Contrasting perception of fish trophic level from stomach content and stable isotope analyses: A Mediterranean artificial reef experience

Abstract : A large complex of artificial reefs was deployed in the Bay of Marseilles, North-Western Mediterranean, for the enhancement of commercial fisheries stocks. Carbon and nitrogen stable isotope and stomach content analyses were performed on 23 fish species collected on the artificial reefs to assess their trophic position and feeding behaviour. Results indicated that fish diets were not modified on the artificial reefs compared to natural environments, nor was the structure of their trophic network. Artificial reefs, with their complex design, provide diverse and abundant food sources for fishes. Ranges of δ13C and δ15N of artificial reef fishes were comparable to those recorded in natural Mediterranean environments, with a similar trophic organization. However, some discrepancies appeared when comparing fish trophic level based on isotopic or diet results, which calls for a careful interpretation of stable isotope values as direct indicators of trophic level.
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Submitted on : Tuesday, January 14, 2014 - 3:39:12 PM
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Pierre Cresson, Sandrine Ruitton, Melanie Ourgaud, Mireille Harmelin. Contrasting perception of fish trophic level from stomach content and stable isotope analyses: A Mediterranean artificial reef experience. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology, Elsevier, 2014, 452, pp.54-62. ⟨10.1016/j.jembe.2013.11.014⟩. ⟨hal-00930289⟩

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