Collected reprints: Abstract 4015
Fockedey, N.; Mees, J. (1999). Feeding of the hyperbenthic mysid Neomysis integer in the maximum turbidity zone of the Elbe, Westerschelde and Gironde estuaries. J. Mar. Syst. 22: 207-228
The diet of the mysid Neomysis integerin the maximum turbidity zone (MTZ) of three European estuaries (Elbe, Westerschelde and Gironde) was investigated in spring 1993. The quality and quantity of the diet were assessed through measurement of the stomach fullness and microscopical analysis of the stomach content combined with image analyses. N. integer was found to be an omnivore which mainly utilizes mesozooplankton and detritus carbon pools. The quality of the diet did not differ between the sexes or between different developmental stages, although smaller individuals consumed fewer items. In all three estuaries the diet was dominated by Copepoda Calanoida (5-10 Eurytemora affinis ind-1 for adults; 2-5 ind-1 and 2-3 ind-1 for subadults and juveniles, respectively) and was supplemented with Rotifera and Cladocera. Phytoplankton and benthic organisms, though present in the stomachs, were negligible. Macrophytal detritus and amorphous material, the latter unidentifiable under the light microscope, were very abundant food items. The amorphous detritus was found to originate from the suspended sediment flocs which are characteristic for the MTZ and mainly consist of clay minerals. The energetic value of the flocs for N. integer remains unclear.
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