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Feeding ecology and ecological role of the Atlantic bonito Sarda sarda in the Northwestern Mediterranean Sea

AuthorsSáez‑Liante, Raquel ; Navarro, Joan ; Albo Puigserver, Marta ; Coll, Marta ; Palomera, Isabel
Issue Date12-Jun-2014
CitationBook of Abstracts submitted to the IV Congress of Marine Sciences. Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, June 11th to 13th: 336 (2014)
AbstractKnowing the feeding habits of marine predators is essential to understand their ecological role in the ecosystem. Moreover, this information is pivotal for an accurate management and conservation strategies of their populations. The Atlantic bonito Sarda sarda is an epipelagic Scombrid distributed throughout the Atlantic Ocean, Mediterranean and Black Seas. This migratory predator represents an important fishery resource along its range of distribution, as well as in the NW Mediterranean. However, despite its commercial and ecological importance, accurate information of its trophic habits in the Mediterranean is very scarce. In this study, our main aim is to examine the feeding ecology (diet composition and trophic level) of the Atlantic bonito in the NW Mediterranean Sea by combining stable isotopic and stomach content methodologies at different temporal scales. Also we compare the trophic habits of the Atlantic bonito with information from several species of the same ecosystem to determine its ecological role. Our stable isotopic and stomach content results reveal a clearly importance of small pelagic fish in the diet of this top predator without seasonal changes in diet during the year. In particular, the diet of the Atlantic bonito includes the European anchovy Engraulis encrasicolus as the main prey in its diet. Other pelagic species found in its diet are the European pilchard Sardina pilchardus and the round sardinella Sardinella aurita. These results indicate the position of this species as an important predator within the pelagic food web of the NW Mediterranean Sea and highlight that the Atlantic bonito feeds on pelagic species that are ecologically and commercially very important in the area. In addition, comparing the trophic position of the Atlantic bonito with other species of the study area, we observe that this species shows a similar position as other important predators such as bluefin tuna, other tunids, and Audouin’s gull
DescriptionIV Congress of Marine Sciences, 11-13 June 2014, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria.-- 1 page
Publisher version (URL)http://ivcongresoccm.ulpgc.es/siquimar14/programa
Identifiersisbn: 978-84-697-0471-4
Appears in Collections:(ICM) Libros y partes de libros
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