Biochemical assessment of larval fish feeding ecology and the importance of protozoans (39271)

  • Swalethorp, Rasmus (Project Coordinator)

Project Details


Growth and survival of early life stages of fish result from complex bio-physical processes. Availability of suitable prey is especially crucial during the early life where fish are most vulnerable to starvation and predation. However, the feeding ecology and importance of unicellular protozooplankton in the diet larval fish is still poorly understood.

This project will provide new insight into the trophic ecology of the ecologically and economically important Pacific sardine and Northern anchovy. To estimate trophic level, cutting edge biochemical tools such as Compound Specific Isotopic Analysis on Amino Acids will be applied. The observed differences in larval trophy relative to growth and to environmental conditions will help to determine their trophic flexibility.

Moreover, changes in larval trophy related to inter-annual and decadal changes in environmental conditions may explain the relationship between larval feeding opportunities and fluctuations in recruitment to the adult population. Therefore, the expected results will contribute to improved predictions of fish population size and changes in marine ecosystem structures.

This project is coordinated by DTU Aqua.

Research area: Ocenography
Effective start/end date01/01/201531/12/2016

Collaborative partners

  • Technical University of Denmark (lead)
  • University of California at San Diego (Project partner)
  • National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (Project partner)


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