|dc.description.abstract||The spread of non-indigenous species (NIS) in the eastern Mediterranean Sea is an ongoing and accelerating process. Non-indigenous species are regularly reported from various coastal habitats in the eastern Mediterranean Sea but fundamental knowledge on the assemblage structure of coastal fish communities are lacking. This thesis aims
to increase the knowledge on the fish assemblage structure and function of Posidonia
oceanica meadows and sandy habitats in a coastal area of the eastern Mediterranean
Sea and give insight into invasion biology by investigating the potential impact of introduced fish species to the local ecology and food-web of the marine systems under
study. Functional and feeding guilds were developed to investigate the fish assemblage
structure and function of coastal fish communities and to assess the potential role of
NIS in the food web. In addition, diet nvestigations were considered important first
steps in order to evaluate the potential role and impact of recently established NIS in
the recipient region. During the sampling campaign two species were for the first time
reported in the area. Posidonia oceanica was found to be a multifunctional habitat for fish species. It was found to be a highly important nursery habitat for several species during summer and a habitat that could under certain seasons concurrently be used by both adults and juveniles. Four functional guilds were created to describe the habitat use of P.
oceanica meadows for each species encountered; juvenile migrants, seagrass
residents, seasonal migrants and occasional visitors. Affinity of each species to P.
oceanica was assessed in a comparison with each species distribution on open sand within the same depth range. Among the 88 species encountered, eleven were found to be non- indigenous of Indo-Pacific and Red Sea origin, three of them using segrass mainly as juveniles, and four as residents.
In a comparison of fish assemblage structure between seagrass and sandy habitats
quantitative sampling in combination with classification of fish species into six major
feeding guilds revealed the position and contribution of non-indigenous species (NIS)
in the food web of Posidonia oceanica and sandy habitats. In P. oceanica beds and on
sandy bottoms 10 and five species, respectively, were non-indigenous of Indo-Pacific and Red Sea origin. The proportional contribution of NIS individuals on P. oceanica
beds was lower than that of sandy bottoms (12.7 vs. 20.4 %) a pattern that also
followed for biomass (13.6 vs. 23.4 %), indicating that low diverse systems may be
more prone to introductions than species-rich communities. The two habitats had similar fish feeding guilds, but the biomass contribution from NIS varied within each guild, indicating different degrees of impact on the available resources. Size was considered highly important due to habitat shift of species with increased size. Two of the aspects considered in this study, the chance of establishing and the chance of being very dominant will depend upon competitive abilities strongly coupled to size and grounds for habitat shift. However, success of establishment will also depend on
appropriate food resources in the recipient community as well as competitive abilities
and level of competition in the food web within habitats. No support could be found
for the theory that taxonomic affiliation could facilitate invasion success.
The non-indigenous bluespotted cornetfish Fistularia commersonii was found to be a strictly piscivore predator and the diet consisted of 96 % by number and >99 %
by weight of fish. The diet of F. commersonii was related to time of year, and fish size. Size classification and habitat of prey groups (benthic, supra-benthic, and pelagic) showed that with increased body length it extended its diet to larger prey and more generalist feeding. Fistularia commersonii was found to prey on commercial important native species (e.g. Spicara smaris, Boops boops, Mullus surmuletus) and the absence of NIS from its diet was mainly attributed to the absence of NIS with elongated body shape.
The feeding ecology of two common indigenous (Sphyraena sphyraena and Sphyraena viridensis) and one abundant non-indigenous barracuda, Sphyraena
chrysotaenia, of Indo-Pacific origin, was investigated. Confamilial feeding interactions was studied to investigate overlap in feeding preferences in relation to availability of prey items. Dietary analyses revealed that all three species examined were specialized piscivores with their diet consisting to more than 90 % of fish, both by number and weight. All three predators examined showed a significant selectivity towards Atherina hepsetus. Diet breadth and size of prey increased with increased body size, whereas diet overlap between indigenous and NIS decreased, attributed to increased diet breadth and specific life characteristics of indigenous species developing into larger predators extending their foraging habits. During winter,
condition of the NIS was significantly lower than that of the indigenous species,
indicating that winter temperature in the studied area may be a limiting factor for
further population growth of this Indo-Pacific species. This study filled the gap in knowledge about the feeding preferences of the most abundant piscivorous species found on the coasts of the studied area. Additionally, congeneric affiliation of fish introductions was not found to be an important factor explaining successful establishment of NIS.
