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Martin Arostegui

Postdoctoral Scholar




B.S. Biology, Stanford University, 2014

Ph.D. Aquatic and Fishery Sciences, University of Washington, 2019

Martin Arostegui's Website



2000-present and while at APL-UW

Does lipid-correction introduce biases into isotopic mixing models? Implications for diet reconstruction studies

Arostegui, M.C., D.E. Schindler, and G.W. Holtgrieve, "Does lipid-correction introduce biases into isotopic mixing models? Implications for diet reconstruction studies," Oecologia, 191, 745-755, doi:10.1007/s00442-019-04525-7, 2019.

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30 Oct 2019

Carbon isotopes are commonly used in trophic ecology to estimate consumer diet composition. This estimation is complicated by the fact that lipids exhibit a more depleted carbon signature (δ13C) than other macromolecules, and are often found at different concentrations among individual organisms. Some researchers argue that lipids bias diet reconstructions using stable isotopes and should be accounted for prior to analysis in food web mixing models, whereas others contend that removing lipids may result in erroneous interpretations of the trophic interactions under study. To highlight this disagreement on best practices for applying δ13C in food web studies, we sampled the recent literature to determine the frequency and method of lipid-correction. We then quantified the potential magnitude and source of bias in mixing model results from a theoretical example and case study of diet reconstruction. The literature was split nearly evenly as to whether lipid-correction was applied to δ13C data in mixing model estimates of diet composition. Comparative mixing model scenarios demonstrated that lipid-correction can substantially alter the estimated diet composition and interpretation of consumer foraging habits. Given the lack of consensus on whether or not to lipid-correct prey and/or consumers, and the associated variation in mixing model results, we call for the establishment of a unified framework that will guide diet reconstruction in stable isotope ecology. Uncertainty in the prevalence of direct routing versus de novo synthesis of lipids across ecosystems, taxa, and trophic levels must be resolved to better guide treatment of lipids in isotope studies using carbon.

Movement ecology and stenothermy of satellite-tagged shortbill spearfish (Tetrapturus angustirostris)

Arostegui, M.C., P. Gaube, and C.D. Braun, "Movement ecology and stenothermy of satellite-tagged shortbill spearfish (Tetrapturus angustirostris)," Fish. Res., 215, 21-25, doi:10.1016/j.fishres.2019.03.005, 2019.

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1 Jul 2019

The shortbill spearfish (Tetrapturus angustirostris) is an understudied, istiophorid billfish primarily encountered as bycatch in pelagic commercial fisheries of the Indo-Pacific. The species is listed as data-deficient, and little is known of its biology, ecology, and population structure or status. We assessed the species' movement ecology and thermal niche with telemetry data from the first shortbill spearfishes ever outfitted with pop-up satellite archival transmitting tags (n = 3 with successfully transmitted data). Short (4–15 day) deployments offshore of the Island of Hawai'i revealed that spearfish primarily occupied the mixed layer, spending >90% of each 24-hr period between the surface and 100 m in water temperatures between 24–26°C. These individuals consistently exhibited vertical activity at night regardless of the prevailing lunar phase. Nocturnal movements throughout the mixed layer may enable shortbill spearfish to forage on mesopelagic species undergoing diel vertical migration and reduce trophic niche overlap with primarily diurnal, pelagic species. The narrow thermal distribution of shortbill spearfish in this study, almost exclusively within 2°C of sea surface temperature, suggests that they are more stenothermal than extra-generic istiophorid species.

Movement and thermal niche of the first satellite-tagged Mediterranean spearfish (Tetrapturus belone)

Arostegui, M.C., C.D. Braun, and P. Gaube, "Movement and thermal niche of the first satellite-tagged Mediterranean spearfish (Tetrapturus belone)," Fish. Oceanogr., 28, 327-333, doi:10.1111/fog.12413, 2019.

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1 May 2019

The Mediterranean spearfish (Tetrapturus belone) is one of the least‐studied istiophorid billfishes, with little known of its biology, ecology, and behavior. To assess the species' movement and thermal niche, we analyzed telemetry data from, to our knowledge, the first and only Mediterranean spearfish ever outfitted with a pop‐up satellite archival transmitting tag. Throughout a 29‐day deployment during July and August 2015, the fish travelled in Italian waters of the Tyrrhenian and Ligurian Seas, spending on average 93% of each 24‐hr period above 30 m and exhibiting a diel activity pattern comprised of daytime vertical movement and nighttime near‐surface residency. The preferred thermal niche was 26–28°C, but the spearfish experienced temperatures as low as 14.2°C during descents. Vertical distribution was limited throughout the deployment with more time spent at depth in areas where the thermocline was comparatively deeper and weaker, consistent with habitat compression experienced by other billfishes.

Acoustics Air-Sea Interaction & Remote Sensing Center for Environmental & Information Systems Center for Industrial & Medical Ultrasound Electronic & Photonic Systems Ocean Engineering Ocean Physics Polar Science Center