The ecology of Arctic cod (Boreogadus saida) and interactions with seabirds, seals, and whales in the Canadian Arctic

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2012, 2012
Matley, Jordan
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This thesis investigates the foraging of Arctic cod (Boreogadus saida) and its predators during the summer in the Canadian Arctic. Findings included the identification of Arctic cod, ringed seal (Pusa hispida), beluga (Delphinapterus leucas), and narwhal (Monodon monoceros) diet shifts in response to seasonal prey availability; calculation of isotopic diet-tissue discrimination factors for Arctic cod, ringed seals, and whales based on local tissue and stomach content sampling; and determination of predatory cues to optimize foraging, such as the presence of schools. Additionally, I quantified seabird feeding and interspecific interactions such kleptoparasitism and found that black-legged kittiwakes (Rissa tridactyla) and northern fulmars (Fulmarus glacialis) captured cod directly but lost many to parasitic jaegers (Stercorarius parasiticus) and glaucous gulls (Larus hyperboreus). Finally, I determined that schools of cod were important prey sources for northern fulmars, glaucous gulls, and whales however non-schooling cod were a significant source for black-legged kittiwakes and ringed seals.
foraging, diet, stable isotopes, school, predator, food web, migration, kleptoparasitism, niche, diet-tissue discrimination factor, northern fulmar, black-legged kittiwake, glaucous gull, parasitic jaeger, ringed seal, narwhal, beluga
Matley JK, Crawford R, Dick TA (2012) Observation of common raven (Corvus corax) scavenging Arctic cod (Boreogadus saida) from seabirds in the Canadian High Arctic. Polar Biology 35: 1119-1122 doi: 10.1007/s00300-011-1148-1
Matley JK, Fisk AT, Dick TA (2012) Seabird predation on Arctic cod during summer in the Canadian Arctic. Marine Ecology Progress Series 450:219-228 doi: 10.3354/meps09561