Spatial variation in stable isotopes and fatty acid trophic markers in albacore tuna (Thunnus alalunga) from the western Indian Ocean

Type Article
Date 2020-07
Language English
Author(s) Dhurmeea Zahirah1, 2, 3, Pethybridge Heidi3, Langlais Clothilde3, Somes Christopher J.4, Nikolic Natacha5, 6, Bourjea JeromeORCID7, Appadoo Chandani1, Bodin Nathalie2, 8
Affiliation(s) 1 : Department of Biosciences and Ocean Studies, Faculty of Science, University of Mauritius, Réduit, Mauritius
2 : IRD - Research Unit MARine Biodiversity, Exploitation & Conservation, Victoria, Mahé, Seychelles
3 : CSIRO Oceans and Atmosphere, Hobart, Australia
4 : GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel, Düsternbrooker Weg 20, 24105, Kiel, Germany
5 : Ifremer, DOI La Réunion, Le Port, Reunion Island, France
6 : IRD, UMR MARBEC, Sainte-Clotilde, Reunion Island, France
7 : IRD, UMR MARBEC, Sainte-Clotilde, Reunion Island, France
8 : Seychelles Fishing Authority, Victoria, Mahé, Seychelles
Source Deep-sea Research Part I-oceanographic Research Papers (0967-0637) (Elsevier BV), 2020-07 , Vol. 161 , P. 103286 (15p.)
DOI 10.1016/j.dsr.2020.103286
WOS© Times Cited 5
Keyword(s) Trophodynamics, Phytoplankton, Environmental parameters, Climate change

Albacore tuna (Thunnus alalunga) is a highly economically important species in the western Indian Ocean. However, knowledge of its ecological and nutritional characteristics, essential for proper management of the species, is lacking in the region. The trophodynamics of the Indian Ocean albacore was thus examined using known fatty acid trophic markers (FATMs) of primary producers, nutritional condition indices (NCIs) (omega-3/omega-6 ratio and total fatty acid content (TFA)), and baseline and lipid corrected stable isotope of carbon (δ13Ccorr) and nitrogen (δ15Ncorr), measured in the muscle tissue. We applied generalized additive mixed models to understand the spatiotemporal patterns and drivers of these tracers, taking into consideration several intrinsic and extrinsic variables: fish size, fishing position, month, chlorophyll-a and sea surface temperature (SST). Both chlorophyll-a and SST were significant as single explanatory variables for all tracers with SST being the best predictor for docosahexaenoic acid/eicosapentaenoic acid ratio, the omega-6 protists FATM, omega-3/omega-6 ratio and δ15Ncorr. TFA was best predicted by fish size only. The best model for δ13Ccorr for males included fishing position only while that for females included fish size, fishing position and month. Higher primary productivity, as inferred by high δ13Ccorr values and diatom contribution, nutritional condition and trophic position, as inferred by high δ15Ncorr values, were observed in albacore from the temperate southern waters than in the northern tropical regions. Relationships between environmental variables and corrected stable isotopes, FATMs confirm that ocean warming and changes in primary productivity will impact nutrient flow and energy transfer in the marine food web which may have negative nutritional outcomes for albacore. This knowledge is particularly crucial in areas where oceanographic conditions and seawater temperatures are changing at a fast rate and should also be taken into consideration by fisheries managers.

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Dhurmeea Zahirah, Pethybridge Heidi, Langlais Clothilde, Somes Christopher J., Nikolic Natacha, Bourjea Jerome, Appadoo Chandani, Bodin Nathalie (2020). Spatial variation in stable isotopes and fatty acid trophic markers in albacore tuna (Thunnus alalunga) from the western Indian Ocean. Deep-sea Research Part I-oceanographic Research Papers, 161, 103286 (15p.). Publisher's official version : , Open Access version :