Resource partitioning in gurnard species using trophic analyses: The importance of temporal resolution

Joo Myun Park*, Troy F. Gaston, Jane E. Williamson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Dietary habits and intra- and inter-specific trophic ecology of co-occurring Lepidotrigla mulhalli and L. vanessa from south-eastern Australia were analysed using stomach content and stable isotope ratios (δ13C and δ15N). Both species are bottom-feeding carnivores that consumed mainly benthic crustaceans, but teleosts were also abundant in the diet of larger L. vanessa. Non-metric multidimensional scaling (nMDS) ordination and analysis of similarity (ANOSIM) of dietary data revealed significant inter-specific dietary differences; i.e. food resource partitioning. Carbon (δ13C) and nitrogen (δ15N) stable isotope values were similar between L. mulhalli and L. vanessa, however, suggesting similar trophic positioning. Ontogenetic changes in diet composition and stable isotope values were evident. As L. vanessa grew, they preyed upon larger individuals, such as teleosts and caridean shrmips, but no such trend was observed in the diets of L. mulhalli. Adults of both species were significantly enriched in 15N relative to juvenile conspecifics thus supporting these data. Consequently, in this study, both methodologies, i.e. stomach content and stable isotope analyses, provided evidence of inter- and/or intra-specific dietary segregations and trophic niche partitioning between co-occurring L. mulhalli and L. vanessa off Tasmanian waters.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)301-310
Number of pages10
JournalFisheries Research
Volume186
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2017

Keywords

  • Gurnards
  • Stable isotope
  • Stomach contents
  • Tasmania
  • Trophic ecology

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