First representation of the trophic structure and functioning of the Portuguese continental shelf ecosystem: insights into the role of sardine
Veiga-Malta, T.; Szalaj, D.; Angelico, M. M.; Azevedo, M.; Farias, I; Garrido, S.; Lourenco, S.; Marcalo, A.; Marques, V; Moreno, A.; Oliveira, P. B.; Paiva, V. H.; Prista, N.; Silva, C.; Sobrinho-Goncalves, L.; Vingada, J.; Silva, A.
In this study, we analysed the structure and functioning of the Portuguese continental shelf ecosystem and investigated the role of sardine Sardina pilchardus using the Ecopath massbalance approach. An Ecopath model was configured to represent the continental shelf waters in the period 2006-2009. The model showed that biomass was concentrated in low and intermediate trophic levels as in other upwelling areas. Several low- and medium-trophic-level groups were identified as dominant groups in the ecosystem (e.g. zooplankton, macrozoobenthos, sardine, chub mackerel Scomber colias, and demersal and benthopelagic invertivorous fish). Furthermore, lowtrophic-level groups were responsible for the main energy flows, and overall higher impact on the ecosystem, emphasizing the importance of bottom-up control of the ecosystem structure. Our results are relevant to understand structure and functioning of this ecosystem and constitute an important step towards an ecosystem approach to fisheries management in the study area.
Sardine; Small pelagic fish; Upwelling ecosystem; Trophic interaction; Ecopath
Marine Ecology Progress Series
2019, Volume: 617, pages: 323-340
Sustainable Development Goals
SDG14 Life below water
UKÄ Subject classification
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