Mónica A Silva

Mónica A Silva
Okeanos Centre - University of the Azores · IMAR - Institute of Marine Research

PhD

About

242
Publications
57,978
Reads
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2,482
Citations
Additional affiliations
April 2021 - present
University of the Azores
Position
  • Investigador Auxiliar
December 2013 - December 2020
IMAR - Institute of Marine Research
Position
  • Investigador Auxiliar
June 2007 - October 2013
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
Position
  • PostDoc Position
Education
June 2002 - June 2006
University of St Andrews
Field of study
  • Marine Biology

Publications

Publications (242)
Article
The importance of seamounts as foraging hotspots for cetaceans depends on interactions between ocean flow and topographical features that concentrate prey. However, the oceanographic processes driving these aggregations are still unclear. Here, we analyzed two months of passive acoustic recordings from two remote seamounts in the Northeast Atlantic...
Article
Full-text available
The Arctic is entering a new ecological state, with alarming consequences for humanity. Animal-borne sensors offer a window into these changes. Although substantial animal tracking data from the Arctic and subarctic exist, most are difficult to discover and access. Here, we present the new Arctic Animal Movement Archive (AAMA), a growing collection...
Article
Full-text available
Animals use varied acoustic signals that play critical roles in their lives. Understanding the function of these signals may inform about key life history processes relevant for conservation. In the case of fin whales (Balaenoptera physalus), that produce different call types associated with different behaviours, several hypotheses have emerged reg...
Article
Full-text available
Abstract available in English, Spanish and Portuguese. The deep sea has been described as the last major ecological frontier, as much of its biodiversity is yet to be discovered and described. Beaked whales (ziphiids) are among the most visible inhabitants of the deep sea, due to their large size and worldwide distribution, and their taxonomic div...
Preprint
Full-text available
The demography of baleen whales and their prey during the past 30 thousand years was assessed to understand the effects of past rapid global warming on marine ecosystems. Mitochondrial and genome-wide DNA sequence variation in eight baleen whale and seven prey species revealed strong, ocean-wide demographic changes that were correlated with changes...
Article
Full-text available
Efficient use of the energy budget is of fundamental importance for long-distance migrants, which must cope with seasonal energy demands and environmental conditions. Time-activity budgets can provide information on how animals balance energy use and acquisition over their annual cycle, and on the costs and benefits of different migratory strategie...
Article
Full-text available
Global warming is affecting the population dynamics and trophic interactions across a wide range of ecosystems and habitats. Translating these real-time effects into their long-term consequences remains a challenge. The rapid and extreme warming period that occurred after the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) during the Pleistocene–Holocene transition (7–...
Article
Full-text available
Large baleen and toothed whales play crucial ecological roles in oceans; nonetheless, very little is known about their intestinal microbiomes. Based on striking differences in natural history and thus in feeding behaviours, it can be expected that intestinal microbiomes of large baleen whales and toothed whales are different. To test this hypothesi...
Article
Full-text available
Background Prioritizing groupings of organisms or ‘units’ below the species level is a critical issue for conservation purposes. Several techniques encompassing different time-frames, from genetics to ecological markers, have been considered to evaluate existing biological diversity at a sufficient temporal resolution to define conservation units....
Article
Full-text available
Source level is one factor that determines the effectiveness of animal signal transmissions and their acoustic communication active space. Ocean-bottom seismometers (OBS) are platforms of opportunity to monitor marine species because they record data as pressure fluctuations in the water using a hydrophone and/or as particle velocity of the seabed...
Article
Full-text available
Acoustical geographic variation is common in widely distributed species and it is already described for several taxa, at various scales. In cetaceans, intraspecific variation in acoustic repertoires has been linked to ecological factors, geographical barriers, and social processes. For the common bottlenose dolphin ( Tursiops truncatus ), studies o...
Article
Full-text available
