94.6 Saturday, Jan. 7 Suction Induced Force Field: An integrative model of aquatic feeding performance HOLZMAN, R*; COLLAR, D.C.; MEHTA, R.S.; WAINWRIGHT, P.C; Tel Aviv Univ; UC Santa Cruz; UC Santa Cruz; UC Davis email@example.com
Research on suction feeding performance has focused on measuring individual underlying components of performance such as suction pressure, flow velocity, ram, or the effects of suction forces on prey movement. Although this body of work has contributed to our mechanistic understanding of aquatic feeding, no consensus has emerged on how to best estimate suction feeding performance. We developed the Suction Induced Force Field model (SIFF) to integrate effects of morphology, physiology, skull kinematics, ram, and fluid mechanics on suction feeding performance. SIFF treats the aquatic predator-prey encounter as a hydrodynamic interaction between a solid particle (the prey) and the unsteady suction flows around it. SIFF combines the underlying suction feeding components by numerical simulation to predict the probability of prey capture as an integrated metric for performance. We parameterized SIFF with data from 18 species of centrarchid fishes, and asked what morphological and functional traits underlie the evolution of feeding performance on three types of prey. Analysis of SIFF output revealed that different trait combinations contribute to the ability to feed on each prey type (attached, evasive, or zooplanktonic prey), such that high performance on more than one prey was sometimes observed in the same species. SIFF yielded estimates of feeding ability that performed better than kinematic traits in explaining natural patterns of prey use. When compared to a principal components analysis on suction feeding kinematics, performance estimates from SIFF explained greater variation in centrarchid diets, suggesting that the inclusion of more mechanistic hydrodynamic models holds promise for gaining insight into the evolution of aquatic feeding performance. The use of SIFF, available as MATLAB code, will be demonstrated and explained for different prey types.