[MARMAM] New publication: Trophic role of the humpback whale (Megapteranovaeangliae) in the feeding area of Magellan Strait, Chile

Daniela Haro daniela.haro.diaz at gmail.com
Wed Nov 27 07:13:05 PST 2019

Dear colleagues,
We are pleased to announce the publication of the paper:

Haro, D., P. Sabat, F. Arreguín-Sánchez, S. Neira & J. C.
Hernández-Padilla. 2020. Trophic role of the humpback whale (*Megaptera
novaeangliae*) in the feeding area of Magellan Strait, Chile. Ecological
Indicators. 109: 105796. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecolind.2019.105796


The role of marine mammals in ecosystems has been evaluated mainly in
species of high trophic level and results indicate that they influence the
structure and functioning of biological communities. In this study the
trophic role of the humpback whale was analyzed using an ecosystem model of
the Francisco Coloane Coastal Marine Protected Area, Magellan Strait. The
model was built with the Ecopath with Ecosim software that also allowed
quantification of trophic interactions, predation mortality and prey
consumption by the whales. Indices of network analysis were calculated and
the removal of whales from this ecosystem was simulated. The humpback whale
presented an intermediate trophic level of 3.4 and represented the most
important predator for lobster krill and euphausiids, explaining 51% and
36% of total mortality in those groups, and the second predator in
importance for the Fuegian sprat, after the long-tailed hake. Network
analysis indicated that food web organi- zation and development was
determined by low trophic levels (i.e. phytoplankton and mesozooplankton),
while fish played a major role in the transfer of energy. The removal of
humpback whale biomass in the model produced a change in food web
structure. This study approaches the trophic role of whales in Chilean
waters for the first time, indicating that humpback whales in the Magellan
Strait play a role in the maintenance of the ecosystem organization.

Please contact me at <daniela.haro.diaz at gmail.com> for a PDF copy or
Dra. Daniela Haro Díaz
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