Interspecific relationships in density among the whale community in the Antarctic
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- Kasamatsu, F., Matsuoka, K. & Hakamada, T. Polar Biol (2000) 23: 466. doi:10.1007/s003009900107
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Interspecific relationships in density among a whale community in Antarctic feeding grounds were examined using the sightings data derived from the systematic surveys conducted between 1978/1979 and 1987/1988. A clear difference in densities against the physiographic variables (the sea floor-slope type) was identified between baleen whales and toothed whales. Densities of sperm whales and ziphiids were low in the waters over the continental shelf where minke whales' densities were highest. This led to an apparent negative correlation in the density between minke and sperm whales, and minke whale and ziphiids. A significant positive correlation in density between minke and blue whales was identified. No association in density between minke and humpback whales was observed. Distribution of killer whales shows strong positive correlation with that of minke whales. The positive correlation existed between minke and blue whales, and minke and killer whales even when the effect of environmental variables was excluded. Analysis also revealed that the environmental variables, including physiographic variables, are major factors affecting the distributions and density of whales, especially between baleen whales and toothed whales.