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.
|ジャーナル||Progress in Oceanography|
|出版ステータス||Published - 1月 2023|
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