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Reassessment of the franciscana Pontoporia blainvillei (Gervais & d'Orbigny, 1844) distribution and niche characteristics in Brazil

Published on Nov 1, 2018in Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology2.365
· DOI :10.1016/j.jembe.2018.07.010
Karina Bohrer do Amaral4
Estimated H-index: 4
(UFRGS: Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul),
Daniel Danilewicz13
Estimated H-index: 13
(Grupo México)
+ 12 AuthorsIgnacio B. Moreno13
Estimated H-index: 13
(UFRGS: Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul)
Abstract
Abstract The franciscana (Pontoporia blainvillei) is the most threatened small cetacean of South America. The species is endemic to coastal waters of the western South Atlantic Ocean, where it is distributed from Itaunas (Brazil) to Golfo San Matias (Argentina). Its range was divided in four Franciscana Management Areas (FMAs) for conservation purposes. However, the distribution of the franciscana is not continuous along its range, with two hiatuses proposed in southeastern Brazilian coast. The absence of franciscana records in these regions has been confirmed by multiple years of research, however the reasons for this discontinuous distribution is not well understood. In this study, information on the distribution of the franciscana in south and southeastern Brazil is updated and new limits for FMAs are proposed. NicheA 3.0 software was used to investigate the environmental suitability of distributional gaps in relation to four weakly correlated, allegedly relevant descriptors of franciscana's distribution. In total, 788 records from dedicated aerial and boat surveys and bycatch were used to verify and to confirm the new FMAs limits proposed by franciscana's experts previously. The distributional gaps were reshaped and defined as following: Gap I from Piraque-Acu River Mouth, Santa Cruz (19°57′S) in the state of Espirito Santo to Barra de Itabapoana (21°18′S) in the state of Rio de Janeiro; and Gap II from Armacao dos Buzios (22°44′S) to Piraquara de Dentro (22°59′S) in Rio de Janeiro. The ecological niche model indicated that distributional gaps are inside franciscana's fundamental niche, and are relatively suitable in terms of salinity, temperature, diffuse attenuation and bathymetry. However, the narrow of continental shelf seems to be the main factor explaining the absence of franciscanas in the distributional gaps as well as for the differentiation of some of the FMAs proposed. Narrowness of continental shelf seems to be intensifying the dynamics of biotic interactions promoting food competition for example, and/or causing geographic limitation to maintain minimal viable population size in present or past times periods.
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References61
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The franciscana, Pontoporia blainvillei (Gervais & d'Orbigny, 1844), is an endemic dolphin species from the southwestern Atlantic, occurring exclusively in coastal waters of Brazil, Uruguay and Argentina. This species is considered threatened with extinction at both global and regional levels and is listed as "Critically Endangered" (CR) according to the IUCN criteria in the state of Rio Grande do Sul (RS), southern Brazil. The franciscanas from RS and Uruguay are considered to be part of the sa...
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Due to anthropogenic factors, the franciscana dolphin, Pontoporia blainvillei, is the most threatened small cetacean on the Atlantic coast of South America. Four Franciscana Management Areas have been proposed: Espiritu Santo to Rio de Janeiro (FMA I), Sao Paulo to Santa Catarina (FMA II), Rio Grande do Sul to Uruguay (FMA III), and Argentina (FMA IV). Further genetic studies distinguished additional populations within these FMAs. We analyzed the population structure, phylogeography, and demogra...
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The Franciscana dolphin (Pontoporia blainvillei), a small cetacean endemic to southwestern Atlantic coastal waters, is the most endangered marine mammal species in the south Atlantic. In the Espirito Santo State, in southeastern Brazil, the Franciscana dolphin distribution overlaps regions suppressed and threatened by an intensive industrial and port development in the coastal zone. Moreover, most of Franciscana’s home range was recently impacted by the collapse of a dam that released millions o...
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