Important prey species of marine vertebrate predators in the northwest Atlantic: proximate composition and energy density

Lawson, John W. and Magalhães, Alexandra M. and Miller, E.H. (1998) Important prey species of marine vertebrate predators in the northwest Atlantic: proximate composition and energy density. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 164. pp. 13-20. ISSN 1616-1599

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Abstract

Prey energy density values are crucial inputs to bioenergetic consumption models. Vertebrate predators in the northwest Atlantic consume a variety of prey species, but the proximate composition (PC; proportions of lipid, protein, ash and water) and energy density (ED; kJ g-1) of prey, and their variability, are known poorly. In this study, key prey species from Newfoundland and Labrador were studied: Atlantic cod Gadus morhua, American plaice Hippoglossoides platessoides, sand lance Ammodytes dubius, Arctic cod Boreogadus saida, northern shrimp Pandalus borealis, redfish Sebastes spp., Greenland halibut Reinhardtius hippoglossoides, squid Illex illecebrosus and Gonatus fabricii, capelin Mallotus villosus, Atlantic herring Clupea harengus and daubed shanny Lumpenus maculatus. PC and ED varied greatly among species and were influenced by size, season, geography and year. Herring, capelin and G. fabricii had the highest ED, whereas Atlantic cod, plaice, sand lance and shrimp had the lowest. Halibut and I. illecebrosus increased in ED with size. EDs of capelin and redfish varied seasonally; that of plaice and sand lance did not. Herring and halibut had higher ED in the early 1990s than in recent years. Such variation in prey ED has important implications for digestive efficiency, foraging energetics, and dietary preferences of vertebrate predators.

Item Type: Article
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/553
Item ID: 553
Keywords: Atlantic; Capelin; Cod; Energy density; Proximate composition
Department(s): Science, Faculty of > Biology
Science, Faculty of > Ocean Sciences
Date: 9 April 1998
Date Type: Publication

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