Publication details.


Author(s):J. Castro, I. Castejón-Silvo, P. Arechavala-López, J. Terrados, B. Morales-Nin
Title:Feeding Ecology of Pipefish Species Inhabiting Mediterranean Seagrasses
JCR Impact Factor:2.319
Issue No.:3
Abstract:Pipefish are a vulnerable and diverse group of ichthyofauna tightly associated with seagrass meadows, key habitats in shallow
marine areas. Despite their charismatic role, the main ecological features, habitat, and diet of this group remain largely unknown.
This study focuses on assessing pipefish habitat and feeding preferences, including different hosting seagrasses such as Posidonia
oceanica and Cymodocea nodosa from the Balearic Islands, western Mediterranean. Four species (Syngnathus typhle, S. abaster,
Nerophis ophidion, and N. maculatus) were found associated to different seagrasses. S. typhle and N. maculatus were more
frequent in P. oceanica meadows, while S. abaster and N. ophidion in C. nodosa. Individuals of all species captured in P. oceanica
were larger than those living in C. nodosa, suggesting a size-dependent habitat preference. Feeding preferences, however,
were driven by prey availability and fish features, e.g., head/snout morphology. For the first time in the western Mediterranean,
a thorough description of the diet and potential prey of this group was carried out. Epifaunal assemblages (potential prey) were
dominated in both habitats by harpacticoid copepods and gammarid amphipods, and they were also the primary prey according
to stomach contents of all species. These results can contribute to future pipefish conservation and management actions, such as
targeting crucial habitat identification and designing culture and reintroduction protocols.

Related staff

  • Beatriz Morales Nin
  • Jorge Terrados Muñoz
  • Inés Castejón Silvo
  • Julia Castro Fernández Pacheco
  • Related departments

  • Marine Ecology
  • Related projects

  • Related research groups

  • Marine Ecosystems Dynamics