Helgoländer Meeresuntersuchungen

, Volume 45, Issue 3, pp 287–300 | Cite as

Feeding activities of two euryhaline small-sized fish in a western Baltic brackish fjord

  • Birgit Antholz
  • Wolfgang Meyer-Antholz
  • C. Dieter Zander


The daily food intake and feeding activities of the common gobyPomatoschistus microps (Krøyer) and the nine-spined sticklebackPungitius pungitius (L.) were investigated in the brackish Schlei fjord. At the investigation site of Olpenitz, salinities varied between 11 and 15‰, and water temperatures between 5 and 18°C during the period of in-situ experiments in 1981 and 1982. Common gobies sometimes attained a density of more than 100 individuals per square metre, nine-spined sticklebacks as much as 18 individuals per square meter. Their food changed depending on the supply of plankton or benthos. Regarding numbers, their food consisted mainly of harpacticoids, in springtimes of calanoids; with regard to weight, amphipods, polychaetes or chironomid larvae often prevailed. The total food ingestion, measured by means of its relation to fish weights (fullness index), was highest in spring and summer: 2.3% inP. microps and 2.6% inP. pungitius. Low fullness indices of 0.8% inP. microps and 0.3% inP. pungitius were found during times of low water temperatures. 24-h field investigations revealed that the adultP. microps presented clear diurnal rhythms with highest fullness indices after dawn and a further maximum at dusk. Only young gobies ingested some benthos at night.P. pungitius displayed similar rhythms in which maximum fullness indices varied during the day. This species seems to forage every four hours. At dusk, both species preferred benthos to plankton. The results are discussed with respect to the implications of diurnal and seasonal fluctuations in prey choice by small-sized fish populations.


Polychaete Feeding Activity Diurnal Rhythm Total Food Daily Food Intake 
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Copyright information

© Biologische Anstalt Helgoland 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Birgit Antholz
    • 1
  • Wolfgang Meyer-Antholz
    • 1
  • C. Dieter Zander
    • 1
  1. 1.Zoologisches Institut und Zoologisches Museum der Universität HamburgHamburg 13Federal Republic of Germany

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