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Impacts of cetaceans on the structure of Southern Ocean food webs


Ainley, D and Ballard, G and Blight, LK and Ackley, S and Emslie, ST and Lescroel, A and Olmastroni, S and Townsend, SE and Tynan, CT and Wilson, P and Woehler, E, Impacts of cetaceans on the structure of Southern Ocean food webs, Marine Mammal Science, 26, (2) pp. 482-498. ISSN 0824-0469 (2010) [Letter or Note in Journal]

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DOI: doi:10.1111/j.1748-7692.2009.00337.x


Recently, Ballance et al. (2006) revived the hypothesis that cetaceans were a major force in the structuring of Southern Ocean food webs, and suggested that they are still playing a keystone role even as their loss continues (see also review in Mori and Butterworth 2006), a subject that we herein would like to emphasize. According to this hypothesis, following 60 yr of directed industrial whaling (Tønnessen and Johnsen 1982, Baker and Clapham 2002), the demise of the great whales (blue, Balaenoptera musculus intermedia; fin, B. physalus; and humpback, Megaptera novaeangliae) led to changes in populations and demographic parameters among penguins, seals, and minke whales (B. bonaerensis; see also Laws 1977, Bengtson and Laws 1985). These changes to populations of the great whales’ competitors came about upon release from trophic competition as a result of the "krill surplus" that ensued (i.e., of Antarctic krill, Euphausia superba; Bengtson and Laws 1985).

Item Details

Item Type:Letter or Note in Journal
Research Division:Biological Sciences
Research Group:Ecology
Research Field:Marine and estuarine ecology (incl. marine ichthyology)
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Coastal and estuarine systems and management
Objective Field:Assessment and management of coastal and estuarine ecosystems
UTAS Author:Woehler, E (Dr Eric Woehler)
ID Code:62163
Year Published:2010
Web of Science® Times Cited:52
Deposited By:Zoology
Deposited On:2010-03-10
Last Modified:2011-01-13
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