Trophic sources and pathways of mesozooplankton and fish larvae in the Kuroshio and its neighboring waters based on stable isotope ratios of carbon and nitrogen

Toru Kobari, Maharu Shinyashiki, Kanako Saito, Gen Kume, Mutsuo Ichinomiya, Tomohiro Komorita, Hiroomi Miyamoto, Yuji Okazaki, Fumihiro Makino, Ryuji Fukuda, Fujio Hyodo, Maki Noguchi-Aita

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Major forage fishes spend their vulnerable early life stages in the Kuroshio and its neighboring waters where phytoplankton standing stocks are much lower than in coastal areas. Nevertheless, little is known of how mesozooplankton and fish larvae with their high biodiversity are supported in the Kuroshio ecosystem. Here we report stable isotope ratios of carbon (δ13C) and nitrogen (δ15N) for mesozooplankton and fish larvae from coastal to pelagic sites in the East China Sea to evaluate trophic sources and pathways at lower trophic levels in planktonic food webs under different environmental regimes. Although δ13C and δ15N in mesozooplankton and fish larvae varied among taxonomic groups and sites, mesozooplankton δ13C and δ15N tended to be lower for particle-feeders than carnivores and fish larvae and at more pelagic sites than in coastal waters. There were significant linear regressions between δ15N and δ13C of mesozooplankton communities, with the similar slopes among sites and lower intercepts at more pelagic sites. The δ15N and δ13C of small copepods, euphausiids, ostracods, appendicularians and fish larvae were aligned close to the regression line covering all regions, indicating that these were trophic sources and pathways to mesozooplankton and fish larvae. Our results suggest that trophic sources of mesozooplankton and fish larvae are supported through copepods and appendicularian-integrated microbial production and are more dependent on diazotrophic production in more pelagic waters.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102952
JournalProgress in Oceanography
Volume210
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2023

Keywords

  • Fish larvae
  • Food web
  • Kuroshio
  • Mesozooplankton
  • Stable isotope ratio
  • Trophic source

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aquatic Science
  • Geology

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