The non-indigenous toxic pufferfish, Lagocephalus sceleratus, was reported for
the first time in the Mediterranean in 2003 and two years later in the coastal habitats of Rhodes. The ecological and societal impact of the pest pufferfish was investigated in coastal habitats of Rhodes. Seasonal quantitative sampling in two common coastal habitats was used to investigate habitat use of different life-stages. Sandy areas were found to be highly important for the early life stages of L. sceleratus. In contrast, Posidonia oceanica habitats were mainly preferred by larger (> 29 cm) reproductive adults with a maximum recorded size of 64 cm. Lagocephalus sceleratus was fond to be an invertebrate and fish feeder while size classification revealed a tendency for an ontogenetic diet shift with increased size to a molluscivore feeding. The ontogenetic diet shift is most probably attributed to a shift in habitat use with increasing size. During early life stages L. sceleratus inhabited sandy bottoms where it fed on various invertebrates, including the genus Nassarius and Dentaliidae. The predominant molluscan species found in the diet of larger (> 20 cm) L. sceleratus individuals was Sepia officinalis while predation of Octopus vulgaris was less successful. Sepia
officinalis and O. vulgaris are of economic interest in the area and the impact of L.
sceleratus on local stocks of these species is discussed. Societal impacts were also evident in the area due to increased public attention concerning the lethal effects of the toxic L. sceleratus, if consumed. Seasonal variations in the condition of L. sceleratus did not show any significance and the high conditional values together with information on high numbers caught during samplings, signifies its ability to become an important member of the coastal fish community. Combined ecological,
economical and social effects clearly classify L. sceleratus a pest in the area.||sv
|dc.relation.haspart||I. Kalogirou, S., Corsini-Foka, M., Sioulas, A., Wennhage, H. & Pihl L. (2010). Diversity, structure and function of fish assemblages associated with Posidonia oceanica beds in an area of eastern Mediterranean and the role of
non-indigenous species. Journal of Fish Biology 77, 2338-2357.::PMID::21155787||sv
|dc.relation.haspart||II. Kalogirou, S., Wennhage, H. & Pihl, L. (Manuscript) Non-indigenous species in Mediterranean fish assemblages: contrasting feeding guilds of Posidonia oceanica meadows and sandy habitats. Under Review in Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science||sv
|dc.relation.haspart||III. Kalogirou, S., Corsini, M., Kondilatos, G. & Wennhage, H. (2007). Diet of the invasive piscivorous fish Fistularia commersonii in a recently colonized area of eastern Mediterranean. Biological Invasions 9, 887-896.::doi::10.1007/s10530-006-9088-3||sv
|dc.relation.haspart||IV. Kalogirou, S., Mittermayer, F., Pihl, L. & Wennhage, H. (Manuscript) Feeding ecology of indigenous and non-indigenous fish species within the family Sphyraenidae||sv
|dc.relation.haspart||V. Kalogirou, S. (Manuscript) The non-indigenous invasive and pest pufferfish
Lagocephalus sceleratus in an area of the eastern Mediterranean Sea||sv
|dc.title||Alien Fish Species in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea: Invasion Biology in Coastal Ecosystems||sv
|dc.type.degree||Doctor of Philosophy||sv
|dc.gup.origin||University of Gothenburg. Faculty of Science||sv
|dc.gup.department||Department of Marine Ecology ; Institutionen för marin ekologi||sv
|dc.gup.defenceplace||Fredagen den 13 maj 2011, kl. 10.00, Föreläsningssalen, Institutionen för marin ekologi, Kristinebergs Marina Forskningsstation, Kristineberg 566, SE - 451 78 Fiskebäckskil||sv