Overview

Brief Summary

Brevoortia is a genus containing six species of small, oily, 6-12 inch long marine fish related to the herrings (family Clupeidae). All six species are found in the western Atlantic, in tight, slow-moving, near-surface shoals; the various species inhabit estuaries, coastal waters and off-shore waters out to the edge of the continental shelf. They spawn at any time of year, especially in coastal estuaries. Known commonly as menhaden, pogy, fatback, and mossbunker, Brevoortia, especially the gulf menhaden (B. petronus) and Atlantic menhaden (B. tyrannus) are important economically and the major contributors to commercially available fish oil (especially omega-3 fatty acids), fish meal and bait. In addition, menhaden are ecologically vital as filter feeders on algae and phytoplankton and as important mechanisms for migrating excess nutrients that cause algal blooms out of coastal waters, and as a prey source supporting the existence of a wide diversity of fish bird and marine mammal species. The important ecological role of the Atlantic menhaden (B. tyrannus) and decline of this species is discussed in a recent book “The Most Important Fish in the Sea,” by H. B. Franklin, published in 2007. The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission, an interstate agreement that manages Atlantic menhaden, considers populations healthy overall, but overfished and locally depleted and in 2006 capped fishing in the Chesapeake Bay.

(Franklin 2001; Franklin 2007; Wikipedia 2012; Wikipedia 2012; Waine 2011)

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Ecology

Habitat

Depth range based on 1711 specimens in 6 taxa.
Water temperature and chemistry ranges based on 402 samples.

Environmental ranges
  Depth range (m): 0 - 243
  Temperature range (°C): 5.381 - 25.997
  Nitrate (umol/L): 0.286 - 17.036
  Salinity (PPS): 32.419 - 36.323
  Oxygen (ml/l): 3.350 - 6.535
  Phosphate (umol/l): 0.092 - 1.316
  Silicate (umol/l): 0.756 - 17.288

Graphical representation

Depth range (m): 0 - 243

Temperature range (°C): 5.381 - 25.997

Nitrate (umol/L): 0.286 - 17.036

Salinity (PPS): 32.419 - 36.323

Oxygen (ml/l): 3.350 - 6.535

Phosphate (umol/l): 0.092 - 1.316

Silicate (umol/l): 0.756 - 17.288
 
Note: this information has not been validated. Check this *note*. Your feedback is most welcome.

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Associations

Known predators

Brevoortia is prey of:
Roccus
Cynoscion

Based on studies in:
USA: North Carolina, Pamlico (Estuarine)

This list may not be complete but is based on published studies.
  • B. J. Copeland, K. R. Tenore, D. B. Horton, Oligohaline regime. In: Coastal Ecological Systems of the United States, H. T. Odum, B. J. Copeland, E. A. McMahan, Eds. (Conservation Foundation, Washington, DC, 1974) 2:315-357, from p. 318.
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Known prey organisms

Brevoortia preys on:
detritus
phytoplankton
Acartia tonsa

Based on studies in:
USA: Rhode Island (Marine)
USA: North Carolina, Pamlico (Estuarine)

This list may not be complete but is based on published studies.
  • S. W. Nixon and C. A. Oviatt, Ecology of a New England salt marsh, Ecol. Monogr. 43:463-498, from p. 491 (1973).
  • B. J. Copeland, K. R. Tenore, D. B. Horton, Oligohaline regime. In: Coastal Ecological Systems of the United States, H. T. Odum, B. J. Copeland, E. A. McMahan, Eds. (Conservation Foundation, Washington, DC, 1974) 2:315-357, from p. 318.
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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Statistics of barcoding coverage

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLD) Stats
                                        
Specimen Records:470Public Records:408
Specimens with Sequences:460Public Species:5
Specimens with Barcodes:69Public BINs:2
Species:6         
Species With Barcodes:6         
          
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Barcode data

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Locations of barcode samples

Collection Sites: world map showing specimen collection locations for Brevoortia

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