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Observations of a novel predatory gull behavior on an invasive ascidian: A new consequence of coastal urban sprawl?

Holman, LE; Rius, M; Blackburn, TM; (2019) Observations of a novel predatory gull behavior on an invasive ascidian: A new consequence of coastal urban sprawl? Ecosphere , 10 (3) , Article e02636. 10.1002/ecs2.2636. Green open access

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Abstract

Coastal urbanization has a dramatic effect on both terrestrial and marine ecosystems, altering resources such as food or space. Many species have shifted their ranges in response to anthropogenic pressures, resulting in novel species interactions. Here, we report an observation of a novel foraging behavior of the European Herring Gull (Larus argentatus): the capture and consumption of the widespread sea squirt Ciona intestinalis from under floating pontoons in a recreational marina in Ireland. Multiple gulls were observed performing a complex, multi‐step manipulation of several C. intestinalis individuals to remove their cellulose‐based tunic, which remained unconsumed. Further avenues of investigation are discussed, and hypotheses concerning possible ecosystem effects of novel ecological interactions occurring in proliferating artificial environments are presented.

Type: Article
Title: Observations of a novel predatory gull behavior on an invasive ascidian: A new consequence of coastal urban sprawl?
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1002/ecs2.2636
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1002/ecs2.2636
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © 2019 The Authors. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/), which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Keywords: avian cognition, biotic resistance, foraging innovation, invasive, non‐native, urban sprawl
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > Div of Biosciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > Div of Biosciences > Genetics, Evolution and Environment
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10073721
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