High variability in stable isotope diet-tissue discrimination factors of two omnivorous freshwater fishes in controlled ex situ conditions.

Busst, G. and Britton, J.R., 2016. High variability in stable isotope diet-tissue discrimination factors of two omnivorous freshwater fishes in controlled ex situ conditions. Journal of Experimental Biology, 219 (7), 1060 - 1068.

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DOI: 10.1242/jeb.137380

Abstract

Diet-tissue discrimination factors (Δ(13)C and Δ(15)N) are influenced by variables including the tissues being analysed and the taxon of the consumer and its prey. Whilst differences in Δ(13)C and Δ(15)N are apparent between herbivorous and piscivorous fishes, there is less known for omnivorous fishes that consume plant and animal material. Here, the omnivorous cyprinid fishesBarbus barbusandSqualius cephaluswere held in tank aquaria and exposed to three diets that varied in their constituents (plant based to fishmeal based) and protein content (13% to 45%). After 100 days and isotopic replacement in fish tissues to 98%, samples of the food items, and dorsal muscle, fin tissue and scales were analysed for δ(13)C and δ(15)N. For both species and all diets, muscle was always enriched in δ(15)N and depleted in δ(13)C compared with fin tissue and scales. Across the different diets, Δ(13)C ranged between 2.0‰ and 5.6‰ and Δ(15)N ranged between 2.0‰ and 6.9‰. The diet based on plant material (20% protein) always resulted in the highest discrimination factors for each tissue, whilst the diet based on fishmeal (45% protein) consistently resulted in the lowest. The discrimination factors produced by non-fish diets were comparatively high compared with values in the literature, but were consistent with general patterns for some herbivorous fishes. These outputs suggest that the diet-tissue discrimination factors of omnivorous fishes will vary considerably between animal and plant prey, and these specific differences need consideration in predictions of their diet composition and trophic position.

Item Type:Article
ISSN:0022-0949
Uncontrolled Keywords:Barbus barbus; Bayesian mixing models; Discrimination factors; Omnivorous fishes; Squalius cephalus; Stable isotope analysis
Subjects:UNSPECIFIED
Group:Faculty of Science and Technology
ID Code:23565
Deposited By: Unnamed user with email symplectic@symplectic
Deposited On:13 May 2016 10:44
Last Modified:13 May 2016 10:44

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