making process when observing marine mammals in and around the Saguenay–St. Lawrence Marine Park in Québec, Canada. We focus here on the human part of the global model, the submodel of whale movements having been developed and validated independently (Lamontagne, 2009). The objective of this study is to select and validate a model of whale-watching captains decision making using the patternoriented modelling approach (POM): three models of cognitive heuristics (satisficing, tallying and Take The Best) along with a null model (random choice) were tested. These concurrent decision making models were built upon knowledge extracted from data collected during field investigations, including interviews with whale-watching captains and park wardens, onboard and shore-based observations, and analyses of a multi-year dataset of sampled whale-watching excursions. Model selection is performed by statistically comparing simulated and real patterns of boat trajectories (excursion length), spatial hotspots (kernel home range 50 %), and excursion content (species observed, time allocated to different activities). The selection process revealed that the Take The Best heuristic was the best performing model. We used the distribution of the number of whale-watching boats in the vicinity (2000 m) of each vessel as a secondary pattern to validate the ability of each decision making model to reproduce real observations. Given the prevalence of the species attribute in the choice of which whale to observe, the Take The Best heuristics ability to deal with non-compensatory information partly explains its overall best performance. Moreover, implementation of communication abilities between modelled captains led to the emergence of persistent observation sites in the park, which is a well-known collective spatiotemporal characteristic of the whale-watching industry; thus validating the fundamental assumption that cooperation is an important mechanism behind the pattern of whale-watching boat dynamics. The relatively good performance of the satisficing and tallying heuristics supports both field evidence and literature on bounded rationality in that humans likely use collections of heuristics (adaptive toolbox) to solve decision problems in different contexts. The POM strategy appears suitable to build up an informative ABM regarding the management of human activities in a natural environment so that further developments will be assessed following the same approach.©2011 Elsevier B.V.
PARROTT, L., C. CHION, C.C.A. MARTINS, P. LAMONTAGNE, S. TURGEON, J.A. LANDRY, B. ZHENS, D.J. MARCEAU, R. MICHAUD, G. CANTIN, N. MÉNARD, S. DIONNE, 2011. A decision support system to assist the sustainable management of navigation activities in the St. Lawrence River Estuary, Canada. Environ. Model. Software, 26: 1403-1418 .
We describe a decision support system that has been developed to inform management and planning in a portion of the St. Lawrence Estuary in Canada (covering the Saguenay-St. Lawrence Marine Park and the proposed St. Lawrence Estuary Marine Protected Area). The system is composed of a spatiotemporal, georeferenced database, a simulator (3MTSim) that reproduces the spatiotemporal movement of marine mammals and maritime traffic in the estuary, and data post-processing tools that can be used to analyse the output of 3MTSim. 3MTSim allows users to test different management scenarios for maritime traffic (e.g., area closures, speed limits, regulations concerning the observation of marine mammals) in order to assess their effects on navigational patterns which may influence marine mammal exposure to vessels. 3MTSim includes an individual-based model of marine mammal movement patterns that has been elaborated based on existing telemetry data on fin, blue, and beluga whales as well as on land-based theodolite tracking of humpback and minke whales. Observations recorded aboard research and whale-watching vessels have provided the spatial data necessary to estimate species abundances and distribution maps that are used to initialise the whale model. Different types of vessels, including cargo ships and commercial whale-watching boats are also modelled individually, using an agent-based approach. The boat model represents the decision-making process of boat captains as a function of environmental conditions, the contextual setting, and their respective goals. An extensive database of real-time tracking data available for the different types of vessels, coupled with observations and interviews, has served in the elaboration of the boat model. In this paper, an overview of the entire system is presented and its effectiveness as a decision support tool is demonstrated via the results from a sample of scenario-based simulations.©2011 Elsevier Ltd.
BOXALL, P.C., W.L. ADAMOWICZ, M. OLAR, G.E. WEST, G. CANTIN, 2011. Analysis of the economic benefits associated with the recovery of threatened marine mammal species in the Canadian St. Lawrence Estuary. Mar. Policy, 36: 189-197 .
This paper examines Canadians willingness to pay to recover the populations of three marine mammal species found in the St Lawrence Estuary. The valuation approach utilized a stated preference tool that is somewhat a hybrid between contingent valuation and a choice experiment with multiple species recovery program options and choices framed as referenda. Program options involved the use of a marine protected area and restrictions on whale watching and shipping industries. The estimated willingness to pay (WTP) for different levels of marine mammal recovery ranged from $77 to $229 per year per household and varied according to the species affected and the recovery program effort. A series of tests revealed that people would be willing to pay more for programs that contribute to greater increases in marine mammal populations, but the additional value of programs that improve a species status beyond the at risk threshold is relatively small.©2011 Elsevier Ltd.
