|Impact of freshwater on a subarctic coastal ecosystem under seasonal sea ice (southeastern Hudson Bay, Canada). III. Feeding success of marine fish larvae|
|Fortier, L.; Gilbert, M.; Ponton, D.; Ingram, R.G.; Robineau, B.; Legendre, L. (1996). Impact of freshwater on a subarctic coastal ecosystem under seasonal sea ice (southeastern Hudson Bay, Canada). III. Feeding success of marine fish larvae. The coastal ocean in a global change perspective 7(Special Issue 2-4): 251-265|
|In: Djenidi, S. (Ed.) (1996). The coastal ocean in a global change perspective. Journal of Marine Systems, 7(Special Issue 2-4). Elsevier: Amsterdam. 117-438 pp., more|
|In: Journal of Marine Systems. Elsevier: Amsterdam. ISSN 0924-7963, more|
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We monitored the feeding success (percent feeding incidence at length and mean feeding ratio at length) of Arctic cod (Boreogadus saida) and sand lance (Ammodytes sp.) larvae in relation to prey density, light, temperature and potential predator density under the ice cover of southeastern Hudson Bay in the spring of 1988, 1989 and 1990. Both prey density and light limited larval fish feeding. The relationship between feeding success and actual food availability (nauplii density X irradiance) was adequately described by an Ivlev function which explained 64 and 76% of the variance in Arctic cod and sand lance feeding success respectively. By affecting both prey density and irradiance, the thickness of the Great Whale River plume (as defined by the depth of the 25 isohaline) was the main determinant of prey availability. Arctic cod and sand lance larvae stopped feeding when the depth of the 25 isohaline exceeded 9 m. Limitation of feeding success attributable to freshwater inputs occurred exclusively in 1988, the only time when the depth of the 25 isohaline exceeded the 9 m threshold. The close dependence of larval fish feeding success on the timing of the freshet and plume dynamics suggests a direct link between climate and survival of Arctic cod and sand lance larvae. The actual impact of climate fluctuations and/or hydro-electric developments on recruitment will depend on the fraction of the larval dispersal area of the two species that is affected by river plumes.