MEPS - Vol. 597 - FEATURE ARTICLE

In the juvenile stage Cynoscion acoupa individuals have similar trophic ecologies, while in the adult stage, different feeding strategies are employed. Photo: Kim Vane

Vane K, Wallsgrove NJ, Ekau W, Popp BN

 

Reconstructing lifetime nitrogen baselines and trophic position of Cynoscion acoupa from δ15N values of amino acids in otoliths


Habitat connectivity and trophic shifts during the lifetime of an individual fish are important determinants of fish population growth and persistence, yet remain little understood for many species. Gaining information on the life history of individual fish increases our understanding of how fish populations react to environmental disturbances such as climate change, habitat degradation and overfishing. Chemical analysis of fish otoliths can be used to obtain information about movement and environmental conditions due to the continuous lifetime growth of otoliths that often results in visible (sub-)annual growth bands and incorporates environmental chemistry. With the analysis of the organic or proteinaceous part of the otolith, trophic position and environmental nitrogen baselines can be deduced, giving insight into lifetime feeding strategies and habitat use of individual fish.

 

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