Long-term changes in the role of threespine stickleback Gasterosteus aculeatus in the White Sea: predatory fish consumption reflects fluctuating stickleback abundance during the last century

A. E. Bakhvalova, T. S. Ivanova, M. V. Ivanov, A. S. Demchuk, E. A. Movchan, D. L. Lajus

Research output

12 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Hypothesis: In the White Sea, predatory fish species have consumed higher proportions of stickleback during historical periods and seasons of high stickleback abundance. Organisms: Adults, juveniles, and eggs of threespine stickleback (Gasterosteus aculeatus), together with three species of predatory fishes: cod (Gadus morhua), saffron cod (Eleginus nawaga), and European sculpin (Myoxocephalus scorpius). Place and times: Kandalaksha Bay, White Sea, Russia; June to August 2011–2014. Analytical methods: Sampling with beach seine (stickleback) and gill nets (predatory fish). Analysis of predatory fish stomach contents (identification to the species level, counting, weighing), and in-depth survey of scientific literature on predatory fish diets over the last century. Results: Near the spawning grounds, stickleback comprise 60% of the summer food of sculpin (adult stickleback), 52% of the diet of cod (adults, juveniles, and eggs), and 15% of the diet of saffron cod (juvenile stickleback). These data resemble obser
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)317-334
JournalEvolutionary Ecology Research
Volume17
Publication statusPublished - 2016

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