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Feeding and growth of juvenile stone flounder in estuaries: generality and the importance of sublethal tissue cropping of benthic invertebrates

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Abstract

We investigated the feeding habits and growth of juvenile stone flounder (Platichthys bicoloratus) in several estuarine nurseries in Sendai Bay, Japan. Prey abundance and composition and juvenile diet varied largely among sites. However, polychaete palps (mostly Pseudopolydora kempi) and bivalve siphons (mostly Nuttallia olivacea) were positively selected and frequently consumed by juveniles, indicating the generality of sublethal feeding of juvenile stone flounder in estuarine nurseries. Recent growth rates determined by otolith microstructure analyses were dependent on juvenile body size and water temperature, but independent of juvenile density and food abundance. Growth rates were nearly maximal from March to May, suggesting that food conditions are nearly optimal in these estuarine nurseries. Sublethal tissue cropping of benthic invertebrates is thought to contribute largely to these high growth rates.

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Acknowledgments

We are grateful to S. Uehara, Tohoku National Fisheries Research Institute, for his support in otolith microstructure analysis. We thank K. Ito and M. Kudo for allowing us to refer to their experimental data. We also thank anonymous reviewers for their helpful advices on earlier draft of this paper.

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Correspondence to Takeshi Tomiyama.

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Communicated by S. Nishida, Tokyo.

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Tomiyama, T., Omori, M. & Minami, T. Feeding and growth of juvenile stone flounder in estuaries: generality and the importance of sublethal tissue cropping of benthic invertebrates. Mar Biol 151, 365–376 (2007). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00227-006-0491-1

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s00227-006-0491-1

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