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A multi-faceted approach for quantifying the estuarine-nearshore transition in the life cycle of the bull shark, Carcharhinus leucas.

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Werry, J.M., Lee, S.Y., Otway, N.M., Hu, Y. and Sumpton, W. (2011) A multi-faceted approach for quantifying the estuarine-nearshore transition in the life cycle of the bull shark, Carcharhinus leucas. Marine and Freshwater Research, 62 (12). pp. 1421-1431.

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Article Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/MF11136

Publisher URL: http://www.publish.csiro.au


Understanding the ontogenetic habitat linkages of sharks is important for conservation and managing human interactions. We used acoustic telemetry, catch data, elemental and stable isotope signatures and dietary analyses to investigate ontogenetic habitat use in south-east Queensland, Australia, by the bull shark Carcharhinus leucas, a IUCN 'near-threatened' species that is implicated in many shark attacks on humans in urban estuaries. Sequential analyses for delta(15)N and delta(13)C of vertebrae from five adult C. leucas and laser ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (LA-ICPMS) for elemental composition from 23 C. leucas, including a pregnant female, were also used to trace ontogenetic habitat dependence. Acoustic telemetry indicated large juvenile and subadult C. leucas remained in estuarine habitats. delta(15)N values across shark vertebrae showed an ontogenetic shift in diet with total length (TL), confirmed by stomach contents. LA-ICPMS data reflected the ontogenetic movements of C. leucas from natal habitats. Differences among adults were gender related. Shifts in habitat use by subadults were correlated with a sigmoidal delta(13)C relationship with TL. C. leucas have a multipartite, stage-specific dependency in their transition between habitats along the freshwater-estuarine-marine continuum, making them particularly susceptible to the habitat alteration that is occurring globally.

Item Type:Article
Business groups:Animal Science
Additional Information:© CSIRO Publishing.
Keywords:Acoustic telemetry; LA-ICPMS elemental analysis; ontogenetic habitat shift; stable isotope analysis; movement patterns; habitat use; carcharodon-carcharias; negaprion-brevirostris; foraging behavior; stable-isotopes; florida estuary; white sharks; tiger sharks; South-Africa.
Subjects:Science > Zoology > Chordates. Vertebrates > Fishes
Aquaculture and Fisheries > Fisheries > Fishery conservation
Live Archive:21 Feb 2012 06:41
Last Modified:03 Sep 2021 16:49

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