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RELATIONSHIPS AMONG DIET, GROWTH RATE, AND FOOD AVAILABILITY FOR THE SOUTH AFRICAN ROCK LOBSTER, JASUS LALANDII (DECAPODA, PALINURIDEA)

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The diet (prey species composition and gut fullness) of adult male rock lobsters, Jasus lalandii, was determined from eight sites of contrasting growth rate on the West Coast of South Africa. The proportion of rock lobsters with full stomachs did not differ significantly between fast (FG) and slow growth (SG) sites, while gut fullness was slightly higher at the SG than the FG sites. Bray-Curtis similarity and multidimensional scaling plots showed that rock-lobster diets were not distinguishable at all eight sites studied, and that diets at FG and SG sites were not separated, implying that growth rate is independent of diet. The benthic communities at two sites, Dassen Island (FG) and Olifantsbos (SG) were compared using a video camera. Despite vast differences in the benthos, the diets of adult rock lobsters from these two sites of contrasting growth rates were similar. This leads to the conclusion that rock lobsters are highly selective foragers; a conclusion supported by statistical comparisons between diet and food availability. An analysis conducted on immature male rock lobsters (32-51 mm CL) collected from the Cape Town harbour wall (SG) and Mouille Point (FG) yielded the same results. It was concluded that growth rate is not related to diet per se, but rather to the availability of preferred prey in the benthos.

Affiliations: 1: Marine Biology Research Institute, Zoology Department, University of Cape Town, Private Bag, Rondebosch 7701, South Africa; 2: Marine and Coastal Managemnent, Private Bag Z2, Rogge Bay 8012, South Africa

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/content/journals/10.1163/156854000504831
2000-09-01
2016-12-07

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