[MARMAM] New paper on feeding ecology of Fiordland bottlenose dolphins

Susan Mærsk Lusseau smaersk at gmail.com
Fri Sep 8 16:15:25 PDT 2006


Dear Marmamers,

I am pleased to announce the release of this new article on the feeding
ecology of Fiordland bottlenose dolphins:

Lusseau, S.M. and S.R. Wing. 2006. Importance of local production versus
pelagic subsidies in the diet of an isolated population of bottlenose
dolphins Tursiops sp. Marine Ecology Progress Series 321:283–293

ABSTRACT:

Isolated populations can be strongly influenced by patterns in the local
production of food, and by subsidies from outside sources. We used
stable-isotope analysis to investigate the relative importance of
autochthonous food resources versus pelagic subsidies in the diet of the
isolated population of bottlenose dolphins *Tursiops sp*. inhabiting
Doubtful Sound, New Zealand. Samples of the primary carbon sources
(macroalgae, phytoplankton and chemoautotrophs) as well as potential food
sources (fish and squid) were collected from Doubtful Sound and analysed for
δ13 C and δ15N. Isotopic signatures of fishes fell along a gradient from
very depleted values for deep benthic species, particularly hagfish
Eptatretus cirrhatus ( δ13C –23.6, δ15N 6.3), to intermediate values for
pelagic species (δ13C –18.1, δ 15N 11.3) and more enriched values for
reef-associated species (δ13C –16.1, δ15N 14.4). Exfoliated skin tissue was
collected from live dolphins (n = 11) and used to estimate the isotopic
signature of dolphin diet (δ13C –15.4, δ15N 14.2). The position of this
estimate at the most enriched end of the range of isotopic signatures
indicated that there was likely minimal mixing of resources from different
habitats and that a majority of the dolphin population's diet came from
rocky reef and demersal habitats. Estimates of δ13C and δ15N for dolphin
diet were compared with isotopic signatures of the different primary carbon
sources using a multiple-source mixing model. Both results suggest that the
diet of this population was primarily made up of autochthonous carbon
production with a large contribution from benthic macroalgae, rather than
pelagic subsidies from outside of the Sound.

 The paper is available from the journals webpage:

http://www.int-res.com/abstracts/meps/v321/
Or alternatively by email from me.



Best wishes

Susan

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Susan Mærsk Lusseau, M.Sc.

Department of Biology

Dalhousie University

1355 Oxford St.

Halifax

Nova Scotia

CANADA B3H 4J1

Email: smaersk at gmail.com

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