[en] Pleuragramma antarcticum ; food preferences ; Terre Adélie ; Southern Ocean ; phytoplankton ; zooplankton ; Census of Antarctic Marine Life
[en] Ichthyoplankton samples were collected from 19 to 31 January 2004 in the Dumont d’Urville Sea (East Antarctic shelf). The Nototheniidae Pleuragramma antarcticum comprised more than 90 % of the sampled larvae. Gut contents of 95 P. antarcticum larvae were examined. Most larvae fed on phytoplankton, especially diatoms, whereas some other specimens had a mixed diet with phyto- and zooplankton prey. A single specimen fed exclusively on copepods. The stomach contents was dominated by three diatoms taxa, such as Thalassiothrix antarctica, Fragilariopsis spp. and Chaetoceros spp. Prey selection was apparently food density dependent, with an inverse relationship between food abundance and selection feeding. Larvae selected positively some diatoms, such as Coscinodiscus spp. and T. antarctica, presenting a low concentration in the water column compared to Fragilariopsis spp., which were strongly negatively selected. During summer, larvae were opportunistic feeders with a broad trophic niche, which allowed them to switch between different food types.
Centre Interfacultaire de Recherches en Océanologie - MARE