Dietary niche expansion of a kelp forest predator recovering from intense commercial exploitation

Scott L. Hamilton, Seth D. Newsome & Jennifer E. Caselle
Marine ecosystems are increasingly at risk from overexploitation and fisheries collapse. As managers implement recovery plans, shifts in species interactions may occur broadly with potential consequences for ecosystem structure and function. In kelp forests off San Nicolas Island, California, USA, we describe striking changes in size structure and life history traits (e.g., size at maturation and sex change) of a heavily fished, ecologically important predator, the California sheephead (Semicossyphus pulcher). These changes occurred in two...
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