Ecosystem type shapes trophic position and omnivory in fishes
The identification of patterns in ecological characteristics of organisms is a central challenge in macroecology with a growing research interest. The goal of this study was to establish whether patterns in trophic ecology (trophic position and omnivory) of fishes can be extended to an ecosystem dimension (freshwater vs. marine environments), based on the premise that differences in environmental and ecological conditions of aquatic ecosystems have a large influence on the feeding ecology of fishes. To elucidate any relationship between trophic ecology and ecosystem type, we compiled a database using a global data set for fishes (http://www.fishbase.org). The database included 5,426 species distributed in 53 orders based on three common feeding strategies (herbivory, filter‐feeding and predatory). Trophic position and omnivory increased from freshwater to marine ecosystems in filter‐feeding and predatory species. In herbivore species in contrast, omnivory decreased, whereas no statistically significant trends were found for trophic position, which may reflect a similar diet specialization on primary producers regardless of ecosystem type. These findings suggest that ecosystem type has a marked effect on trophic position and omnivory in fishes, but the impact depends on the type of feeding strategy. Prey availability, inherent feeding traits linked to the phylogenetic relatedness of species, ontogenetic effects, spatial variability (habitat‐related factors) and body size are considered as responsible factors for the observed patterns. Our findings demonstrate consistent patterns in trophic characteristics of organisms linked to ecosystem type and underline the usefulness of fishes as model organisms to test macroecology hypotheses.
This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Sánchez-Hernandez, J. & Amundsen. P.-A. (2018). Ecosystem type shapes trophic position and omnivory in fishes. Fish and Fisheries, 19(6), 1003-1015, which has been published in final form at https://doi.org/10.1111/faf.12308. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Use of Self-Archived Versions.