Feeding of plankton in turbulent oceans and lakes
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionLimnology and Oceanography. 2019, 64 (3), 1034-1046. 10.1002/lno.11094
Analytical models for the statistical distribution of the gut content of fish larvae in a turbulent ocean environment are compared to data obtained in a field experiment. The proposed model allows the nutrition state and thereby the survival probability of plankton populations to be estimated for given conditions and parameters characterizing their environment, i.e., prey concentrations and turbulence levels. These parameters are all available in the field data. Other parameters such as the capture range and fields of view together with a characteristic time for digesting prey are assumed to be known. The analysis allows an estimate for the probability density of the gut content of plankton in terms of the number of nauplii in the gut. In particular, the analytical results give a basis for evaluating the average gut content of a given plankton population on the basis of basic information concerning the prey concentration and the turbulence intensity. Also analytical models for the prey capture rates are compared with results based on the field data. The analysis emphasizes the effects of turbulence.