Feeding habits of Calanus sinicus (Crustacea: Copepoda) during spring and autumn in the Bohai Sea studied with the herbivore index
Keywords:Calanus sinicus, feeding habits, fecundity, ingestion, herbivore index, Bohai Sea
Pigment ingestion rate (PIR) and egg production rate (EPR) of the dominant copepod Calanus sinicus, as well as chlorophyll-a concentration and phytoplankton assemblages were measured in the Bohai Sea, North China in June 1997, October 1998 and May 1999. A herbivore index (H) was also calculated as the carbon specific ratio of PIR and EPR, in order to investigate its feeding habits in the spring and autumn phytoplankton bloom respectively. On average, chlorophyll-a concentration was relatively similar (1-1.34 mg m-3) in the three cruises, but PIR was quite different. It was 3.24 µg C female-1 d-1 in October, equivalent to one half of the PIR for June and one third of the PIR for May. Average EPR was highest in May, and quite similar during the other two months. According to H values, herbivorous feeding contributed 100% of the egg production of C. sinicus in June, 82.5% in May, but only 47.8% in October. It is possible that omnivorous feeding of C. sinicus in October was induced by a prevalence of large-sized diatoms and sufficient non-phytoplankton food resources during the autumn bloom period.
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