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Chaetognaths in the South Adriatic: vertical distribution and feeding

  • Mirna Batistić (a1), Josip Mikuš (a1) and Jakica Njire (a1)

Abstract

Feeding and vertical distribution of pelagic chaetognaths were studied at coastal and open-sea stations in the northern part of the South Adriatic Pit during five cruises from April 1993 to February 1995. Chaetognaths were more numerous in the upper 100 m, decreased conspicuously with depth, and were captured only rarely between 600 and 1000 m. Copepods were the main food for the most abundant species in all layers. Cannibalism was evident in all species. Feeding on fertilized chaetognath eggs by Pseudosagitta lyra and Mesosagitta decipiens is reported for the first time. The food containing ratio (FCR) and number of prey items per chaetognath (NPC) of Flaccisagitta enflata were highest during the reproductive period. Higher FCRs and NPCs for M. decipiens and P. lyra were noted below 100 m, where the contribution of older specimens increased with depth and the abundance of copepods decreased.

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Chaetognaths in the South Adriatic: vertical distribution and feeding

  • Mirna Batistić (a1), Josip Mikuš (a1) and Jakica Njire (a1)

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