Boyd Ian L.
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ArticleAscent exhalations of Antarctic fur seals : a behavioural adaptation for breath-hold diving?(Royal Society, 2005-02-22) Hooker, Sascha K. ; Miller, Patrick J. O. ; Johnson, Mark P. ; Cox, Oliver P. ; Boyd, Ian L.Novel observations collected from video, acoustic and conductivity sensors showed that Antarctic fur seals consistently exhale during the last 50–85% of ascent from all dives (10–160 m, n > 8000 dives from 50 seals). The depth of initial bubble emission was best predicted by maximum dive depth, suggesting an underlying physical mechanism. Bubble sound intensity recorded from one seal followed predictions of a simple model based on venting expanding lung air with decreasing pressure. Comparison of air release between dives, together with lack of variation in intensity of thrusting movement during initial descent regardless of ultimate dive depth, suggested that inhaled diving lung volume was constant for all dives. The thrusting intensity in the final phase of ascent was greater for dives in which ascent exhalation began at a greater depth, suggesting an energetic cost to this behaviour, probably as a result of loss of buoyancy from reduced lung volume. These results suggest that fur seals descend with full lung air stores, and thus face the physiological consequences of pressure at depth. We suggest that these regular and predictable ascent exhalations could function to reduce the potential for a precipitous drop in blood oxygen that would result in shallow-water blackout.
ArticleVessel noise affects beaked whale behavior : results of a dedicated acoustic response study(Public Library of Science, 2012-08-03) Pirotta, Enrico ; Milor, Rachael ; Quick, Nicola ; Moretti, David J. ; DiMarzio, Nancy A. ; Tyack, Peter L. ; Boyd, Ian L. ; Hastie, GordonSome beaked whale species are susceptible to the detrimental effects of anthropogenic noise. Most studies have concentrated on the effects of military sonar, but other forms of acoustic disturbance (e.g. shipping noise) may disrupt behavior. An experiment involving the exposure of target whale groups to intense vessel-generated noise tested how these exposures influenced the foraging behavior of Blainville’s beaked whales (Mesoplodon densirostris) in the Tongue of the Ocean (Bahamas). A military array of bottom-mounted hydrophones was used to measure the response based upon changes in the spatial and temporal pattern of vocalizations. The archived acoustic data were used to compute metrics of the echolocation-based foraging behavior for 16 targeted groups, 10 groups further away on the range, and 26 nonexposed groups. The duration of foraging bouts was not significantly affected by the exposure. Changes in the hydrophone over which the group was most frequently detected occurred as the animals moved around within a foraging bout, and their number was significantly less the closer the whales were to the sound source. Non-exposed groups also had significantly more changes in the primary hydrophone than exposed groups irrespective of distance. Our results suggested that broadband ship noise caused a significant change in beaked whale behavior up to at least 5.2 kilometers away from the vessel. The observed change could potentially correspond to a restriction in the movement of groups, a period of more directional travel, a reduction in the number of individuals clicking within the group, or a response to changes in prey movement.
ArticleBeaked whales respond to simulated and actual navy sonar(Public Library of Science, 2011-03-14) Tyack, Peter L. ; Zimmer, Walter M. X. ; Moretti, David J. ; Southall, Brandon L. ; Claridge, Diane E. ; Durban, John W. ; Clark, Christopher W. ; D'Amico, Angela ; DiMarzio, Nancy A. ; Jarvis, Susan ; McCarthy, Elena ; Morrissey, Ronald ; Ward, Jessica ; Boyd, Ian L.Beaked whales have mass stranded during some naval sonar exercises, but the cause is unknown. They are difficult to sight but can reliably be detected by listening for echolocation clicks produced during deep foraging dives. Listening for these clicks, we documented Blainville's beaked whales, Mesoplodon densirostris, in a naval underwater range where sonars are in regular use near Andros Island, Bahamas. An array of bottom-mounted hydrophones can detect beaked whales when they click anywhere within the range. We used two complementary methods to investigate behavioral responses of beaked whales to sonar: an opportunistic approach that monitored whale responses to multi-day naval exercises involving tactical mid-frequency sonars, and an experimental approach using playbacks of simulated sonar and control sounds to whales tagged with a device that records sound, movement, and orientation. Here we show that in both exposure conditions beaked whales stopped echolocating during deep foraging dives and moved away. During actual sonar exercises, beaked whales were primarily detected near the periphery of the range, on average 16 km away from the sonar transmissions. Once the exercise stopped, beaked whales gradually filled in the center of the range over 2–3 days. A satellite tagged whale moved outside the range during an exercise, returning over 2–3 days post-exercise. The experimental approach used tags to measure acoustic exposure and behavioral reactions of beaked whales to one controlled exposure each of simulated military sonar, killer whale calls, and band-limited noise. The beaked whales reacted to these three sound playbacks at sound pressure levels below 142 dB re 1 µPa by stopping echolocation followed by unusually long and slow ascents from their foraging dives. The combined results indicate similar disruption of foraging behavior and avoidance by beaked whales in the two different contexts, at exposures well below those used by regulators to define disturbance.
ArticleAn International Quiet Ocean Experiment(Oceanography Society, 2011-06) Boyd, Ian L. ; Frisk, George V. ; Urban, Edward ; Tyack, Peter L. ; Ausubel, Jesse ; Seeyave, Sphie ; Cato, Doug ; Southall, Brandon L. ; Weise, Michael ; Andrew, Rex K. ; Akamatsu, Tomonari ; Dekeling, Rene ; Erbe, Christine ; Farmer, David M. ; Gentry, Roger ; Gross, Thomas F. ; Hawkins, Anthony D. ; Li, Fenghua ; Metcalf, Kathy ; Miller, James H. ; Moretti, David J. ; Rodrigo, Cristian ; Shinke, TomioThe effect of noise on marine life is one of the big unknowns of current marine science. Considerable evidence exists that the human contribution to ocean noise has increased during the past few decades: human noise has become the dominant component of marine noise in some regions, and noise is directly correlated with the increasing industrialization of the ocean. Sound is an important factor in the lives of many marine organisms, and theory and increasing observations suggest that human noise could be approaching levels at which negative effects on marine life may be occurring. Certain species already show symptoms of the effects of sound. Although some of these effects are acute and rare, chronic sublethal effects may be more prevalent, but are difficult to measure. We need to identify the thresholds of such effects for different species and be in a position to predict how increasing anthropogenic sound will add to the effects. To achieve such predictive capabilities, the Scientific Committee on Oceanic Research (SCOR) and the Partnership for Observation of the Global Oceans (POGO) are developing an International Quiet Ocean Experiment (IQOE), with the objective of coordinating the international research community to both quantify the ocean soundscape and examine the functional relationship between sound and the viability of key marine organisms. SCOR and POGO will convene an open science meeting to gather community input on the important research, observations, and modeling activities that should be included in IQOE.