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Free Content Consumer Trophic Relations in a Tropical Insular Estuary

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All of the common consumers (6 species of crustaceans and 10 species of fishes) of a representative Hawaiian estuary were included in a study to determine the types, amounts, and sources of foods eaten by estuarine macrofauna. Stomachs of 2,146 specimens, collected by seining seven sites on 42 dates, were examined and the material they contained was arranged into eight trophically ordered food groups. Consumers were ranked on a trophic scale of 1 (lowest herbivore) to 10 (highest carnivore) based on the proportions of each food group they ate. Community trophic relations were described by integrating diets of species and populations in trophic spectra (modified from Darnell, 1961). Comparisons showed that the community contained three high carnivores, three herbivore-detritivores, and 10 omnivores; most of the total community food was consumed by Eleotris sandwicensis and Mugil cephalus, as indicated by their predominant population biomasses. Detritus and benthic invertebrates were the foods eaten in greatest amounts by the community. Differences in diets of a consumer with size class and capture location were demonstrated.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 1981-07-01

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  • The Bulletin of Marine Science is dedicated to the dissemination of high quality research from the world's oceans. All aspects of marine science are treated by the Bulletin of Marine Science, including papers in marine biology, biological oceanography, fisheries, marine affairs, applied marine physics, marine geology and geophysics, marine and atmospheric chemistry, and meteorology and physical oceanography.
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