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Diet of the Copepod Calanus Sinicus Brodsky, 1962 (Copepoda, Calanoida, Calanidae) in Northern Coastal Waters of Taiwan During the Northeast Monsoon Period

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The calanoid copepod, Calanus sinicus is transported into Taiwanese waters during the northeast (NE) monsoon season, during which time cold waters make incursions into Taiwanese coastal areas. Little is known about the feeding ecology of this copepod. We investigated the gut contents of C. sinicus using scanning electron microscopy (SEM). Samples were collected in northern coastal waters of Taiwan in January 2005. Gut content analysis of copepodites stage V (CVs), females, and males showed a large part of their gut contents as unidentifiable chyme, marine snow, or fragments of phytoplankton. However, C. sinicus fed mainly on diatoms and also a little on protozoans, dinoflagellates, bacteria, and coccoliths. Male dietary gut contents differed in composition from that of CVs and females. Additionally, gut fullness shows a significant difference between CVs, females, and males, with the highest ratio observed in females and the lowest in males. There was an offset in time between gut fullness of male and female copepodites. Thus, we suggest C. sinicus is omnivorous, but this species feeds primarily on phytoplankton with some variations in the course of its ontogeny. In conclusion, C. sinicus adapted rapidly and fed on endemic plankton as its main food source in the waters of Taiwan during the NE monsoon. Le copépode calanoide Calanus sinicus est transporté dans les eaux taïwanaises pendant la mousson du nord-est (NE), saison durant laquelle des eaux froides font des incursions dans les zones côtières taïwanaises. L'écologie alimentaire de ce copépode est très peu connue. Nous avons étudié les contenus stomacaux de C. sinicus grâce à la microscopie électronique à balayage (MEB). Les échantillons ont été prélevés dans les eaux côtières au nord de Taiwan, en Janvier 2005. Une grande partie des contenus stomacaux des copépodites V (CV), des males et des femelles étaient non identifiables apparaissant ainsi en forme de chyme, de « marine snow » (« neige marine ») ou de fragments de phytoplancton. Toutefois, la nourriture de C. sinicus était essentiellement constituée de diatomées et dans une moindre mesure de protozoaires, de dinoflagellés, de bactéries et de coccolithes. La composition des contenus stomacaux des males différait de celle des CV et des femelles. En outre, le remplissage de l'estomac montrait une différence significative entre les CV, les males et les femelles, avec des ratios plus élevés observés chez les femelles et ceux plus faibles chez les mâles. Il y avait un décalage dans le temps pour le remplissage l'intestin entre les males, les femelles et les copépodites. Ainsi, nous estimons que C. sinicus est omnivore, mais se nourrit essentiellement de phytoplancton avec quelques variations ontogéniques. En conclusion, C. sinicus s'adapte rapidement dans les eaux de Taiwan pendant la mousson du NE en utilisant le plancton endémique comme principale source de nourriture.

Affiliations: 1: Institute of Marine Biology, National Taiwan Ocean University, Keelung 202, Taiwan; 2: Institute of Marine Biology, National Taiwan Ocean University, Keelung 202, Taiwan;, Email:


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