Predicting the impacts of anthropogenic disturbances on marine populations

Jacob Nabe-Nielsen (Corresponding Author), Floris M. van Beest, Volker Grimm, Richard M. Sibly, Jonas Teilmann, Paul M. Thompson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

75 Citations (Scopus)
15 Downloads (Pure)


Marine ecosystems are increasingly exposed to anthropogenic disturbances that cause animals to change behavior and move away from potential foraging grounds. Here we present a process‐based modeling framework for assessing population consequences of such sub‐lethal behavioral effects. It builds directly on how disturbances influence animal movements, foraging and energetics, and is therefore applicable to a wide range of species. To demonstrate the model we assess the impact of wind farm construction noise on the North Sea harbor porpoise population. Subsequently, we demonstrate how the model can be used to minimize population impacts of disturbances through spatial planning. Population models that build on the fundamental processes that determine animal fitness have a high predictive power in novel environments, making them ideal for marine management.
Original languageEnglish
Article number12563
JournalConservation Letters
Issue number5
Early online date7 May 2018
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
ENECO Luchterduinen
ScottishPower Renewables


  • agent‐based model
  • anthropogenic disturbances
  • cumulative effects
  • displacement
  • harbor porpoise
  • individual‐based modeling
  • marine spatial planning
  • movement model
  • Phocoena phocoena


Dive into the research topics of 'Predicting the impacts of anthropogenic disturbances on marine populations'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this