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Bibliographie de l'Institut Maurice-Lamontagne

Mammifères marins - Baleines / Balaenoptera acutorostrata / Petit rorqual

ANDERWALD, P., A.K. DANIELSDOTTIR, T. HAUG, F. LARSEN, V. LESAGE, R.J. REID, G.A. VIKINGSSON, A.R. HOELZEL, 2011. Possible cryptic stock structure for minke whales in the North Atlantic : implications for conservation and management. Biol. Conser., 44: 2479-2489.

[Résumé disponible seulement en anglais]
The minke whale is the last of the great whale species to be hunted in significant numbers. Effective management must include an understanding of how genetic diversity is divided and distributed among putative local populations, and as for many migratory species, this is complicated for the minke whale by large-scale seasonal movement among geographic regions. The problem is that the geographic identity of breeding populations is not known, and instead these whales are predictably found and hunted where different breeding stocks may mix on seasonal feeding grounds. Here we use microsatellite DNA and mtDNA markers to investigate minke whale population structure across the species’ range in the North Atlantic. We found no evidence of geographic structure comparing putative populations in recognized management areas, though some limited structure had been indicated in earlier studies. However, using individual genotypes and likelihood assignment methods, we identified two putative cryptic stocks distributed across the North Atlantic in similar proportions in different regions. Some differences in the proportional representation of these populations may explain some of the apparent differentiation between regions detected previously. The implication would be that minke whales range extensively across the North Atlantic seasonally, but segregate to some extent on at least two breeding grounds. This means that established stock boundaries in the North Atlantic, currently used for management, should be re-considered to ensure the effective conservation of genetic diversity.©2011 Elsevier Ltd.

DONIOL-VALCROZE, T., D. BERTEAUX, P. LAROUCHE, R. SEARS, 2008. Influence of thermal fronts on habitat selection by four rorqual whale species in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. Mar. Ecol. Prog. Ser., 335: 207-216.

[Résumé disponible seulement en anglais]
Understanding the factors influencing habitat selection is critical to improving management and conservation plans for large whales. Many studies have linked the distribution of cetaceans to basic environmental features such as underwater topography and sea surface temperature (SST), but the mechanisms underlying these relationships are poorly understood. Dynamic mesoscale processes like thermal fronts are prime candidates to link physiographic factors to whale distribution because they increase biological productivity and aggregate prey. However, previous studies of large whales have found little evidence of such associations, possibly because they were not at the appropriate spatio-temporal scales. We quantified the relationship between SST fronts and the distribution of blue Balaenoptera musculus, finback B. physalus, humpback Megaptera novaeangliae and minke B. acutorostrata whales in the northern Gulf of St. Lawrence. We compared the distribution of 1094 whale sightings collected from boat surveys conducted in 1996 to 2000 to the locations of frontal areas determined from 61 satellite maps. The distributions of whales and thermal fronts were highly correlated (random resampling and Mantel tests of matrix similarity). Spatial distributions differed among species, probably reflecting differences in feeding strategies. Identification of surface fronts from satellite imagery thus effectively complemented field observations of whales. These findings significantly increase our understanding of habitat quality in rorqual whales, and encourage a greater use of dynamic environmental variables in future studies of whale habitat use. ©2007 Inter-Research

DONIOL-VALCROZE, T., D. BERTEAUX, P. LAROUCHE, R. SEARS, 2007. Influence of thermal fronts on habitat selection by four rorqual whale species in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. Mar. Ecol. Prog. Ser., 335: 207-216 .

[Résumé disponible seulement en anglais]
Understanding the factors influencing habitat selection is critical to improving management and conservation plans for large whales. Many studies have linked the distribution of cetaceans to basic environmental features such as underwater topography and sea surface temperature (SST), but the mechanisms underlying these relationships are poorly understood. Dynamic mesoscale processes like thermal fronts are prime candidates to link physiographic factors to whale distribution because they increase biological productivity and aggregate prey. However, previous studies of large whales have found little evidence of such associations, possibly because they were not at the appropriate spatio-temporal scales. We quantified the relationship between SST fronts and the distribution of blue Balaenoptera musculus, finback B. physalus, humpback Megaptera novaeangliae and minke B. acutorostrata whales in the northern Gulf of St. Lawrence. We compared the distribution of 1094 whale sightings collected from boat surveys conducted in 1996 to 2000 to the locations of frontal areas determined from 61 satellite maps. The distributions of whales and thermal fronts were highly correlated (random resampling and Mantel tests of matrix similarity). Spatial distributions differed among species, probably reflecting differences in feeding strategies. Identification of surface fronts from satellite imagery thus effectively complemented field observations of whales. These findings significantly increase our understanding of habitat quality in rorqual whales, and encourage a greater use of dynamic environmental variables in future studies of whale habitat use. ©2007 Inter-Research