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Whales as marine ecosystem engineers


Roman, J and Estes, JA and Morissette, L and Smith, C and Costa, D and McCarthy, J and Nation, JB and Nicol, S and Pershing, A and Smetacek, V, Whales as marine ecosystem engineers, Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, 12, (7) pp. 377-385. ISSN 1540-9295 (2014) [Refereed Article]


Copyright Statement

Copyright 2014 The Ecological Society of America

DOI: doi:10.1890/130220


Baleen and sperm whales, known collectively as the great whales, include the largest animals in the history of life on Earth. With high metabolic demands and large populations, whales probably had a strong influence on marine ecosystems before the advent of industrial whaling: as consumers of fish and invertebrates; as prey to other large-bodied predators; as reservoirs and vertical and horizontal vectors for nutrients; and as detrital sources of energy and habitat in the deep sea. The decline in great whale numbers, estimated to be at least 66% and perhaps as high as 90%, has likely altered the structure and function of the oceans, but recovery is possible and in many cases is already underway. Future changes in the structure and function of the world's oceans can be expected with the restoration of great whale populations.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:whales, iron, ecosystem engineering
Research Division:Biological Sciences
Research Group:Ecology
Research Field:Marine and estuarine ecology (incl. marine ichthyology)
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in the environmental sciences
UTAS Author:Nicol, S (Dr Stephen Nicol)
ID Code:93252
Year Published:2014
Web of Science® Times Cited:226
Deposited By:IMAS Research and Education Centre
Deposited On:2014-07-22
Last Modified:2017-10-31
Downloads:1,967 View Download Statistics

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