Stable carbon and nitrogen isotopes as indicators of habitat selection by cultured and natural fish preferences: a case study of ayu
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Reliable indicators on whether natural and cultured fish exhibit differences in habitat preferences are lacking. In this study, δ13C and δ15N were used to distinguish the habitat preferences of cultured versus natural ayu and their prey (periphyton) in a typical riffle-pool river reach. It found that the δ13C of natural ayu (−13.747‰) was consistent with that of periphyton in riffles (−14.611‰), while the δ13C of cultured ayu (−19.088‰) was consistent with that of periphyton (−19.711‰) in pools. The results indicated that cultured ayu appear to favor pools whereas natural ayu favor riffles, and δ13C and δ15N represent potential reliable indicators of habitat preferences of cultured ayu.
KeywordsStable isotopes Habitat preferences Cultured fish Periphyton Fish habitat
The authors are extremely grateful to the editor and the anonymous reviewers for their insightful comments and suggestions. Financial support was partly provided by the National Key Project R & D of China (2016YFC0401709), National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant Nos. 51309253, 51479219), the Special Scientific Fund sponsored by the Chinese Institute of Water Resources and Hydropower Research (Grant No. WE0145B782017, HJ1633), and the Open Research Fund of State Key Laboratory of Hydraulics and Mountain River Engineering.
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