Diet and trophic interactions of Mediterranean planktivorous fishes.

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From: Marine Biology(Vol. 169, Issue 9)
Publisher: Springer
Document Type: Report
Length: 10,804 words
Lexile Measure: 1480L

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Abstract :

Diet and trophic interactions of seven species of planktivorous fishes: European anchovy Engraulis encrasicolus, European sardine Sardina pilchardus, round sardinella Sardinella aurita, European sprat Sprattus sprattus, red bandfish Cepola macrophthalma, damselfish Chromis chromis and bogue Boops boops were studied in the Bay of Marseille (North-Western Mediterranean Sea) from March to September 2017. Taxonomic composition and size distribution of prey were studied using stomach content analysis, and compared to prey availability determined by continuous zooplankton sampling at a fixed point. Frequently consumed items included copepods, decapod larvae and fish eggs. Comparatively, E. encrasicolus consumed more calanoid copepods (i.e. Centropages spp.), S. pilchardus, S. aurita and S. sprattus consumed more harpacticoid copepods (i.e. Microsetella/Macrosetella spp.), C. macrophthalma consumed more decapod larvae, C. chromis consumed more pteropods and B. boops consumed more benthic polychaetes. Sardina pilchardus consumed the widest diversity of prey. Prey size distribution and average prey size significantly differed among species. The prey-predator size ratio (PPSR) was highest for B. boops and lowest for S. aurita. Carbon and nitrogen stable isotope composition of species overlapped, probably due to the ingestion of particulate organic matter from the same sources at the base of the planktonic food web in the Bay of Marseille. Furthermore, trophic niche overlap supported the hypothesis of potential trophic competition between Engraulidae and Clupeidae.

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A716393455