Diet composition and trophic levels of marine mammals
- Standardized diet compositions were derived for 97 species of marine mammals from published accounts of stomach contents as well as from morphological, behavioural and other information. Diet was apportioned among eight categories of prey types (benthic invertebrates, large zooplankton, small squids, large squids, small pelagic fishes, mesopelagic fishes, miscellaneous fishes and higher invertebrates). Trophic levels were estimated for each species of marine mammals and compared with published estimates derived using stable isotope ratios. Trophic levels ranged from 3.2–3.4 in baleen whales and sea otters, to 3.8–4.4 in most pinnipeds and odontocete whales, to 4.5–4.6 in killer whales. Such information can be used for ecosystem modelling and related studies.
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- Journal Article
- Oxford University Press