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dc.contributor.advisor Crowder, Larry en_US
dc.contributor.author Hazen, Elliott en_US
dc.date.accessioned 2009-01-02T16:24:41Z
dc.date.available 2009-01-02T16:24:41Z
dc.date.issued 2008-09-02 en_US
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10161/884
dc.description Dissertation en_US
dc.description.abstract <p>Increased pressure has been placed on researchers to focus on processes at an ecosystem level. However, ecological processes operate at multiple scales from an individual predator up to ocean basin migrations, and research across these scales is extremely difficult. More accurate and detailed understanding of prey distributions relative to physical and biological features can greatly aid in understanding top predator distributions and ultimately ecosystem functioning. High resolution acoustic data is a critical tool that can be used to investigate food web linkages at many spatial scales. At a broad scale, migratory top predators are often modeled relative to oceanographic structure as a proxy for the distribution of their prey. At a fine scale, combining novel technologies including fisheries acoustics, real time oceanographic sensors, and digital tags allows examination of decisions made by an individual foraging whale. In the Gulf of Mexico, fish distributions at fine scales (both horizontal and vertical) were examined relative to hypoxic bottom waters to understand potential ecosystem effects. Forage fish distribution (sand lance, Ammodytes spp.) were measured relative to physical features and oceanographic processes up to the decision making of a top predator, the humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae). The effect of geostrophic currents and environmental regimes on the deep scattering layers of the central tropical pacific were examined relative to sightings of marine mammals in the area. Analyses across trophic levels and at multiple scales is an important step towards understanding community ecology and ecosystem processes in pelagic systems.</p> en_US
dc.format.extent 49913259 bytes
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf
dc.language.iso en_US
dc.subject Biology, Ecology en_US
dc.subject Biology, Oceanography en_US
dc.subject acoustics en_US
dc.subject foraging ecology en_US
dc.subject predator en_US
dc.subject prey en_US
dc.subject oceanography en_US
dc.title Linking Prey to Predator: Scale Dependence and Oceanographic Influence in Marine Food Webs en_US
dc.type Dissertation en_US
dc.department Ecology en_US

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