Global patterns in marine predatory fish

Tuesday 28 Nov 17


Martin Lindegren
Senior Researcher
DTU Aqua
+45 35 88 34 92


Brian MacKenzie
DTU Aqua
+45 35 88 34 45


Ken Haste Andersen
Professor, Head of Section
DTU Aqua
+45 35 88 33 99
Why do we find primarily large pelagic predators such as tunas and billfish in the tropics, while in boreal and temperate regions large demersal species of gadoids and flatfish dominate?

In a new Ocean Life paper we present the underlying factors determining the global distribution and productivity of these two groups of predatory fish. We show how spatial patterns in these predatory groups can be explained (and predicted) by understanding the degree to which production is driven by energy from the pelagic ocean and the benthic (bottom) community.  A low productive benthic community will favor large pelagic species, while more equal productivities support large demersal fish (feeding as a generalist on both pelagic and benthic resources). Our findings suggest that future changes in the global occurrence and productivity of large predatory fishes can be anticipated by understanding how climate change will affect the base of pelagic and benthic food chains.

See more here

A blogpost on the story behind the paper can be found here

P. Daniël van Denderen, Martin Lindegren, Brian R. MacKenzie, Reg A. Watson & Ken H. Andersen, Global patterns in marine predatory fish, Nature Ecology & Evolution, 2017, doi:10.1038/s41559-017-0388-z

Photo by Rodrigo Friscione
25 FEBRUARY 2020