The influence of oxygen saturation on the distributional overlap of predator (cod, Gadus morhua ) and prey (herring, Clupea harengus ) in the Bornholm Basin of the Baltic Sea

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Environmental heterogeneity, can create boundary conditions for the co-occurrence of marine predators and their prey. If one or both are spatially constrained by their tolerance to environmental variables, then spatial differences in the availability of possible habitats define the volume of distributional overlap. Cod (Gadus morhua L.) and its prey, herring (Clupea harengus L.), in the vertically stratified Bornholm Basin of the Baltic Sea are presented as an example. A non-linear model was used to estimate oxygen avoidance thresholds for both species. Herring avoided oxygen saturation levels below 50%, while cod tolerated oxygen saturation down to 16%. The threshold of 50% oxygen saturation, below which cod could not encounter its prey, herring, was applied to a time series of vertical oxygen profiles from the centre of the Bornholm Basin to estimate the size of the overlap volume during the winter period from 1958 to 1999. Dependent on the oxygenation of the deep-water, the overlap volume varied between 57 km(3) and 250 km(3)
Original languageEnglish
JournalFisheries Oceanography
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)11-17
Publication statusPublished - 2002

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