Display Settings:

Format

Send to:

Choose Destination
We are sorry, but NCBI web applications do not support your browser and may not function properly. More information
Science. 2007 Mar 30;315(5820):1846-50.

Cascading effects of the loss of apex predatory sharks from a coastal ocean.

Author information

  • 1Department of Biology, Dalhousie University, 1355 Oxford Street, Halifax, NS B3H 4J1, Canada.

Abstract

Impacts of chronic overfishing are evident in population depletions worldwide, yet indirect ecosystem effects induced by predator removal from oceanic food webs remain unpredictable. As abundances of all 11 great sharks that consume other elasmobranchs (rays, skates, and small sharks) fell over the past 35 years, 12 of 14 of these prey species increased in coastal northwest Atlantic ecosystems. Effects of this community restructuring have cascaded downward from the cownose ray, whose enhanced predation on its bay scallop prey was sufficient to terminate a century-long scallop fishery. Analogous top-down effects may be a predictable consequence of eliminating entire functional groups of predators.

PMID:
17395829
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

0 comments
How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Icon for HighWire
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk