3 years ago

Spatial analyses of the influence of autocorrelation on seasonal diet composition of a marine fish species

Min Li, Yan Jiao, Binduo Xu, Chongliang Zhang, Ying Xue, Yiping Ren

Spatial autocorrelation is common in environmental factors, species distributions, and predator-prey interactions. Spatially autocorrelated distribution of prey and strong prey selectivity by predators may cause spatial autocorrelation of the fish diet shown as higher similarity among diets of fish caught nearby or in the same trip. We explore the importance of spatial autocorrelation analysis in understanding the fish diet composition and predator-prey interaction in diet analysis based on one example fish whitespotted conger (Conger myriaster) in the Yellow Sea and its prey species that have been monitored across seasons. Among the spatial estimators, the cluster-based estimator is used to quantify fish diet similarity from the same trip, and the spatial Gaussian and exponential autocorrelated estimators are used to test the hypothesis that fish diet similarity decreases over distance. The two types of spatially autocorrelated estimators performed better than spatially-independent and cluster-based estimators, with lower mean square errors in a cross-validation procedure. Prey selectivity related to the prey availability, and the spatial overlap between predator and prey were likely important factors affecting seasonal and spatial variations in diet composition of the example fish species. Cross-variograms indicated that whitespotted conger and some of its dominant prey species were positively spatially autocorrelated, which suggested fishes generally aggregated in areas of high prey density. Our study provides a practical basis for considering the effect of spatial characteristics in quantifying the diet composition likely linked to the environmental driven distributions of both fishes and their prey.

Publisher URL: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0165783620300801

DOI: 10.1016/j.fishres.2020.105563

You might also like
Discover & Discuss Important Research

Keeping up-to-date with research can feel impossible, with papers being published faster than you'll ever be able to read them. That's where Researcher comes in: we're simplifying discovery and making important discussions happen. With over 19,000 sources, including peer-reviewed journals, preprints, blogs, universities, podcasts and Live events across 10 research areas, you'll never miss what's important to you. It's like social media, but better. Oh, and we should mention - it's free.

  • Download from Google Play
  • Download from App Store
  • Download from AppInChina

Researcher displays publicly available abstracts and doesn’t host any full article content. If the content is open access, we will direct clicks from the abstracts to the publisher website and display the PDF copy on our platform. Clicks to view the full text will be directed to the publisher website, where only users with subscriptions or access through their institution are able to view the full article.