IMIS | Flanders Marine Institute
 

Flanders Marine Institute

Platform for marine research

IMIS

Publications | Institutes | Persons | Datasets | Projects | Maps
[ report an error in this record ]basket (0): add | show Printer-friendly version

Population substructure of North Atlantic minke whales (Balaenoptera acutorostrata) inferred from regional variation of elemental and stable isotopic signatures in tissues
Born, E.W.; Outridge, P.; Riget, F.F.; Hobson, K.A.; Dietz, R.; Øien, N.; Haug, T. (2003). Population substructure of North Atlantic minke whales (Balaenoptera acutorostrata) inferred from regional variation of elemental and stable isotopic signatures in tissues. J. Mar. Syst. 43(1-2): 1-17. dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0924-7963(03)00085-X
In: Journal of Marine Systems. Elsevier: Tokyo; Oxford; New York; Amsterdam. ISSN 0924-7963, more
Peer reviewed article  

Available in  Authors 

Keywords
    Balaenoptera acutorostrata Lacépède, 1804 [WoRMS]; AN, North Atlantic [Marine Regions]; Marine

Authors  Top 
  • Born, E.W.
  • Outridge, P.
  • Riget, F.F.
  • Hobson, K.A.
  • Dietz, R.
  • Øien, N.
  • Haug, T.

Abstract
    Information on population structure is essential for estimating population demographics and managing the impacts of exploitation of North Atlantic minke whales (Balaenoptera acutorostrata). New approaches including assessment of geochemical signatures in tissues can assist in defining such structure.

    This study determined regional variations in long-term elemental diagnostics of stock differences among 159 minke whales harvested in West Greenland, the Northeast Atlantic Ocean and the North Sea in 1998. The diagnostics tested included mercury (Hg), selenium (Se) and cadmium (Cd) in various tissues, and the trace and major element composition of baleen. Supporting data was also gathered on δ15N and δ13C and stable lead isotope ratios.

    For female whales, significant differences in at least one long-term diagnostic element occurred between several areas. Existence of the following population substructure was inferred: (a) West Greenland, (b) a central group represented by whales from Jan Mayen, (c) a northeastern stock encompassing the Barents Sea, Svalbard and coastal Norway, and (d) the North Sea. These groups were consistent with those defined genetically by Andersen et al. [Mar. Ecol., Prog. Ser. 247 (2003) 263]. Males appeared to fall into similar groupings to females but because of smaller sample sizes fewer significant differences occurred between areas.

    Stable-isotopic values in minke whales suggested lower trophic-level feeding in this species than hitherto suspected, with significant dietary differences between areas. Variations in feeding habits appeared to explain part of the geographical variation in tissue Cd, but not tissue Hg or Se.

    Differences among elements with a relatively long biological half-life in specific tissues suggested that groups of minke whales have fidelity to certain summer feeding areas at least for several years.


All data in IMIS is subject to the VLIZ privacy policy Top | Authors