LARVAL BLUEFIN TUNA (THUNNUS THYNNUS) TROPHODYNAMICS FROM BALEARIC SEA (WM) AND GULF OF MEXICO SPAWNING ECOSYSTEMS BY STABLE ISOTOPE
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AuthorsLaiz-Carrión, R. (Raúl); Gerard, T.; Uriarte-Ramalho, A. (Amaya); Malca, E.; Quintanilla-Hervás, J.M. (José María); Muhling, B.; Alemany, F. (Francisco); Privoznik, S.; Shiroza, A.; Lamkin, J.; García-García, A. (Alberto)
KeywordsThunnus thynnus, larval trophic ecology, stable isotopes, Mediterranean, Gulf of Mexico
The present study uses stable isotopes of nitrogen and carbon (δ15N and δ13C) as trophic indicators for Atlantic bluefin tuna larvae (BFT) (6-10 mm SL) in the highly contrasting environmental conditions of the Gulf of Mexico (GOM) and the Balearic Sea (MED). The study analyzes ontogenetic changes in the food sources and trophic levels (TL) of BFT larvae from each spawning habitat. The results discuss differences in the ontogenic dietary shifts observed in the BFT larvae from the GOM and MED as well as trophodynamic differences in relation to the microzooplanktonic baselines used for estimating trophic enrichment. Significant trophic differences between the GOM and MED larvae were observed in relation to δ15N signatures in favour of the MED larvae, which may have important implications in their early life growth strategy.