A global perspective on the trophic geography of sharks

Bird, Christopher S.; Veríssimo, Ana; Magozzi, Sarah; Abrantes, Kátya G.; Aguilar, Alex; Al-Reasi, Hassan; Barnett, Adam; Bethea, Dana M.; Biais, Gérard; Borrell, Asuncion; Bouchoucha, Marc; Boyle, Mariah; Brooks, Edward J.; Brunnschweiler, Juerg; Bustamante, Paco; Carlisle, Aaron; Catarino, Diana; Caut, Stéphane; Cherel, Yves; Chouvelon, Tiphaine; Churchill, Diana; Ciancio, Javier; Claes, Julien; Colaço, Ana; Courtney, Dean L.; Cresson, Pierre; Daly, Ryan; de Necker, Leigh; Endo, Tetsuya; Figueiredo, Ivone; Frisch, Ashley J.; Hansen, Joan Holst; Heithaus, Michael; Hussey, Nigel E.; Iitembu, Johannes; Juanes, Francis; Kinney, Michael J.; Kiszka, Jeremy J.; Klarian, Sebastian A.; Kopp, Dorothée; Leaf, Robert; Li, Yunkai; Lorrain, Anne; Madigan, Daniel J.; Maljković, Aleksandra; Malpica-Cruz, Luis; Matich, Philip; Meekan, Mark G.; Ménard, Frédéric; Menezes, Gui M.; Munroe, Samantha E.M.; Newman, Michael C.; Papastamatiou, Yannis P.; Pethybridge, Heidi; Plumlee, Jeffrey D.; Polo-Silva, Carlos; Quaeck-Davies, Katie; Raoult, Vincent; Reum, Jonathan; Torres-Rojas, Yassir Eden; Shiffman, David S.; Shipley, Oliver N.; Speed, Conrad W.; Staudinger, Michelle D.; Teffer, Amy K.; Tilley, Alexander; Valls, Maria; Vaudo, Jeremy J.; Wai, Tak-Cheung; Wells, R.J. David; Wyatt, Alex S. J.; Yool, Andrew; Trueman, Clive N.. 2018 A global perspective on the trophic geography of sharks. Nature Ecology & Evolution, 2 (2). 299-305.

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© 2018 Nature Publishing Group This is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Nature Ecology and Evolution. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version will be published in Nature Ecology and Evolution doi:10.1038/s41559-017-0432-z
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Sharks are a diverse group of mobile predators that forage across varied spatial scales and have the potential to influence food web dynamics. The ecological consequences of recent declines in shark biomass may extend across broader geographic ranges if shark taxa display common behavioural traits. By tracking the original site of photosynthetic fixation of carbon atoms that were ultimately assimilated into muscle tissues of 5,394 sharks from 114 species, we identify globally consistent biogeographic traits in trophic interactions between sharks found in different habitats. We show that populations of shelf-dwelling sharks derive a substantial proportion of their carbon from regional pelagic sources, but contain individuals that forage within additional isotopically diverse local food webs, such as those supported by terrestrial plant sources, benthic production and macrophytes. In contrast, oceanic sharks seem to use carbon derived from between 30° and 50° of latitude. Global-scale compilations of stable isotope data combined with biogeochemical modelling generate hypotheses regarding animal behaviours that can be tested with other methodological approaches.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
ISSN: 2397-334X
Date made live: 29 Jan 2018 10:32 +0 (UTC)

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