Ontogenetic dietary and habitat shifts in goliath grouper Epinephelus itajara from French Guiana

Type Article
Date 2015-04-15
Language English
Author(s) Artero C.1, 2, 4, Koenig C. C.2, Richard P.3, Berzins R.1, Guillou G.3, Bouchon C.4, Lampert LuisORCID5
Affiliation(s) 1 : Off Natl Chasse & Faune Sauvage, 97338 Cayenne, French Guiana.
2 : Florida State Univ, Coastal & Marine Lab, St Teresa Beach, FL 32358 USA.
3 : Univ La Rochelle, CNRS, Littoral Environm & Soc, UMR 7266, F-17000 La Rochelle, France.
4 : Univ Antilles Guyane, Labex CORAIL, Equipe DYNECAR, Guadeloupe 97159, French West Ind, Guadeloupe.
5 : IFREMER, F-29280 Plouzane, France.
Source Endangered Species Research (1863-5407) (Inter-research), 2015-04-15 , Vol. 27 , N. 2 , P. 155-168
DOI 10.3354/esr00661
WOS© Times Cited 18
Keyword(s) Epinephelidae, Critically Endangered species, Stomach contents, Carbon and nitrogen stable isotopes, Dietary shift, Migration, Mangroves · Diet
Abstract The ecology, particularly the trophic ecology, of the Critically Endangered goliath grouper Epinephelus itajara (Lichtenstein 1822) in French Guiana (France) is relatively unknown. Such information would provide a better understanding of the role that goliath groupers play in the marine ecosystem of French Guiana. This study focused on the feeding ecology of the goliath grouper through stomach-content and stable-isotope analyses of captured specimens. The dietary composition of goliath groupers in French Guiana was similar to that of goliath groupers from other areas of the species' range. However, in French Guiana, goliath groupers exhibited an ontogenetic shift in diet that has not been demonstrated elsewhere. Crustaceans, primarily crabs, were dominant in the diet of smaller individuals (<120 cm), whereas demersal fishes, particularly catfish (Siluriformes), dominated the diet of larger individuals. Analysis of delta C-13 and delta N-15 in muscle samples indicated that: (1) larger fish fed more on higher trophic levels; (2) low seasonal and spatial variation existed in the diet; and (3) an apparent migration of early juveniles occurred from mangrove areas to rocky reefs. In French Guiana, adult and juvenile goliath groupers share marine rocky habitat, and the data suggest they may avoid food competition by a shift in diet with size.
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Artero C., Koenig C. C., Richard P., Berzins R., Guillou G., Bouchon C., Lampert Luis (2015). Ontogenetic dietary and habitat shifts in goliath grouper Epinephelus itajara from French Guiana. Endangered Species Research, 27(2), 155-168. Publisher's official version : https://doi.org/10.3354/esr00661 , Open Access version : https://archimer.ifremer.fr/doc/00270/38151/