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Bottlenose dolphin

Effects of Low Salinity Water Exposure on Bottlenose Dolphins

An Expert Solicitation of the Effects of Low Salinity Water Exposure on Bottlenose Dolphins
  • Climate change


There is increasing concern over anthropogenically driven changes in our oceans and seas, from a variety of stressors. Such stressors include the increased risk of storms and precipitation, offshore industries and increased coastal development which can affect the marine environment. For some coastal cetacean species, there is an increased exposure to low salinity waters which have been linked with a range of adverse health effects in bottlenose dolphins. Knowledge gaps persist regarding how different time—salinity exposures affect the health and survival of animals. In such data-poor instances, expert elicitation can be used to convert an expert's qualitative knowledge into subjective probability distributions. The management implications of this stressor and the subjective nature of expert elicitation requires transparency; we have addressed this here, utilizing the Shef- field Elicitation Framework. The results are a series of time response scenarios to estimate time to death in bottlenose dolphins, for use when data are insufficient to estimate probabilistic summaries. This study improves our understanding of how low salinity exposure effects dolphins, guiding pri- orities for future research, while its outputs can be used to support coastal management on a global scale.

Booth, C. & Thomas, L., (Duignan), 2021. An Expert Elicitation of the Effects of Low Salinity Water Exposure on Bottlenose Dolphins. Oceans, 2(1), pp.179–192.

climate change
Pádraig Duignan

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