Data is from Masi, M and Ainsworth, C. (in press) A Probabilistic Representation of Fish Diet Compositions from Multiple Data Sources: A Gulf of Mexico Case Study. Ecological Modelling. April 2014. Trophic ecosystem models are interactive tools that allow decision makers to analyze how a management decision can impact an ecosystem on a multi-species level, and are increasingly being used as a supplement to the current single species approach to fisheries management. The functionality of such a model is dependent upon an accurate representation of the trophic interactions occurring within a study area. Typical methods for developing a diet matrix to be used in ecosystem models often fail to account for uncertainty associated with sampling; this is especially relevant when dealing with small diet data sets. In this case study of the Gulf of Mexico ecosystem, we have conducted a laboratory diet analysis to define predator-prey interactions for non-commercially important predator species resident to the study area, and then expounded on this laboratory data by assimilating two, more robust data sets. By applying a maximum likelihood estimation method, we combine these data sets and produce maximum likelihood estimates (MLEs) and associated error ranges, which describe the likely diet contribution that a given prey item contributes to a predator’s diet. These results will be used to parameterize the availabilities (diet) matrix of an Atlantis ecosystem model of the Gulf of Mexico. Column A: predator name. Column B: prey name. Column C: lower 95% confidence interval. Column D: upper 95% confidence interval. Column E: mode of the maximum likelihood marginal beta distribution (percent).


Data and metadata is made available by the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative Information and Data Cooperative (GRIIDC) through a CC0 license in compliance with the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative (GoMRI). The original dataset landing pages may be accessed at GRIIDC’s dataset monitoring webpage.

Data users are encouraged to contact the originating investigator prior to data use and provide appropriate credit.


Diet data parameterizes an Atlantis Ecosystem model.


Diet composition, Stomach sampling, Gut content analysis, Atlantis ecosystem model, Dirichlet distribution




3-18-2016 12:00 AM

Point of Contact

Ainsworth, Cameron
University of South Florida
College of Marine Science
140 7th Ave South
St. Petersburg , FL 33701

Funding Source


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Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication 1.0 License.

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