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Effects of commercial trawling activities in the diet of the flat fish Citharus linguatula (Osteichthyes: Pleuronectiformes) and the starfish Astropecten irregularis (Echinodermata: Asteroidea)

Autorde Juan, Silvia ; Cartes, Joan Enric ; Demestre, Montserrat
Palabras claveBenthic communities
Feeding intensity
Northwestern Mediterranean
Stomach contents
Trawling impact
Fecha de publicación28-sep-2007
CitaciónJournal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology 349(1):152-169 (2007)
ResumenThis study assesses the effects of commercial trawling on benthic fauna, by analysing differences in the population structure and diet of benthic organisms inhabiting fishing grounds. The study is focused on two epifaunal species collected from a fishing ground in the north-western Mediterranean, which included a portion of un-trawled seabed used as a reference of undisturbed community. The selected species were the flatfish Citharus linguatula, more abundant at the undisturbed site and previously characterised as a surface predator and vulnerable to trawling, and the starfish Astropecten irregularis, which dominated the epibenthic community and had been characterised as an opportunistic species with low vulnerability to trawling. Both species were selective feeders and ingested similar prey species at each of the two sites, although differences in the relative prey abundance found in the stomachs occurred between sites. A. irregularis at the fished site mainly ingested gastropods, whereas higher proportion of bivalves was ingested at the undisturbed site. C. linguatula diet mainly composed of crustaceans at both sites, but there was an increase in the ingestion of small fish at the fished site. Moreover, prey ingestion of these two species generally increased with fishing activity. Trawling appears to modify the diet of these two species in terms of relative abundance of ingested prey, nevertheless, increased opportunism due to trawling disturbance was not detected and the density of these predators over fishing grounds was more closely related to their vulnerability to trawling.
Descripción18 pages,9 figures, 3 tables
Versión del editorhttp://dx.doi.org/:10.1016/j.jembe.2007.05.003
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