Chapter

Introduction

JAMES A. ESTES

in Whales, Whaling, and Ocean Ecosystems

Published by University of California Press

Published in print January 2007 | ISBN: 9780520248847
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520933200 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520248847.003.0001
Introduction

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This chapter introduces the themes covered by the book. The volume is divided into five sections. The first provides a backdrop by reviewing the theory and evidence for food web processes and summarizes what is known about the history and ecological role of large consumers in other ecosystems. The second section presents a variety of relevant information on the natural history of whales and on the consequences of whaling to the whales themselves. The third section examines how and why food web interactions involving great whales might occur. It considers relevant aspects of their morphology and physiology, as well as general assessments of their potential roles as predators, prey, and detritus. The fourth section includes a variety of more specific accounts of the effects of whales and whaling in various ocean ecosystems. The final section considers whaling from the perspectives of economics, policy, and law.

Keywords: whaling; food web; natural history; great whales; ocean ecosystems

Chapter.  3039 words. 

Subjects: Aquatic Biology

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