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Do bigger fish arrive and spawn at the spawning grounds before smaller fish: Cod (Gadus morhua) predation on beach spawning capelin (Mallotus villosus) from coastal Newfoundland
Vandeperre, F.; Methven, D.A. (2007). Do bigger fish arrive and spawn at the spawning grounds before smaller fish: Cod (Gadus morhua) predation on beach spawning capelin (Mallotus villosus) from coastal Newfoundland. Est., Coast. and Shelf Sci. 71(3-4): 391-400. dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ecss.2006.07.020
In: Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science. Academic Press: New York. ISSN 0272-7714, more
Peer reviewed article

Available in Authors 
    VLIZ: Open Repository 118113 [ OMA ]

Keywords
    Body size; Migrations; Predation; Spawning grounds; Gadus morhua Linnaeus, 1758 [WoRMS]; Gadus morhua Linnaeus, 1758 [WoRMS]; Mallotus villosus (Müller, 1776) [WoRMS]; Mallotus villosus (Müller, 1776) [WoRMS]; ANW, Canada, Newfoundland [Marine Regions]; Marine
Author keywords
    body size; migration; size-selective predation; prey size; beach spawning capelin; Atlantic cod; Newfoundland; Mallotus villosus; Gadus morhua

Authors  Top 
  • Vandeperre, F., more
  • Methven, D.A., correspondent

Abstract
    A relationship between body size and time of spawning has often been described for both pelagic and non-pelagic fish species that migrate for the purpose of spawning. The present study investigates this relationship for capelin (Mallotus villosus), a pelagic smelt-like species that spawns on the beaches of Newfoundland. Simple linear regressions were carried out separately for three groups of capelin: ovid females, spent females and males in three successive years (1982-1984). Bigger fish arrived near the spawning grounds first, for all three groups in all three years and was most obvious for female capelin. Analyses of stomach contents of Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua), an important predator of capelin in the Newfoundland area, showed a similar decrease in mean size of capelin throughout the capelin spawning season in June, July and August. Furthermore, analyses strongly suggest that early in the spawning seasons, when capelin abundance was high, cod selected for bigger capelin, whereas towards the end of the spawning seasons, when capelin abundance was low, cod did not show any size preference.

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