Feeding and growth of Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua L.) in the eastern Baltic Sea under environmental change

Stefan Neuenfeldt*, Valerio Bartolino, Alessandro Orio, Ken Haste Andersen, Niels Gerner Andersen, Susa Niiranen, Ulf Bergström, Didzis Ustups, Nataliia Kulatska, Michele Casini

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Five decades of stomach content data allowed insight into the development of consumption, diet composition, and resulting somatic growth of Gadus morhua (Atlantic cod) in the eastern Baltic Sea. We show a recent reversal in feeding level over body length. Present feeding levels of small cod indicate severe growth limitation and increased starvation-related mortality. For young cod, the low growth rate and the high mortality rate are manifested through a reduction in size-at-age. The low feeding levels are likely the result of a decrease in benthic prey abundance due to increased hypoxic areas, while decreasing abundances of pelagic species in the area of cod distribution have prevented a compensatory shift in diet. Our study emphasizes that environmental forcing and the decline in pelagic prey caused changes in consumption and growth rates of small cod. The food reduction is amplified by stunted growth leading to high densities of cod of smaller size competing for the scarce resources. The average growth rate is negative, and only individuals with feeding levels well above average will survive, though growing slowly. These results suggest that the relation between consumption rate, somatic growth and predatorprey population densities is strongly environmentally mediated.
Original languageEnglish
JournalICES Journal of Marine Science
Number of pages9
ISSN1054-3139
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2020

Keywords

  • Baltic Sea
  • Bioenergetics modelling
  • Environmental change
  • Gadus morhua
  • Growth
  • Predation
  • Stomach data

Cite this

Neuenfeldt, Stefan ; Bartolino, Valerio ; Orio, Alessandro ; Andersen, Ken Haste ; Andersen, Niels Gerner ; Niiranen, Susa ; Bergström, Ulf ; Ustups, Didzis ; Kulatska, Nataliia ; Casini, Michele. / Feeding and growth of Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua L.) in the eastern Baltic Sea under environmental change. In: ICES Journal of Marine Science. 2020.
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title = "Feeding and growth of Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua L.) in the eastern Baltic Sea under environmental change",
abstract = "Five decades of stomach content data allowed insight into the development of consumption, diet composition, and resulting somatic growth of Gadus morhua (Atlantic cod) in the eastern Baltic Sea. We show a recent reversal in feeding level over body length. Present feeding levels of small cod indicate severe growth limitation and increased starvation-related mortality. For young cod, the low growth rate and the high mortality rate are manifested through a reduction in size-at-age. The low feeding levels are likely the result of a decrease in benthic prey abundance due to increased hypoxic areas, while decreasing abundances of pelagic species in the area of cod distribution have prevented a compensatory shift in diet. Our study emphasizes that environmental forcing and the decline in pelagic prey caused changes in consumption and growth rates of small cod. The food reduction is amplified by stunted growth leading to high densities of cod of smaller size competing for the scarce resources. The average growth rate is negative, and only individuals with feeding levels well above average will survive, though growing slowly. These results suggest that the relation between consumption rate, somatic growth and predatorprey population densities is strongly environmentally mediated.",
keywords = "Baltic Sea, Bioenergetics modelling, Environmental change, Gadus morhua, Growth, Predation, Stomach data",
author = "Stefan Neuenfeldt and Valerio Bartolino and Alessandro Orio and Andersen, {Ken Haste} and Andersen, {Niels Gerner} and Susa Niiranen and Ulf Bergstr{\"o}m and Didzis Ustups and Nataliia Kulatska and Michele Casini",
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Feeding and growth of Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua L.) in the eastern Baltic Sea under environmental change. / Neuenfeldt, Stefan; Bartolino, Valerio; Orio, Alessandro; Andersen, Ken Haste; Andersen, Niels Gerner; Niiranen, Susa; Bergström, Ulf; Ustups, Didzis; Kulatska, Nataliia; Casini, Michele.

In: ICES Journal of Marine Science, 2020.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Feeding and growth of Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua L.) in the eastern Baltic Sea under environmental change

AU - Neuenfeldt, Stefan

AU - Bartolino, Valerio

AU - Orio, Alessandro

AU - Andersen, Ken Haste

AU - Andersen, Niels Gerner

AU - Niiranen, Susa

AU - Bergström, Ulf

AU - Ustups, Didzis

AU - Kulatska, Nataliia

AU - Casini, Michele

PY - 2020

Y1 - 2020

N2 - Five decades of stomach content data allowed insight into the development of consumption, diet composition, and resulting somatic growth of Gadus morhua (Atlantic cod) in the eastern Baltic Sea. We show a recent reversal in feeding level over body length. Present feeding levels of small cod indicate severe growth limitation and increased starvation-related mortality. For young cod, the low growth rate and the high mortality rate are manifested through a reduction in size-at-age. The low feeding levels are likely the result of a decrease in benthic prey abundance due to increased hypoxic areas, while decreasing abundances of pelagic species in the area of cod distribution have prevented a compensatory shift in diet. Our study emphasizes that environmental forcing and the decline in pelagic prey caused changes in consumption and growth rates of small cod. The food reduction is amplified by stunted growth leading to high densities of cod of smaller size competing for the scarce resources. The average growth rate is negative, and only individuals with feeding levels well above average will survive, though growing slowly. These results suggest that the relation between consumption rate, somatic growth and predatorprey population densities is strongly environmentally mediated.

AB - Five decades of stomach content data allowed insight into the development of consumption, diet composition, and resulting somatic growth of Gadus morhua (Atlantic cod) in the eastern Baltic Sea. We show a recent reversal in feeding level over body length. Present feeding levels of small cod indicate severe growth limitation and increased starvation-related mortality. For young cod, the low growth rate and the high mortality rate are manifested through a reduction in size-at-age. The low feeding levels are likely the result of a decrease in benthic prey abundance due to increased hypoxic areas, while decreasing abundances of pelagic species in the area of cod distribution have prevented a compensatory shift in diet. Our study emphasizes that environmental forcing and the decline in pelagic prey caused changes in consumption and growth rates of small cod. The food reduction is amplified by stunted growth leading to high densities of cod of smaller size competing for the scarce resources. The average growth rate is negative, and only individuals with feeding levels well above average will survive, though growing slowly. These results suggest that the relation between consumption rate, somatic growth and predatorprey population densities is strongly environmentally mediated.

KW - Baltic Sea

KW - Bioenergetics modelling

KW - Environmental change

KW - Gadus morhua

KW - Growth

KW - Predation

KW - Stomach data

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JO - I C E S Journal of Marine Science

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SN - 1054-3139

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