Estimation of size classes in Laeonereis acuta (Polychaeta: Nereididae) based on jaw length and body width usable in trophic studies
Prey size selection of birds and fishes feeding on the ragworm Laeonereis acuta can be determined by the analyses of stomach contents, containing jaws and fragments. Two benthic sampling programs were carried out in May and December 1997. Sixty sediment dredge intertidal samples were taken at San Clemente creek. Prey were divided into 1 mm size classes, and the density of each class was determined. The length of broken worms was estimated from the relation between the width of the segment 10 and the length of intact worms. Jaw lengths were measured and the relationship between jaw lengths and body length was determined. Results of benthic samples taken revealed a total of 2517 Laeonereis acuta. The regression analysis of body length as a function of jaw length was significant (r = 0.93, P = 0.05, n = 477). Result derived from the relationship between width and body length in undamaged worms was also significant (r = 0. 91, P = 0.05, n = 703). It is concluded that jaw length and body width can be used to determined size class distribution of the ragworm L. acuta taken by avian predators and coastal fishes.
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Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 2000-07-01
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