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Seasonal variability in food consumption, body composition and allometric relationships in the brown shrimp Farfantepenaeus aztecus (Ives, 1891) (Decapoda, Penaeidae) from Tamiahua Lagoon, Veracruz

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The effect of salinity and temperature regimes, typical of most contrasting periods of the annual cycle (warm and cold) at Tamiahua lagoon, Veracruz, Mexico, on food consumption, body composition and allometric relationships of juveniles of the brown shrimp Farfantepenaeus aztecus (Ives, 1891) were examined. The following morphometric and tissue composition parameters were measured: total length (TL), cephalothorax length (CL), wet weight (WW), dry weight (DW), % body water content, organic matter (OM), total minerals (TM) and energy content (EC). The digestive tract of shrimps collected from both warm and cold periods was analysed determining its composition, quantity, and caloric content of the ingested food. Allometric relationships were calculated among: DW-WW, WW-TL and CL-TL. OM and TM content were correlated with the shrimp’s body weight. During the cold and warm seasons, salinity fluctuated between 24 and 36 psu and 12-36 psu, and average temperatures between 25 and 30°C, respectively. WW-TL and CL-TL relationships were statistically different among shrimps from both seasons. Body water content varied significantly, altering the DW-WW relationship, being higher in the warm season. No significant seasonal variation was detected in the shrimp’s OM, TM and EC. A shift in shrimp feeding habits was distinguished in the two seasons examined. Carnivorous habits prevail in winter whilst herbivory is more frequently observed during the warm season. However, the food energy remained relatively stable in both seasons, indicating that shrimp consume available resources in the lagoon in order to compensate for the absence of other food components and thus to maintain a constant energy flow independent of the season.

Affiliations: 1: 1Laboratorio de Acuacultura y Producción Acuática, Departamento de Biología Comparada, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM), 04510 Mexico, D.F., Mexico; 2: 2Laboratorio de Ecología del Bentos, Instituto de Ciencias del Mar y Limnología, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM), 04510 Mexico, D.F., Mexico


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