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Functional link between foraging performance, functional morphology, and diet shift in roach (Rutilus rutilus)

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This study explores how feeding performance (size-dependent attack rate) and the diet shift from zooplankton to benthic macroinvertebrates in the fish species roach (Rutilus rutilus L.) is related to changes in functional morphology over ontogeny. The morphological changes included overall body shape and structures of the feeding apparatus. The foraging performance of roach on zooplankton, as a function of size, was hump-shaped with a maximum of ~160 mm, and the diet shift took place around 150 mm. Over ontogeny, roach body shape gradually changed from fusiform into high-bodied. The second principal component (PC2) of the feeding apparatus had a U-shaped relationship with body size, with a minimum at 140-mm total length, which is the inverse of that found for the foraging performance on zooplankton. We suggest that changes of the feeding apparatus affect prey intake during the early zooplanktivorous phases and at the final benthivorous feeding stage, whereas prey retention ability limits the maximum intake rate at a later phase of the zooplanktivorous feeding stage. Our results also suggest the presence of both positive and negative correlations in morphology between the feeding niches, which point to the occurrence of morphological trade-offs within ontogenetic niches.

Notre travail examine comment la performance alimentaire (le taux d'attaque relié à la taille) et le changement de régime alimentaire (du zooplancton aux macroinvertébrés benthiques) chez le gardon (Rutilus rutilus L.) sont reliés à des modifications de la morphologie fonctionnelle au cours de l'ontogenèse. Le changements affectent la forme générale du corps et les structures de l'appareil alimentaire. La performance de quête de nourriture du gardon dans le zooplancton en fonction de la taille suit une courbe en bosse avec un maximum près de 160 mm et il se produit un changement de régime alimentaire vers 150 mm. Au cours de l'ontogenèse, la forme du corps du gardon change graduellement de fusiforme à un corps plus haut. La deuxième composante principale (PC2) de l'appareil alimentaire montre une relation en U avec la taille du corps, avec un minimum à une longueur totale de 140 mm, ce qui correspond à l'inverse de la relation observée dans la performance alimentaire sur le zooplancton. Nous pensons que les changements de l'appareil alimentaire affectent l'ingestion des proies durant les premières phases où le poisson est zooplanctonophage, ainsi que durant la phase finale où il est benthophage; en revanche, la capacité de retenir les proies limite le taux d'ingestion maximal durant la phase avancée de la période de zooplanctonophagie. Nos résultats laissent aussi croire à l'existence de corrélations tant positives que négatives dans la morphologie entre les niches alimentaires et ils indiquent qu'il se produit des compromis morphologiques à l'intérieur des niches ontogénétiques.[Traduit par la Rédaction]

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: June 1, 2003

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  • Published continuously since 1901 (under various titles), this monthly journal is the primary publishing vehicle for the multidisciplinary field of aquatic sciences. It publishes perspectives (syntheses, critiques, and re-evaluations), discussions (comments and replies), articles, and rapid communications, relating to current research on cells, organisms, populations, ecosystems, or processes that affect aquatic systems. The journal seeks to amplify, modify, question, or redirect accumulated knowledge in the field of fisheries and aquatic science. Occasional supplements are dedicated to single topics or to proceedings of international symposia.
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