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Trophic ecology of sympatric Arctic gadoids, Arctogadus glacialis (Peters, 1872) and Boreogadus saida (Lepechin, 1774), in NE Greenland
Christiansen, J.S.; Hop, H.; Nilssen, E.M.; Joensen, J. (2012). Trophic ecology of sympatric Arctic gadoids, Arctogadus glacialis (Peters, 1872) and Boreogadus saida (Lepechin, 1774), in NE Greenland. Polar Biol. 35(8): 1247-1257. https://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s00300-012-1170-y
In: Polar Biology. Springer-Verlag: Berlin; Heidelberg. ISSN 0722-4060; e-ISSN 1432-2056, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keywords
    Gadidae Rafinesque, 1810 [WoRMS]
    Marine
Author keywords
    Arctic gadoids Dietary overlap Stable isotopes Trophic ecology

Authors  Top 
  • Christiansen, J.S.
  • Hop, H.
  • Nilssen, E.M.
  • Joensen, J.

Abstract
    Two gadoid fishes, Arctogadus glacialis and Boreogadus saida, often coexist (i.e. sympatric) in the fjords and shelf areas of the Arctic seas, where they likely share the same food resources. Diet composition from stomach contents, i.e. frequency of occurrence (FO) and Schoener’s index (SI), and stable isotope signatures (δ13C and δ15N) in muscle of these sympatric gadoids were examined from two fjords in NE Greenland—Tyrolerfjord (TF, ~74ºN, sill present) and Dove Bugt (DB, ~76ºN, open). Twenty-three prey taxa and categories were identified and both gadoids ate mostly crustaceans. The SI values of 0.64–0.70 indicated possible resource competition, whereas FO differed significantly. A. glacialis fed mainly on the mysid Mysis oculata and other benthic-associated prey, whereas B. saida ate the copepod Metridia longa and other pelagic prey. Both diet and stable isotopes strongly suggest a spatial segregation in feeding habitat, with A. glacialis being associated with the benthic food web (mean δ13C = −20.81‰, δ15N = 14.92‰) and B. saida with the pelagic food web (mean δ13C = −21.25‰, δ15N = 13.64‰). The dietary differences and isotopic signals were highly significant in the secluded TF and less clear in the open DB, where prey and predators may be readily advected from adjacent areas with other trophic conditions. This is the first study on the trophic position of A.glacialis inferred from analyses of stable isotopes. The subtle interaction between the Arctic gadoids should be carefully monitored in the light of ocean warming and on-going invasions of boreal fishes into the Arctic seas.

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