The effect of temporal changes and environmental trophic condition on the isotopic composition (δ 13C and δ 15N) of Atherina boyeri (risso, 1810) and Gobius niger (L., 1758) in a Mediterranean Coastal Lagoon (Lake of Sabaudia): Implications for food web structure

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Abstract

δ13C and δ15N of organic matter sources and consumers were employed to analyse trophic differentiation between a benthic consumer, Gobius niger (L., 1758) (Pisces, Osteichthyes), and a pelagic consumer, Atherina boyeri (Risso, 1810) (Pisces, Osteichthyes) in a Mediterranean coastal lagoon (Lake of Sabaudia) in winter and summer 1999. Trophic differences between the two species throughout the two sampling periods were related to the environmental trophic condition (i. e. nutrient and phytopigment concentrations). Although these two fish have different habitats, they both exploited benthic organisms, above all in summer. When the nutrient and phytopigment concentrations were higher (summer), the most abundant benthic organisms were the main food sources for both species. In winter A. boyeri apparently shifted its feeding preferences to include zooplankton, confirming its opportunistic feeding strategy. Particulate organic matter and algae seemed to play the main trophic role in the food web structure. Benthic invertebrates used both sources, while zooplankton seemed to rely exclusively on the particulate fraction. The overlapping and very depleted signatures of sedimentary and particulate organic matter highlights a strong link between sediments and water column, rarely observed in other aquatic ecosystems using stable isotopes. Such a finding further substantiates the importance of particulate organic matter as a food source in the study area. © 2002 Blackwell Verlag, Berlin.
Lingua originaleEnglish
pagine (da-a)352-360
Numero di pagine9
RivistaMarine Ecology
Volume23
Stato di pubblicazionePublished - 2002

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Aquatic Science
  • Ecology

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