Diet and feeding strategies of mesopelagic fishes in the western Mediterranean
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AuthorsBernal, A. (Ainhoa); Olivar, M.P. (María Pilar); Maynou, F. (Francesc); Fernández-de-Puelles, M.L. (María Luz)
Myctophids, gonostomatids and sternoptychids are the most abundant teleosteans worldwide and constitute an important assemblage of the mesopelagic ecosystem, functioning as vehicles of energy and matter through trophic webs. This study concentrates on the trophic ecology of the most abundant mesopelagic fishes of the western Mediterranean (WM) based on stomach content analysis. The myctophids (in this study: Benthosema glaciale, Ceratoscopelus maderensis, Lobianchia dofleini, Myctophum punctatum, Hygophum benoiti, Hygophum hygomii, Lampanyctus crocodilus, Lampanyctus pusillus and Notoscopelus elongatus) perform extensive diel migrations across the water column, between the surface to as deep as 1000 m, interacting with plankton and micronekton at multiple depths, and generally feeding in the epipelagic layers at night. In contrast, the gonostomatids Cyclothone braueri, Cyclothone pygmaea, and the sternoptychid Argyropelecus hemigymnus remain below epipelagic layers, feeding at ...
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