Influence of sea otters on soft-bottom prey communities in southeast Alaska

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Kvitek, R. G., & Oliver, J. S. (1992). Influence of sea otters on soft-bottom prey communities in southeast Alaska. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 82(2), 103-113.
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TitleInfluence of sea otters on soft-bottom prey communities in southeast Alaska
AuthorsG. Kvitek, S. Oliver
AbstractEnhydra lutris forage primarily on bivalve prey, especially the butter clam Saxidomus giganteus and dramatically reduce infaunal bivalve and sea urchin Strongylocentrotus spp. prey populations. Bivalve prey abundance, biomass and size were negatively correlated with sea otter occupancy. Otter-cracked shells of the deep-burrowing clams Tresus capax and Panope abrupta were rarely found, even at otter foraging sites where these clams accounted for the majority of available prey biomass, suggesting that these species have a partial depth refuge from otter predation. Infaunal bivalves provide a more sustainable food base than do sea urchins.
JournalMarine Ecology Progress Series
Date1992
Start page103
End page113
ISSN01718630
Subjectsbenthic community, butter clam, clam, predation, predator-prey interaction, sea otter, sea urchin, soft bottom community, Gulf of Alaska, USA, Alaska, Enhydra lutris, Panope abrupta, Saxidomus giganteus, Strongylocentrotus, Tresus capax
NoteCited By (since 1996):19, Downloaded from: www.int-res.com/articles/meps/82/m082p103.pdf (9 June 2014).

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