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Consumption and gut evacuation rate of laboratory‐reared spotted seatrout (Sciaenidae) larvae and juveniles

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The temperature and mass dependence of maximum consumption rate was measured for larval and early juvenile spotted seatrout Cynoscion nebulosus. Maximum consumption (CMAX) estimates were obtained from feeding and gut evacuation experiments on larvae (3·8–19 mm standard length, LS) at three temperatures (24, 28 and 32° C), and maximum consumption experiments on juveniles at three temperatures (20, 26 and 32° C). Feeding levels were determined for larvae fed live prey (Brachionus plicatilis and Artemia salina)ad libitum. The midgut and total evacuation times were estimated for fish feeding continuously and discontinuously using alternate meals of tagged and untagged live prey. Temperature and fish size had significant effects on gut evacuation and consumption. The gut evacuation time increased with increasing fish size, and decreased with increasing temperatures. Mass‐specific midgut contents increased for small larvae <0·156 mg dry mass (MD)(c. 4 mm LS), and decreased for larger larvae and juveniles. Maximum consumption was modelled by fitting a polynomial function to a reduced dataset of individuals feeding at high levels. The CMAX model predicted an initial increase in specific feeding rate from 70 to 155%MD day−1 for small larvae, before declining for larger larvae and juveniles.

Keywords: daily ration; gut evacuation; maximum consumption; spotted seatrout

Document Type: Regular Paper

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.0022-1112.2004.00479.x

Affiliations: College of Environmental Science and Forestry, State University of New York, 1 Forestry Drive, Syracuse, NY 13210, U.S.A.

Publication date: September 1, 2004

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