Sex- and Age-Dependent Differences and Habitat Influences on Demersal Arctic Cod, Boreogadus saida (Lepechin 1774) Diet and Energy Allocation in the Canadian Beaufort Sea

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Lynn, Brittany
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Arctic Cod, Boreogadus saida (Lepechin 1774) occur throughout the circumpolar north at all levels of the water column depending on their life history stage, the time of day, the season, and their activity. Arctic Cod are the most abundant fish species in the Canadian Beaufort Sea (CBS) ecosystem, and are an important link in the flow of energy within the food web. This study examined differences in energy acquisition and usage in Arctic Cod among three depth zones in the CBS (from 15-800m) by examining stomach contents and physiological indicators, taking into account sex, age and body size. Nonparametric comparison analyses found no differences with depth, but support for an ontogenetic shift in diet regarding prey size, a difference in energy content of an average diet between size classes 1 (30-60mm) and 2-4 (2: 60-90mm; 3: 90-120mm; 4: >120mm), and a slight positive relationship between physiological indicators and body size.
Arctic, Bioenergetics, Fishes, Growth, Beaufort sea, Arctic cod