SAVARIA, J.-Y., G. CANTIN, L. BOSSÉ, R. BAILEY, L. PROVENCHER, F. PROUST, 2008. Proceedings from a scientific workshop on marine mammals, their habitats and food resources, held in Mont-Joli (Quebec) from April 3 to 7, 2000, within the context of the St. Lawrence Estuary Marine Protected Area project. Can. Manuscr. Rep. Fish. Aquat. Sci., 2647, 124 p .
This manuscript reports on a scientific workshop on the marine mammals of the St. Lawrence Estuary held at the Maurice Lamontagne Institute in April 2000. The purpose of the workshop was to make a scientific assessment of the need for a marine protected area (MPA) in the St. Lawrence Estuary to protect marine mammals, their habitats and their food resources. Present and potential problems faced by marine mammals, arising essentially from human activities in the vicinity, were debated. The participants were then able to prioritize these various problems and weigh the adequacy of the MPA proposed boundaries. Disturbance, contamination and lack of knowledge were identified as the key problems. Finally, the participants determined that given the magnitude of the problems encountered by marine mammals, the establishment of the MPA was justified and indeed essential to the protection of these animals and their habitats.
MICHAUD, S., M. LEVASSEUR, G. CANTIN, 2007. Seasonal variations in dimethylsulfoniopropionate and dimethylsulfide concentrations in relation to the plankton community in the St. Lawrence Estuary. Estuar. Coast. Shelf Sci., 71: 741-750 .
Weekly variations in total dimethylsulfoniopropionate (DMSPt) and dimethylsulfide (DMS) were investigated in relation to the phytoplankton assemblage from spring to fall 1994 at a coastal fixed station in the St. Lawrence Estuary. DMSPt and DMS concentrations showed a strong seasonality and were tightly coupled in time. Maximum concentrations of DMSPt and DMS were observed in July and August, during a period of warm water and low nutrient concentrations. Seasonal maxima of 365.4 nmol l-1 for DMSPt and 14.2 nmol l-1 for DMS in early August coincided with the presence of many phytoplankton species, such as Alexandrium tamarense, Dinophysis acuminata, Gymnodinium sp., Heterocapsa rotundata, Protoperidinium ovatum, Scrippsiella trochoidea, Chrysochromulin sp. (6 μm), Cryptomonas sp. (6 μm), a group of microflagellates smaller than 5 μ (mf < 5), many tintinnids, and Mesodinium rubrum. The abundance of mf &<lt; 5 followed the general trend of DMS concentrations. The temporal occurrence of high P. ovatum abundance and DMSPt concentrations suggests that this heterotrophic dinoflagellate can either synthesize DMSP or acquire it from DMSP-rich prey. The calculated sea-to-air DMS flux reached a maximum of 8.36 μmol 2 d1 on August 1. The estimated annual emission from the St. Lawrence Estuary is 77.2 tons of biogenic sulfur to the atmosphere.© 2007 Elsevier Ltd.
LEVASSEUR, M., M. SCARRATT, S. ROY, D. LAROCHE, S. MICHAUD, G. CANTIN, M. GOSSELIN, A. VÉZINA, 2004. Vertically resolved cycling of dimethylsulfoniopropionate (DMSP) and dimethylsulfide (DMS) in the Northwest Atlantic in spring. Can. J. Fish. Aquat. Sci., 61: 744-757 .
In May 1998, profiles of ambient concentration and net changes of particulate dimethylsulfoniopropionate (DMSPp), dissolved dimethylsulfoniopropionate (DMSPd), and dimethylsulfide (DMS) were measured in three bio geographic provinces of the Northwest Atlantic: Northwest Atlantic Continental Shelf (Grand Banks), North Atlantic Drift, and North Atlantic Subtropical Gyre (Sargasso Sea). All stations/depths exhibited large losses of DMSPp (up to 18.0 nmol·L-1·day-1). DMSP and DMS cycling varied in relation to the type and development stage of the plankton assemblages. The postdiatom bloom conditions on the Grand Banks were associated with an efficient utilization of DMSP by microzooplankton and bacteria. Bacterial DMS production balanced the DMS bacterial consumption, resulting in little net DMS production (0.3 nmol·L-1·day-1). This contrasted with the North Atlantic Drift and Sargasso Sea stations where flagellates were thriving and most of the DMSPp loss was recovered in the dissolved pool, indicating a less active microbial DMSP metabolism. DMSPd cleavage was high in these latter cases and exceeded DMS bacterial consumption, allowing a net production of DMS (up to 1.8 nmol·L-1·day-1). These results indicate that maximum DMS net production occurs in growing algal systems where the production of DMSPd resulting from microzooplankton grazing exceeds the bacterial requirement in carbon and sulfur.©2004 NRC Canada
SAVARIA, J.-Y., G. CANTIN, L. BOSSE, R. BAILEY, L. PROVENCHER, F. PROUST, 2003. Compte rendu d'un atelier scientifique sur les mammifères marins, leurs habitats et leurs ressources alimentaires, tenu à Mont-Joli (Québec) du 3 au 7 avril 2000 ( ). Rapp. manus. can. sci. halieut. aquat., 2647, 127 p .
