Miller, T. J. Chesapeake Biological Laboratory /UMCES,
Dower, J. J. Dept. Earth & Ocean Sciences / UBC,

The diets of young fish vary ontogenetically and often show evidence of apparent prey selectivity. Patterns in the diets of young fish have often been ascribed to behaviorally-mediated processes. However, rarely have the constraints imposed by both biology and the physical environment been fully incorporated. We have developed a model that incorporates biological and physical interactions in the encounter, attack and capture processes of larval fish feeding on planktonic prey. Specifically we include effects of small-scale turbulence and spatial patchiness. Biological-physical interactions cause biases in the way in which a searching larva samples the environment. Thus, much of the observed selectivity reflects the encounter driven interactions between prey abundance and larval searching abilities. We conclude that it is rarely necessary to invoke fish behavior to explain the observed patterns. Our conclusions are explored within the framework of test of the model involving independent data from the N. Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico. In general, incorporating biological-physical interactions allows us to predict larval diets to a first approximation.
Day: Monday, Feb. 1
Time: 04:45 - 05:00pm
Location: Sweeney Center
Code: SS01MO0445S