Feeding rates and prey selectivity of planktonic decapod larvae in the Western English Channel

Fileman, ES, Lindeque, PK, Harmer, RA, Halsband, C and Atkinson, A 2014 Feeding rates and prey selectivity of planktonic decapod larvae in the Western English Channel. Marine Biology, 161 (11). 2479-2494. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00227-014-2520-9

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00227-014-2520-9


Meroplankton are seasonally important contributors to the zooplankton, particularly at inshore sites, yet their feeding ecology is poorly known relative to holoplankton. While several studies have measured feeding in decapod larvae, few studies have examined the feeding rates of decapod larvae on natural prey assemblages throughout the reproductive season. We conducted 8 feeding experiments with Necora puber, Liocarcinus spp. and Upogebia spp. zoea larvae collected from the L4 monitoring site off Plymouth (50°15.00′N, 4°13.02′W) during spring–summer 2009 and 2010. This period spanned moderate-to-high food availability (0.5–1.6 µg chl-a L−1), but a great range in food composition with small cells <20 µm dominating in 2010. Daily rations averaged 17, 60 and 22 % of body C for the 3 respective decapod species. Clearance rates differed according to prey type, and all 3 decapod genera showed evidence of selection of dinoflagellates. Importantly, small cells including nano- and pico-plankton were ingested, this being demonstrated independently by flow cytometric analysis of the feeding experiments and molecular analysis. PCR-based analysis of the haptophyte portion of the diet revealed ingestion of Isochrysis galbana by decapod larvae in the bottle incubations and Isochrysis galbana and Phaeocystis globosa by decapod larvae collected directly from the field. This study has shown that pico- and nano-sized plankton form an important supplement to the diverse and variable diet of decapod larvae.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Additional Information. Not used in RCUK Gateway to Research.: This is a pre-print of an article published in Marine Biology. The final authenticated version is available online at: https://doi.org/10.1007/s00227-014-2520-9
Subjects: Biology
Ecology and Environment
Marine Sciences
Divisions: Plymouth Marine Laboratory > National Capability categories > Western Channel Observatory
Plymouth Marine Laboratory > Science Areas > Marine Ecology and Biodiversity
Depositing User: Elaine Fileman
Date made live: 28 Jan 2016 11:30
Last Modified: 11 Dec 2018 12:14
URI: https://plymsea.ac.uk/id/eprint/6743

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