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Mar Pollut Bull. 2015 Apr 15;93(1-2):270-7. doi: 10.1016/j.marpolbul.2015.01.012. Epub 2015 Feb 13.

Investigation of trophic level and niche partitioning of 7 cetacean species by stable isotopes, and cadmium and arsenic tissue concentrations in the western Pacific Ocean.

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Department of Marine Biotechnology and Resources, National Sun Yat-sen University, 804 Kaohsiung, Taiwan.
Institute of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, National Taiwan University, 106 Taipei, Taiwan.
Department of Oceanography (Marine biology group), and Asia-Pacific Ocean Research Center, National Sun Yat-sen University, 804 Kaohsiung, Taiwan; Department of Biomedical Science and Environmental Biology, Kaohsiung Medical University, 807 Kaohsiung, Taiwan. Electronic address:


A total of 24 stranded or bycatch cetaceans, including Balaenoptera omurai, Lagenodelphis hosei, Kogia sima, Stenella attenuata, Grampus griseus, Neophocaena phocaenoides, and Sousa chinensis, were collected from 2001 to 2011 in Taiwan. Using the muscular δ(13)C and δ(15)N data, three ecological groups were identified as the oceanic baleen whale, the neritic, and the coastal toothed whale groups, coinciding with their taxonomy, feeding habits and geographical distribution. A horizontal inshore to offshore distribution was found for the sympatric neritic toothed dolphins, G. griseus, K. sima, S. attenuata, and L. hosei in the outermost offshore waters, accompanying their growth. For the first time we identify Taiwan's Chinese white dolphin, S. chinensis, as an exclusive fish eater. Cd and As bioaccumulated in the G. griseus, L. hosei and S. attenuata increase as they grow. Prey-derived As- and Cd-induced health threats were found in L. hosei, and G. griseus.


Cephalopods; Chinese white dolphins; Dietary shift; Habitat overlapping; Health threat; Inshore–offshore movement

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