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Title: Mouth gape determines the response of marine top predators to long-term fishery-induced changes in food web structure
Author: Drago, Massimiliano
Franco Trecu, Valentina
Segura, Angel M.
Valdivia, Meica
González, Enrique M.
Aguilar, Àlex
Cardona Pascual, Luis
Keywords: Pesca
Isòtops estables en ecologia
Mamífers marins
Stable isotopes in ecological research
Marine mammals
Biotic communities
Issue Date: 25-Oct-2018
Publisher: Nature Publishing Group
Abstract: Here, we analyse changes throughout time in the isotopic niche of the Franciscana dolphin (Pontoporia blainvillei), the South American fur seal (Arctocephalus australis) and the South American sea lion(Otaria flavescens) from the Río de la Plata estuary and adjacent Atlantic Ocean to test the hypothesis that fishing may modify the diet of small-gape predators by reducing the average size of prey. The overall evidence, from stable isotope and stomach contents analyses, reveals major changes in resource partitioning between the three predators considered, mainly because of an increased access of Franciscana dolphins to juvenile demersal fishes. These results are consistent with the changes in the length distribution of demersal fish species resulting from fishing and suggest that Franciscana dolphin has been the most benefited species of the three marine mammal species considered because of its intermediate mouth gape. In conclusion, the impact of fishing on marine mammals goes beyond the simple reduction in prey biomass and is highly dependent on the mouth gape of the species involved.
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It is part of: Scientific Reports, 2018, vol. 8, num. 15759
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ISSN: 2045-2322
Appears in Collections:Articles publicats en revistes (Institut de Recerca de la Biodiversitat (IRBio))
Articles publicats en revistes (Biologia Evolutiva, Ecologia i Ciències Ambientals)

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