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Feeding Guild of the Dominant Trawl Species in the Southeastern Waters of Peninsular Malaysia

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Author(s): Y.G. Seah | A.G. Mazlan | S. Abdullah | C.C. Zaidi | G. Usup | C.A.R. Mohamed

Journal: Journal of Biological Sciences
ISSN 1727-3048

Volume: 11;
Issue: 2;
Start page: 221;
Date: 2011;
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Keywords: priacanthidae | leiognathidae | demersal fishes | trophodynamic analyses | Trophic level | diet composition

ABSTRACT
In this study, stomach content analyses were used to determine the feeding guild of dominant trawl species comprising leiognathids and priacanthids. Specimens were collected from the southeastern coastal waters of Peninsular Malaysia using commercial trawler. Five species of leiognathids and two species of priacanthids were caught throughout the study. The results showed that the mean value of trophic level for leiognathid species, Photopectoralis bindus was 3.220.49, Gazza minuta was 2.750.29, Secutor indicius was 2.870.30, Eubleekeria jonesi was 2.490.27, Equulites stercorarius was 2.630.30 and for priacanthid species, Priacanthus macracanthus was 3.510.47 and Priacanthus tayenus was 3.610.45. The results indicated that the feeding regime of P. bindus, G. minuta and S. indicius can be categorized as bentho-pelagic feeders that have forwardly or upwardly protractible mouth types and feed mainly on zooplankton and zoobenthos. E. stercorarius and E. jonesi with a downwardly protractible mouth type feed mainly on zoobenthos and can be classified as benthivorous. The results suggested that the forwardly or upwardly protractible mouth types leiognathids occupy a higher trophic level compared to the downwardly protractible mouth type leiognathids. Both priacanthids with upturned mouth type have similar diet composition consisting of crustaceans, polychaetes, ostracods, fish and cephalopods. They are thus mid-level carnivores since the species are able to consume organisms at trophic level 3.5. The results revealed that the value of trophic level for priacanthid species were higher than leiognathid species.

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