A continuous challenge in ecology is to estimate and predict trophic structures in complex food webs. This thesis investigated the use of amino acid nitrogen and carbon stable isotopes and molecular techniques for assessing predator-prey interactions. Field studies from the Baltic Sea and laboratory studies focused on the linkage between predators and primary consumers while a meta-analysis was used to broadly evaluated how cutting edge isotopic tools can improve our understanding of aquatic food webs. Stable isotopes and molecular techniques proved to be sound tools for describing and quantifying the diverse feeding ecology of zooplankton in the Baltic Sea. Overall, amino acid stable isotope ratios and molecular techniques are useful tracing approaches that improve understanding of aquatic food webs.

Faculty opponent is Michael T. Brett from University of Washington.

All welcome!