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Cetacean Community Ecology in the Waters of Sri Lanka and the Bay of Bengal
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Woods Hole United States
Pagination or Media Count:
The Indian Ocean contains arguably the highest diversity of cetaceans in the worlds oceans, yet research in this region is extremely limited. The strong environmental variability imposed on the northern Indian Ocean by the seasonal monsoons likely causes a wide variety of niches in both space and time that support the observed diversity of cetaceans. In addition to shelf, slope, and oceanic habitats, there are regions dominated by the input of fresh water e.g., Bay of Bengal, by evaporation and low river runoff e.g., Arabian Sea, as well as coastal currents, eddy activity, and large-scale oceanic currents. Moreover, the Arabian Sea and Bay of Bengal have well-developed oxygen minimum zones mesopelagic regions with O2 concentrations 0.5 ml l-1 that likely have a significant influence on the behavior and distribution of cetacean prey.
APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE