Environmental Biology of Fishes

, Volume 74, Issue 2, pp 129–140 | Cite as

Comparative Feeding Ecology of Two Sympatric Greenling Species, Hexagrammos otakii and Hexagrammos agrammus in Eelgrass Zostera marina Beds

  • Seok Nam Kwak
  • Gun Wook Baeck
  • David W Klumpp


Feeding ecology was compared between sympatric greenling species, Hexagrammos otakii and H. agrammus in the eelgrass beds in Jindong Bay, Korea, from January to December. These two species had similar diets composed of crustaceans, polychaetes, gastropods and fishes; both species consumed primarily crustaceans throughout study periods. H. otakii, however, fed a greater proportion of polychaetes and fishes than H. agrammus. H. agrammus had a greater proportion of gastropods in their diets. The diet of both species underwent size-related changes; smaller individuals of H. otakii and H. agrammus consumed amphipods (gammarid amphipods and caprellid amphipods), while larger individuals of H. otakii ate polychaetes and fishes and those of H. agrammus fed mainly on gastropods and crabs. The diet of H. otakii underwent seasonal changes; H. otakii consumed mainly polychaetes and fishes during January and February 2002 but amphipods during March and May 2002. H. agrammus, however, ate mainly gastropods and crabs all seasons. H. otakii underwent also a significant diel changes that could be related to difference of prey availability. Thus the nocturnal emergence of gammarid amphipods, polychaetes and fishes explained their greater consumption by H. otakii. Dietary breadth of both species was lower in the smallest individuals (<5 cm SL) and in March and April 2002. This was due to the disproportionate dry mass attributable to the consumption of amphipods by both H. otakii and H. agrammus. Dietary overlap of both species was relatively moderate to high, in particular in <9.9 cm SL (0.62 – 0.71) from May to July 2002 (0.63 – 0.71). This is coincident with higher abundances of crabs, caridean shrimps and polychaetes in the study area, and it was assumed that these prey species were not limited resources. Higher dietary overlap was correlated with an abundance of a shared resource and did not indicate the interspecific competition between H. otakii and H. agrammus.


diets ontogeny seasonal feeding habits diel variation dietary breadth dietary overlap 


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Copyright information

© Springer 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Seok Nam Kwak
    • 1
  • Gun Wook Baeck
    • 1
  • David W Klumpp
    • 2
  1. 1.Korea Inter-university Institutes of Ocean SciencePukyong UniversityNamgu, PusanKorea
  2. 2.Australian Institutes of Marine ScienceMCAustralia

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