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The feeding and diet of the deep-sea shrimp Aristeus antennatus off the Balearic Islands (Western Mediterranean): Influence of environmental factors and relationship with the biological cycle

AutorCartes, Joan Enric ; Papiol, Vanesa ; Guijarro, Beatriz
Palabras claveFeeding intensity
Trophic dynamics
Deep sea
Benthic-planktonic coupling
Reproductive cycle
Water masses
Daily migrations
Fecha de publicación6-ago-2008
CitaciónProgress In Oceanography 79(1): 37-54 (2008)
ResumenSpatio-temporal variation of feeding intensity and diet in the red shrimp Aristeus antennatus was studied at two locations around the island of Mallorca (Balearic Islands, Western Mediterraean) in August, September, and November 2003, and in February, April and June 2004 at depths between 550 and 750 m. The two areas, with different oceanographic conditions, were respectively located in the northwest (Sóller) and the south (Cabrera) of Mallorca. Off Sóller, feeding intensity of A. antennatus showed a significant increase from February to April and June 2004 in all the three size-classes studied (small shrimps: CL < 30 mm; medium: CL between 30 and 40 mm; large: CL ≥ 40 mm). Off Cabrera, the highest fullness was recorded in November 2003 among small and medium shrimp, while only large specimens showed patterns similar to that found off Sóller. Off Sóller, the diet of both small (CL < 34 mm) and large (CL ≥ 34 mm) A. antennatus was mainly influenced by season, with three dietary groups corresponding to August–September 2003, to November 2003/February 2004, and to hauls from April to June 2004. Off Cabrera, hauls (representing diets) were grouped by depth, never by season. The most remarkable seasonal shift in the diet of A. antennatus off Sóller was the increase of mesopelagic prey in April–June relative to other months. In all size categories there was an increase off Sóller in the energy intake of prey ingested from February to June 2004, an increase not found off Cabrera. Degree of digestion of mesopelagic prey indicated nocturnal feeding on mesopelagic fauna. These prey probably have a shallower depth distribution at night than found in our daylight sampling, and possible migratory movements among prey and A. antennatus at night would explain the lack of correlation between prey abundance in guts and in the environment found during daylight periods for most micronekton mesopelagic prey (euphausiids, myctophids and sergestids). Off Sóller, fullness and diet were significantly linked to temporal changes in water column productivity (e.g., Chl a readings, fluorescence) and to changes in the shrimp biology (lipid content of hepatopancreas, Gonado-somatic Index, GSI). Off Cabrera, we found a higher dependence of fullness and diet with T and S, both variables in turn related to depth. The increase of stomach fullness and dietary energy intake in pre-reproductive females from February to April–June 2004 found off Sóller, coupled with the consumption of mesopelagic prey, was parallel to a significant increase of the gonad weight (GSI, fecundity) in June. Most individuals attain gonad development in the period May–June, after two months of the peak of primary production at the surface. The strong link found between pelagic resources and reproductive processes in a deep-sea species such as the shrimp Aristeus antennatus, situated near the top of the trophic web, suggests a rapid energy flow via mesopelagic fauna between surface primary production and bathyal megabenthic communities at oligotrophic insular areas. In contrast to mainland areas off the Catalan coasts submitted to the influence of submarine canyons, around the island of Mallorca the empoverishment of benthos biomass may enhance consumption of micronektonic prey and a possible accumulation of pre-reproductive females of A. antennatus in areas (e.g., steep slopes and persistent frontal systems found off Sóller) with high zooplankton aggregations.
Descripción18 pages, 9 figures, 5 tables.-- Printed version published Oct 2008.
Versión del editorhttp://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.pocean.2008.07.003
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