Trophic ecology of European sardine Sardina pilchardus and European anchovy Engraulis encrasicolus in the Bay of Biscay (north-east Atlantic) inferred from delta C-13 and delta N-15 values of fish and identified mesozooplanktonic organisms

Type Article
Date 2014-01
Language English
Author(s) Chouvelon Tiphaine1, Chappuis A.1, Bustamante Paco1, Lefebvre Sebastien2, Mornet Francoise3, Guillou G.1, Violamer L.1, Dupuy Christine1
Affiliation(s) 1 : Univ La Rochelle, CNRS, Littoral Environm & Soc, UMR 7266, F-17000 La Rochelle, France.
2 : Univ Lille 1 Sci & Technol, CNRS, Lab Oceanol & Geosci, Stn Marine Wimereux,UMR 8187, F-62930 Wimereux, France.
3 : IFREMER, Lab Ressources Halieut La Rochelle, F-17087 Lhoumeau, France.
Source Journal Of Sea Research (1385-1101) (Elsevier Science Bv), 2014-01 , Vol. 85 , P. 277-291
DOI 10.1016/j.seares.2013.05.011
WOS© Times Cited 19
Note European project REPRODUCE (EratNet-Marifish, FP7)
Keyword(s) Plankton preservation, Plankton delipidation, Pelagic fish, Trophic interactions, Spatial variability, Isotopic mixing model
Abstract European sardine (Sardina pilchardus) and European anchovy (Engraulis encrasicolus) are two species of economical and ecological significance in the Bay of Biscay (north-east Atlantic). However, the trophic ecology of both species is still poorly known in the area, and more generally, few studies have considered the potential trophic overlap between sardines and anchovies worldwide. This study aims to highlight the trophic links between the mesozooplankton and adults of these two pelagic fish in the Bay of Biscay, through carbon and nitrogen stable isotope analysis (SIA). Mesozooplankton and individuals of sardines and anchovies were collected during one season (spring 2010), over spatially contrasted stations within the study area. First, the potential effect of preservation (ethanol vs. freezing) and of delipidation (by cyclohexane) on mesozooplankton delta C-13 and delta N-15 values was assessed. Results demonstrated the necessity to correct for the preservation effect and for lipid contents in mesozooplankton for further analyses of sardines' and anchovies' diet through SIA. Next, this study highlighted the interest of working on identified mesozooplanktonic organisms instead of undetermined assemblages when unravelling food sources of planktivorous fish using stable isotopes. The inter-specific variability of isotope values within a planktonic assemblage was effectively high, probably depending on the various feeding behaviours that can occur among mesozooplankton species. Intra-specific variability was also significant and related to the spatial variations of baseline signatures in the area. To investigate the foraging areas and potential diet overlap of S. pilchardus and E. encrasicolus, mixing models (SIAR) were applied. Both fish species appeared to feed mainly in the neritic waters of the Bay of Biscay in spring and to select mainly small- to medium-sized copepods (e.g. Acartia sp., Temora sp.). However, E. encrasicolus showed a greater trophic plasticity by foraging more offshore and on a wider range of prey sizes, while S. pilchardus seemed more limited to coastal areas and the mesozooplanktonic species of these waters for feeding.
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Chouvelon Tiphaine, Chappuis A., Bustamante Paco, Lefebvre Sebastien, Mornet Francoise, Guillou G., Violamer L., Dupuy Christine (2014). Trophic ecology of European sardine Sardina pilchardus and European anchovy Engraulis encrasicolus in the Bay of Biscay (north-east Atlantic) inferred from delta C-13 and delta N-15 values of fish and identified mesozooplanktonic organisms. Journal Of Sea Research, 85, 277-291. Publisher's official version : https://doi.org/10.1016/j.seares.2013.05.011 , Open Access version : https://archimer.ifremer.fr/doc/00176/28741/