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Haozhi Sui, Ying Xue, Yunkai Li, Binduo Xu, Chongliang Zhang, Yiping Ren. Feeding ecology of Japanese Spanish mackerel (Scomberomorus niphonius) along the eastern coastal waters of China[J]. Acta Oceanologica Sinica.
Citation: Haozhi Sui, Ying Xue, Yunkai Li, Binduo Xu, Chongliang Zhang, Yiping Ren. Feeding ecology of Japanese Spanish mackerel (Scomberomorus niphonius) along the eastern coastal waters of China[J]. Acta Oceanologica Sinica.

Feeding ecology of Japanese Spanish mackerel (Scomberomorus niphonius) along the eastern coastal waters of China

Funds:  The Marine S&T Fund of Shandong Province for Pilot National Laboratory for Marine Science and Technology (Qingdao) under contract No. 2018SDKJ0501-2; the National Key R&D Program of China under contract No. 2017YEE0104400; the National Natural Science Foundation of China under contract Nos 31772852 and 31802301.
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  • Feeding activities provide necessary nutrition and energy to support the reproduction and development of fish populations. The feeding ecology and dietary plasticity of fish are important factors determining their recruitment and population dynamics. As a top predator, Japanese Spanish mackerel (Scomberomorus niphonius) supports one of the most valuable fisheries in China. In this study, the feeding ecology and diet composition of Japanese Spanish mackerel spawning groups were analysed based on samples collected from six spawning grounds along the eastern coastal waters of China during spring (March to May) in 2016 and 2017. Both stomach contents and stable isotope analysis were conducted. Stomach content analysis showed that spawning groups of Japanese Spanish mackerel mainly fed on fish, consuming more than 40 different prey species. Diets were significantly different among sampling locations. The most important prey species were Stolephorus in Fuzhou, Japanese anchovy Engraulis japonicus in Xiangshan, Euphausia pacifica in Lüsi, sand lance Ammodytes personatus in Qingdao and Weihai, and Leptochela gracilis in Laizhou Bay. Stable isotope analysis showed that the trophic level of Japanese Spanish mackerel was relatively high and generally increased with latitude from south to north. In the 1980s, the diet of Japanese Spanish mackerel was dominated solely by Japanese anchovies in the eastern coastal waters of China. The results in the present study showed that the importance of Japanese anchovies declined considerably, and this fish was not the most dominant diet in most of the investigated waters. Both the spatial variations in diet composition and changes in the dominant diet over the long term indicated the high adaptability of Japanese Spanish mackerel to the environment. Combining the results of stomach analysis and stable isotope analysis from different tissues provided more comprehensive and accurate dietary information on Japanese Spanish mackerel. The study provides essential information about the feeding ecology of Japanese Spanish mackerel and will benefit the management of its populations in the future.
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