Please Note:

The Open Access Repository has moved to a new authentication system as of the 1st of November.

Account holders will now be able to login using their University of Tasmania credentials.
If you have trouble logging in please email us on E.Prints@utas.edu.au so we can assist you.

Public users can still access the records in this repository as normal

Open Access Repository

Detecting prey from DNA in predator scats: a comparison with morphological analysis, using Arctocephalus seals fed a known diet

Downloads

Downloads per month over past year

Casper, RM and Jarman, SN and Deagle, BE and Gales, NJ and Hindell, MA (2007) Detecting prey from DNA in predator scats: a comparison with morphological analysis, using Arctocephalus seals fed a known diet. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology, 347. pp. 144-154. ISSN 0022-0981

[img] PDF
4328.pdf | Request a copy
Full text restricted

Abstract

The diet of free-living pinnipeds is most frequently estimated through identification of otoliths, squid mouth-parts and exoskeletons of prey in scats. This is because, although important prey types may not always be detected, sample collection is non-invasive and analysis is easy. Identification of prey DNA in scats is a nascent approach to determining the diet of marine vertebrates that may overcome some of the limitations of hard part analysis. This is the first study to experimentally compare the utility of genetic scatology for identifying consumption of prey types by seals with the occurrence of morphological remains of prey in scats. The occurrences of DNA and hard part remains of one squid and two fish taxa in scats of captive Arctocephalus seals fed mixed prey diets were compared. Both methods detected ingestion of these taxa 7.5–39.5 h prior to defaecation. Although all test prey had robust hard parts, detecting consumption during this period was 1.4 to 5.8 times more likely using genetic analysis than morphological analysis of scats. Based on frequency of occurrence calculations, neither method provided quantitative descriptions of the known diet. Identification of prey using DNA was not compromised by complexity of the diet; each test taxon was unambiguously detected against a background of a multi-species diet. Our results suggest that where diagnostic hard remains of prey are not well represented in scats, or the sample size is small, genetic scatology provides a valuable addition to morphological scat analysis for identifying the recent diet of free-living seals.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Generalist; Marine mammal; Otolith; Predator; Southern Ocean
Journal or Publication Title: Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology
Publisher: Elsevier Science BV
Page Range: pp. 144-154
ISSN: 0022-0981
Identification Number - DOI: 10.1016/j.jembe.2007.04.002
Additional Information:

The definitive version is available at http://www.sciencedirect.com

Date Deposited: 07 Apr 2008 14:33
Last Modified: 18 Nov 2014 03:35
Item Statistics: View statistics for this item

Actions (login required)

Item Control Page Item Control Page
TOP