Passive acoustic monitoring reveals year-round marine mammal community composition off Tasiilaq, Southeast Greenland


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ramona.mattmueller [ at ] awi.de

Abstract

Climate-driven changes are affecting sea ice conditions off Tasiilaq, Southeast Greenland, with implications for marine mammal distributions. Knowledge about marine mammal presence, biodiversity, and community composition is key to effective conservation and management but is lacking, especially during winter months. Seasonal patterns of acoustic marine mammal presence were investigated relative to sea ice concentration at two recording sites between 2014 and 2018, with one (65.6°N, 37.4°W) or three years (65.5°N, 38.0°W) of passive acoustic recordings. Seven marine mammal species were recorded. Bearded seals were acoustically dominant during winter and spring, whereas sperm, humpback, and fin whales dominated during the sea ice-free summer and autumn. Narwhals, bowhead, and killer whales were recorded only rarely. Song-fragments of humpback whales and acoustic presence of fin whales in winter suggest mating-associated behavior taking place in the area. Ambient noise levels in 1/3-octave level bands (20, 63, 125, 500, 1000, and 4000 Hz), ranged between 75.6 to 105 dB re 1 μPa. This study provides multi-year insights into the coastal marine mammal community composition off Southeast Greenland and suggests that the Tasiilaq area provides suitable habitat for various marine mammal species year-round.



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Article
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Helmholtz Cross Cutting Activity (2021-2027)
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Peer-reviewed, Web of Science / Scopus
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Published
Eprint ID
55751
DOI 10.1121/10.0009429

Cite as
Mattmüller, R. M. , Thomisch, K. , van Opzeeland, I. , Simon, M. and Laidre, K. L. (2022): Passive acoustic monitoring reveals year-round marine mammal community composition off Tasiilaq, Southeast Greenland , The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 151 , pp. 1380-1392 . doi: 10.1121/10.0009429


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