Individual and sexual variation in the trophic ecology of the white shark (Carcharodon carcharias)

French, Georgia Catherine Anne (2018) Individual and sexual variation in the trophic ecology of the white shark (Carcharodon carcharias). Doctoral thesis (PhD), University of Sussex.

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Abstract

Individual and sexual variation are widespread across the animal kingdom, and can have significant implications for species and population ecology and conservation. Ontogenetic shifts in diet and habitat use are prevalent in species that exhibit large changes in body size from birth/hatching to maturity, and can alter an individual’s role in communities and ecosystems. The role of these phenomenon in the ecology of mobile top predators is especially important to understand, as these species are often vital for maintaining food web stability and ecosystem linkage. White sharks (Carcharodon carcharias) are highly migratory top predators, listed as Vulnerable on the International Union for the Conservation of Nature’s Red List, and are reported to undergo an ontogenetic dietary shift. Despite being protected across parts of their range, they are still subject to multiple anthropogenic threats. This work incorporates tooth shape, stable isotope, and fatty acid analyses to investigate individual and sexual variation in white shark ontogenetic shift dynamics and trophic ecology. Evidence for individual and sexual variation across populations is reviewed, and the associated conservation implications discussed, highlighting important current issues and areas for future research that will benefit white shark conservation management.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Schools and Departments: School of Life Sciences > Biology and Environmental Science
Subjects: Q Science > QL Zoology > QL0605 Chordates. Vertebrates > QL0614 Fishes > QL0638.9 Sharks
Depositing User: Library Cataloguing
Date Deposited: 18 Jul 2018 10:52
Last Modified: 19 Aug 2020 06:19
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/77255

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