This manuscript is the product of a scientific workshop held at the Maurice Lamontagne Institute in April 2000 on the marine mammals of the St. Lawrence estuary. The purpose of the workshop was to make a scientific assessment of the need for a marine protected area (MPA) in the St. Lawrence estuary to protect marine mammals, their habitat and their food resources. Present and potential problems faced by marine mammals, arising essentially from human activities in the vicinity, were debated, and participants were thus able to prioritize these various problems and weigh the adequacy of the proposed boundaries of the MPA. Disturbance, contamination and lack of knowledge were identified as the key problems. In conclusion, the participants determined that given the scale of the problems encountered by marine mammals, establishment of the MPA was justified, indeed was essential to the protection of these creatures and their habitats.
SCARRATT, M.G., M. LEVASSEUR, S. MICHAUD, G. CANTIN, M. GOSSELIN, S.J. DE MORA, 2002. Influence of phytoplankton taxonomic profile on the distribution of dimethylsulfide and dimethylsulfoniopropionate in the northwest Atlantic. Mar. Ecol. Prog. Ser., 244: 49-61 .
MICHAUD, S., M. LEVASSEUR, G. DOUCETTE, G. CANTIN, 2002. Particle size fractionation of paralytic shellfish toxins (PSTs): seasonal distribution and bacterial production in the St. Lawrence estuary, Canada. Toxicon, 40: 1451-1462 .
SCARRATT, M.G., M. LEVASSEUR, S. SCHULTES, S. MICHAUD, G. CANTIN, A. VÉZINA, M. GOSSELIN, S.J. DE MORA, 2000. Production and consumption of dimethylsulfide (DMS) in North Atlantic waters. Mar. Ecol. Prog. Ser., 204: 13-26 .
SCHULTES, S., M. LEVASSEUR, S. MICHAUD, G. CANTIN, G. WOLFE, M. GOSSELIN, S. DE MORA, 2000. Dynamics of dimethylsulfide production from dissolved dimethylsulfoniopropionate in the Labrador Sea. Mar. Ecol. Prog. Ser., 202: 27-40 .
LEVASSEUR, M., S. SHARMA, G. CANTIN, S. MICHAUD, M. GOSSELIN, L. BARRIE, 1997. Biogenic sulfur emissions from the Gulf of Saint Lawrence and assessment of its impact on the Canadian east coast. J. Geophys. Res. (D Atmospheres), 102(D23): 28025-28039 .
CANTIN, G., C. LEVASSEUR, 1996. Le prélèvement d'échantillons et l'analyse de données. Pages 217-241 in Biologie marine : applications aux eaux du Saint-Laurent .
CANTIN, G., M. LEVASSEUR, M. GOSSELIN, S. MICHAUD, 1996. Role of zooplankton in the mesoscale distribution of surface dimethylsulfide concentrations in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, Canada. Mar. Ecol. Prog. Ser., 141: 103-117 .
LEVASSEUR, M., S. MICHAUD, J. EGGE, G. CANTIN, J.C. NEJSTGAARD, R. SANDERS, E. FERNANDEZ, P.T. SOLBERG, B. HEIMDAL, M. GOSSELIN, 1996. Production of DMSP and DMS during a mesocosm study of an Emiliania huxleyi bloom : influence of bacteria and Calanus finmarchicus grazing. Mar. Biol., 126: 609-618 .
BRATBAK, G., M. LEVASSEUR, S. MICHAUD, G. CANTIN, E. FERNANDEZ, B.R. HEIMDAL, M. HELDAL, 1995. Viral activity in relation to Emiliania huxleyi blooms : a mechanism of DMSP release. Mar. Ecol. Prog. Ser., 128: 133-142 .
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