Predicting Trophic Interactions and Habitat Utilization in the California Current Ecosystem
University of California Santa Cruz Santa Cruz United States
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While specifically focusing on trophic interactions affecting habitat utilization and foraging patterns of California sea lions CSL in the California Current Large Marine Ecosystem CCLME, the long-term goal of our modeling approach is to better understand and characterize biological hotspots i.e., the aggregation of multiple marine organisms over multiple trophic levels off the U.S. west coast and in other regions where similar fully-coupled ecosystem models may be implemented. As such, our research represents a major step towards a predictive model that can provide fundamental knowledge about 1 the spatial and temporal distribution of key marine organisms over multiple trophic levels, and 2 natural and anthropogenic variability in ecosystem structure and trophic interactions.