While the role of littoral food sources in shallow lakes has been widely investigated, uncertainties still exist about the relevance of such sources for deep lakes. Here we report quantitative estimates for the contribution of littoral versus pelagic sources in supporting the three most important planktivorous fish of a deep, large, subalpine lake in Italy. Contributions of pelagic (p) and littoral (q) signatures of δ13C and δ15N stable isotopes were detected in fish muscular tissue by applying a dynamic baseline mixing model. This model integrates tissue-specific metabolic turnover (m) and fish growth (k) rates over baselines δ13C seasonality. Annual fluctuations for both pelagic and littoral baselines were not negligible (ΔC = 10‰ and 8‰, respectively). We calculated that they could not be ignored, since contributions of pelagic and littoral signatures would be largely underestimated (up to 30% p and 13% q for whitefish (Coregonus lavaretus) and roach (Rutilus rutilus), respectively). When fish relied upon pelagic consumers, stepwise 15N-enrichment (E) of pelagic preys linearly decreased with prey-size-specific predation pressure. Therefore, longer food webs would be proportionally less stepwise 15N-enriched than shorter ones.

Seasonality, littoral versus pelagic carbon sources, and stepwise 15N-enrichment of pelagic food web in a deep subalpine lake: the role of planktivorous fish

DI GUARDO, ANTONIO;
2014

Abstract

While the role of littoral food sources in shallow lakes has been widely investigated, uncertainties still exist about the relevance of such sources for deep lakes. Here we report quantitative estimates for the contribution of littoral versus pelagic sources in supporting the three most important planktivorous fish of a deep, large, subalpine lake in Italy. Contributions of pelagic (p) and littoral (q) signatures of δ13C and δ15N stable isotopes were detected in fish muscular tissue by applying a dynamic baseline mixing model. This model integrates tissue-specific metabolic turnover (m) and fish growth (k) rates over baselines δ13C seasonality. Annual fluctuations for both pelagic and littoral baselines were not negligible (ΔC = 10‰ and 8‰, respectively). We calculated that they could not be ignored, since contributions of pelagic and littoral signatures would be largely underestimated (up to 30% p and 13% q for whitefish (Coregonus lavaretus) and roach (Rutilus rutilus), respectively). When fish relied upon pelagic consumers, stepwise 15N-enrichment (E) of pelagic preys linearly decreased with prey-size-specific predation pressure. Therefore, longer food webs would be proportionally less stepwise 15N-enriched than shorter ones.
CANADIAN JOURNAL OF FISHERIES AND AQUATIC SCIENCES
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11383/1880920
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