The role of sirenians in aquatic ecosystems

Aragones, Lemnuel V., Lawler, Ivan, Marsh, Helene, Domning, Daryl, and Hodgson, Amanda (2012) The role of sirenians in aquatic ecosystems. In: Hines, Ellen M., Reynolds III, John E., Aragones, Lemnuel V., Mignucci-Giannoni, Antonio A., and Marmotel, Miriam, (eds.) Sirenian Conservation. University Press of Florida, Florida USA, pp. 4-11.

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Abstract

[Extract] The role of sirenians in aquatic ecosystems is largely a function of their feeding ecology. Sirenians are large herbivorous aquatic mammals that often congregate and, being mammals, have high energetic requirements relative to other marine herbivores. An adult dugong can weigh from 250 to 600 kg¹, while the West Indian and West African manatees both range between 350 and 1,400kg². Consequently, sirenians consume significant amounts of aquatic vegetation. They also display dietary preferences in regard to plant species, individual plants, and parts of plants⁴⁻⁵. Thus dugongs and manatees have the capacity to alter the nutritional quality and species composition of the plant communities upon which they feed⁶.

Item ID: 24788
Item Type: Book Chapter (Research - B1)
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ISBN: 978-0-8130-3761-5
Date Deposited: 04 Feb 2013 04:18
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0602 Ecology > 060205 Marine and Estuarine Ecology (incl Marine Ichthyology) @ 100%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960808 Marine Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity @ 100%
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