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Polar Biology

, Volume 37, Issue 10, pp 1507–1515 | Cite as

Dietary overlap among early juvenile stages in an Antarctic notothenioid fish assemblage at Potter Cove, South Shetland Islands

  • Eugenia MoreiraEmail author
  • Mariana Juáres
  • Esteban Barrera-Oro
Original Paper

Abstract

To date, studies of food overlap in Antarctic fish have been performed on a mixture of late juvenile and adult stages, leaving the young immature specimens (TL ≤ 10 cm) practically unexplored. We studied diet overlap and potential competition among early juvenile individuals in a coastal notothenioid community at Potter Cove, by analysing the stomach contents of 225 fish of 5 species collected in the summer of 2009–2010. We used frequency of occurrence (F %) and the coefficient “Q” for diet evaluation and the method of Tyler and the similarity index “S” for food overlap. Amphipods of the suborder Gammaridea were the main (Q > 2.900) and most frequent (% F) prey for all species, although Notothenia coriiceps also consumed gastropods of the family Littorinidae, mostly Laevilitorina antarctica. Secondary prey were algae for Notothenia rossii and N. coriiceps, calanoid (pelagic) and harpacticoid (benthic) copepods for Trematomus newnesi and the latter copepods and isopods of the family Munnidae for Lepidonotothen nudifrons. The reoccurrence of prey among fish species was 39.6 % and food overlap between 90 % of species pairs was under 58 %. Because similarly low values of diet overlap were reported for intermediate/advanced juveniles and adults of the same species at the same site, we conclude that there is no difference in the degree of interspecific food overlap and therefore potential competition between the immature and mature fraction of the fish community. Food competition is avoided by resource partitioning along a depth gradient or by different prey species.

Keywords

Juvenile fish Food competition Trophic ecology Antarctic ecosystem 

Notes

Acknowledgments

We thank Carlos Bellisio, Luis Vila and Oscar González, members of the Instituto Antártico Argentino for their field assistance. We are grateful to Drs. G. Alonso, J. Lopez Gappa, M. Landoni, and L. Quartino, and Lic. G. Campana and Lic. D. Deregibus helped with prey identification. We thank Dr. M. La Mesa, Prof. J. Eastman and an anonymous referee, whose critical comments improved the quality of this paper.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Eugenia Moreira
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Mariana Juáres
    • 1
  • Esteban Barrera-Oro
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.Instituto Antártico ArgentinoCiudad Autónoma de Buenos AiresArgentina
  2. 2.CONICET, Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y TécnicasBuenos AiresArgentina
  3. 3.Museo Argentino de Ciencias Naturales “Bernardino Rivadavia”Buenos AiresArgentina

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