Subject: underwater food chains

Leah Gerber (leah@fish.washington.edu)
Sat, 28 Mar 1998 18:13:56 -0800

At 02:53 PM 3/24/98 +0000, you wrote:
>My life science class is actively researching ocean life. I am
>interested in a general food chain of ocean plants and animals.  I am
>also researching primary carnivores of underwater; specifically
>consumers of herbivores.
>

Dear Wendy,

You might be interested in researching the ecological role of cetaceans.
Large whales, as top level carnivores appear to be a critical part of
oceanic food chains. Large whales also recycle nutrients, and help to
maintain biological diversity. Gray whales, for example, feed on the ocean
floor on benthic invertebrates. Each feeding bout disturbes the benthic
commumunity increasing the spatial diversity of the system by creating new
opportunities for recruitment.

Good luck with your research.

Leah