Sublittoral abundance and food consumption of Baltic gobies
Two small demersal fishes, the sand goby Pomatoschistus minutus and the common goby Pomatoschistus microps, were quantified on soft bottoms at 20–40 m depth in the Baltic Sea, using a camera placed above the bottom. The largest numbers of gobies were seen following the settlement of young in late summer and autumn. Most recorded fishes were sand gobies. An annual average of 4·7 individuals m−2(0·24 g dry mass m−2) was recorded in 1983–1985 and 2·5 individuals m−2(0·13 g m−2) in 1997–1998. Using these densities, the annual goby food consumption was estimated to 100 kJ m−2 in 1983–1985 and 50 kJ m−2 in 1997–1998, corresponding to most of the annual macrobenthos production available to the gobies. The resulting goby production, assumed equal to 25% of the food consumed, must have been an important food source for the larger fishes occasionally recorded in the photographs.
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