Setting the stage for a global-scale trophic analysis of marine top predators: a multi-workshop review

Setting the stage for a global-scale trophic analysis of marine top predators: a multi-workshop... Global-scale studies of marine food webs are rare, despite their necessity for examining and understanding ecosystem level effects of climate variability. Here we review the progress of an international collaboration that compiled regional diet datasets of multiple top predator fishes from the Indian, Pacific and Atlantic Oceans and developed new statistical methods that can be used to obtain a comprehensive ocean-scale understanding of food webs and climate impacts on marine top predators. We loosely define top predators not as species at the apex of the food web, but rather a guild of large predators near the top of the food web. Specifically, we present a framework for world-wide compilation and analysis of global stomach-contents and stable-isotope data of tunas and other large pelagic predatory fishes. To illustrate the utility of the statistical methods, we show an example using yellowfin tuna in a “test” area in the Pacific Ocean. Stomach-contents data were analyzed using a modified (bagged) classification tree approach, which is being prepared as an R statistical software package. Bulk δ15N values of yellowfin tuna muscle tissue were examined using a Generalized Additive Model, after adjusting for spatial differences in the δ15N values of the baseline primary producers predicted by a global coupled ocean circulation-biogeochemical-isotope model. Both techniques in tandem demonstrated the capacity of this approach to elucidate spatial patterns of variations in both forage species and predator trophic positions and have the potential to predict responses to climate change. We believe this methodology could be extended to all marine top predators. Our results emphasize the necessity for quantitative investigations of global-scale datasets when evaluating changes to the food webs underpinning top ocean predators under long-term climatic variability. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Reviews in Fish Biology and Fisheries Springer Journals

Setting the stage for a global-scale trophic analysis of marine top predators: a multi-workshop review

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Publisher
Springer International Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2014 by Springer International Publishing Switzerland
Subject
Life Sciences; Freshwater & Marine Ecology; Zoology
ISSN
0960-3166
eISSN
1573-5184
D.O.I.
10.1007/s11160-014-9368-4
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Global-scale studies of marine food webs are rare, despite their necessity for examining and understanding ecosystem level effects of climate variability. Here we review the progress of an international collaboration that compiled regional diet datasets of multiple top predator fishes from the Indian, Pacific and Atlantic Oceans and developed new statistical methods that can be used to obtain a comprehensive ocean-scale understanding of food webs and climate impacts on marine top predators. We loosely define top predators not as species at the apex of the food web, but rather a guild of large predators near the top of the food web. Specifically, we present a framework for world-wide compilation and analysis of global stomach-contents and stable-isotope data of tunas and other large pelagic predatory fishes. To illustrate the utility of the statistical methods, we show an example using yellowfin tuna in a “test” area in the Pacific Ocean. Stomach-contents data were analyzed using a modified (bagged) classification tree approach, which is being prepared as an R statistical software package. Bulk δ15N values of yellowfin tuna muscle tissue were examined using a Generalized Additive Model, after adjusting for spatial differences in the δ15N values of the baseline primary producers predicted by a global coupled ocean circulation-biogeochemical-isotope model. Both techniques in tandem demonstrated the capacity of this approach to elucidate spatial patterns of variations in both forage species and predator trophic positions and have the potential to predict responses to climate change. We believe this methodology could be extended to all marine top predators. Our results emphasize the necessity for quantitative investigations of global-scale datasets when evaluating changes to the food webs underpinning top ocean predators under long-term climatic variability.

Journal

Reviews in Fish Biology and FisheriesSpringer Journals

Published: Aug 21, 2014

References

  • Sedimentary nitrogen isotopic ratio as a recorder for surface nitrate utilization
    Altabet, MA; Francois, R

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