Special Issue "Marine Mammals in a Changing World"

A special issue of Oceans (ISSN 2673-1924).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 January 2021) | Viewed by 14116

Printed Edition Available!
A printed edition of this Special Issue is available here.

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Alexander Werth
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Biology, Hampden-Sydney College, Hampden-Sydney, VA 23943, USA
Interests: marine mammals and other marine vertebrates; trophic ecology; physiology, morphology, and biomechanics; evolution; conservation
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Despite tremendous advances in our understanding of marine mammals over the past several decades, numerous unanswered questions remain. These include fundamental questions in every biological discipline as well as other areas of science, including basic and applied chemistry and physics. Current studies of marine mammals reflect major improvements in technology, as well as equally large changes in the ocean environment.

Contributions for this Special Issue are invited in all areas of marine mammal research, especially those that focus on one (or both) of two themes: changing technological advances and changes in ocean habitats affecting marine mammals (including but not limited to changes in climate/temperature; ocean acidification; noise, plastic, or chemical pollution; vessel traffic and ship strikes; pathogenic viruses and microbes; trophic changes; fisheries impacts; habitat destruction; and related topics).

Submissions can focus on any area of marine mammal research and health, including but not limited to ecology, conservation, population biology and management, behavior, habitat and distribution, genetics, evolution, physiology, anatomy, acoustics, effects of noise and pollution, and new technologies.

Dr. Alexander Werth
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Oceans is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1000 CHF (Swiss Francs). In 2020, the APC will be fully subsidized by MDPI. Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Published Papers (5 papers)

Order results
Result details
Select all
Export citation of selected articles as:

Research

Jump to: Review

Article
An Expert Elicitation of the Effects of Low Salinity Water Exposure on Bottlenose Dolphins
Oceans 2021, 2(1), 179-192; https://doi.org/10.3390/oceans2010011 - 14 Feb 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2983
Abstract
There is increasing concern over anthropogenically driven changes in our oceans and seas, from a variety of stressors. Such stressors include the increased risk of storms and precipitation, offshore industries and increased coastal development which can affect the marine environment. For some coastal [...] Read more.
There is increasing concern over anthropogenically driven changes in our oceans and seas, from a variety of stressors. Such stressors include the increased risk of storms and precipitation, offshore industries and increased coastal development which can affect the marine environment. For some coastal cetacean species, there is an increased exposure to low salinity waters which have been linked with a range of adverse health effects in bottlenose dolphins. Knowledge gaps persist regarding how different time–salinity exposures affect the health and survival of animals. In such data-poor instances, expert elicitation can be used to convert an expert’s qualitative knowledge into subjective probability distributions. The management implications of this stressor and the subjective nature of expert elicitation requires transparency; we have addressed this here, utilizing the Sheffield Elicitation Framework. The results are a series of time response scenarios to estimate time to death in bottlenose dolphins, for use when data are insufficient to estimate probabilistic summaries. This study improves our understanding of how low salinity exposure effects dolphins, guiding priorities for future research, while its outputs can be used to support coastal management on a global scale. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Marine Mammals in a Changing World)
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Article
Antibiotic Resistance of Bacteria in Two Marine Mammal Species, Harbor Seals and Harbor Porpoises, Living in an Urban Marine Ecosystem, the Salish Sea, Washington State, USA
Oceans 2021, 2(1), 86-104; https://doi.org/10.3390/oceans2010006 - 25 Jan 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 3133
Abstract
The pervasive use of antibiotics in human medicine, veterinary medicine, and agriculture can result in a significant increase in the spread and environmental persistence of antibiotic resistance in marine ecosystems. This study describes the presence and distribution of antibiotic-resistant bacteria in Salish Sea [...] Read more.
The pervasive use of antibiotics in human medicine, veterinary medicine, and agriculture can result in a significant increase in the spread and environmental persistence of antibiotic resistance in marine ecosystems. This study describes the presence and distribution of antibiotic-resistant bacteria in Salish Sea harbor seals (Phoca vitulina) and harbor porpoises (Phocoena phocoena) and evaluates species, age class, and geographic differences in resistance patterns. Isolates from 95 dead-stranded animals (74 seals/21 porpoises) were tested for resistance to a suite of 15 antibiotics. Of the 95 sampled, 85 (89%) (67 seals/18 porpoises) successfully yielded 144 isolates, with 37% resistant to at least one antibiotic and 26% multi-drug resistant (24% and 39% of seal and porpoise isolates, respectively). Overall, and by study region, porpoises were significantly more likely to harbor resistant organisms compared to seals. Significant differences between age classes were noted for the antibiotics amoxicillin, cephalexin, and cefovecin. Overall isolate resistance was significantly greater in porpoises than seals for several individual antibiotics. Multiple antibiotic resistance (MAR) indices greater than 0.2 were observed in 55% of multi-drug resistant isolates, suggesting seal and porpoise exposure to anthropogenic pollution. The relatively high and disparate prevalence of antibiotic resistance in these common, but ecologically dissimilar, marine mammals reflects a potentially large environmental pool of antibiotic resistant organisms in the Salish Sea or inherently different resistance gene patterns between the two species. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Marine Mammals in a Changing World)
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Article
Prey-Related Asphyxiation in Harbor Porpoises (Phocoena phocoena) along the U.S. West Coast: Importance of American Shad (Alosa sapidissima) on Adult Female Harbor Porpoise Mortality
Oceans 2020, 1(3), 94-108; https://doi.org/10.3390/oceans1030008 - 29 Jun 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2191
Abstract
Harbor porpoise (Phocoena phocoena) diets are predominantly comprised of small fish species (<30 cm) and squid. However, predation on larger species (up to 63 cm) occurs, raising the question of increased risk of asphyxiation associated with this behavior. Literature was reviewed [...] Read more.
Harbor porpoise (Phocoena phocoena) diets are predominantly comprised of small fish species (<30 cm) and squid. However, predation on larger species (up to 63 cm) occurs, raising the question of increased risk of asphyxiation associated with this behavior. Literature was reviewed and stranding data from 1983 to 2020 from the U.S. West Coast (including California, Oregon and Washington) were searched for cases of prey-related asphyxiation of harbor porpoises and analyzed in relation to age, sex, reproductive status and prey species. Twenty-nine cases were documented. Twenty-seven cases involved large prey; non-native American shad caused the asphyxiation in 87% of the cases where the prey species was identified. The majority (92%) of harbor porpoises were females, and at least 83.3% were pregnant or recently post-partum. Reproductively active females may be more likely to attempt potentially risky behavior in order to compensate for their increased energetic needs. Increasing numbers of non-native American shad may pose a unique danger in this region for harbor porpoises not adapted to deal with the challenges of that prey. This may be a cause for concern, as there is likely an interaction between location, age and reproductive status on the diet composition and foraging strategies of harbor porpoises. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Marine Mammals in a Changing World)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Review

