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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2010

Feeding habits of juvenile flatfish in relation to habitat characteristics in the Baltic Sea

Florin, Ann-Britt; Lavados, Gaston


To investigate feeding habits of juvenile flounder (Platichthys flesus) and turbot (Psetta maxima) in relation to habitat characteristics a field survey with push net sampling was conducted in nursery areas with different ecological characteristics in the northern Baltic proper. Sampling sites were stratified to cover several different habitat types defined by substrate and wave exposure. Apart from flatfishes and epifauna, samples of macrofauna, meiofauna and hyperbenthic planktons were collected from each site together with data on vegetation, depth, salinity, temperature and turbidity. The diet differed between species where flounder diet was dominated by chironomids, copepods and oligochaetes while turbot apart from chironomids had a high incidence of amphipods, gobies and mysids. In both species there was a shift in diet with size, although this shift was influenced by the habitat. Among the environmental variables investigated, wave exposure was found to significantly influence flounder diet. Food preference in the most exposed areas was dominated by oligochaetes and copepods instead of chironomids, which dominated in sheltered areas. This study shows that habitat characteristics can have a major influence on feeding habits of juvenile flatfish. (C) 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


feeding; Platichthys flesus; Psetta maxima; nursery habitat

Published in

Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science
2010, volume: 86, number: 4, pages: 607-612

Authors' information

Lavados, Gaston
Swedish Board of Fisheries

UKÄ Subject classification

Fish and Aquacultural Science

Publication Identifiers


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