Habitat partitioning mediates the coexistence of sympatric dolphins in a tropical fjord-like embayment

Lenin Oviedo, Marc Fernández, David Herra-Miranda, Juan Diego Pacheco-Polanco, Claudia J. Hernández-Camacho, David Aurioles-Gamboa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

© 2018 American Society of Mammalogists, www.mammalogy.org. Bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) and pantropical spotted dolphins (Stenella attenuata) co-occur in Golfo Dulce, a fjord-like embayment located in the southern Pacific coast of Costa Rica. We evaluated if spatial overlap by these dolphin species is associated with similar environmental requirements. Presence-only models based on niche theory were constructed by contrasting a set of spatial locations with the responses of the target species to abiotic ecogeographical variables (EGVs: depth, slope, distance to rivers, distance to 200 m isobath, mean sea surface temperature, and variation in sea surface temperature). Models were cross-validated with levels of discrimination that ranged from acceptable to excellent based on the area under the curve assessment (T.Truncatus, rainy season: 0.76, dry season: 0.83; S. attenuata, rainy season: 0.84, dry season: 0.89). Both dolphin species occur in Golfo Dulce year-round; the lack of seasonality documented previously was supported by the models. Species distribution models showed no spatial overlap, with differences in EGVs affecting their distribution (T.Truncatus: distance to river + distance to 200 m isobath, S. attenuata: depth + sea surface temperature). We argue that the coexistence of both predators in Golfo Dulce is linked to habitat heterogeneity, where critical habitats are spatially differentiated. The lack of fine-scale spatial overlap, along with influential abiotic variables, highlights a process of coexistence for dolphins that are sympatric at the scale of Golfo Dulce, but within the Gulf there is fine-scale allopatry.
Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)554-564
Number of pages497
JournalJournal of Mammalogy
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2018
Externally publishedYes

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Dolphins
Estuaries
dolphin
dolphins
fjord
coexistence
Ecosystem
Stenella
partitioning
Bottle-Nosed Dolphin
Oceans and Seas
surface temperature
Tursiops truncatus
habitat
habitats
Rivers
sea surface temperature
Temperature
dry season
wet season

Cite this

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title = "Habitat partitioning mediates the coexistence of sympatric dolphins in a tropical fjord-like embayment",
abstract = "{\circledC} 2018 American Society of Mammalogists, www.mammalogy.org. Bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) and pantropical spotted dolphins (Stenella attenuata) co-occur in Golfo Dulce, a fjord-like embayment located in the southern Pacific coast of Costa Rica. We evaluated if spatial overlap by these dolphin species is associated with similar environmental requirements. Presence-only models based on niche theory were constructed by contrasting a set of spatial locations with the responses of the target species to abiotic ecogeographical variables (EGVs: depth, slope, distance to rivers, distance to 200 m isobath, mean sea surface temperature, and variation in sea surface temperature). Models were cross-validated with levels of discrimination that ranged from acceptable to excellent based on the area under the curve assessment (T.Truncatus, rainy season: 0.76, dry season: 0.83; S. attenuata, rainy season: 0.84, dry season: 0.89). Both dolphin species occur in Golfo Dulce year-round; the lack of seasonality documented previously was supported by the models. Species distribution models showed no spatial overlap, with differences in EGVs affecting their distribution (T.Truncatus: distance to river + distance to 200 m isobath, S. attenuata: depth + sea surface temperature). We argue that the coexistence of both predators in Golfo Dulce is linked to habitat heterogeneity, where critical habitats are spatially differentiated. The lack of fine-scale spatial overlap, along with influential abiotic variables, highlights a process of coexistence for dolphins that are sympatric at the scale of Golfo Dulce, but within the Gulf there is fine-scale allopatry.",
author = "Lenin Oviedo and Marc Fern{\'a}ndez and David Herra-Miranda and Pacheco-Polanco, {Juan Diego} and Hern{\'a}ndez-Camacho, {Claudia J.} and David Aurioles-Gamboa",
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Habitat partitioning mediates the coexistence of sympatric dolphins in a tropical fjord-like embayment. / Oviedo, Lenin; Fernández, Marc; Herra-Miranda, David; Pacheco-Polanco, Juan Diego; Hernández-Camacho, Claudia J.; Aurioles-Gamboa, David.

In: Journal of Mammalogy, 01.06.2018, p. 554-564.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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AU - Fernández, Marc

AU - Herra-Miranda, David

AU - Pacheco-Polanco, Juan Diego

AU - Hernández-Camacho, Claudia J.

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