Environmental Biology of Fishes

, Volume 74, Issue 1, pp 31–42 | Cite as

Stable Isotope Analysis of Amphidromous Hawaiian Gobies Suggests Their Larvae Spend a Substantial Period of Time in Freshwater River Plumes



We employed stable isotope analysis (δ13C, δ15N) to evaluate the sources of nutrients used by amphidromous gobiid fishes (Lentipes concolor, Sicyopterus stimpsoni, Awaous guamensis) caught migrating into and living in Hakalau Stream, Hawaii. Although considerable variation amongst the stable isotope values of stream items was noted across all 4 years of our study, the relationships between the fishes were relatively constant. Stable isotope values of recruiting gobies were consistently closer to those of both inshore plankton and freshwater adults than those of offshore plankton, suggesting that the larvae of these species derive much of their nutrition from inshore environments influenced by fresh water. Small differences between the stable values of these species further suggested that their larvae come from different inshore locations. After entering fresh water all species appear to swim rapidly upstream without feeding. Finally, once well upstream, adult L. concolor and A. guamensis appear to assume an omnivorous diet while adult S. stimpsoni rely upon autochthonous production within streams. We propose that freshwater food webs play an integral yet complex role in the lives of both larval and adult amphidromous Hawaiian fishes.


migration carbon-13 nitrogen-15 Lentipes concolor Sicyopterus stimpsoni Awaous guamensis 


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Copyright information

© Springer 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Fisheries, Wildlife and Conservation Biology University of MinnesotaMNUSA
  2. 2.Prairie and Northern Wildlife Research CentreCanadian Wildlife ServiceSaskatoonCanada

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