Energy budgets and feeding rates of Coryphaenoides acrolepis and C. armatus
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This study develops energy budgets and estimates feeding rates for two macrourid fishes, Coryphaenoides acrolepis, dominant in the bathyal eastern North Pacific, and the abyssal cosmopolitan species, Coryphaenoides armatus. Daily energy expenditure by C. acrolepis was nearly twice that of C. armatus. C. acrolepis allocated nearly equal amounts of energy to metabolism and growth. Once sexual maturity was reached reproduction became the dominant energetic cost. Either these costs are necessary to retain adequate numbers of eggs and larvae on the continental slopes, or this fish does not reproduce on an annual basis and the calculated costs are an overestimate. C. armatus allocated relatively more energy to metabolism than growth. It may be semelparous, and this strategy would be of great energetic savings in its food-poor but stable environment. Individual daily ration for C. acrolepis decreased from 0.31% to 0.07% of body weight (BW) and for C. armatus from 0.12% to 0.02% BW with increasing fish length. These rates are substantially lower than those for fishes living in cold waters on the continental shelves. The population feeding rates for C. acrolepis ranged from 0.8 to 15 kg km–2 day–1 and for C. armatus from 5 to 2,800 g km–2 day–1. The scavenging behaviour of C. acrolepis was used to investigate the role of carrion as a food supply to the deep-sea benthos. It was estimated that the carrion eaten by C. acrolepis is equivalent to 0.04 mg C m–2 day–1 or only 0.2–0.4% of the average small particulate flux. Carrion consumption is important for scavengers like C. acrolepis, but it is not an important component of the carbon flux into the deep-sea benthic environment.
KeywordsContinental Shelf Energy Budget Sexual Maturity Continental Slope Carbon Flux
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