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Stable isotopes reveal the trophic position and mesopelagic fish diet of female southern elephant seals breeding on the Kerguelen Islands ArchiMer
Cherel, Y; Ducatez, S; Fontaine, C; Richard, Patrice; Guinet, C.
Trophic interactions between organisms are the main drivers of ecosystem dynamics, but scant dietary information is available for wide-ranging predators during migration. We investigated feeding habits of a key consumer of the Southern Ocean, the southern elephant seal Miroungia leonina, by comparing its blood delta(13) C and delta N-15 values with those of various marine organisms, including crustaceans, squid, fishes, seabirds and fur seals. At the end of winter, delta C-13 values (-23.1 to -20.1 parts per thousand)indicate that female elephant seals forage mainly in the vicinity of the Polar Front and in the Polar Frontal Zone. Trophic levels derived from delta N-15 values (trophic level = 4.6) show that the southern elephant seal is a top consumer in...
Tipo: Text Palavras-chave: Squid; Southern Ocean; Pelagic ecosystem; Myctophid; Mesopelagic fish; Cephalopod.
Ano: 2008 URL:
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