The qualitative and quantitative composition of fish eggs and larvae in the stomach contents of Baltic herring and sprat was examined. The occurrence of fish eggs and larvae in the diet of herring was markedly higher, compared to sprat. Eggs of four and larvae of nine fish species were found in the herring stomachs. The prey species composition of the herring and sprat diets was related to the ichthyoplankton composition and to the degree of overlapping of the prey and predator distributions. Sprat eggs were the predominant prey in the herring diet in May and sprat larvae prevailed in August. The daily ration estimates indicate that the sprat larvae consumption by herring in August exceeded the sprat egg consumption in May by many times. Cod eggs in the herring stomachs were only found at the optimal oxygen content and salinity for the cod eggs in the near-bottom water layer.
Russian Journal of Marine Biology – Springer Journals
Published: Nov 7, 2013
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