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Humpback whale diets respond to variance in ocean climate and ecosystem conditions in the California Current

The present examination of higher trophic-level response to climate variability suggests that humpback whales are useful indicators of ecosystem dynamics in the CCS. Their foraging behavior is a synoptic result of dynamic physical and biological conditions in the CCS, reflecting changes across multiple trophic levels due to contemporary climate variability and ultimately informing potential responses across these trophic levels due to climate change. Though variations in oceanographic conditions are occurring across daily and monthly timescales, the present examination of annual and multi-year scales provides useful insight into the scales most relevant to top-predator foraging and population-level responses.

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