Mapping the vulnerability of animal community to pressure in marine systems: disentangling pressure types and integrating their impact from the individual to the community level.

Open Access Journal Article 2015

ICES Journal of Marine Science

Assessing the vulnerability of biological communities to anthropic pressures in marine systems may be challenging because of the difficulty to properly model each species’ response to the pressure due to lack of information. One solution is to apply factor-mediated vulnerability assessment which combines (i) information on species ecological traits and conservation status organized in a matrix of so-called “vulnerability factors”, (ii) a conceptual model of how these factors affect species vulnerability, and (iii) data on the spatial distribution and abundance of each species issued from at-sea surveys. Such factor-mediated vulnerability assessment was originally introduced in the seabird–wind farm context by Garthe and Hüppop (2004. Scaling possible adverse effects of marine wind farms on seabirds: developing and applying a vulnerability index. Journal of Applied Ecology, 41: 724–734) and has since then been expanded to many case studies. However, the mathematical formulations that were proposed at that time are overly simplistic and may overlook critical components of the impact assessment. Our study briefly reviews the original approach and highlights its hidden assumptions and associated interpretation problems, for example, the overestimation of disturbance pressure to the detriment of collision, or the very high contribution of log abundances in vulnerability maps. Then, we propose a revised framework that solves these issues and permits easy transposition to other community-pressure case studies. To illustrate the usefulness and generality of the revised framework, we apply it to two case studies, one concerning the vulnerability assessment of a seabird community to offshore wind farms in the Bay of Biscay, and another focusing on the vulnerability assessment of the benthic megafauna community to trawling pressure in the Barents Sea.

Link To Publication

Similar Research

Anthropogenic sound and marine mammal health: measures of the nervous and immune systems before and after intense sound exposure

Pay-walled Journal Article 2004

Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences

Anthropogenic sound is a potential stressor for marine mammals that may affect health, as has been demonstrated in other mammals. Therefore, we have initiated investigations on...
Read More

A Brief Review of Anthropogenic Sound in the Oceans

Open Access Journal Article 2007

International Journal of Comparative Psychology

Sound in the oceans is generated by a variety of natural sources, such as breaking waves, rain, and marine animals, as well as a variety of...
Read More

Effect of anthropogenic low-frequency noise on the foraging ecology of Balaenoptera whales

Pay-walled Journal Article 2006

Animal Conservation

The human contribution to ambient noise in the ocean has increased over the past 50 years, and is dominated by low-frequency (LF) sound (frequencies <1000 Hz)...
Read More

Response and Responsibility: Regulating Noise Pollution in the Marine Environment

Pay-walled Journal Article 2007

Journal of International Wildlife Law and Policy

The ocean is becoming an increasingly noisy environment. With a rise in com-mercial shipping, resource extraction activities, and military-related activities,the underwater ocean environment is a virtual...
Read More

Influences of man-made noise and other human actions on cetacean behaviour

Pay-walled Journal Article 1995

Marine and Freshwater Behaviour and Physiology

Behavioral reactions of cetaceans to man-made noises are highly variable, ranging from attraction (e.g. bow riding by dolphins) or no response through short-term changes in behaviour...
Read More

International Regulation Of Transboundary Pollutants: The Emerging Challenge Of Ocean Noise

Open Access Journal Article 2001

Ocena and Coastal Law Journal

Transboundary pollution law poses the challenge of addressing environmental problems irrespective of boundaries in an international legal system that values, above all, territorial sovereignty of individual...
Read More

Determination of environmental sensitivity of acoustic propagation on continental shelves using an equivalent fluid parabolic equation model

Pay-walled Journal Article 1995

The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America

A coupled environment and acoustic prediction system was developed to evaluate the sensitivity of acoustic propagation on the continental shelf to water column and sediment properties....
Read More

Effects of underwater noise on auditory sensitivity of a cyprinid fish

Pay-walled Journal Article 2001

Hearing Research

The ability of a fish to interpret acoustic information in its environment is crucial for its survival. Thus, it is important to understand how underwater noise...
Read More

Effects of noise exposure on click detection and the temporal resolution ability of the goldfish auditory system

Pay-walled Journal Article 2005

Hearing Research

Hearing specialist fishes investigated so far revealed excellent temporal resolution abilities, enabling them to accurately process temporal patterns of sounds. Because noise is a growing environmental...
Read More

The effects of noise on the auditory sensitivity of the bluegill sunfish, Lepomis macrochirus

Pay-walled Journal Article 2002

Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology Part A: Molecular & Integrative Physiology

As concerns about the effects of underwater anthropogenic noises on the auditory function of organisms increases, it is imperative to assess if all organisms are equally...
Read More