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Trophic overlap between expanding and contracting fish predators in a range margin undergoing change
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Stockholm University Baltic Sea Centre. Tvärminne Zoological Station, Finland.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-9741-4458
Number of Authors: 42018 (English)In: Scientific Reports, ISSN 2045-2322, E-ISSN 2045-2322, Vol. 8, article id 7895Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Climate change is predicted to cause a freshening of the Baltic Sea, facilitating range expansions of freshwater species and contractions of marine. Resident marine flounders (Platichthys flesus) and expansive freshwater roach (Rutilus rutilus) are dominant consumers in the Baltic Sea sublittoral where they occur in partial sympatry. By comparing patterns of resource use by flounders and roach along a declining resource gradient of blue mussels (Mytilus trossulus) our aim was to explore predator functional responses and the degree of trophic overlap. Understanding the nature of density-dependent prey acquisition has important implications for predicting population dynamics of both predators and their shared prey. Results showed a highly specialized diet for both species, high reliance on blue mussels throughout the range, similar prey size preference and high trophic overlap. Highest overlap occurred where blue mussels were abundant but overlap was also high where they were scarce. Our results highlight the importance of a single food item - the blue mussel - for both species, likely promoting high population size and range expansion of roach. Findings also suggest that range expansion of roach may have a top-down structuring force on mussels that differ in severity and location from that originating from resident flounders.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018. Vol. 8, article id 7895
National Category
Biological Sciences Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
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URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-157735DOI: 10.1038/s41598-018-25745-6ISI: 000432531400002PubMedID: 29785034OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-157735DiVA, id: diva2:1236539
Available from: 2018-08-02 Created: 2018-08-02 Last updated: 2018-08-02Bibliographically approved

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