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Effects of predation from juvenile herring (Clupea harengus) on mortality rates of capelin (Mallotus villosus) larvae

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Abstract:

Predation has been suggested as a cause of substantial mortality of fish larvae to the degree that it might influence recruitment. This field-based study concludes that juvenile herring (Clupea harengus) as small pelagic predator can significantly affect mortality rates of the planktonic larvae of capelin (Mallotus villosus) in the Barents Sea. Surveys were carried out in the summers of 2001 and 2003. In 2001, juvenile herring were widely distributed and overlapped with capelin larvae over a wide area, whereas in 2003, the herring were more aggregated. The study focused on predation in the areas of predator–prey overlap. Capelin larvae were observed in the herring stomachs at 11 of 24 stations and at 8 of 16 stations where herring were caught in 2001 and 2003, respectively. At those stations, an estimated 7.3% and 9.9% of the capelin larvae were eaten by herring per day in 2001 and 2003, respectively. Statistical models revealed that density of capelin larvae and copepods and occurrence of euphausiids in the stomachs affected the number of capelin larvae per predator stomach. A simplified model with only capelin larvae density as predictor was converted to a functional response relationship using an experimentally derived digestion rate estimate for capelin larvae in herring stomachs.

On a suggéré que la prédation était la cause d’une importante mortalité des larves de poissons au point de peut-être affecter le recrutement. Notre étude réalisée sur le terrain conclut que le rôle des jeunes harengs (Clupea harengus) comme petits prédateurs pélagiques peut affecter de façon significative les taux de mortalité des larves planctoniques de capelans (Mallotus villosus) dans la mer de Barents. Des inventaires ont été faits durant les étés 2001 et 2003. En 2001, les jeunes harengs avaient une répartition étendue qui chevauchait celle des larves de capelans sur une grande surface, alors qu’en 2003, les harengs avaient une répartition plus contagieuse. Notre étude s’est concentrée sur la prédation dans les zones de chevauchement des prédateurs et des proies. Les larves de capelans se sont retrouvées dans les estomacs de harengs dans respectivement 11 des 24 stations et 8 des 16 stations de capture de harengs en 2001 et 2003. Dans ces stations, nous estimons que respectivement 7,3 % et 9,9 % des larves de capelans étaient consommées quotidiennement par les harengs en 2001 et 2003. Des modèles statistiques montrent que la densité des larves de capelans, la densité des copépodes et la présence des euphausiidés dans les estomacs affectent le nombre de larves de capelans par estomac de prédateur. Nous avons converti un modèle simplifié, qui ne contient que la densité des larves de capelans comme variable prédictive, en une relation de réponse fonctionnelle, à l’aide d’une estimation du taux de digestion (provenant de travaux expérimentaux) des larves de capelans dans les estomacs de harengs.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: October 1, 2009

More about this publication?
  • 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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