The opening of the Suez Canal in 1869 enabled the invasion of more than 100 alien fish species into the Mediterranean. The aim of the present study was to compare the diet of native and alien fish species and to identify possibly shared food resources. We examined the diet composition of 13 of the most abundant fish species (6 alien, 7 native) on shallow soft bottom off southern Israel. All 13 species are omnivorous/carnivorous. The native fish exhibited a wider diversity of food types than the aliens. Alien fish prey upon and are preyed by native species as well as by other alien fish. A high level of diet overlap was found among some species, the aliens Saurida lessepsianus and Scomberomorus commerson overlapped with the native Synodus saurus; and the alien Nemipterus randalli with the native species Pagrus caeruleostictus, Lithognathus mormyrus and Pagellus erythrinus. The identified diet overlap is discussed, and the possibility of competitive interactions between these species is considered.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This research was supported by the Porter School of Environmental Studies, Tel Aviv University, with funding from the Italian Ministry of the Environment, Land and Sea, R&D Project (2007– 2008).
© 2017 Taylor & Francis.
- Alien species
- Mediterranean Sea
- fish diet
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Animal Science and Zoology