Size‐dependent predation of round goby Neogobius melanostomus on blue mussels Mytilus edulis

Adina Schwartzbach, Jane W. Behrens, Jon Christian Svendsen, Pernille Nielsen, Mikael van Deurs*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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Many aquatic ecosystems are invaded by alien species, often with severe implications for native species and associated fisheries. Round goby Neogobius melanostomus is of Ponto-Caspian origin and has established large populations in the Baltic Sea. Here, round goby often feed on blue mussel Mytilus edulis, which may affect the invaded ecosystems. Experimental data were modelled and showed that round goby up to c. 15 cm of total length (TL) feed on mussels <3 cm. Moreover, logistic regression models revealed significant negative relationships between mussel size and probability of being consumed by round goby. The maximum prey size to gape size ratio rmax varied from 1.5 to 2 (mean = 1.75 ± 0.25) between five round goby size groups and was unrelated to fish TL. A mechanistic model is presented that describes maximum prey size as a function of fish TL. The results of this study can be embedded in ecosystem models and used to predict ecosystem effects of invasions by the round goby.
Original languageEnglish
JournalFisheries Management and Ecology
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)215-218
Number of pages4
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Baltic Sea
  • Invasive species
  • Predator-prey interaction
  • Bivalves
  • Trophic interaction
  • Prey-size to gape-size ratio


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