Temporal variation and feeding ecology of juvenile Sebastes in rocky intertidal tidepools of northern California, with emphasis on Sebastes melanops Girard
This study examined the seasonal use of rocky intertidal areas by young-of-the-year (YOY) Sebastes spp. at three locations in northern California, 2003 to 2005. Six species of Sebastes were noted during the study with black rockfish Sebastes melanops comprising >99% of the total number sampled. Sebastes melanops were noted in rocky intertidal areas from May to August with peak abundances occurring in May or June. Variation in recruitment and feeding was evident among years. Diet analysis, using the index of relative importance (%IRI) and the modified index (%IM), showed that YOY S. melanops and Sebastes mystinus consumed a variety of prey items with harpacticoid copepods and gammaridean amphipods being the dominant prey categories. The rocky intertidal appears to serve as an important habitat for YOY S. melanops in northern California.
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