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AEI 10:243-253 (2018)  -  DOI:

Feeding preference of Apostichopus japonicus: comparing carbon stable isotope analysis and carbon budget approach

Xiaoyue Song1,2,3,*, Chenggang Lin1,2,*, Yi Zhou1,2,**, Xianfeng Wang1, Ruiting Gu1,2,3, Shaochun Xu1,2,3, Qiang Xu4, Kang Chen1, Hongsheng Yang1,2,**

1CAS Key Laboratory of Marine Ecology and Environmental Sciences, Institute of Oceanology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Qingdao 266071, PR China
2Laboratory for Marine Ecology and Environmental Science, Qingdao National Laboratory for Marine Science and Technology, Qingdao 266071, PR China
3University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, PR China
4State Key Laboratory of Marine Resource Utilization in South China Sea, Hainan University, 58th Renmin Road, Haikou 570228, PR China
*These authors contributed equally to this work
**Corresponding authors: ; hshyang@

ABSTRACT: Research into the feeding preferences of the sea cucumber Apostichopus japonicus is essential for its aquaculture. We adopted both carbon budget and stable isotope analysis approaches to determine the feeding preference of this species. Powdered Chaetomorpha linum, Zostera marina detritus, and muddy sediment mixed at 5 dry weight ratios (40:0:60, 30:10:60, 20:20:60, 10:30:60, and 0:40:60; diets 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5, respectively) were fed to juvenile sea cucumbers (mean body weight: 10.45 g) for 2 mo. Carbon budget analysis revealed that, based on carbon specific growth rate (% d-1) and food carbon conversion efficiency (%), the experimental treatments could be divided into 2 groups, diets 1-3 and diets 4-5. Carbon contributions of the 3 ingredients based on the stable isotope analysis suggested that C. linum and Z. marina were the main carbon sources for A. japonicus in the 5 treatments, and C. linum was a better food source than Z. marina. In addition, a new potential index, i.e. the ratio of carbon contribution to composition (RC_con:C_com), was constructed to assess the feeding preferences of A. japonicus; according to this ratio, the preferences for the 3 diet ingredients were: muddy sediment > C. linum > Z. marina in the 5 treatments. Compared to the carbon budget method, carbon isotope analysis could distinguish the feeding preferences of A. japonicus for the diet ingredients in each treatment and had the advantage of being less labor intensive; thus it was considered to be a better approach for measuring the feeding preference of A. japonicus.

KEY WORDS: Sea cucumber · Chaetomorpha linum · Zostera marina · New index · Ratio of carbon contribution to composition

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Cite this article as: Song X, Lin C, Zhou Y, Wang X and others (2018) Feeding preference of Apostichopus japonicus: comparing carbon stable isotope analysis and carbon budget approach. Aquacult Environ Interact 10:243-253.

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