Sizing up the ecological role of sharks as predators

Heupel, Michelle R., Knip, Danielle M., Simpfendorfer, Colin A., and Dulvy, Nicholas K. (2014) Sizing up the ecological role of sharks as predators. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 495. pp. 291-298.

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Abstract

The decline of predators in a variety of ecosystems has transformed community structure through mesopredator release and trophic cascades. Elasmobranch fishes, one of the earth's most ubiquitous and diverse clade of predatory species, provide a model group for defining marine predator roles. We consider whether the ecological predatory role of sharks is adequately defined by terrestrial-derived notions of apex-and mesopredation. Indeterminate growth and ontogenetic diet shifts may mean species-level classification of predatory roles is inadequate. We propose that examining the trophic level and body size of species might be the most pragmatic and informative way to define the ecological roles of predators.

Item ID: 32961
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1616-1599
Keywords: top-down control, predator-prey interactions, predation risk, home range, ecology of fear
Funders: Australian Research Council (ARC), Natural Science and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), Canada Research Chairs Program
Projects and Grants: ARC Future Fellowship project #FT10010100
Date Deposited: 30 Apr 2014 09:58
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0602 Ecology > 060201 Behavioural Ecology @ 20%
06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0602 Ecology > 060205 Marine and Estuarine Ecology (incl Marine Ichthyology) @ 80%
SEO Codes: 83 ANIMAL PRODUCTION AND ANIMAL PRIMARY PRODUCTS > 8302 Fisheries - Wild Caught > 830299 Fisheries- Wild Caught not elsewhere classified @ 50%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9605 Ecosystem Assessment and Management > 960507 Ecosystem Assessment and Management of Marine Environments @ 50%
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