Comparative visual and DNA-based diet assessment extends the prey spectrum of polar cod Boreogadus saida.
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Maes, Sarah M.
Schaafsma, Fokje L.
Mark, Felix C.
Volckaert, Filip A.M.
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The Arctic marine ecosystem is changing fast due to climate change, emphasizing the need for solid ecological baselines and monitoring. The polar cod Boreogadus saida functions as a key species in the Arctic marine food web. We investigated the stomach contents of polar cod from the northern Barents Sea using DNA metabarcoding with the mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase I gene in parallel with classical visual analysis. Arctic amphipods and krill dominated the diet in both methods. Yet, metabarcoding allowed for the identification of digested and unidentifiable prey and provided higher taxonomic resolution, revealing new and undiscovered prey items of polar cod in the area. Furthermore, molecular results suggest a higher importance of barnacles and fish (presumably eggs and pelagic larvae) in the diet than previously recorded. Parasites and, in 6 cases, other prey items were only visually identified, demonstrating the complementary nature of both approaches. The presence of temperate a.....
JournalMarine Ecology Progress Series
Sustainable Development Goals (SDG)14.a
Spatial CoverageBarents Sea
CitationMaes, S. M., Schaafsma, F. L., Christiansen, H., Hellemans, B., Lucassen, M., Mark, F. C., Flores, H. and Volckaert, F. A. M. (2022) Comparative visual and DNA-based diet assessment extends the prey spectrum of polar cod Boreogadus saida. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 698, pp.139–154. DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/meps14145
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