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Marine Ecology Progress Series

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MEPS 562:221-236 (2016)  -  DOI:

Transiting to depth disrupts overall dynamic body acceleration and oxygen consumption rate in freely diving Steller sea lions

Beth L. Volpov1,*, Elizabeth T. Goundie2, David. A. S. Rosen2, John P. Y. Arnould1, Andrew W. Trites2

1Deakin University, School of Life and Environmental Sciences, 221 Burwood Highway, Burwood, Victoria 3125, Australia
2Marine Mammal Research Unit, Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries, University of British Columbia, 2202 Main Mall, Vancouver, BC, V6T 1Z4, Canada
*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: Previous research has presented contradictory evidence on the ability of overall dynamic body acceleration (ODBA) to predict mass-corrected oxygen consumption (sVO2) in air-breathing diving vertebrates. We investigated a potential source of these discrepancies by partitioning the ODBA-sVO2 relationship over 3 phases of the dive cycle (transiting to and from depth, bottom time, and post-dive surface interval). Trained Steller sea lions Eumetopias jubatus executed 4 types of dives to 40 m (single dives, long-duration dive bouts of 4-6 dives, short-duration dive bouts of 10 or 12 dives, and transit dives with minimal bottom duration). Partitioning single dives by dive phase showed differing patterns in the ODBA-sVO2 relationship among dive phases, but no significant linear relationships were observed. The proportion of the dive cycle spent transiting to and from the surface was a significant predictive factor in the ODBA-sVO2 relationship, while bottom duration or post-dive surface interval had no effect. ODBA only predicted sVO2 for dives when the proportion of time spent transiting was small. The apparent inability of ODBA to reliably predict sVO2 reflects differences in the inherent relationships between ODBA and sVO2 during different phases of the dive. These results support the growing body of evidence that ODBA on its own is not a reliable field predictor of energy expenditure at the level of the single dive or dive bout in air-breathing diving vertebrates likely because ODBA (a physical measure) cannot account for physiological changes in sVO2 that occur during the different phases of a dive cycle.

KEY WORDS: Diving behaviour · Metabolic rate · ODBA · Dive phase · Pinniped

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Cite this article as: Volpov BL, Goundie ET, Rosen DAS, Arnould JPY, Trites AW (2016) Transiting to depth disrupts overall dynamic body acceleration and oxygen consumption rate in freely diving Steller sea lions. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 562:221-236.

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