Virginia Institute of Marine Science
Data on the trophic dynamics of fishes are needed for management of ecosystems such as Chesapeake Bay. Summer flounder (Paralichthys dentatus) are an abundant seasonal resident of the bay and have the potential to impact food-web dynamics. Analyses of diet data for late juvenile and adult summer flounder collected from 2002-2006 in Chesapeake Bay were conducted to characterize the role of this flatfish in this estuary and to contribute to our understanding of summer flounder trophic dynamics throughout its range. Despite the diversity of prey, nearly half of the diet comprised mysid shrimp (Neomysis spp.) and bay anchovy (Anchoa mitchilli). Ontogenetic differences in diet and an increase in diet diversity with increasing fish size were documented. Temporal (inter- and intra-annual) changes were also detected, as well as trends in diet reflecting peaks in abundance and diversity of prey. The preponderance of fishes in the diet of summer flounder indicates that this species is an important piscivorous predator in Chesapeake Bay.
Striped Bass; Continental-Shelf; Predation; Estuary; Habits; Growth; Diets; Size; Food
Latour, Robert J.; Gartland, James; Bonzek, Christopher F.; and Johnson, RaeMarie, "The Trophic Dynamics Of Summer Flounder (Paralichthys Dentatus) In Chesapeake Bay" (2008). VIMS Articles. 558.