Effects of predation from pelagic 0-group cod (Gadus morhua) on mortality rates of capelin (Mallotus villosus) larvae in the Barents Sea

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Surveys were carried out in 2002 and 2003 to test whether predation from pelagic 0-group cod (Gadus morhua) juveniles affects mortality rates of Barents Sea capelin (Mallotus villosus) larvae. In 2002, capelin larvae were observed in 17% of the cod stomachs and predation was observed at 19 of 50 stations. In 2003, capelin larvae were observed in 8% of the cod stomachs and predation was observed at 19 of 37 stations. The stomach contents and zooplankton samples were dominated by copepods and krill. The number of capelin larvae in cod stomachs increased with increasing capelin larvae abundance and cod length and decreased with increasing stomach content of copepods and prey abundance of krill. The time when capelin larvae could be recognised after ingestion in the cod stomachs was estimated experimentally and depended on predator and prey lengths. The estimated overall predation mortality rate from juvenile cod on capelin larvae was about 1.5% per day for both years and can potentially have a significant effect on the survival of capelin larvae, depending on the overlap in the different years.

Nous avons mené des inventaires en 2002 et 2003 pour vérifier si la prédation par les jeunes morues (Gadus morhua) pélagiques du groupe 0 affecte les taux de mortalité des larves de capelan (Mallotus villosus) de la mer de Barents. En 2002, des larves de capelans se retrouvaient dans 17 % des estomacs de morues et la prédation existait à 19 de 50 stations. En 2003, les larves de capelans s’observaient dans 8 % des estomacs de morues et la prédation se rencontrait à 19 des 37 stations. Les copépodes et le krill prédominaient dans les contenus stomacaux et les échantillons de zooplancton. Le nombre de larves de capelans dans les estomacs de morues augmente en fonction directe de l’abondance des larves de capelans et de la longueur des morues et décroît en fonction de l’abondance des copépodes dans l’estomac et de l’importance du krill comme proies. Nous avons estimé expérimentalement la durée de la période après l’ingestion pendant laquelle les larves de capelans restent identifiables dans les estomacs de morues; cette durée est fonction de la longueur des prédateurs et des proies. Le taux global estimé de mortalité due à la prédation par les jeunes morues sur les larves de capelans est d’environ 1,5 % par jour au cours de chacune des deux années; il peut avoir un effet significatif sur la survie des larves de capelans, qui dépend du chevauchement au cours des différentes années.[Traduit par la Rédaction]

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: December 1, 2007

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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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