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Closed Access item Growth and feeding patterns of European anchovy (Engraulis encrasicolus) early life stages in the Aegean Sea (NE Mediterranean)

Authors:Catalán, Ignacio Alberto
Folkvord, Arild
Palomera, Isabel
Quílez-Badía, Gemma
Kallianoti, Fotini
Tselepides, Anastasios
Kallianotis, Argyris
Keywords:Engraulis encrasicolus, Feeding, Growth, Mediterranean, Fish larvae, Aegean Sea
Issue Date:20-Jan-2010
Publisher:Elsevier
Citation:Estuarine Coastal and Shelf Science 86(2): 299–312 (2010)
Abstract:The objective of this work was to describe inter- and intra-annual variations in the environmental characteristics of the North-eastern Aegean Sea and to relate these changes to the egg and larval distributions, growth and feeding of larval anchovy (Engraulis encrasicolus). Four cruises, two in July and two in September in 2003 and 2004 were performed. The distributions of eggs and larvae were associated with i) salinity fronts related to the Black Sea Water and ii) shallow areas of high productivity over the continental shelf, some of them with high riverine influence. The first published description of the anchovy larval diet in the Eastern Mediterranean was conducted in individuals ranging from 2.2 to 17 mm standard length. The number of non-empty guts was relatively high (between 20% and 30%), and the diet was described through 15 main items. The mean size of the prey increased with larval size, and was generally dominated by prey widths smaller than 80 μm (mainly the nauplii and copepodite stages of copepods). Small larvae positively selected copepod nauplii. As larvae grew, they shifted to larger copepod stages. At all sizes, larvae rejected abundant taxa like cladocerans. The average trophic level calculated for anchovy of all size ranges was 2.98 ± 0.16 (SE). Growth rates varied from 0.41 to 0.75 mm d−1, with the highest growth rates generally observed in September. Variability in the Black Sea Water influence and the recorded inter- and intra-annual changes in primary and secondary production, combined with marked changes in temperature over the first 20 m depth, are used to frame the discussion regarding the observed significant differences in growth rates in terms of both length and weight.
Publisher version (URL):http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ecss.2009.11.033
URI:http://hdl.handle.net/10261/54783
ISSN:0272-7714
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