The food spectra, trophic statuses, and feeding interrelations of three most abundant benthic carnivorous fish species inhabiting the Shelikhov Bay—the Pacific cod Gadus macrocephalus, the great sculpin Myoxocephalus polyacanthocephalus, and the Okhotsk sculpin M. ochotensis—are considered based on materials collected during the complex survey of the RV Professor Kaganovsky of the TINRO-Center, in September 2004. It was found that these species were facultative predators with wide food spectra. The significance of prey objects in the diet of the Okhotsk sculpin was as follows: crustaceans, fish, and mollusks. Great sculpin and Pacific cod preyed mostly on fish, then on crustaceans, and mollusks. Pacific cod ate equal proportions of fish and decapods. All the species had age-related variability of diet. The potential competition of great sculpin and Okhotsk sculpin for food was mitigated by the difference in the depths of their ranges, as well as by morphological (body size) and behavioral peculiarities in the areas where their habitats overlapped, and in microecosystems. The most probable competition was among Pacific cod 30–60 cm long and Okhotsk sculpin 20–50 cm in length, as well as among cod and great sculpins of all sizes.
Russian Journal of Marine Biology – Springer Journals
Published: Jan 25, 2009
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