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Food resource partitioning between juvenile and mature weatherfish Misgurnus fossilis


Pyrzanowski, Kacper (2022), Food resource partitioning between juvenile and mature weatherfish Misgurnus fossilis, Dryad, Dataset,


This study represents a description of the diet composition of one of the largest European cobitids, the weatherfish Misgurnus fossilis. Specimens were collected in a drainage canal, representing a typical habitat for weatherfish, and with gut content analysis conducted with regard to individual total length and maturity stage. Overall, the weatherfish diet mainly consisted of Copepoda, Cladocera, Oligochaeta, Crustacea (Asellus aquaticus), Chironomidae, detritus and insect larvae. To evaluate size-related patterns of resource use, fish were assigned to two size classes, defined according to size at first maturation. ANOSIM analyses revealed major ontogenetic shifts in feeding strategy that were related to size and maturity, with a significant ontogenetic shift in feeding pattern, marked by differences in the proportions of the main taxonomic groups of prey consumed. Copepoda and Cladocera dominated in the diet of small and immature individuals, while large weatherfish primarily fed on detritus. Similarly, cluster analysis of diet classified into these food types showed distinct two groups comprising juvenile and mature fish. Spatially, weatherfish showed a change in feeding sites from the water column to substrate.