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Feeding activity rhythm of Nephrops norvegicus of the western Mediterranean shelf and slope grounds

AutorAguzzi, Jacopo ; Company, Joan B. ; Sardà, Francisco
Fecha de publicaciónmar-2004
CitaciónMarine Biology 144(3): 463-472 (2004)
ResumenOver a 24-h time scale, benthic decapods show complex patterns of behavioural activity associated with feeding. Information is scarce on the feeding rhythms of the burrowing decapod Nephrops norvegicus (L.), especially in those deep, benthic environments typical of western Mediterranean slopes, where the fishery of this species is highly developed. In the present study, the feeding of this species was determined by means of stomach sampling, from animals captured during four continuous 24-h cycles of trawl hauls at 100-110 m and 400-430 m, in October (the autumn equinox) and June (the spring solstice). A total of 3348 stomachs were analysed for fullness and classified by means of a visual, qualitative scale. A high proportion of the stomachs collected was empty (47.2%). Feeding rhythmicity was analysed by computing a percentage value of empty stomachs for each catch. Over 4 days, the percentage values presented marked fluctuations. Therefore, periodogram and form estimate analyses were performed on time series of percentages of empty stomachs, to determine the phase and periodicity of feeding rhythms. In October, animals ingested food during the daytime, presenting nocturnal peaks of empty stomachs at both depths considered in this study. In June, nocturnal peaks of empty stomachs were recorded for the slope, while a marked feeding arrhythmia was present on the shelf. A hypothesis linking feeding activity to endogenous rhythms in locomotion, cardiac and respiratory activities is presented to account for the animals' diurnal ingestion, irrespective of the depth of distribution
Descripción10 pages, 6 figures, 1 table
Identificadoresdoi: 10.1007/s00227-003-1221-6
issn: 0025-3162
e-issn: 1432-1793
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