Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science | VOL. 18
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Energy budgets and predation impact of dominant epibenthic carnivores on a shallow soft bottom community at the Swedish west coast

Publication Date Jun 1, 1984

Abstract

The energy flow through the epibenthic community on a shallow soft bottom in Gullmar Fjord, Sweden, is evaluated. The interaction between the dominant epibenthic predators: brown shrimp Crangon crangon L., juvenile plaice Pleuronectes platessa L. and sand goby Pomatoschistus minutus (Pallas), and their food supply is examined, and the fate of the biomass produced within the shallow water ecosystem is described. A steady state model is presented which describes the amounts, pathways and annual rates of energy flowing through the shallow water community. Field and laboratory studies are performed in order to validate the consumption rates of the fish and shrimp species. The brown shrimp occupies a key position in this ecosystem. It represents food, consisting of newly settled juveniles, both to its conspecifics and to other epibenthic species in shallow water. Sixty to eighty per cent of the annual production of shrimps in shallow water is consumed by the epibenthic predators. The brown shrimp constitutes a main predator on other epibenthic species and, by providing such feedback loops, the shrimp constitutes a highly significant regulator of epibenthic carnivores in shallow water. A loss from the benthic community will occur due to predation, maximally amounting to 24–34% of the annual production, which is a high value compared to similar areas. A dynamic simulation is also performed in order to calculate the seasonal change of energy in the epibenthic community in shallow water. Based on mortality calculations, the total out...

Concepts

Shallow Water Juvenile Plaice Pleuronectes Platessa Epibenthic Community Epibenthic Species Sand Goby Pomatoschistus Minutus Brown Shrimp Shallow Soft Bottom Species In Shallow Water Shallow Water Ecosystem Shallow Water Community

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