Compilation of data to assess trophic interactions in mesopelagic food webs in the central and Northeast Atlantic, and in the Mediterranean Sea


Mesopelagic organisms play a critical role in marine ecosystems, channelling energy and organic matter across food webs and serving as the primary prey for many open-ocean predators. Nevertheless, trophic pathways involving mesopelagic organisms are poorly understood and their contribution to food web structure remains difficult to assess (St. John et al., 2016). Existing data to assess mesopelagic feeding interactions and energy transfer are scattered in the literature or remain unpublished, making it difficult to locate and use such datasets. As part of the EU funded project SUMMER - Sustainable Management of Mesopelagic Resources H2020-BG-2018-2, GA: 817806) (, we created MesopTroph, a georeferenced database of diet, trophic biogeochemical markers, and energy content of mesopelagic organisms and other marine taxa from the Northeast Atlantic and Mediterranean Sea, compiled from 191 published and non-published sources. MesopTroph includes seven datasets: (i) diet compositions from stomach content analysis, (ii) stable isotopes of carbon and nitrogen (δ13C and δ15N), (iii) fatty acid trophic markers (FATM), (iv) major and trace elements, (v) energy density, (vi) estimates of diet proportions, and (vii) trophic positions. The database contains information from 4918 samples, representing 51119 specimens from 499 species or genera, covering a wide range of trophic guilds and taxonomic groups. Metadata provided for each record include the location, dates and method of sample collection, taxonomic ranks (phylum, class, order, family), number and size (or size range) of sampled organisms, method/model used in data analysis, reference and DOI of the original data source. Compiled data were checked for errors, missing information, and to avoid duplicate entries, and scientific names and taxonomy were standardized.

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Creator Silva, Mónica A (ORCID: 0000-0002-2683-309X); Fonseca, Catarina T ORCID logo; Olivar, M Pilar ORCID logo; Bernal, Ainhoa ORCID logo; Spitz, Jérome ORCID logo; Chouvelon, Tiphaine ORCID logo; Jónasdóttir, Sigrún Huld ORCID logo; Colaço, Ana ORCID logo; Carmo, Vanda; Sutton, Tracey T; Menezes, Gui M ORCID logo; Falkenhaug, Tone; Bergstad, Odd Aksel ORCID logo; Pérez-Jorge, Sergi ORCID logo
Publisher PANGAEA
Publication Year 2022
Funding Reference Horizon 2020 Crossref Funder ID 817806 Sustainable management of mesopelagic resources
Rights Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International;
OpenAccess true
Language English
Resource Type Bundled Publication of Datasets; Collection
Format application/zip
Size 7 datasets
Discipline Earth System Research
Spatial Coverage (-83.100W, -3.232S, 37.580E, 82.000N)