Identifying carbon sources and trophic position of coral reef fishes using diet and stable isotope (d15N and d13C) nalyses in two contrasted bays in Moorea, French Polynesia

Abstract : Stable isotope ratios (d15N and d13C) and diet of three fish species, Stegastes nigricans, Chaetodon citrinellus and Epinephelus merra, were analyzed on the fringing coral reefs of two bays that are differentially exposed to river runoff on Moorea Island, French Polynesia. S. nigricans and C. citrinellus relied mostly on turf algae and presented similar trophic levels and d15N values, whereas E. merra fed on large invertebrates (crabs and shrimps) and had higher trophic levels and d15N values. Discrepancies existed between stomach content and stable isotope analyses for the relative importance of food items. Bayesian mixing models indicated that sedimented organic matter was also an important additional food for S. nigricans and C. citrinellus, and fishes for E. merra. The main sources of organic matter involved in the food webs ending with these species were algal turfs and surface sediments, while water particulate organic matter was barely used. Significant spatial differences in C and N isotopic ratios for sources and fishes were found within and between bays. Lower 13C and higher 15N values were observed for various compartments of the studied trophic network at the end of each bay than at the entrance. Differences were observed between bays, with organic sources and consumers being, on average, slightly more 13C-depleted and 15N-enriched in Cook's Bay than in Opunohu Bay, linked with a higher mean annual flow of the river at Cook's Bay. Our results suggest that rivers bring continental material into these two bays, which is partly incorporated into the food webs of fringing coral reefs at least close to river mouths. Thus, continental inputs can influence the transfer of organic matter within coral reef food webs depending on the diet of organisms.
Document type :
Journal articles
Complete list of metadatas

https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-00912699
Contributor : Mio Aigle <>
Submitted on : Monday, December 2, 2013 - 3:15:11 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, November 20, 2019 - 7:10:54 AM

Links full text

Identifiers

Citation

Y. Letourneur, Thierry Lison de Loma, Pierre Richard, Mireille Harmelin, Pierre Cresson, et al.. Identifying carbon sources and trophic position of coral reef fishes using diet and stable isotope (d15N and d13C) nalyses in two contrasted bays in Moorea, French Polynesia. Coral Reefs, Springer Verlag, 2013, 32 (4), pp.1091-1102. ⟨10.1007/s00338-013-1073-6⟩. ⟨hal-00912699⟩

Share

Metrics

Record views

225