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Assessing the trophic position and ecological role of squids in marine ecosystems by means of food-web models

AuthorsColl, Marta CSIC ORCID ; Navarro, Joan CSIC ORCID ; Olson, Robert J.; Christensen, Villy
KeywordsTrophic position
Food-web model
Ecopath with Ecosim
Fishing impact
Climate change
Ecological role
Issue DateOct-2013
PublisherPergamon Press
CitationDeep-Sea Research Part II: Topical Studies in Oceanography 95: 21-36 (2013)
AbstractWe synthesized available information from ecological models at local and regional scales to obtain a global picture of the trophic position and ecological role of squids in marine ecosystems. First, static food-web models were used to analyze basic ecological parameters and indicators of squids: biomass, production, consumption, trophic level, omnivory index, predation mortality diet, and the ecological role. In addition, we developed various dynamic temporal simulations using two food-web models that included squids in their parameterization, and we investigated potential impacts of fishing pressure and environmental conditions for squid populations and, consequently, for marine food webs. Our results showed that squids occupy a large range of trophic levels in marine food webs and show a large trophic width, reflecting the versatility in their feeding behaviors and dietary habits. Models illustrated that squids are abundant organisms in marine ecosystems, and have high growth and consumption rates, but these parameters are highly variable because squids are adapted to a large variety of environmental conditions. Results also show that squids can have a large trophic impact on other elements of the food web, and top-down control from squids to their prey can be high. In addition, some squid species are important prey of apical predators and may be keystone species in marine food webs. In fact, we found strong interrelationships between neritic squids and the populations of their prey and predators in coastal and shelf areas, while the role of squids in open ocean and upwelling ecosystems appeared more constrained to a bottom-up impact on their predators. Therefore, large removals of squids will likely have large-scale effects on marine ecosystems. In addition, simulations confirm that squids are able to benefit from a general increase in fishing pressure, mainly due to predation release, and quickly respond to changes triggered by the environment. Squids may thus be very sensitive to the effects of fishing and climate change
DescriptionSpecial issue The Role of Squids in Pelagic Ecosystems.-- 16 pagess, 9 figures, 2 tables, supplementary data
Publisher version (URL)
Identifiersdoi: 10.1016/j.dsr2.2012.08.020
issn: 0967-0645
e-issn: 1879-0100
Appears in Collections:(ICM) Artículos

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