Chapter 2 - Feeding Ecology Tools to Assess Contaminant Exposure in Coastal Mammals
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AbstractFeeding ecology is a primary driver of contaminant exposure for mammalian species, thus tools to quantify diet and habitat use are a key component of many ecotoxicological studies. In this chapter, we discuss the fate and transport of contaminants to coastal ecosystems and review the feeding ecology tools available for coastal mammals, a group comprised of marine mammals and terrestrial mammals that rely on marine-derived resources. We highlight these ecological connections related to contaminants, focusing on stable isotopes of carbon, nitrogen, and sulfur for elucidating trophic and nontrophic interactions with contaminant exposure and tissue concentrations. In addition, we discuss tools that can be used alone or in conjunction with the aforementioned stable isotopes to describe the feeding ecology of individuals, populations, or species. Our mission is to expose readers to a nonlinear view of contaminant sources and transport to coastal ecosystems and to facilitate the use of cross-disciplinary techniques and tools to further the fields of ecotoxicology and ecology.

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