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The trophic ecology of marine catfishes in south-eastern Brazil

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  13 January 2020

Pedro V. Gatts
Affiliation:
Instituto de Geociências, Universidade Federal Fluminense, Niterói, RJ, Brazil
Marcos A. L. Franco
Affiliation:
Centro de Biociências e Biotecnologia, Universidade Estadual do Norte Fluminense Darcy Ribeiro (UENF), Campos dos Goytacazes, RJ, Brazil
Marcelo G. Almeida
Affiliation:
Centro de Biociências e Biotecnologia, Universidade Estadual do Norte Fluminense Darcy Ribeiro (UENF), Campos dos Goytacazes, RJ, Brazil
Ilana R. Zalmon
Affiliation:
Centro de Biociências e Biotecnologia, Universidade Estadual do Norte Fluminense Darcy Ribeiro (UENF), Campos dos Goytacazes, RJ, Brazil
Ana Paula M. Di Beneditto
Affiliation:
Centro de Biociências e Biotecnologia, Universidade Estadual do Norte Fluminense Darcy Ribeiro (UENF), Campos dos Goytacazes, RJ, Brazil
Paulo A. S. Costa
Affiliation:
Departamento de Ecologia e Recursos Marinhos, Instituto de Biociências, Universidade Federal do Estado do Rio de Janeiro (UNIRIO), Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil
Carlos E. de Rezende
Affiliation:
Centro de Biociências e Biotecnologia, Universidade Estadual do Norte Fluminense Darcy Ribeiro (UENF), Campos dos Goytacazes, RJ, Brazil
Corresponding
E-mail address:

Abstract

The stable isotope ratios of carbon (δ13C) and nitrogen (δ15N) and total mercury concentrations (THg) of the three marine catfish species Aspistor luniscutis, Bagre bagre and Genidens genidens were evaluated to understand their trophic relationship in northern Rio de Janeiro state, south-eastern Brazil. The δ13C was similar among the three marine catfishes, whereas δ15N was similar in A. luniscutis and B. bagre and lower in G. genidens. THg was higher in G. genidens and lower in B. bagre. The greater assimilation of Sciaenidae fishes and squids by A. luniscutis and B. bagre resulted in smaller isotopic niche areas and trophic diversity but higher isotopic niche overlap, trophic redundancy and evenness. For G. genidens, the similar assimilation of all prey items resulted in the broadest isotopic niche among the marine catfishes. The higher mercury content in G. genidens is consistent with an increased important contribution of prey with a higher Hg burden. The bioaccumulation process was indicated by significant correlations of δ15N and THg with total length and total mass. Additionally, a significant correlation between THg and δ15N reflected the biomagnification process through the food web.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom 2020

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