Differentiated stable isotopes signatures between pre- and post-flexion larvae of Atlantic bluefin tuna (Thunnus thynnus) and of its associated tuna species of the Balearic Sea (NW Mediterranean)
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AuthorsGarcía-García, A. (Alberto); Laiz-Carrión, R. (Raúl); Uriarte-Ramalho, A. (Amaya); Quintanilla-Hervás, J.M. (José María); Morote, E. (Elvira); Rodríguez, J.M. (José María); Alemany, F. (Francisco)
The trophic ecology of bluefin tuna larvae (Thunnus thynnus) from the Balearic Sea, together with its co-existing tuna species such as albacore (T. alalunga), bullet (Auxis rochei) and little tunny (Euthynnus alletteratus) were examined by nitrogen and carbon stable isotope analyses. A total of 286 larvae were analyzed for this study, of which 72 larvae corresponded to bluefin, 57 to albacore, 81 to bullet tuna and 76 to little tunny. Tuna larvae were separated into the pre-flexion and post-flexion developmental stages. Within the size 3–9 mm standard length (SL), the stable isotope of nitrogen (δ15N) showed significant differences between species where bluefin tuna larvae ranked highest. Pre-flexion bluefin tuna and little tunny larvae showed significantly higher δ15N signatures than the post-flexion larvae. This effect is attributed to a biochemical trace of maternal δ15N signatures. However, neither albacore nor bullet tuna larvae showed this pattern in δ15N signatures, possibly owing ...
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