[Coral-List] New publication: topographic determinants of predator hotspots

Phil Bouchet bouchet.philippe at gmail.com
Mon Aug 25 01:21:23 EDT 2014

Dear all,

We are pleased to announce the early view publication of the following
article, which may be of interest to some of you:

Phil J. Bouchet, Jessica J. Meeuwig, Chandra P. Salgado Kent, Tom B.
Letessier and Curt K. Jenner (2014). 
Topographic determinants of mobile vertebrate predator hotspots: current
knowledge and future directions.
Biological Reviews


Despite being identified as a driver of mobile predator aggregations
(hotspots) in both marine and terrestrial environments, topographic
complexity has long remained a challenging concept for scientists to
visualise and a difficult parameter to estimate. It is only with the advent
of high-speed computers and the recent popularisation of geographical
information systems (GIS) that terrain attributes have begun to be
quantitatively measured in three-dimensional space and related to wildlife
dynamics, making the well-established field of geomorphometry (or ?digital
terrain modelling?) a discipline of growing appeal to biologists. Although a
diverse array of numerical metrics is now available to describe the shape,
geometry and physical properties of natural habitats, few of these are known
to, or adequately used by, ecologists. In this review, we examine the nature
and usage of 56 geomorphometrics extracted from the ecological modelling
literature over a period of 32?years (197!
 9?2011). We show that, in studies of mobile predators, numerous topographic
variables have largely been overlooked in favour of single basic metrics
that do not, on their own, fully capture the complexity of continuous
landscapes. Based on a simulation approach, we assess the redundancy and
correlation structure of these metrics and demonstrate that a majority are
highly collinear. We highlight a suite of 7?8 complementary metrics which
best explain topographic patterns across a bathymetric grid of the west
Australian seafloor, and contend that field and analytical protocols should
prioritise variables of these types, particularly when the responses of
predator populations to physical habitat features are of interest. We
suggest that prominent structures such as canyons, seamounts or mountain
chains can serve as useful proxies for predator hotspots, especially in
remote locations where access to high-resolution biological data is often

The article is available at

Please direct any queries to the first author -
philippe.bouchet at research.uwa.edu.au

Best regards,
Phil Bouchet

PhD candidate
Centre for Marine Futures - Oceans Institute The University of Western
Australia (M470), 35 Stirling Highway, Crawley, WA 6009, Australia
Tel: +61 (8) 6488 8118 | Mob: +61 (0) 406 811 113
Web: philbouchet.com 

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