Trophic structure and community stability in an overfished ecosystem

Anne Christine Utne-Palm, Anne Gro Vea Salvanes, Bronwen Currie, Stein Kaartvedt, Göran E. Nilsson, Victoria A. Braithwaite, Jonathan A W Stecyk, Matthias Hundt, Megan G. Van Der Bank, Bradley A. Flynn, Guro Katrine Sandvik, Thor Aleksander Klevjer, Andrew K. Sweetman, Volker Brüchert, Karin A. Pittman, Kathleen R. Peard, Ida Gjervold Lunde, R. A U Strandaba, Mark J. Gibbons

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

99 Scopus citations

Abstract

Since the collapse of the pelagic fisheries off southwest Africa in the late 1960s, jellyfish biomass has increased and the structure of the Benguelan fish community has shifted, making the bearded goby (Sufflogobius bibarbatus) the new predominant prey species. Despite increased prédation pressure and a harsh environment, the gobies are thriving. Here we show that physiological adaptations and antipredator and foraging behaviors underpin the success of these fish. In particular, body-tissue isotope signatures reveal that gobies consume jellyfish and sulphidic diatomaceous mud, transferring "dead-end" resources back into the food chain.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)333-336
Number of pages4
JournalScience
Volume329
Issue number5989
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 15 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

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