[MARMAM] new paper on feeding ecology of striped dolphins in the Mediterranean

Anna Meissner anna.meissner at gmail.com
Tue Oct 25 20:47:31 PDT 2011

Dear colleagues,

We are pleased to announce the recent publication of the following paper on
feeding ecology of striped dolphins in the Mediterranean:

Feeding ecology of striped dolphins, Stenella coeruleoalba, in the
Northwestern Mediterranean Sea based on stable isotope analyses. Journal of
the Marine Biological Association of the UK. doi:10.1017/S0025315411001457

It is available online:

The feeding ecology of striped dolphin, Stenella coeruleoalba, in the
north-western Mediterranean Sea was studied using stable isotope analyses.
Carbon and nitrogen stable isotope ratios were measured in skin and muscle
tissues of stranded and by-caught dolphins from six geographical areas in
the Mediterranean Sea and Atlantic Ocean. Variation in d15N in relation to
dolphin size is attributed to changes in diet. Nursing calves have a higher
trophic level than weaned animals and their d15N values decrease
progressively until weaning, estimated to be at a body length of around 155
cm. d15N values then increased for larger individuals which suggests changes
in diet for mature dolphins. Geographical differences in diet were apparent
between the Atlantic and the Mediterranean, although no clear differences
were apparent between the five Mediterranean areas. Comparisons of the
nitrogen isotope ratios of skin and muscle highlighted a higher
fractionation in skin compared to the muscle tissue. Values of d13C also
increased with body length although it appears that this is not only driven
by trophic level enrichment. d13C increases before weaning and the
difference in trophic level between newly-weaned and mature dolphins was
twice as high for carbon as for nitrogen. Ontogenetic changes in carbon
isotope composition may therefore be driven by feeding on deep water prey
and dolphin movements outside the coastal feeding grounds. Indeed, seasonal
variations in d13C are suspected to be driven by migration within the
Mediterranean basin.

Kindest regards,

Anna Meissner

Anna M. Meissner
PhD student
Coastal-Marine Research Group
Institute of Natural Sciences
Massey University
Private Bag 102 904
North Shore City, 0745
Auckland, New Zealand

Email: a.m.meissner at massey.ac.nz
Web: http://cmrg.massey.ac.nz

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