Understanding the trophodynamics of living marine resources and energy transfer through the foodweb is a key premise of ecosystem assessment and management. It is strongly connected to other fields of knowledge, including hydrography, taxonomy, biochemistry, ecology, ontogeny, and behaviour. While the assessment of predator and prey diversity in the field (via integrative taxonomy or automated optical methods, for example) is proving to be increasingly accurate, reliable, and cost-effective, the process of determining carbon flow between key players remains intricate. Our understanding of foodweb functionalities is therefore still limited.
Challenges include the reliable discrimination and quantification of prey (including larval stages or partially digested) within the gut content and/or faeces of predators, as well as the development of (semi-) quantitative proxies for prey (stable isotope mixing models, phaeopigment markers, DNA:biomass conversion, etc.).
New approaches and novel techniques continue to be developed and applied to these key issues for marine ecosystems. This session will examine a broad range of methodologies, provide overviews of recent results using diverse types of data, and encourage discussion on the opportunities and challenges of trophic relationships in marine foodwebs.
Suggested topics for submissions include: