Stable isotope analysis is an increasingly utilized method for understanding resource usage and partitioning in marine species, including elasmobranch fishes. While the diet of elasmobranchs in Winyah Bay, SC, has been the subject of some preliminary research, diet and trophic relationships in this ecosystem are not yet well understood. This study addresses these knowledge gaps using δ13C and δ15N stable isotope analysis to increase understanding of isotopic niche breadth and overlap among 128 individuals representing 11 sympatric elasmobranch species present in Winyah Bay during the summer months. Overall, our findings support an understanding of Winyah Bay's elasmobranch community as trophically diverse, with some significant isotopic niche overlap among considered species, suggesting the possibility of competition for resources between co-occurring small elasmobranchs. These results suggest elasmobranch predators in the Winyah Bay ecosystem have complex and varied predator–prey relationships.
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Vol. 20 • No. 1