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Data from: Forage species in predator diets: synthesis of data from the California Current

Cite this dataset

Szoboszlai, Amber I. et al. (2015). Data from: Forage species in predator diets: synthesis of data from the California Current [Dataset]. Dryad.


Characterization of the diets of upper-trophic pelagic predators that consume forage species is a key ingredient in the development of ecosystem-based fishery management plans, conservation of marine predators, and ecological and economic modeling of trophic interactions. Here we present the California Current Predator Diet Database (CCPDD) for the California Current region of the Pacific Ocean over the past century, assimilating over 190 published records of predator food habits for over 100 predator species and 32 categories of forage taxa (species or groups of similar species). Literature searches targeted all predators that consumed forage species: seabirds, cetaceans, pinnipeds, bony and cartilaginous fishes, and a predatory invertebrate. Diet data were compiled into a relational database. Analysis of the CCPDD highlighted differences in predator diet data availability based on geography, time period and predator taxonomy, as well as prominent prey categories. The top 5 forage taxa with the most predators included juvenile rockfish, northern anchovy, euphausiid krill, Pacific herring and market squid. Predator species with abundant data included Pacific hake, common murre, and California sea lion. Most diet data were collected during the summer; the lack of winter data will restrict future use of the CCPDD to understand seasonal patterns in predator diet unless more such data become available. Increased synthesis of historical information can provide new resources to understand patterns in the role of forage species in predator diet. Increased publication and/or accessibility of long-term datasets and data-sharing will further foster the synthesis of information intended to inform the management, conservation and understanding of marine food webs.

Usage notes


United States
California Current
northeastern Pacific ocean
British Columbia