Anadromous fish as marine nutrient vectors

MacAvoy, Stephen E. and Garman, Greg C. and Macko, Stephen A. (2009) Anadromous fish as marine nutrient vectors. Fishery Bulletin, 107(2), pp. 165-174.

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The tidal freshwater of Virginia supports anadromous herring (Alosa spp.) spawning runs in the spring; however, their importance as nutrient delivery vectors to the freshwater fish food web remains unknown. The stable isotope signatures of fishes from 21 species and four different guilds (predators, carnivores, generalists, and planktivores) were examined in this study to test the hypothesis that marine derived nutrients (MDNs) brought by anadromous fish would be traced into the guilds that incorporated them. Spawning anadromous fish were 13C and 34S-enriched (δ13C and δ34S of approximately 18‰ and 17.7‰, respectively) relative to resident freshwater fish. Of the guilds examined, only predators showed 13C and 34S-enrichment similar to the anadromous fish; however, some generalist catfish also showed enriched signatures. Specific fatty acid δ13C signatures for gizzard shad (Dorosoma cepedianum), blue catfish (Ictalurus furcatus), and alewife (Alosa pseudoharengus), show a 10‰ range among fishes, clearly reflecting isotopically distinct dietary sources. The δ13C and δ34S distribution and range among the freshwater fishes suggest that both autochthonous and allochthonous (terrestrial C3 photosynthetic production and MDN) nutrient sources are important to the tidal freshwater fish community.

Item Type: Article
Title: Anadromous fish as marine nutrient vectors
Personal Creator/Author:
MacAvoy, Stephen E.
Garman, Greg C.
Macko, Stephen A.
Refereed: Yes
Journal or Publication Title: Fishery Bulletin
Volume: 107
Number: 2
Page Range: pp. 165-174
Date: 2009
ISSN: 0090-0656
Issuing Agency: United States National Marine Fisheries Service
Subjects: Biology
Item ID: 8799
Depositing User: Patti M. Marraro
Date Deposited: 11 Jun 2012 18:29
Last Modified: 11 Jun 2012 18:29

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