Recognized as one of the most productive areas in Mediterranean, The Gulf of Gabes is under multiple anthropogenic threats, such as overfishing and pollution.
Seeking to characterize the structure of the food web in the Gulf and model the main processes that influence species’ life cycles, this study used a combination of an individual-based model representing high trophic level organisms informed by GBIF-mediated occurrences and hydrodynamic/biochemical model representing low trophic level organisms.
The two models were linked through trophic interactions and together provide a realistic representation of the food web from smallest plankton to top predators. Comparing model simulated predator diets with stomach contents data, showed an acceptable level of similarity. The modelled size at catch also showed a close consistence when confronted with empirical data.
Overall, the model provides a foundation for future studies into the effects of anthropogenic change threatening the Gulf ecosystem.