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Title: Trophic position of dolphins tracks recent changes in the pelagic ecosystem of the Macaronesian region (NE Atlantic)
Authors: Bode, A
Saavedra, C
Álvarez-González, M
Arregui Gil, Marina 
Arbelo Hernández, Manuel Antonio 
Fernández Rodríguez, Antonio Jesús 
Freitas, L
Silva, MA
Prieto, R
Azevedo, JMN
Giménez, J
Pierce, GJ
Santos, MB
UNESCO Clasification: 240119 Zoología marina
240106 Ecología animal
Keywords: Cetaceans
Marine mammals
Canary Islands
Azores, et al
Issue Date: 2022
Project: Fomento de la actividad ecoturística de whale watching como modelo de desarrollo económico sostenible mediante la protección y conservación de las poblaciones de cetáceos y su puesta en valor como patrimonio natural de la Macaronesia 
Red Macaronésica de transferencia de conocimientos y tecnologías interregional y multidisciplinar para proteger, vigilar y monitorizar los cetáceos y el medio marino, y analizar y explotar de forma sostenible la actividad turística asociada 
Journal: Marine Ecology - Progress Series 
Abstract: Dolphins play a key role in marine food webs as predators of mid-trophic-level con- sumers. Because of their mobility and relatively long life span, they can be used as indicators of large-scale changes in the ecosystem. In this study, we calculated the trophic position (TP) of 5 dolphin species from the Canary, Madeira and Azores Islands using bulk and compound-specific stable isotope ratios from muscle tissue to assess trophic adaptations to recent changes in the availability of feeding resources. Dolphin TP values were then compared with those of 7 other species of cetaceans from this region. Analysis of stable nitrogen isotopes in amino acids of the common dolphin indicated non-significant effects of changes in the basal resources of the food web and thus supported the use of bulk samples for TP estimations. Dolphins occupied an inter- mediate TP (mean: 3.91 to 4.20) between fin (3.25) and sperm whales (4.95). Species-specific TP were equivalent among islands. However, TP increased for the common dolphin and decreased for the bottlenose dolphin (the latter also becoming more oceanic) between 2000 and 2018 in the Canary Islands. These results suggest different impacts of recent changes in the oceanography and in the pelagic food web of the Macaronesian region on the trophic ecology of dolphin species.
ISSN: 0171-8630
DOI: 10.3354/meps14176
Source: Marine Ecology Progress Series [ISSN 0171-8630], v. 699, p. 167-180
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