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Are the dynamics of gastric evacuation of natural prey in a piscivorous flatfish different from what is going on in a gadoid?

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Despite the fact that the stomach of turbot Psetta maxima is a curved tube that forms a half circle, it was demonstrated that gastric evacuation in this predatory flatfish fed natural prey closely followed the surface-dependent cylinder model developed from studies on gadoids with a straight stomach. Evacuation experiments were performed on two size groups of P. maxima fed sandeel Ammodytes tobianus as well as on P. maxima fed brown shrimp Crangon crangon at three different temperatures. This enabled the provision of a gastric evacuation model for studies on P. maxima, which takes into account the effects of the explanatory variables predator size, temperature, prey energy density and resistance of prey to the digestive processes in the stomach. Basically, the cylinder model predicts that a square-root function accurately describes gastric evacuation, which is inconsistent with the conclusion of a previous study on P. maxima that evacuation of A. tobianus is essentially linear with time. Use of the cylinder model to the values of the explanatory variables presented in the latter study, however, gave accurate predictions of the actually acquired evacuation data, which points to the generic value of the model.
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Keywords: generic cylinder model of gastric evacuation; predator size; prey characteristics; stomach configuration; temperature; turbot Psetta maxima

Document Type: Regular Paper

Affiliations: Technical University of Denmark, National Institute of Aquatic Resources, Charlottenlund Castle, DK-2920 Charlottenlund, Denmark

Publication date: 2009-11-01

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