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Global patterns in marine predatory fish

van Denderen, PD, Lindegren, M, MacKenzie, BR, Watson, RA ORCID: 0000-0001-7201-8865 and Andersen, KH 2018 , 'Global patterns in marine predatory fish' , Nature Ecology and Evolution, vol. 2 , pp. 65-70 , doi: 10.1038/s41559-017-0388-z.

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Abstract

Large teleost (bony) fish are a dominant group of predators in the oceans and constitute a major source of food and livelihood for humans. These species differ markedly in morphology and feeding habits across oceanic regions; large pelagic species such as tunas and billfish typically occur in the tropics, whereas demersal species of gadoids and flatfish dominate boreal and temperate regions. Despite their importance for fisheries and the structuring of marine ecosystems, the underlying factors determining the global distribution and productivity of these two groups of teleost predators are poorly known. Here, we show how latitudinal differences in predatory fish can essentially be explained by the inflow of energy at the base of the pelagic and benthic food chain. A low productive benthic energy pathway favours large pelagic species, whereas equal productivities support large demersal generalists that outcompete the pelagic specialists. Our findings demonstrate the vulnerability of large teleost predators to ecosystem-wide changes in energy flows and hence provide key insight to predict the responses of these important marine resources under global change.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:van Denderen, PD and Lindegren, M and MacKenzie, BR and Watson, RA and Andersen, KH
Keywords: pelagic, global, marine, energy flow, trophic, food web, climate change
Journal or Publication Title: Nature Ecology and Evolution
Publisher: Nature Publishing Group
ISSN: 2397-334X
DOI / ID Number: 10.1038/s41559-017-0388-z
Copyright Information:

Copyright 2017 Macmillan Publishers Limited, part of Springer Nature

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