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Trace me if you can: the use of intrinsic biogeochemical markers in marine top predators

By Raül Ramos i Garcia and Jacob González-Solís

Abstract

Human activities have serious impacts on marine apex predators. Inadequate knowledge of the spatial and trophic ecology of these marine animals ultimately compromises the viability of their populations and impedes our ability to use them as environmental biomonitors. Intrinsic biogeochemical markers, such as stable isotopes, fatty acids, trace elements, and chemical pollutants, are increasingly being used to trace the spatial and trophic ecology of marine top predators. Notable advances include the emergence of the first oceanographic"isoscapes" (isotopic geographic gradients), the advent of compound-specific isotopic analyses, improvements in diet reconstruction through Bayesian statistics, and tissue analysis of tracked animals to ground-truth biogeochemical profiles. However, most researchers still focus on only a few tracers. Moreover, insufficient knowledge of the biogeochemical integration in tissues, fractionation and routing processes, and geographic and temporal variability in baseline levels continue to hamper the resolution and potential of these markers in studying the spatial and feeding ecology of top predators

Topics: Marcadors bioquímics, Biologia marina, Predació (Biologia), Biochemical markers, Marine biology, Predation (Biology)
Publisher: Ecological Society of America
Year: 2015
DOI identifier: 10.1890/110140
OAI identifier: oai:diposit.ub.edu:2445/61232
Journal:

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