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Structure of winter groundfish feeding guilds in Pacific herring Clupea pallasii and walleye pollock Gadus chalcogrammus nursery fjords.

Authors
  • Gray, Benjamin P1
  • Bishop, Mary Anne1
  • Powers, Sean2
  • 1 Marine Fisheries Research, Prince William Sound Science Center, Cordova, Alaska, USA.
  • 2 Department of Marine Sciences, University of South Alabama, Mobile, Alabama, USA.
Type
Published Article
Journal
Journal of fish biology
Publication Date
Aug 01, 2019
Volume
95
Issue
2
Pages
527–539
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1111/jfb.13984
PMID: 30989661
Source
Medline
Keywords
Language
English
License
Unknown

Abstract

The contents of 1056 stomachs were included in a trophic-guild analysis to document separation amongst 16 groundfish species inhabiting Pacific herring Clupea pallasii and walleye pollock Gadus chalcogrammus nursery fjords in Prince William Sound, Alaska and to determine the relative contribution of C. pallasii and G. chalcogrammus to that separation. A total of five multi-species feeding guilds and one outlier species were determined through multivariate analyses. Major gradients of trophic separation spanned from invertebrates (mostly shrimps, crabs and unidentified decapods) to fishes (mostly unidentified fishes, C. pallasii and G. chalcogrammus) a pattern that was influenced by intra and interspecific differences in predator lengths. While C. pallasii and G. chalcogrammus were important to the overall guild structure, within-guild similarities were consistently highest due to unidentified fishes. In general, larger predators consumed the largest C. pallasii and G. chalcogrammus, with the smaller-on-average predators consuming smaller C. pallasii and fewer or smaller G. chalcogrammus. Regardless of guild inclusion, groundfishes primarily consumed pre-recruit C. pallasii and G. chalcogrammus (i.e., younger than age 3 years fishes), which has the potential to negatively influence recruitment of these forage fishes to the adult, spawning population. © 2019 The Fisheries Society of the British Isles.

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