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Fisheries Behavioral Ecology - Abstracts

Shaheen, P.A., L.L. Stehlik, C.J. Meise, A.W. Stoner, J.P. Manderson, and D.L. Adams. 2001. Feeding behavior of newly settled winter flounder (Pseudopleuronectes americanus) on calanoid copepods. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology 257:37-51.


Field and laboratory investigations were conducted to examine feeding by newly settled winter flounder (Pseudopleuronectes americanus) on two co-occurring calanoid copepods, Eurytemora affinis and Acartia hudsonica. During the spring, these prey are present when winter flounder initiate their demersal lifestyle in estuaries of the northeastern United States. Epibenthic zooplankton were collected concurrently with winter flounder in the Navesink River estuary, NJ, in May 1998 and 1999. Although both calanoid species were in the estuary during the 2-year survey, E. affinis was consumed nearly to the exclusion of A. hudsonica by newly settled winter flounder. Annually, E. affinis and A. hudsonica had similar size distributions in field collections, indicating that species choice was not size selective. However, when preying on E. affinis, winter flounder preferred the larger sized organisms. In single species laboratory experiments, E. affinis and A. hudsonica were consumed equally by newly settled winter flounder (19-23 mm TL), but there were more strikes made toward E. affinis. Despite the lower catch efficiency, E. affinis was selected over A. hudsonica when the prey species were offered together in equal numbers. The selection for E. affinis over A. hudsonica by newly settled winter flounder may be the result of behavioral and/ or morphological differences in the prey species.


Last updated 31 March, 2009

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