|(Site en cours de
construction / Under construct)
and Conservation of Marine Mammals
University of La Rochelle
in Marine Mammal Ecology
At the population levels, investigations use both direct and indirect approaches. Direct observations of at-sea distributions are analyzed in relation to physiographic, oceanographic or biological characteristics of the environment, whereas direct analysis of marine mammal food allows preferred prey species and sizes to be quantified, two key elements for modeling the role of marine mammals in the ecosystem. Indirect approaches rely on the analysis of chemical tracers that reveal the use of certain habitats or resources (stable isotopes, fatty acids, heavy metals,..), in tissues which turn-over rates determine the width of the temporal window at which information is integrated. These indirect approaches contribute to understanding population structures that are relevant to ecological processes.
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