Cumulative and Synergistic Effects of Physical, Biological, and Acoustic Signals on Marine Mammal Habitat Use
Final rept. 2 Feb 2008-31 Dec 2012
WASHINGTON UNIV SEATTLE APPLIED PHYSICS LAB
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The long-term goal of this collaborative research effort is to enhance the understanding of how variability in physical, biological, and acoustic signals impact marine mammal habitat use. This is especially critical in areas like the Bering Sea where global climate change can lead to rapid changes of the entire ecosystem. The Arctic is projected to experience ice-free summers within 30 years Wang Overland, 2009. This will have significant impacts for the natural ecosystem dynamics and human use associated with transportation, fishing, military activity, and energy exploration. Baseline measurements will play an important role in mitigation efforts and environmental assessments as military activity increases in the region. A major component of this research is to use passive ambient sound to identify the physical environment present, and then to use this information to interpret the biological data collected.