1) The food web of the central Amazon basin displays one of the largest discrepancies in food source utilisation versus availability for consumers. While C4 macrophytes dominate the primary producing biomass in floodplains, the food web is dominated by the use of C3 carbon sources. Amazon fish species have wide-ranging diets and show feeding flexibility in response to spatial and temporal patterns in food source availability. Fish are therefore expected to use a range of available resources. Fatty acids and stable carbon and nitrogen isotopic compositions were studied to investigate their trophic behaviour and provide a better assessment of food source utilisation by nine fish species from two Amazon floodplains. 2) Although nitrogen stable isotopes positioned detritivores at the base of the food chain, their large proportions of polyunsaturated fatty acids (FAs) suggest selection of a high-quality food source, such as microalgae. Omnivores and insectivores displayed a wide range of food source utilisation, indicating opportunist feeding behaviour. Piscivores displayed the most 15N-enriched signature (up to 10.6‰), concomitant with their predator position in the studied food web. 3) C3 carbon was the dominant source for most species, which is a finding consistent with current classical knowledge. However, consumption of C4 macrophytes was detected for the herbivore Schizodon fasciatus, in line with the spatial availability of this food source in the floodplain system. Large amounts of polyunsaturated and essential FAs in these C4 macrophytes indicate their high nutritive value. Our results suggest that this food source is rather neglected by fish due to low digestibility, with the exception of the herbivore that may possess modification of its digestive system that allows the use of C4 plants
The feeding ecology of leptocephali has remained poorly understood because they apparently feed on particulate organic matter (POM), which varies in composition, and it is unclear which components of the POM they assimilate. The δ13C and δ15N stable isotope (SI) and fatty acid (FA) compositions of 3 families of leptocephali and POM were compared in 3 latitudinal current zones of the western South Pacific. The δ15N signatures of leptocephali and POM overlapped, with both having their lowest values in the southern current zone. POM in general (across all zones) contained 38 FAs and was rich in saturated FAs (SFA) (16:0, 18:0, 14:0), while leptocephali contained 50 FAs, with high proportions of 16:0, and higher contributions of 22:6ω3, 20:5ω3, 18:1ω9, 16:1ω7 and other FAs than found in the POM. Serrivomeridae leptocephali in the north had higher δ15N signatures and were also distinguished from Nemichthyidae and Muraenidae larvae by their FA compositions (higher SFAs, lower 22:6ω3 and 20:5ω3). Although SI signatures of the Serrivomeridae larvae did not clearly vary with size, 16:0 and 18:0 FA proportions decreased with increasing larval size, and 22:6ω3 and 16:1ω7 increased in larger larvae. Correspondences between the latitudinal variations in nitrogen SI signatures and FA compositions of POM with those of leptocephali and the presence of FA markers of both autotrophic and heterotrophic organisms were consistent with leptocephali feeding on POM. POM can contain various materials from primary producers and heterotrophic microorganisms, but differences in the SI signatures and FA compositions in leptocephali remain to be explained through further research. (Résumé d'auteur
One of the greatest challenges in understanding the Amazon basin functioning is to ascertain the role played by floodplains in the organic matter (OM) cycle, crucial for a large spectrum of ecological mechanisms. Fatty acids (FAs) were combined with environmental descriptors and analyzed through multivariate and spatial tools (asymmetric eigenvector maps, AEM and principal coordinates of neighbor matrices, PCNM). This challenge allowed investigating the distribution of suspended particulate organic matter (SPOM), in order to trace its seasonal origin and quality, along a 800 km section of the Amazon river-floodplain system. Statistical analysis confirmed that large amounts of saturated FAs (15:0, 18:0, 24:0, 25:0 and 26:0), an indication of refractory OM, were concomitantly recorded with high pCO2 in rivers, during the high water season (HW). Contrastingly, FAs marker which may be attributed in this ecosystem to aquatic plants (18:2ω6 and 18:3ω3) and cyanobacteria (16:1ω7), were correlated with higher O2, chlorophyll a and pheopigments in floodplains, due to a high primary production during low waters (LW). Decreasing concentrations of unsaturated FAs, that characterize labile OM, were recorded during HW, from upstream to downstream. Furthermore, using PCNM and AEM spatial methods, FAs compositions of SPOM displayed an upstream-downstream gradient during HW, which was attributed to OM retention and the extent of flooded forest in floodplains. Discrimination of OM quality between the Amazon River and floodplains corroborate higher autotrophic production in the latter and transfer of OM to rivers at LW season. Together, these gradients demonstrate the validity of FAs as predictors of spatial and temporal changes in OM quality. These spatial and temporal trends are explained by 1) downstream change in landscape morphology as predicted by the River Continuum Concept; 2) enhanced primary production during LW when the water level decreased and its residence time increased as predicted by the Flood Pulse Concept.
Abstract. In this study, we investigated the seasonal and spatial pattern of sedimentary organic matter (SOM) in five floodplain lakes of the central Amazon basin (Cabaliana, Janauaca, Canaçari, Mirituba and Curuai) which have different morphologies, hydrodynamics and vegetation coverages. Surface sediments were collected in four hydrological seasons: low water (LW), rising water (RW), high water (HW) and falling water (FW) in 2009 and 2010. We investigated commonly used bulk geochemical tracers such as the C : N ratio and the stable isotopic composition of organic carbon (δ 13 C org ). These results were compared with lignin phenol parameters as an indicator of vascular plant detritus and branched glycerol dialkyl glycerol tetraethers (brGDGTs) to trace the input of soil organic matter (OM) from land to the aquatic settings. We also applied the crenarchaeol as an indicator of aquatic (rivers and lakes) OM. Our data showed that during the RW and FW seasons, the surface sediments were enriched in lignin and brGDGTs in comparison to other seasons. Our study also indicated that floodplain lake sediments primarily consisted of allochthonous, C 3 plant-derived OM. However, a downstream increase in C 4 macrophyte-derived OM contribution was observed along the gradient of increasing open waters -i.e., from upstream to downstream. Accordingly, we attribute the temporal and spatial difference in SOM composition to the hydrological dynamics between the floodplain lakes and the surrounding flooded forests.
scite is a Brooklyn-based startup that helps researchers better discover and understand research articles through Smart Citations–citations that display the context of the citation and describe whether the article provides supporting or contrasting evidence. scite is used by students researchers from around the world and is funded in part by the National Science Foundation and the National Institute on Drug Abuse of the National Institutes of Health.