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Feeding habits of four sympatric sharks in two deep-water fishery areas of the western Mediterranean Sea

AuthorsBarría, Claudio ; Navarro, Joan ; Coll, Marta
Trophic relationships
Mediterranean Sea
Ecological role
Feeding ecology
Issue DateDec-2018
PublisherPergamon Press
CitationDeep Sea Research Part I: Oceanographic Research Papers 142: 34-43 (2018)
AbstractThe study of the feeding ecology of marine predators is crucial to understanding their ecological roles and advancing our knowledge of marine ecosystem functioning, especially in highly human-impacted areas. Here, we examined the trophic ecology of three abundant demersal sharks, the velvet belly lantern shark Etmopterus spinax, the blackmouth catshark Galeus melastomus and the small-spotted catshark Scyliorhinus canicula, and the rare kitefin shark Dalatias licha of the western Mediterranean Sea. Data were obtained from two deep-water areas with different degrees of human impact: a fishery restricted area (FRA) in the Gulf of Lions and a highly human-impacted area in the Catalan Sea (non-FRA). We combined analyses of individual stomach contents and stable isotope values from different individuals of each shark species. Our results revealed that D. licha is a predator located higher up on the food web, while G. melastomus, E. spinax and S. canicula are located in lower trophic positions. These results confirm that shark species play important and, most likely, complementary roles as predators in the western Mediterranean Sea. Results also revealed that despite some differences in the diet of the shark species, as revealed by the stomach contents, in the long term (isotopic results) the four species showed similar diet habits and similar trophic relationships in both FRA and non-FRA. This may be due to the fact that despite the fishing regulations in the FRA area, the population of the prey species probably do not vary between the two areas. Overall, this study provides new insights into the trophic ecology of these sharks and contributes to an understanding of their ecological roles within the community
Description10 pages, 5 figures, 6 tables, supplementary material https://doi.org/10.1016/j.dsr.2018.09.010
Publisher version (URL)https://doi.org/10.1016/j.dsr.2018.09.010
Identifiersdoi: 10.1016/j.dsr.2018.09.010
issn: 0967-0637
e-issn: 1879-0119
Appears in Collections:(ICM) Artículos
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