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Geographical variations in the trophic ecology of Japanese anchovy, Engraulis japonicus, inferred from carbon and nitrogen stable isotope ratios
Tanaka, H.; Takasuka, A.; Aoki, I.; Oshimo, S. (2008). Geographical variations in the trophic ecology of Japanese anchovy, Engraulis japonicus, inferred from carbon and nitrogen stable isotope ratios. Mar. Biol. (Berl.) 154(3): 557-568. hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s00227-008-0949-4
In: Marine Biology. Springer: Heidelberg; Berlin. ISSN 0025-3162, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keyword
    Marine

Authors  Top 
  • Tanaka, H.
  • Takasuka, A.
  • Aoki, I.
  • Oshimo, S.

Abstract
    Carbon and nitrogen stable isotope ratios of Japanese anchovy (Engraulis japonicus) and their stomach contents were examined and compared among various regions around Japan. Geographical variations in the isotope ratios were found between inshore and Pacific offshore regions. While most of the anchovy samples had isotope ratios around -17.6‰ for d13C and 10.0‰ for d15N as median values, higher (more enriched) isotope values were found in the anchovy sampled from inshore regions. On the contrary, lower (more depleted) values were found mostly in the anchovy from the Pacific offshore region including the Kuroshio Extension and Kuroshio-Oyashio transition zones. Higher carbon isotope ratios in the inshore regions may reflect a carbon source from benthic primary producers in addition to phytoplankton possibly through the consumption of the larvae of benthic organisms such as bivalves or decapods, which were found in the stomach contents of the inshore anchovy. Variations in the nitrogen isotope ratio may reflect not only differences in the trophic level of prey species, but also variations in the baseline level of food webs. Stable isotope ratios are potentially a useful tool for understanding the stock/population structure and migration of anchovy. The present findings indicate the potential importance of the “inshore–offshore” variations in the biology of Japanese anchovy populations in the northwestern Pacific waters.

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