In situ determination of food daily ration in fish: review and field evaluation
- Cite this article as:
- Héroux, D. & Magnan, P. Environ Biol Fish (1996) 46: 61. doi:10.1007/BF00001699
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A literature review showed that numerous studies have dealt with the estimation of fish daily ration in the field. Comparisons of results from different studies are often difficult due to the use of different approaches and methods for parameter estimations. The objective of the present study was to compare the most commonly used approaches to estimate fish daily ration and to propose a standardized procedure for their estimation in the field. Comparisons were based on a field experiment specifically designed to investigate these questions and on data and theoretical considerations found in the literature. The results showed that (1) the gut fullness computed with entire digestive tract content is preferable to the stomach content only, supporting recent research done on other fish species; (2) it is important to consider the data distribution before estimating parameters; (3) estimates of experimental evacuation rates should be used rather than maximum evacuation rate for species showing no feeding periodicity; (4) it is necessary to exclude parasites from gut content in the computation of daily ration as they may significantly decrease daily ration estimates (by an average of 29.3% in this study); and (5) the Eggers (1977) model is as appropriate as, and less complex than, the Elliott & Persson (1978) model for estimating fish daily ration in the field, again supporting recent experiments done on other fish species.