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The Ecology of Hagfishes

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Summary

In areas where hagfish are found, they are ecologically important for the following reasons:

  1. 1.

    Hagfish may be one of the most abundant groups of demersal fishes in many areas, in terms of numbers and/or biomass.

  2. 2.

    Where present at high densities, hagfish burrowing and feeding activities have a significant impact on substrate turnover.

  3. 3.

    Hagfish are significant as predators on benthic invertebrates and, in some cases, mesopelagic invertebrates and vertebrates.

  4. 4.

    Hagfish represent one of the most important mechanisms for the rapid cleanup and processing of carrion-falls. In areas subject to intensive commercial fisheries, hagfish probably play a key role in the removal and recycling of discarded by-catch.

  5. 5.

    Hagfish adults, juveniles, and eggs can represent a significant prey item for marine mammals and large predatory invertebrates.

Keywords

  • Harbour Seal
  • Elephant Seal
  • Demersal Fish
  • Harbour Porpoise
  • Bait Station

These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Martini, F.H. (1998). The Ecology of Hagfishes. In: The Biology of Hagfishes. Springer, Dordrecht. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-011-5834-3_5

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-011-5834-3_5

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