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The effects of turbidity, prey density and environmental complexity on the feeding of juvenile Murray cod Maccullochella peelii

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Juvenile Murray cod Maccullochella peelii exhibited a type II functional response while preying on blackworms Lumbriculus variegatus, and the parameters of the type II model did not differ significantly between clear (0 NTU) and turbid (150 NTU) treatments. Further experiments showed that vision may not be necessary for prey detection and capture by juvenile M. peelii; consumption of inanimate prey was not significantly different between light and dark (<1 × 10−4µE m−2 s−1) trials. These results imply that the sensory physiology of M. peelii is well adapted to a turbid visual environment. In addition, habitat complexity increased the food consumption rate of juvenile M. peelii, perhaps by relaxing innate predator avoidance behaviours that depress foraging in more open environments.
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Document Type: Regular Paper

Publication date: 2012-01-01

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