Food of the European eel Anguilla anguilla in the Mauguio lagoon (Mediterranean, France)

Abstract : This study deals with temporal variations in eel Anguilla anguilla diet, sampled seasonally in the Languedocian Mauguio lagoon (Gulf of Lion), from Autumn 1998 to Summer 1999. Eel mainly feeds on benthic organisms, primarily small Amphipoda, Crustacea (mainly Gammarus gr. locusta), Polychaeta, insect larvae (Chironomidae) and small fish. Based on variations in the eels feeding regime, seasonal influence is illustrated by decreased feeding activity in summer, which progressively increases during the following seasons. The trophic quality available to eels in the Mauguio lagoon depends more on allochtonous inputs from the catchment area than on its own hydrodynamics on which water of marine origin has little influence due to its long distance from the sea. Variations observed during the four seasons illustrate the opportunist type feeding behaviour of eels. They consume the most available benthic preys at a given moment without using a particular feeding strategy like specialisation or generalisation. Eel adapts its diet according to the available resources offered by the ecosystem. Because of this eel, as an amphihaline migrant species, can be characterised as an obvious indirect bioindicator of the trophic capacity and very marked level of confinement in the brackish lagoon ecosystem of Mauguio.
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Jean-Luc Bouchereau, Catarina Marques, Patricia Pereira, Olivier Guélorget, Yvan Vergne. Food of the European eel Anguilla anguilla in the Mauguio lagoon (Mediterranean, France). Acta Adriatica, Institute of Oceanography and Fisheries, Split, 2009, 50 (2), pp.159-170. ⟨hal-00750416⟩

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