• Seasonal and ontogenetic changes in meiofauna in the diets of postmetamorphic flatfish

      McGregor, Susan Broad (1990-12)
      The diets of intertidal postmetamorphic (9.0-97.0 mm SL) rock sole, Lepidopsetta bilineata (Ayres 1855), starry flounder, Platichthvs stellatus (Pallas 1811), and yellowfin sole, Limanda aspera Pallas 1811, were investigated over a one year period in Auke Bay, Alaska. Rock sole were collected earliest, followed by starry flounder, and yellowfin sole. Harpacticoid copepods were the primary prey of small (<20.0 mm standard length) fish of all species. Harpacticoids were also numerically important in the diets of medium (20.0-34.5 mm SL) fish, but relatively unimportant in the diets of large (>35 mm SL) fish. Meiofauna was collected concurrently with fish samples. Settlement of flatfish did not occur when the density of harpacticoids was highest. Highest densities of total harpacticoids occurred during May in both 1987 (2.6 X 106 ± 2.5 X 10s) and 1988 (1.4 X 106 ± 3.2 X 104). Other meiofaunal taxa did not have the same seasonal changes in density. Some minor taxa were only present seasonally.