Community–environment interactions explain octopus-catshark spatial overlap
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AuthorsPuerta, P. (Patricia); Hunsicker, M.E. (Mary E.); Hidalgo, M. (Manuel); Reglero, P. (Patricia); Ciannelli, L. (Lorenzo); Esteban-Acón, A. (Antonio); González-Aguilar, M. (María); Quetglas, A. (Antoni)
The octopus Eledone cirrhosa and the catshark Scyliorhinus canicula present the same feeding habits and distributional preferences in the Mediterranean Sea. We explore patterns of spatial overlap between these species to address coexistence and infer possible competition from spatial patterns in the western Mediterranean Sea. A spatially explicit modelling approach revealed that spatial overlap mainly responded to the distribution of shared resources, where coexistence is allowed by different ecological processes. Catshark (k-strategy) was highly abundant and widely distributed. However, the ﬂuctuating population dynamics of octopus (r-strategy) explained the variations in spatial patterns of overlap. Spatial structuring across the study area was observed both in population distributions and in species interactions (coexistence or exclusion). Areas with high resources in terms of speciﬁc prey items (Catalan Sea) or alternative supplies, such as niche opportunities and ecosystem functions ...
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