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Observations of a novel predatory gull behavior on an invasive ascidian: a new consequence of coastal urban sprawl?

Observations of a novel predatory gull behavior on an invasive ascidian: a new consequence of coastal urban sprawl?
Observations of a novel predatory gull behavior on an invasive ascidian: a new consequence of coastal urban sprawl?
Coastal urbanization has a dramatic effect on both terrestrial and marine ecosystems, altering resources such as food or space. Many species have shifted their ranges in response to anthropogenic pressures, resulting in novel species interactions. Here, we report an observation of a novel foraging behavior of the European Herring Gull (Larus argentatus): the capture and consumption of the widespread sea squirt Ciona intestinalis from under floating pontoons in a recreational marina in Ireland. Multiple gulls were observed performing a complex, multi-step manipulation of several C. intestinalis individuals to remove their cellulose-based tunic, which remained unconsumed. Further avenues of investigation are discussed, and hypotheses concerning possible ecosystem effects of novel ecological interactions occurring in proliferating artificial environments are presented.
2150-8925
1-5
Holman, Luke Earl
3d57aba8-c261-413b-a053-e7bed35adba0
Rius, Marc
c4e88345-4b4e-4428-b4b2-37229155f68d
Blackburn, T.
00aeae4c-bbab-44a5-b990-5989be711a82
Holman, Luke Earl
3d57aba8-c261-413b-a053-e7bed35adba0
Rius, Marc
c4e88345-4b4e-4428-b4b2-37229155f68d
Blackburn, T.
00aeae4c-bbab-44a5-b990-5989be711a82

Holman, Luke Earl, Rius, Marc and Blackburn, T. (2019) Observations of a novel predatory gull behavior on an invasive ascidian: a new consequence of coastal urban sprawl? Ecosphere, 10 (3), 1-5. (doi:10.1002/ecs2.2636).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Coastal urbanization has a dramatic effect on both terrestrial and marine ecosystems, altering resources such as food or space. Many species have shifted their ranges in response to anthropogenic pressures, resulting in novel species interactions. Here, we report an observation of a novel foraging behavior of the European Herring Gull (Larus argentatus): the capture and consumption of the widespread sea squirt Ciona intestinalis from under floating pontoons in a recreational marina in Ireland. Multiple gulls were observed performing a complex, multi-step manipulation of several C. intestinalis individuals to remove their cellulose-based tunic, which remained unconsumed. Further avenues of investigation are discussed, and hypotheses concerning possible ecosystem effects of novel ecological interactions occurring in proliferating artificial environments are presented.

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Accepted/In Press date: 4 February 2019
e-pub ahead of print date: 7 March 2019
Published date: March 2019

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 431043
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/431043
ISSN: 2150-8925
PURE UUID: da9aa0a0-cef2-4512-aea7-1079949d43dc
ORCID for Luke Earl Holman: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-8139-3760

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Date deposited: 22 May 2019 16:30
Last modified: 20 Jul 2019 01:30

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