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Isotopic niche partitioning in a multi-species assemblage

November 9, 2023

Multi-species assemblages can help identify key resources in their habitat by evaluating how they are partitioning their resources. Here we used the isotopic niche of loggerhead, Kemp’s ridley, and green sea turtles to assess their ecological niche within a Gulf of Mexico bay. Additionally, we assessed temporal and size-class variation in their diets by comparing the δ13C and δ15N values over various capture years and size classes. Based on the isotopic niche overlap results, interspecific competition occurs among loggerhead, Kemp’s ridley, and smaller green turtles. Green turtle and Kemp’s ridley diet varied by size class, while Kemp’s ridley diet also varied temporally. The three species partition resources by selecting different preferred diet items, although some overlap in diet, including between the herbivorous (green) and carnivorous (Kemp’s ridley, loggerhead) species, appears to occur. The high quality of this habitat may allow species co-existence and population recovery despite the possible use of shared resources.

Publication Year 2023
Title Isotopic niche partitioning in a multi-species assemblage
DOI 10.1007/s00227-023-04317-x
Authors Carson L. Arends, Hannah B. Vander Zanden, Margaret Lamont
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Marine Biology
Index ID 70250247
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Wetland and Aquatic Research Center