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Le Bourg, B., Bănaru, D., Saraux, C., Nowaczyk, A., Le Luherne, E., Jadaud, A., et al. (2015). Trophic niche overlap of sprat and commercial small pelagic teleosts in the Gulf of Lions (NW Mediterranean Sea). Journal of Sea Research, .
Résumé: Increasing abundance of non-commercial sprats and decreasing biomass and landings of commercial anchovies and sardines justify the need to study the feeding ecology and trophic niche overlap of these planktivorous species in the Gulf of Lions. Their diet has been investigated on the basis of stomach content and stable isotope analyses in 2011 and 2012 according to different depths and regions in the study area. The main prey were Corycaeidae copepods, Clauso/Paracalanus, Euterpina acutifrons and Microsetella, for sprats and small copepods, such as Microsetella, Oncaea and Corycaeidae, for anchovies and sardines. This is the first time that the diet of sprats is described in the Gulf of Lions. Sprats fed on a larger size spectrum of prey and seem to be more generalist feeders compared to anchovies and sardines. Ontogenetic changes as well as spatial and temporal variations of the diet occurred in the three species. Stable isotope analysis revealed mobility of sardines and sprats among feeding areas while anchovies exhibited preferred feeding areas. Sprats showed a higher relative condition assessed by C/N ratios than sardines and anchovies. Our results showed an overlap of the trophic niches for the three species, indicating a potential trophic competition in the Gulf of Lions.