The relationship between pink salmon biomass and the body condition of shorttailed shearwaters in the bering sea: Can fish compete with seabirds?

Kanako Toge, Rei Yamashita, Kentaro Kazama, Masaaki Fukuwaka, Orio Yamamura, Yutaka Watanuki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

16 Citations (Scopus)


Seabirds and large fishes are important top predators in marine ecosystems, but few studies have explored the potential for competition between these groups. This study investigates the relationship between an observed biennial change of pink salmon (Oncorhynchus gorbuscha) biomass in the central Bering Sea (23 times greater in odd-numbered than in even-numbered years) and the body condition and diet of the short-tailed shearwater (Puffinus tenuirostris) that spends the post-breeding season there. Samples were collected with research gill nets over seven summers. Both species feed on krill, small fishes and squid. Although the mean pink salmon catch per unit effort (in mass) over the study region was not related significantly with shearwater's stomach content mass or prey composition, the pink salmon biomass showed a negative and significant relationship with the shearwater's body mass and liver mass (proxies of energy reserve). We interpret these results as evidence that fishes can negatively affect mean prey intake of seabirds if they feed on a shared prey in the pelagic ecosystem.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2584-2590
Number of pages7
JournalProceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
Issue number1718
Publication statusPublished - 2011 Sep 7



  • Body condition
  • Competition
  • Marine ecosystem
  • Prey
  • Top predator

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)
  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)

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