Jump to: Research

Review
Harbour Seals: Population Structure, Status, and Threats in a Rapidly Changing Environment
Oceans 2021, 2(1), 41-63; https://doi.org/10.3390/oceans2010003 - 05 Jan 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2681
Abstract
The harbour seal (Phoca vitulina) is the world’s most widely distributed pinniped species ranging from temperate to Arctic regions (30–78.5° N in the Atlantic, 28–61.2° N in the Pacific), but no detailed overview of the species status exists. The aims of [...] Read more.
The harbour seal (Phoca vitulina) is the world’s most widely distributed pinniped species ranging from temperate to Arctic regions (30–78.5° N in the Atlantic, 28–61.2° N in the Pacific), but no detailed overview of the species status exists. The aims of this review are to (i) provide current information on the genetic structure, population status, and threats; (ii) review potential consequences of a changing climate; and (iii) identify knowledge gaps to guide future research and monitoring. Although the species is globally abundant, wide differences exist across the species’ broad range. As climate warms, populations at the edges of the species’ distributional range are likely to be more affected. The primary climate-related drivers include: (i) changes in weather patterns, which can affect thermoregulation; (ii) decrease in availability of haul-out substrates; (iii) large-scale changes in prey availability and inter-specific competition; (iv) shifts in the range of pathogens; (v) increase in temperature favouring the biotransformation of contaminants; and (vi) increased exposure to pollutant from increased freshwater run-off. Multiple anthropogenic stressors may collectively impact some populations. Coordinated monitoring efforts across and within regions is needed. This would allow for a spatially explicit management approach including population-specific responses to known stressors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Marine Mammals in a Changing World)
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Review
Cetaceans as Exemplars of Evolution and Evolutionary Ecology: A Glossary
Oceans 2020, 1(2), 56-76; https://doi.org/10.3390/oceans1020006 - 25 May 2020
Viewed by 2259
Abstract
Extant cetaceans (whales, dolphins, and porpoises) and their extinct ancestors offer some of the strongest and best-known examples of macroevolutionary transition as well as microevolutionary adaptation. Unlike most reviews of cetacean evolution, which are intended to chronicle the timeline of cetacean ancestry, document [...] Read more.
Extant cetaceans (whales, dolphins, and porpoises) and their extinct ancestors offer some of the strongest and best-known examples of macroevolutionary transition as well as microevolutionary adaptation. Unlike most reviews of cetacean evolution, which are intended to chronicle the timeline of cetacean ancestry, document the current knowledge of cetacean adaptations, or simply validate the brute fact of evolution, this review is instead intended to demonstrate how cetaceans fittingly illustrate hundreds of specific, detailed terms and concepts within evolutionary biology and evolutionary ecology. This review, arrayed in alphabetical glossary format, is not meant to offer an exhaustive listing of case studies or scholarly sources, but aims to show the breadth and depth of cetacean research studies supporting and investigating numerous evolutionary themes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Marine Mammals in a Changing World)
Back to TopTop