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Toothed whales in the northwestern Mediterranean: Insight into their feeding ecology using chemical tracers
Praca, E.; Laran, S.; Lepoint, G.; Thomé, J.P.; Quetglas, A.; Belcari, P.; Sartor, P.; Dhermain, F.; Ody, D.; Tapie, N.; Budzinski, H.; Das, K. (2011). Toothed whales in the northwestern Mediterranean: Insight into their feeding ecology using chemical tracers. Mar. Pollut. Bull. 62(5): 1058-1065. dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.marpolbul.2011.02.024
In: Marine Pollution Bulletin. Macmillan: London. ISSN 0025-326X, more
Peer reviewed article  

Available in  Authors 
    VLIZ: Open Repository 280006 [ OMA ]

Keywords
    Physeter macrocephalus Linnaeus, 1758 [WoRMS]; Marine
Author keywords
    Chemical tracers; Stable isotopes; Organochlorines; Sperm whale; Pilot

Authors  Top 
  • Praca, E., more
  • Laran, S.
  • Lepoint, G., more
  • Thomé, J.P., more
  • Quetglas, A.
  • Belcari, P.
  • Sartor, P.
  • Dhermain, F.
  • Ody, D.
  • Tapie, N.
  • Budzinski, H.
  • Das, K., more

Abstract
    Risso's dolphins, pilot whales and sperm whales rarely strand in the northwestern Mediterranean. Thus, their feeding ecology, through the analysis of stomach contents, is poorly known. The aim of this study was to gain further insight into the segregation/superposition of the diet and habitat of Risso's dolphins, pilot whales and sperm whales using chemical tracers, namely, stable isotopes (d13C, d15N) and organochlorines. Significantly different d15N values were obtained in Risso's dolphins (11.7 +/- 0.7%), sperm whales (10.8 +/- 0.3%) and pilot whales (9.8 +/- 0.3%), revealing different trophic levels. These differences are presumably due to various proportions of Histioteuthidae cephalopods in each toothed whale's diet. Similar d13C contents between species indicated long-term habitat superposition or corroborated important seasonal migrations. Lower congener 180 concentrations (8.20 vs. 21.73 µg.g-1 lw) and higher tDDT/tPCB ratios (0.93 vs. 0.42) were observed in sperm whales compared with Risso's dolphins and may indicate wider migrations for the former. Therefore, competition between these species seems to depend on different trophic levels and migration patterns.

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