The importance of micronekton as food of demersal fish assemblages over lower continental shelves and upper continental slopes off Sendai Bay, northern Japan was studied based on a total of 256 trawl samples collected during May and November from 1989 to 1992. All of the dominant gadiform
fish species, which made up the bulk of the assemblages (Gadus macrocephalus, Theragra chalcogramma, Physiculus maximowiczi and Laemonema longipes) depended on micronekton to some extents, and the dependence was higher for larger individuals and in the deeper regions. Important
micronekton species consumed were firefly squid (Watasenia scintillans), sergestiid shrimp (Sergestes similis) and myctophids (Diaphus theta, D. kuroshio, and Lampanyctus jordani). The contribution of micronekton to the total diet of fish assemblages was calculated
based on species composition and diets of predators. The contribution was higher in the deep region (>300m for May, >200 m for November) accounting for averages of 37.5 and 37.7%, respectively. In the shallow region, there was only slight contribution of micronekton during November due
to the prevalence of warm Kuroshio water, although moderate contribution (13.5–34.8%) was found during May. Micronekton were therefore implied to perform the following roles in marine food-webs: transporter, condenser and storage.
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