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Food of an endangered cyprinodont (Aphanius Iberus): Ontogenetic diet shift and prey electivity

We studied the ontogenetic diet shift and prey electivity of an endangered cyprinodontid fish endemic to the Iberian Peninsula, the Spanish toothcarp (Aphanius iberus). The toothcarp’s diet was omnivorous, dominated by harpacticoid copepods (Mesochra lilljeborgi and Tisbe longicornis), copepod nauplii and detritus. Diet composition varied greatly among habitats, depending on prey availability. In a rarely inundated habitat (glasswort), there was more consumption of the isopod Protracheoniscus occidentalis and the harpacticoid copepod Mesochra lilljeborgi, while in algal mats another harpacticoid (Tisbe longicornis), chironomid dipterans and invertebrate eggs were more important in diet. Although a benthic feeding habitat has previously been suggested, in our study the diet was based rather on water column organisms for both glasswort and algal mat habitats. There was also an ontogenetic diet shift, with an increase of mean prey length with fish length, clearly linked to a microhabitat change. Smaller fish showed positive electivity and greater reliance on planktonic prey (e.g. copepod nauplii, the harpacticoid copepods Mesochra lilljeborgi and Tisbe longicornis, the rotifer Brachionus plicatilis, and ostracods), while larger fish elected and preyed on more benthic organisms (e.g. Canuella perplexa, Mesochra rapiens, and ephydrid dipterans)

Financial support was provided by the Spanish Ministry of Science and Technology (REN2002-10059-E and REN2003-00477) and the Ministry of Universities, Research and Information Society (DURSI), the Government of Catalonia (Catalan Government Distinction Award for university research 2004 to EGB). CA held a doctoral fellowship (FPU AP 2002-0206) from the Spanish Ministry of Education

© Environmental Biology of Fishes, 2007, vol. 78, núm. 3, p. 193-207

Springer Verlag

Author: Alcaraz Cazorla, Carles
García-Berthou, Emili
Date: 2007
Abstract: We studied the ontogenetic diet shift and prey electivity of an endangered cyprinodontid fish endemic to the Iberian Peninsula, the Spanish toothcarp (Aphanius iberus). The toothcarp’s diet was omnivorous, dominated by harpacticoid copepods (Mesochra lilljeborgi and Tisbe longicornis), copepod nauplii and detritus. Diet composition varied greatly among habitats, depending on prey availability. In a rarely inundated habitat (glasswort), there was more consumption of the isopod Protracheoniscus occidentalis and the harpacticoid copepod Mesochra lilljeborgi, while in algal mats another harpacticoid (Tisbe longicornis), chironomid dipterans and invertebrate eggs were more important in diet. Although a benthic feeding habitat has previously been suggested, in our study the diet was based rather on water column organisms for both glasswort and algal mat habitats. There was also an ontogenetic diet shift, with an increase of mean prey length with fish length, clearly linked to a microhabitat change. Smaller fish showed positive electivity and greater reliance on planktonic prey (e.g. copepod nauplii, the harpacticoid copepods Mesochra lilljeborgi and Tisbe longicornis, the rotifer Brachionus plicatilis, and ostracods), while larger fish elected and preyed on more benthic organisms (e.g. Canuella perplexa, Mesochra rapiens, and ephydrid dipterans)
Financial support was provided by the Spanish Ministry of Science and Technology (REN2002-10059-E and REN2003-00477) and the Ministry of Universities, Research and Information Society (DURSI), the Government of Catalonia (Catalan Government Distinction Award for university research 2004 to EGB). CA held a doctoral fellowship (FPU AP 2002-0206) from the Spanish Ministry of Education
Format: application/pdf
ISSN: 0378-1909 (versió paper)
1573-5133 (versió electrònica)
Document access: http://hdl.handle.net/10256/12406
Language: eng
Publisher: Springer Verlag
Collection: MICYT/PN 2002-2003/REN2002-10059-E
MICYT/PN 2003-2006/REN2003-00477
Reproducció digital del document publicat a: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10641-006-0018-0
Articles publicats (D-CCAA)
Is part of: © Environmental Biology of Fishes, 2007, vol. 78, núm. 3, p. 193-207
Rights: Tots els drets reservats
Subject: Fartet -- Ibèrica, Península
Spanish toothcarp -- Iberian, Peninsula
Nínxol ecològic
Niche (Ecology)
Ontogènia
Ontogeny
Title: Food of an endangered cyprinodont (Aphanius Iberus): Ontogenetic diet shift and prey electivity
Type: info:eu-repo/semantics/article
Repository: DUGiDocs

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