Feeding ecology of Rhabdosargus holubi (family Sparidae) in multiple vegetated refugia of selected warm temperate estuaries in South Africa

Feeding ecology of Rhabdosargus holubi (family Sparidae) in multiple vegetated refugia of... Estuarine marine-dependent species, such as Rhabdosargus holubi, depend greatly on structured sheltered environments and important feeding areas provided by estuaries. In this study, we investigate the ecological feeding niches of the estuarine marine-dependent sparid, R. holubi, by using conventional stomach contents and stable isotope methods (δ13C and δ15N signatures). The study has been carried out in five temperate estuaries in order to understand how fish feed in multiple intertidal vegetated habitats. These habitats included the submerged seagrass, Zostera capensis, and both previously unexplored small intertidal cord grass, Spartina maritima, and the common reed, Phragmites australis. The diet varied amongst habitats, estuaries and fish sizes and data consistently confirmed their omnivorous diet relating to ontogenetic niche shifts. Stomach contents revealed the importance of benthic prey within both the S. maritima and P. australis habitats in the absence of large intertidal vegetation, available during low tides. Similarly, isotopic mixing models showed that R. holubi from these habitats have a greater isotopic niche compared to the Z. capensis habitat, due to their limited availability during the falling tide, suggesting migration between available habitats. Stable isotopes confirmed that R. holubi actively feeds on the epiphytic algae (especially diatoms) covering the leaves and stalks of plant matter, as supported by Bayesian mixing models. These findings add to the current knowledge regarding habitat partitioning in multiple aquatic vegetation types critical to fish ecology and the effective management and conservation of estuaries. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Estuarine Coastal and Shelf Science Elsevier

Feeding ecology of Rhabdosargus holubi (family Sparidae) in multiple vegetated refugia of selected warm temperate estuaries in South Africa

Loading next page...
 
/lp/elsevier/feeding-ecology-of-rhabdosargus-holubi-family-sparidae-in-multiple-LWkVrEDWKZ
Publisher
Elsevier
Copyright
Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd
ISSN
0272-7714
eISSN
1096-0015
D.O.I.
10.1016/j.ecss.2017.08.026
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Estuarine marine-dependent species, such as Rhabdosargus holubi, depend greatly on structured sheltered environments and important feeding areas provided by estuaries. In this study, we investigate the ecological feeding niches of the estuarine marine-dependent sparid, R. holubi, by using conventional stomach contents and stable isotope methods (δ13C and δ15N signatures). The study has been carried out in five temperate estuaries in order to understand how fish feed in multiple intertidal vegetated habitats. These habitats included the submerged seagrass, Zostera capensis, and both previously unexplored small intertidal cord grass, Spartina maritima, and the common reed, Phragmites australis. The diet varied amongst habitats, estuaries and fish sizes and data consistently confirmed their omnivorous diet relating to ontogenetic niche shifts. Stomach contents revealed the importance of benthic prey within both the S. maritima and P. australis habitats in the absence of large intertidal vegetation, available during low tides. Similarly, isotopic mixing models showed that R. holubi from these habitats have a greater isotopic niche compared to the Z. capensis habitat, due to their limited availability during the falling tide, suggesting migration between available habitats. Stable isotopes confirmed that R. holubi actively feeds on the epiphytic algae (especially diatoms) covering the leaves and stalks of plant matter, as supported by Bayesian mixing models. These findings add to the current knowledge regarding habitat partitioning in multiple aquatic vegetation types critical to fish ecology and the effective management and conservation of estuaries.

Journal

Estuarine Coastal and Shelf ScienceElsevier

Published: Oct 15, 2017

References

You’re reading a free preview. Subscribe to read the entire article.


DeepDyve is your
personal research library

It’s your single place to instantly
discover and read the research
that matters to you.

Enjoy affordable access to
over 18 million articles from more than
15,000 peer-reviewed journals.

All for just $49/month

Explore the DeepDyve Library

Search

Query the DeepDyve database, plus search all of PubMed and Google Scholar seamlessly

Organize

Save any article or search result from DeepDyve, PubMed, and Google Scholar... all in one place.

Access

Get unlimited, online access to over 18 million full-text articles from more than 15,000 scientific journals.

Your journals are on DeepDyve

Read from thousands of the leading scholarly journals from SpringerNature, Elsevier, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford University Press and more.

All the latest content is available, no embargo periods.

See the journals in your area

DeepDyve

Freelancer

DeepDyve

Pro

Price

FREE

$49/month
$360/year

Save searches from
Google Scholar,
PubMed

Create lists to
organize your research

Export lists, citations

Read DeepDyve articles

Abstract access only

Unlimited access to over
18 million full-text articles

Print

20 pages / month

PDF Discount

20% off