Project

FishNet – Food web project in coastal North Sea waters

Goal: Fish species are an integral part of the ecosystem and transfer energy "top-down" and "bottom-up" through the food web. A basic understanding of the essential processes and functional pathways is lacking, which makes efficient conservation of fish species difficult. In the present Research project “FishNet”, food web models of the coastal North Sea will be developed with special emphasis on the fish functional group. To build up a reliable database, the feeding strategy and the preferred prey species of different pelagic and demersal fish species were studied in different habitats of the North Sea. While stomach contents of fish species indicate the current state, stable isotopes analysis will give insights into the diet of species over longer time scales. Stomach content analyses and stable isotopes provide the relevant input data for the assessment of different food web indicators according to MSFD (Descriptor 4 Food Webs) and OSPAR. The applicability of the OSPAR food web indicators "Mean Trophic Level (FW4)" that is already common in the Bay of Biscay and the candidate indicator „Biomass across feeding guilds“ will be tested. To study food webs in a holistic way food web models will develop by using OSPAR "candidate" food web indicator “Ecological Network Analysis (ENA)”. Ecological Network Analysis (ENA) compute several ecosystem properties such as the structural complexity of the ecosystem, indirect and direct trophic interactions as well as robustness against disturbances. The food webs will be developed on both spatial (between habitats) and temporal scales (long-term series data). Latter will be used to study the effect of different stressors such as the effects of fishing on the food web.

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Katja U Heubel
added an update
Hi there,
i have a position (30 month fte) available to mainly conduct analyses of long-term datasets on fish and benthos (and its interactions) monitoring to study the effect of climate change and anthropogenic stressors. The job advertisement is in German as a limited knowledge of German is required for communication with stakeholders. However, applications and daily working communiaction within our group can be in English. Please do not hesitate contacting me if you have any questions.
Cheers,
Katja
 
Ulrike Schückel
added a project goal
Fish species are an integral part of the ecosystem and transfer energy "top-down" and "bottom-up" through the food web. A basic understanding of the essential processes and functional pathways is lacking, which makes efficient conservation of fish species difficult. In the present Research project “FishNet”, food web models of the coastal North Sea will be developed with special emphasis on the fish functional group. To build up a reliable database, the feeding strategy and the preferred prey species of different pelagic and demersal fish species were studied in different habitats of the North Sea. While stomach contents of fish species indicate the current state, stable isotopes analysis will give insights into the diet of species over longer time scales. Stomach content analyses and stable isotopes provide the relevant input data for the assessment of different food web indicators according to MSFD (Descriptor 4 Food Webs) and OSPAR. The applicability of the OSPAR food web indicators "Mean Trophic Level (FW4)" that is already common in the Bay of Biscay and the candidate indicator „Biomass across feeding guilds“ will be tested. To study food webs in a holistic way food web models will develop by using OSPAR "candidate" food web indicator “Ecological Network Analysis (ENA)”. Ecological Network Analysis (ENA) compute several ecosystem properties such as the structural complexity of the ecosystem, indirect and direct trophic interactions as well as robustness against disturbances. The food webs will be developed on both spatial (between habitats) and temporal scales (long-term series data). Latter will be used to study the effect of different stressors such as the effects of fishing on the food web.