Benthic Prey (benthic + prey)

Distribution by Scientific Domains

Selected Abstracts

Functional response and size-dependent foraging on aquatic and terrestrial prey by brown trout (Salmo trutta L.)

P. Gustafsson
Gustafsson P, Bergman E, Greenberg LA. Functional response and size-dependent foraging on aquatic and terrestrial prey by brown trout (Salmo trutta L.).Ecology of Freshwater Fish 2010: 19: 170,177. 2010 John Wiley & Sons A/S Abstract ,, Terrestrial invertebrate subsidies are believed to be important energy sources for drift-feeding salmonids. Despite this, size-specific use of and efficiency in procuring this resource have not been studied to any great extent. Therefore, we measured the functional responses of three size classes of wild brown trout Salmo trutta (0+, 1+ and ,2+) when fed either benthic- (Gammarus sp.) or surface-drifting prey (Musca domestica) in laboratory experiments. To test for size-specific prey preferences, both benthic and surface prey were presented simultaneously by presenting the fish with a constant density of benthic prey and a variable density of surface prey. The results showed that the functional response of 0+ trout differed significantly from the larger size classes, with 0+ fish having the lowest capture rates. Capture rates did not differ significantly between prey types. In experiments when both prey items were presented simultaneously, capture rate differed significantly between size classes, with larger trout having higher capture rates than smaller trout. However, capture rates within each size class did not change with prey density or prey composition. The two-prey experiments also showed that 1+ trout ate significantly more surface-drifting prey than 0+ trout. In contrast, there was no difference between 0+ and ,2+ trout. Analyses of the vertical position of the fish in the water column corroborated size-specific foraging results: larger trout remained in the upper part of the water column between attacks on surface prey more often than smaller trout, which tended to seek refuge at the bottom between attacks. These size-specific differences in foraging and vertical position suggest that larger trout may be able to use surface-drifting prey to a greater extent than smaller conspecifics. [source]

Visual isolation furthers access to drift-feeding positions for subordinate juvenile brown trout (Salmo trutta) in dominance hierarchies

J-M. Roussel
Juvenile salmonids are visual predators that primarily feed on drifting invertebrates and compete for suitable feeding positions in swift water. We used an outdoor experimental stream to test the effect of visual isolation on agonistic interactions and habitat use by age-1 brown trout (Salmo trutta) in riffle-pool sections. We hypothesized that dominant fish defend suitable feeding positions in riffle and that visual obstruction between individuals enhance access to riffle for subordinates. Groups of juveniles, caught in the wild, were stocked in high and low visibility treatments. Visual isolation was manipulated by placing dark plastic ribbons or opaque Plexiglas boards onto the substrate of riffles. As expected, dominant fish held profitable positions in riffle and the proportion of fish in riffle significantly increased in presence of artificial structures. In high visibility treatment, the dominant fish despotically excluded subordinates from the riffle. In low visibility treatment, the proportion of fish that foraged on benthic prey in the pool and the number of major aggressive acts (chase, nip) decreased. Our results support the hypothesis that screening effect of physical structures in the water column loosen resource monopolization in dominance hierarchies of juvenile salmonids. [source]

Changes in diets of individual Baltic ringed seals (Phoca hispida botnica) during their breeding season inferred from stable isotope analysis of multiple tissues

Tuula Sinisalo
Abstract The stable isotope ratios (,13C and ,15N) of three tissues with different metabolic rates (plasma, liver, and muscle) were used to investigate temporal variation in diet among nine individual Baltic ringed seals (Phoca hispida botnica Gmelin) from the Bothnian Bay, northeast Baltic Sea. The isotope values from plasma should reflect the most recent diet, values from liver the diet of the past weeks prior to sampling, and values from muscle should integrate diet over almost the entire breeding season of the ringed seals. In general, ,13C values of liver were more enriched in 13C than were those of either muscle or plasma, suggesting that the diet of the seals may have included a higher proportion of 13C-enriched benthic prey in April. Females showed more variable ,13C values than males, suggesting possible gender differences in diet or in foraging locations. The differences that were apparent between females possibly reflect individual variation in the onset and duration of parturition and lactation, both of which likely restrict female foraging. Previous data from parasite infections and from alimentary tract contents of the same seals were linked to the isotope data to assist in drawing inferences about changes in the diets of individual seals. [source]

Foraging capacities and effects of competitive release on ontogenetic diet shift in bream, Abramis brama

OIKOS, Issue 2 2002
Anders Persson
Bream (Abramis brama) undergo ontogenetic diet shift from zooplankton to benthic macroinvertebrates, but the switching size may be highly variable. To unravel under what conditions bream are pelagic versus benthic foragers, we experimentally determined size-dependent foraging capacities on three prey types from the planktivory and benthivory niche; zooplankton, visible and buried macroinvertebrates. From these data we derived predictions of size-dependent diet preferences from estimates of prey value and competitive ability, and tested these predictions on diet data from the field. Planktivorous foraging capacity described a hump-shaped relationship with bream length that peaked for small bream of 67 mm total length. Benthivory capacity increased with increasing bream size, irrespective if benthic prey were visible on the sediment surface or buried in the sediment. From the experimental data and relationships of metabolic demand we calculated minimum resource requirement for maintenance (MRR) for each of the prey categories used in experiments. MRR increased with bream size for both zooplankton and visible chironomids, but decreased with bream size for buried chironomids, suggesting that intermediate sized bream (120,300 mm) may be competitively sandwiched between small and large bream that are more competitive planktivores and benthivores, respectively. Prey value estimates and competitive abilities qualitatively predicted diet shift in a bream population being released from competition. Competitive release did not change the diet of the largest size-class feeding on an optimal diet of benthic invertebrates both before and after competitive release. However, profound diet shifts towards benthic macroinvertebrates were recorded for intermediate size-classes that fed on a suboptimal diet prior to competitive release. Thus, laboratory estimates of size-dependent foraging capacity of bream in planktivorous and benthivorous feeding niches provided useful information on size-specific competitive ability, and successfully predicted diet preference in the field. [source]