Stable Isotopes Approach to Infer the Feeding Habit and Trophic Position of Freshwater Fishes in Tropical Lakes

Authors

1 Environmental Technology, School of Industrial Technology, Universiti Sains Malaysia, USM 11800, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia

2 School of Biological Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia, 11800 USM, Penang, Malaysia

Abstract

A study was conducted on the stable isotope variation of muscle tissues from selected freshwater fish species from Temenggor Lake and Chenderoh Lake, Perak, Malaysia from December 2014 to March 2015. The objective is to assess the stable isotopes of δ13C to identify the carbon sources and δ15N of fish species from Temenggor and Chenderoh Lake, Perak, Malaysia to infer the trophic position of these fishes. Four types of fish species were analyzed by using stable isotope approach which were Hampala barb (Hampala macrolepidota), Oxygaster cyprinus (Oxygaster anomalura), Peacock Bass (Cichla ocellaris) and Nile Tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus). Stable isotopes of δ13C and δ15N were analysed using an elemental analyser Thermo Finnigan Flash EA 2000 connected to Finningan delta v avantage plus isotope ratio mass spectrometry by a ConFlo II interface. The δ13C values from both lakes implies a C3 phytoplankton as reported from the literature. Based on δ15N values of   fish species, O. anomalura occupies the highest trophic level in Temenggor Lake, reflecting its carnivorous feeding habit despite its small size while C. ocellaris was the highest in Chenderoh Lake, implying its predatory behaviour. Further analysis should be carried out to incorporate primary producers and consumers to elucidate the food web in the tropical lake ecosystem. This study provides  a  reference    record  for  conducting  stable  isotopes  in  the  food  web  of  tropical  lake ecosystem for better management and deeper understanding of the ecosystem functioning.

Keywords


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