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Dietary separation between two blennies and the Pacific gregory in northern Taiwan: evidence from stomach content and stable isotope analyses
Ho, C.-T.; Kao, S.-J.; Dai, C.-F.; Hsieh, H.-L.; Shiah, F.-K.; Jan, R.-Q. (2007). Dietary separation between two blennies and the Pacific gregory in northern Taiwan: evidence from stomach content and stable isotope analyses. Mar. Biol. (Berl.) 151(2): 729-736. hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s00227-006-0517-8
In: Marine Biology. Springer: Heidelberg; Berlin. ISSN 0025-3162, more
Peer reviewed article  

Available in Authors 

Keyword
    Marine

Authors  Top 
  • Ho, C.-T.
  • Kao, S.-J.
  • Dai, C.-F.
  • Hsieh, H.-L.
  • Shiah, F.-K.
  • Jan, R.-Q.

Abstract
    Two blennies, Ecsenius lineatus Klausewitz and Ecsenius namiyei (Jordan and Evermann), and a cohabiting territorial damselfish, the Pacific gregory, Stegastes fasciolatus (Ogilby), were collected from shallow reefs in northern Taiwan between September and November 2004, and in October 2005 for stomach content and d 13C and d 15N analyses in an effort to study how extensively their food sources overlapped and to delineate the pattern of cohabiting interactions. These analyses showed differences in food use between the Ecsenius blennies and S. fasciolatus. However, there were inconsistencies. Epiphytic algae were their major food items of E. namiyei and E. lineatus. Macroalgae were rarely taken. Nevertheless, d 13C and d 15N signatures suggested that E. namiyei and E. lineatus might have assimilated mainly macroalgae-derived detritus instead of epiphytic algae. In contrast, macroalgae were the major food items of S. fasciolatus, followed by epiphytic algae. Differences in both d 13C and 15N values indicated that for S. fasciolatus, algae (both macroalgae and epiphytic algae) might not be as important as the stomach contents showed. Instead, polychaetes were possibly its major food source. Differences between stomach contents and evidence from the separation of stable isotope signatures between blennies and the Pacific gregory indicate that some of the interspecific interactions derived from exploitative competition may have been alleviated. Moreover, their widespread territory overlap is possibly a sign of mutualism: S. fasciolatus allows territory sharing, while Ecsenius blennies, in return, clean up the algal mat by removing sand and detritus.

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