Trophic Ecology of Atlantic Bluefin Tuna (Thunnus thynnus) Larvae from the Gulf of Mexico and NW Mediterranean Spawning Grounds: A Comparative Stable Isotope Study
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AuthorsLaiz-Carrión, R. (Raúl); Gerard, T. (Trika); Uriarte-Ramalho, A. (Amaya); Malca, E. (Estrella); Quintanilla-Hervás, J.M. (José María); Muhling, B.A. (Barbara A.); Alemany, F. (Francisco); Privoznik, S.L (Sarah L.); Shiroza, A (Akihiro); Lamkin, J.T. (John T.); García-García, A. (Alberto)
Gulf of Mexico
The present study uses stable isotopes of nitrogen and carbon (δ15Nandδ13C) as trophic indicators for Atlantic bluefin tuna larvae (BFT) (6–10mm standard length) in the highly contrasting environmental conditions of the Gulf of Mexico (GOM) and the Balearic Sea (MED). These regions are differentiated by their temperature regime and relative productivity, with the GOM being significantly warmer and more productive. MED BFT larvae showed the highest δ15N signatures, implying an elevated trophic position above the underlyingmicrozooplankton baseline. Ontogenetic dietary shifts were observed in the BFT larvae from the GOM and MED which indicates early life trophodynamics differences between these spawning habitats. 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 growth during their early life stages. These low δ15N levels in the zooplankton from the GOM may ...
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