Exploring foraging preference of local fish species towards non-indigenous fouling communities near marinas.

Imágenes de la presentación del libro: «PECES MARINOS TROPICALES EXÓTICOS DE CANARIAS»
17 noviembre 2023

Abstract: Non-indigenous species (NIS) spread from marinas to natural environments is influenced by niche availability, habitat suitability, and local biotic resistance. This study explores the effect of indigenous fish feeding behaviour on NIS proliferation using fouling communities, pre-grown on settlement plates, as two distinct, representative models: one from NIS-rich marinas and the other from areas outside marinas with fewer NIS. These plates were mounted on a Remote Video Foraging System (RVFS) near three marinas on Madeira Island. After 24-h, NIS abundance was reduced by 3.5 %. Canthigaster capistrata’s preference for marinas plates suggests potential biotic resistance. However, Sparisoma cretense showed equal biting frequencies for both plate types. The cryptogenic ascidian Trididemnum cereum was the preferred target for the fish. Our study introduces a global framework using RVFS for in-situ experiments, replicable across divers contexts (e.g., feeding behaviour, biotic resistance), which can be complemented by metabarcoding and isotopic analysis to confirm consumption patterns.