- Exit full screen view
Four of nine species demonstrated positive increase in abundance with prey abundance, while six of those species had positive relationships between maximum prey size and mouth gape size.
AUTHORS: Johnson, A.F., Valls, M., Moranta, J., Jenkins, S.R., Hiddink, J.G. and Hinz, H.
DATE: September 2011
By analyzing MEDTS groundfish surveys and fish samples from around the Balearic Islands, researchers investigated how prey abundance and size relate to predator abundance and mouth gape size for nine demersal fish species. Four species demonstrated positive increase in abundance with prey abundance. Moreover, stomach analysis revealed that six species had positive relationships between maximum prey size and mouth gape size. Prey selectivity was only seen in the European hake (Mercluccius merluccius): however, this suggested that prey size may potentially show importance over abundance for specific species.
This study demonstrated that prey abundance and size are key factors for certain demersal fish species and can help in defining habitat requirements. It provided insight into the complex relationships between predator and prey relations, and how they can shape each other’s population and morphology.