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Feeding ecology of Kelp Gulls (Larus dominicanus) in marine and limnetic environments
Silva-Costa, A.; Bugoni, L. (2013). Feeding ecology of Kelp Gulls (Larus dominicanus) in marine and limnetic environments. Aquat. Ecol. 47(2): 211-224. hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s10452-013-9436-1
In: Aquatic Ecology. Springer: Dordrecht; London; Boston. ISSN 1386-2588, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keywords
    Diets; Freshwater environment; Larus dominicanus; Marine birds; Marine environment; Pellets; Stable isotopes; Marine; Fresh water

Authors  Top 
  • Silva-Costa, A.
  • Bugoni, L.

Abstract
    The diet of the Kelp Gull (Larus dominicanus) was investigated at the northern limit of its distribution along the South American Atlantic coast. We used two complementary methods, pellet analysis and stable isotope analysis (SIA), to describe and compare Kelp Gull feeding ecology in freshwater and marine environments. The assimilated diet over two different time scales was investigated via SIA of plasma and red blood cells, blood components with different turnover rates. Fish composed the bulk of the diet of Kelp Gulls in both marine (White Croaker Micropogonias furnieri and Banded Croaker Paralonchurus brasiliensis) and limnetic areas (Armoured Catfish Loricariidae and La Plata Croaker Pachyurus bonariensis), despite the importance of benthic prey from the intertidal zone in samples collected from the marine environment (Wedge Clam Donax hanleyanus and the Yellow Clam Mesodesma mactroides). The fish consumed by the gulls were common discards from fisheries in both environments, and marine bivalves were found at a high density at the marine beach. Diet varied between the different time scales analysed. Conventional diet data generally agreed with stable isotope model estimates, emphasising the importance of using complementary approaches in dietary studies.

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