The Azores archipelago is an important cetacean habitat spot, registering a very relevant resident and migratory population. Due to its geographical position, it also represents an important commercial crossroad between America and Europe. Vessels represent the major source of underwater noise which may affect cetaceans. Since 2017 acoustic measure...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Dolphins living in the oceanic waters off the Azores consistently use seamounts to forage at night. These dolphins rely entirely on broadband echolocation clicks and burst-pulsed signals to sense their environment, detect and capture prey. Underwater noise from vessels can interfere with the ability of these dolphins to forage successfully. We meas...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Shipping noise overlaps with baleen whales’ vocalizing frequencies and in high levels, may disrupt their behaviour and affect their communication ranges via masking. In this study, we measured underwater noise levels and quantified time with shipping noise at a single location southeast of the Faial-Pico Islands channel, in the Azores Archipelago,...
Article
Full-text available
Lying between continental Europe and North America, the Azores is the most isolated archipelago in the North Atlantic Ocean. Its one million square km Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) comprises mostly deep seafloor interspersed with shallower portions offered by the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, over 100 seamounts, and the slopes of the nine islands. After the...
Poster
Full-text available
The project MISTIC SEAS I selected common species and Management Units (MUs) in European Macaronesia islands (Azores, Madeira and the Canary Islands) and defined thresholds and environmental targets to help determine the Good Environmental Status (GES) of this MUs following the requirements of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD). MISTIC...
Article
Fish sounds are important components of Azorean soundscapes. Therefore, unraveling their patterns can contribute to a better assessment of local biodiversity dynamics. Passive Acoustic Monitoring (PAM) is a cost-effective, non-intrusive method providing long-term information regardless of weather or logistic conditions, which can be especially usef...
Article
Full-text available
Many marine animals produce sounds in several phases of their life cycles, either actively or as a byproduct of their activities, such as during mate attraction or when moving. Recent studies of underwater soundscapes have proved passive acoustic monitoring to be a cost-effective, non-invasive tool to understand ecological processes, especially whe...
Article
Full-text available
Aim Understanding the environmental drivers of movement and habitat use of highly migratory marine species is crucial to implement appropriate management and conservation measures. However, this requires quantitative information on their spatial and temporal presence, which is limited in the high seas. Here, we aimed to gain insights of the essenti...
Article
Full-text available
An amendment to this paper has been published and can be accessed via a link at the top of the paper.
Article
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The identification of important areas during the annual life cycle of migratory animals, such as baleen whales, is vital for their conservation. In boreal springtime, fin and blue whales feed in the Azores on their way to northern latitudes while sei whales migrate through the archipelago with only occasional feeding. Little is known about their au...
Article
Highly migratory marine species pose a challenge for the identification of management units due to the absence of clear oceanographic barriers. The population structure of North Atlantic fin whales has been investigated since the start of whaling operations but is still the subject of an ongoing scientific debate. Here we measured stable isotopes o...
Article
Full-text available
Several seamounts have been identified as hotspots of marine life in the Azores, acting as feeding stations for top predators, including cetaceans. Passive acoustic monitoring is an efficient tool to study temporal variations in the occurrence and behaviour of vocalizing cetacean species. We deployed bottom-moored Ecological Acoustic Recorders (EAR...
Article
Full-text available
The increasing public perception that marine megafauna is under threat is an outstanding incentive to investigate their essential habitats (EMH), their responses to human and climate change pressures, and to better understand their largely unexplained behaviors and physiology. Yet, this poses serious challenges such as the elusiveness and remotenes...
Article
Full-text available
Sounds produced by teleost fishes are an important component of marine soundscapes, making passive acoustic monitoring (PAM) an effective way to map the presence of vocal fishes with a minimal impact on ecosystems. Based on a literature review, we list the known soniferous fish species occurring in Azorean waters and compile their sounds. We also d...
Article
Full-text available
Knowing the migratory movements and behaviour of baleen whales is fundamental to understanding their ecology. We compared δ 15 N and δ 13 C values in the skin of blue (Balaenoptera musculus), fin (Balaenoptera physalus) and sei (Balaenoptera borealis) whales sighted in the Azores in spring with the values of potential prey from different regions wi...
Article
Full-text available
Our research concerns the coordination and control of robotic vehicles for upper water-column oceanographic observations. In such an environment, operating multiple vehicles to observe dynamic oceanographic phenomena, such as ocean processes and marine life, from fronts to cetaceans, has required that we design, implement and operate software, meth...
Article
