Any attempt to describe the spatial ecology of sharks and rays should consider the drivers responsible for movement. Research has shown fluctuations in the environment (abiotic factors) can trigger movement and changes in behaviour and habitat use for many elasmobranch species. Most studies to date have selectively focused on a small number of abiotic factors (i.e. temperature, salinity); however, other factors such as dissolved oxygen, tide, photoperiod, barometric pressure and pH have also been documented to act as drivers of movement in shark and ray species. Although usually examined individually, abiotic factors rarely act in isolation and often differ in their level of influence between species, sex, ontogenetic stage, season and geographic location. This paper reviews the role of abiotic factors as a driver of movement and changes in behaviour and habitat use in elasmobranchs. In the context of a changing climate, insight into how sharks and rays may respond to fluctuating environmental conditions projected under future scenarios is required.
Reviews in Fish Biology and Fisheries – Springer Journals
Published: Jul 24, 2014
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