Typically, studies in digestive physiology in fish focus on a few enzymes and provide insight into the specific processes of the enzyme in a targeted species. Comparative studies assessing a wide number of digestive enzymes on fishes that compete for food resources are lacking, especially in the context of an introduced species. It is generally thought that the invasive silver carp (SVC; Hypophthalmichthys molitrix) directly compete for food resources with the native gizzard shad (GZS; Dorosoma cepedianum) in waters where they coexist. We compared 19 digestive enzymes between SVC and GZS throughout a year and in two rivers in the Midwestern United States: Illinois River and Wabash River. All digestive enzymes analyzed were detected in both SVC and GZS in both rivers. However, the profiles of the digestive enzymes varied by species. Alkaline phosphatase, valine arylamidase, acid phosphatase, naphthol-AS-BI-phosphohydrolase and N-acetyl-β-glucosaminidase were all much higher in SVC than in GZS. Differences between digestive enzyme profiles were also observed between rivers and months. This study demonstrates the utility of using an ecological approach to compare physiological features in fishes.
Ichthyological Research – Springer Journals
Published: Feb 1, 2018
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