Full-text available
We examined the diel vertical migration (DVM) behavior and vertical spatial structure of sound-scattering layers (SLs) at two seamounts (Condor and Gigante) in the Azores and in surrounding open-waters. Active acoustic data were recorded day and night during nine cruises conducted in spring, summer and autumn between 2009 and 2011. SLs were permane...
Article
Full-text available
The advent of massive parallel sequencing technologies has resulted in an increase of studies based upon complete mitochondrial genome DNA sequences that revisit the taxonomic status within and among species. Spatially distinct monophyly in such mitogenomic genealogies, i.e., the sharing of a recent common ancestor among con-specific samples collec...
Article
Full-text available
Capture-mark-recapture methods have been extensively used to estimate abundance, demography, and life history parameters of populations of several taxa. However, the high mobility of many species means that dedicated surveys are logistically complicated and expensive. Use of opportunis-tic data may be an alternative, if modeling takes into account...
Article
Full-text available
Aim The knowledge of a species biogeographical patterns greatly enhances our understanding of geographical ecology, which can improve identifying key conservation needs. Yet, this knowledge is still scarce for many marine top predators. Here, we aim to analyse movement patterns and spatial structuring of a large predator, the short‐finned pilot wha...
Preprint
Full-text available
Highlights Mitochondrial monophyly is commonly employed to define evolutionary significant units. Monophyly may be caused by insufficient sampling or a recent common ancestor. Mitogenomic studies are generally based on few samples and prone to sampling issues. Expanded mitogenome sampling negates previous monophyly in fin whales. Abstract The adve...
Technical Report
Full-text available
This document, the MRR, includes the description of the criteria and species assessed, along with compilation of the results obtained during the implementation of the pilot monitoring programmes under the MSFD for marine birds, mammals and turtles in the three Macaronesian archipelagos (Azores, Madeira and Canary Islands) but also from other additi...
Article
Full-text available
Currently, three stocks of sei whales (Balaenoptera borealis) are defined in the North Atlantic; the Nova Scotian, Iceland-Denmark Strait and Eastern North Atlantic stocks, which are mainly based upon historical catch and sighting data. We analyzed mitochondrial control region DNA (mtDNA) sequences and genotypes from 7 to 11 microsatellite loci in...
Presentation
Full-text available
Information on abundance and demography is essential to assess the status of populations, inform conservation and management measures and evaluate effectiveness of those measures. Application of capture-mark-recapture (CMR) methods to photo-identification data has been extensively used to estimate abundance and life history parameters of cetacean p...
Poster
Full-text available
ABSTRACT: The International Whaling Commission currently recognizes 3 stocks of sei whales (Balaenoptera borealis) in the North Atlantic, mainly based upon historical catch and sighting data. In this study, we evaluated the validity of this division into stocks by analyzing 87 samples collected from 3 different sites in the North Atlantic; Iceland,...
Article
Full-text available
Small-scale artisanal fisheries can have a significant negative impact in cetacean populations. Cetacean bycatch has been documented in the pole-and-line tuna fishery in the Azores with common dolphins being the species more frequently taken. Based on data collected by observers on ∼50% of vessels operating from 1998 to 2012, we investigate the inf...
Data
Estimates of common dolphin bycatch for the bigeye tuna fishery from 1998–2012.
Presentation
Biophysical coupling at seamounts may lead to the formation of pelagic foraging hotspots, which can attract predators like cetaceans. Spatial and temporal dynamics of prey has a strong effect on the foraging success and performance of predators. Dolphins change their distribution and foraging strategy in response to changes in micronekton prey abun...
Poster
Signals of past demographic changes can be found within the genetic diversity of a population long after an event has occurred. However, modern genetics is not always able to detect past demographic changes. Sometimes, signals of demographic changes are lost over time, overshadowed by other events or statistical power is insufficient to discriminat...
Article
Full-text available
Assessment of underwater noise is of particular interest given the increase in noise-generating human activities and the potential negative effects on marine mammals which depend on sound for many vital processes. The Azores archipelago is an important migratory and feeding habitat for blue (Balaenoptera musculus), fin (Balaenoptera physalus) and s...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Our research concerns the mixed-initiative coordination of air and underwater vehicles interacting over inter-operated radio and underwater communication networks for novel oceanographic field studies. In such an environment, operating multiple vehicles to observe dynamic oceanographic events such as fronts, plumes, blooms and cetaceans has require...