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Whales, Whaling, and Ocean Ecosystems$
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James Estes

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780520248847

Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520248847.001.0001

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Evidence for Bottom-Up Control of Upper-Trophic-Level Marine Populations

Evidence for Bottom-Up Control of Upper-Trophic-Level Marine Populations

Is It Scale-Dependent?

(p.50) Six Evidence for Bottom-Up Control of Upper-Trophic-Level Marine Populations
Whales, Whaling, and Ocean Ecosystems


University of California Press

This chapter examines the evidence for a bottom-up limitation of upper-trophic-level fish, marine birds, and marine mammals. It presents evidence of the role of food limitation on population size and on individual body condition and growth, both of which can affect fecundity in fish. In marine birds and mammals, body condition similarly affects fecundity and the potential for survival to age of first breeding, as well as adult survival. The discussion then examines briefly aspects of the life history characteristics that would argue for a weak role of predation in the regulation of populations of upper-trophic-level species in the marine environment, the spatial scales at which one might expect top-down or bottom-up control to play a more decisive role, and how the relative mobility of predator and prey affect the likelihood of top-down control.

Keywords:   upper-trophic-level fish, marine mammals, food limitation, fecundity, life history characteristics, predation

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