Whales transport nutrients laterally when moving between foraging and breeding areas and vertically when transporting nutrients to the surface with their fecal plumes and urine (Doughty et al, 2016).
Whales can help:
- transport nutrients to ecosystems faster (Moss, 2017).
Whale strandings transfer marine biomass in the sea-land interface to consumers, such as:
- bears and other predatory mammals
- scavenging birds
- invertebrates, such as flies also improving land ecology (Roman et al, 2014).
Large animals play a larger role in the transport of nutrients across sites and even ecosystems of land, sea, rivers, and air (Doughty et al, 2016).
Moose can transfer aquatic biological nitrogen to terrestrial ecosystems, as do bears, otters and eagles, while hippopotamuses can transport nutrients from terrestrial nutrients to aquatic ecosystems (Doughty et al, 2016).
Visit the Museum of Natural History in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, to see their mammal exhibit featuring a “life-sized mainland moose, a growling Nova Scotia black bear and a beaver” (Mammals and birds, 2015).
Benthic invertebrates are a source of food for walrus; however, with climate change creating loss of sea ice, walrus must make longer trips to feed since they haul out on ice leaving walrus calves at more risk from predators (Christie et al, 2018).
Domestic animals may assist in nutrient transfer with fenceless pastures and greater diversity of species to increase nutrient abundance and movement (Doughty et al, 2016).
Moss (2017) suggests sea turtles include the:
- Kemp's ridley
- olive ridley” turtles
with all but the flatback being listed as “endangered or threatened”.
Just 300 years ago there were 16-33 million sea turtles in the Caribbean; however, their populations have declined to about 10,000 more recently (Moss, 2017).
- Green sea turtles feed on seagrass to help maintain its productivity and prevent beds from becoming overgrown which can cause an altering of currents, bottom shade, decomposition, habitat for “microorganisms, algae, invertebrates and fungi” (Moss, 2017). The Caribbean has seen a loss in reef fish rich in protein due to loss of green sea turtles (Moss, 2017). Sea turtles promote the growth of vegetation, dependent animals, and reduce sand erosion and upset (Moss, 2017).
- Loggerhead turtles feed on crustaceans which assist in shell disintegration, create trails on the seafloor as they search out food, assist in nutrients being recycled on the bottom of benthic or ocean ecosystems (Moss, 2017).
- Leatherback turtles transport nutrients from the Arctic Circle to nutrient exhausted tropical beaches while feeding on jellyfish during their journey (Moss, 2017). While adult sea turtles are prey to killer whales and sharks, a study in Australia suggested 97% of turtle hatchlings get eaten in the water within the 60 minutes of their first swim (Moss, 2017). Sea turtle populations have been reduced from 33-660 million globally to tens to hundreds of thousands today with human hunting also being a factor in their decline for eggs and meat (Moss, 2017).
- A study of Oliver Ridley turtles suggests they mostly remain in water temperature of 248C to 318C between Gahirmatha and the Sri Lankan coast (Behera et al, 2018).
Created with images by Humberto Braojos - "Whales at Moss Landing, California." • Anastasia Taioglou - "Sunrise in Greece" • Joel Henry - "untitled image" • Andres Corredor - "untitled image" • Dan Bolton - "Walking on thin ice" • zulkarnaen ali - "Lalat." • Louis Reed - "A 360 panorama stitched and warped to create the tiny planet effect. Image sequence taken by drone above a community field in Wales." • Kevin Noble - "I had been at Grand Teton National Park for about a week and this was my final morning. I had not had much luck getting a moose shot so decided to pick a spot along Moose-Wilson Road by the ponds and see if anything showed up. Just before the sun rose, a bull and a cow showed up to grab their breakfast. In this shot, the bull headed towards me just as the sun crested lighting up the flowers, grass and his antlers." • Richard Lee - "Alberta wild" • Karl Anderson - "Sea Otter, British Columbia, Canada" • Adolfo Félix - "hippopotamus" • Patrick Brinksma - "Never let your goal out of sight Stay focused Laser focused" • Jay Ruzesky - "untitled image" • Luca Basili - "untitled image" • Sam Carter - "untitled image" • Steve Bittinger - "Ponies near azure sea" • Thibault Carron - "Black and chestnut horses nuzzling" • Michaela - "untitled image" • Tanguy Sauvin - "untitled image" • Serge B - "The moment of truth. Calmly observing iguana. Costa Rica" • Jong Marshes - "untitled image" • Tamar Waskey - "Crocodile in the grass" • Steve Harvey - "Handsome is an “animal ambassador” at the Ojai Raptor Center" • Paul Carroll - "These birds are wonderful parents but this poor chick looked trapped to me." • Martin Jernberg - "When in Kathmandu, we had a fun visit at the monkey temple. Definitely an amazing and unique experience. We rented scooters for only $7 a day and somehow arrived safely to our destination." • Drew Farwell - "www.outdoorjunkiez.com" • Jonathan Diemel - "untitled image" • ali shirali - "Dead Oysters " • David Clode - "The Clown Anemonefish is the type of fish in the film Finding Nemo. This photo shows typical behaviour where they live in and find protection in stinging sea anemones." • Geoffroy Hauwen - "untitled image" • NOAA - "Phytoplankton - the foundation of the oceanic food chain. " • John Mark Arnold - "Underwater Algae" • Maxwell Ridgeway - "The Mangrove" • Sharon McCutcheon - "Colorful orange and green lichen at Dinosaur National Monument near Vernal, Utah" • Michael Longmire - "Closeup of microscope" • Nam Anh - "https://noithatphuongdong.vn/tin-tuc/70/nen-dung-bep-ga-hay-bep-tu---kinh-nghiem-nen-mua-bep-ga-hay-bep-dien-tu" • frank mckenna - "untitled image"