This study examines the feeding habits of Lepidion lepidion, the dominant species of fish and the most abundant morid inhabiting the deep slope of the Catalan Sea, and presents some data on the diet of the other two deep-water morids inhabiting this zone. Samples were obtained at depths between 1000 and 2200 m. The diet of L. lepidion was analysed in two size-classes and for three bathymetric strata. The feeding habits of L. lepidion included a broad range of benthic and pelagic prey. The planktonic prey are most abundant at 1000-1400 m and are almost entirely absent at 1800-2200 m. Suprabenthos increases with depth. This difference may be the consequence of a change in available resources. There are ontogenetic differences in the diet of L. lepidion that are basically determined by the depth (below 1600 m only adult specimens are found). Lepidion guentheri and Mora moro were active predators of suprabenthic and epibenthic fauna. The bathymetric distribution of morids is also discussed in relation to a possible competitive interaction for similar resources.
|Journal||Deep-Sea Research Part I: Oceanographic Research Papers|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Sep 1997|