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MARINE MAMMALS AND ECOSYSTEM FUNCTIONING

What roles do marine mammals play in marine ecosystems? How have anthropogenic perturbations to marine systems affected these roles? We seek contributions for a MEPS Theme Section exploring ideas on “Marine Mammals and Ecosystem Functioning”. Contributions could be reviews or data papers. They could explore top-down processes: e.g., iron or nitrogen fertilization; cultivation grazing; trophic cascades, or bottom-up – th

e influence of oceanographic processes (at whatever spatiotemporal scale) on marine mammals’ ecology. We are also interested in marine mammals’ roles in non-lethal ecosystem-level effects of predation threat – their roles as predators, prey, or both. Given historical and ongoing anthropogenic influences on marine mammals’ ecology, papers could address the relationships (top-down, bottom-up or both) between marine mammals, marine ecosystem function, and human activities. These could include, for example, the influence of fisheries as food provisioning on marine mammals’ behavioral ecology and/or population biology; relationships between system simplification

and resilience; or the role of refugia. Inference could be drawn from modeling, experiment, “natural experiment”, observation, scholarship or any combination of these.Be aware that our review process will be strict, with a likely rejection rate in line with that of most MEPS submissions (>50%). Please realize, too, that our focus is on multi-species, large-scale, long-term datasets having general ecological relevance and that we’re really not looking for single-species, single season, single location foraging studies. In order to facilitate the review process, we’re asking people to send a 300-word abstract of intended papers to Peter Corkeron (peter.corkeron@noaa.gov). Our aim is to have papers out to review by late this year.Marine Ecology Progress Series already publishes substantive work on the ecosystem role of marine mammals. The aim of this Theme Section is to unite a coherent body of work summarizing the current state of this area of science, so that we, as practitioners, can understand where we are, and where we need to go.

MEPS

The editors:

Peter Corkeron: peter.corkeron@noaa.gov
Lyne Morissette: lyne.morissette@globetrotter.net
Doug Nowacek: dpn3@duke.edu

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