Resource polymorphism in European whitefish : analysis of fatty acid profiles provides more detailed evidence than traditional methods alone
Thomas, S. M., Kainz, M. J., Amundsen, P.-A., Hayden, B., Taipale, S. J., & Kahilainen, K. K. (2019). Resource polymorphism in European whitefish : analysis of fatty acid profiles provides more detailed evidence than traditional methods alone. PLoS ONE, 14(8), Article e0221338. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0221338
Published inPLoS ONE
© The Authors 2019
Resource polymorphism—whereby ancestral generalist populations give rise to several specialised morphs along a resource gradient—is common where species colonise newly formed ecosystems. This phenomenon is particularly well documented in freshwater fish populations inhabiting postglacial lakes formed at the end of the last ice age. However, knowledge on how such differential exploitation of resources across contrasting habitats might be reflected in the biochemical compositions of diverging populations is still limited, though such patterns might be expected. Here, we aimed to assess how fatty acids (FA)—an important biochemical component of animal tissues—diverged across a polymorphic complex of European whitefish (Coregonus lavaretus) and their closely related monomorphic specialist congener vendace (Coregonus albula) inhabiting a series of six subarctic lakes in northern Fennoscandia. We also explored patterns of FA composition in whitefish’s predators and invertebrate prey to assess how divergence in trophic ecology between whitefish morphs would relate to biochemical profiles of their key food web associates. Lastly, we assessed how information on trophic divergence provided by differential FA composition compared to evidence of resource polymorphism retrieved from more classical stomach content and stable isotopic (δ13C, δ15N) information. Examination of stomach contents provided high-resolution information on recently consumed prey, whereas stable isotopes indicated broad-scale patterns of benthic-pelagic resource use differentiation at different trophic levels. Linear discriminant analysis based on FA composition was substantially more successful in identifying whitefish morphs and their congener vendace as distinct groupings when compared to the other two methods. Three major FA (myristic acid, stearic acid, and eicosadienoic acid) proved particularly informative, both in delineating coregonid groups, and identifying patterns of pelagic-benthic feeding throughout the wider food web. Myristic acid (14:0) content and δ13C ratios in muscle tissue were positively correlated across fish taxa, and together provided the clearest segregation of fishes exploiting contrasting pelagic and benthic niches. In general, our findings highlight the potential of FA analysis for identifying resource polymorphism in animal populations where this phenomenon occurs, and suggest that this technique may provide greater resolution than more traditional methods typically used for this purpose. ...
PublisherPublic Library of Science
Publication in research information system
MetadataShow full item record
Additional information about fundingAll funding for this study was awarded to Kimmo K. Kahilainen. Financial support was provided by Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (https://mmm.fi/en/frontpage), European Regional Development Fund (https://ec.europa.eu/regional_policy/en/funding/erdf/) (#A30205) and the Academy of Finland (http://www.aka.fi/en) (#140903, #1268566).
Showing items with similar title or keywords.
Impacts of piscicide-induced fish removal on resource use and trophic diversity of lake invertebrates Eloranta, Antti P.; Kjærstad, Gaute; Power, Michael; Lakka, Hanna-Kaisa; Arnekleiv, Jo Vegar; Finstad, Anders G. (Elsevier, 2022)Chemical eradication of non-native species has become a widely used method to mitigate the potential negative impacts of altered competitive or predatory dynamics on biodiversity and natural ecosystem processes. However, ...
Trophic ecology of piscivorous Arctic charr (Salvelinus alpinus (L.)) in subarctic lakes with contrasting food-web structures Kahilainen, K. K., Thomas, S. M., Harrod, C.; Hayden, B.; Eloranta, A. P. (Springer, 2019)The trophic ecology of piscivorous Arctic charr (Salvelinus alpinus (L.); charr) in the food webs of large subarctic lakes is not well understood. We assessed charr diets, parasites, growth, maturity, and stable isotope ...
Population structure, life cycle, and trophic niche of the glacial relict amphipod, Gammaracanthus lacustris, in a large boreal lake Salonen, Jouni K.; Hiltunen, Minna; Figueiredo, Kaisa; Paavilainen, Pinja; Sinisalo, Tuula; Strandberg, Ursula; Kankaala, Paula; Taskinen, Jouni (Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Ltd., 2019)Ecology of the glacial relict macrocrustacean Gammaracanthus lacustris, a rare inhabitant of deep Fennoscandian lakes, is poorly understood. We studied the life cycle and trophic position of this cold‐stenothermic amphipod ...
Lake size and fish diversity determine resource use and trophic position of a top predator in high-latitude lakes Eloranta, Antti; Kahilainen, Kimmo K.; Amundsen, Per-Arne; Knudsen, Rune; Harrod, Chris; Jones, Roger (JohnWiley & Sons Ltd., 2015)Prey preference of top predators and energy flow across habitat boundaries are of fundamental importance for structure and function of aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems, as they may have strong effects on production, ...
Flotsam samples can help explain the δ13C and δ15N values of invertebrate resting stages in lake sediment van Hardenbroek, Maarten; Rinta, Päivi; Wooller, Matthew J.; Schilder, Johannes; Stötter, Tabea; Heiri, Oliver (Pergamon Press, 2018)The stable isotopic composition of chitinous remains of Cladocera (water fleas) and freshwater Bryozoa (moss animals) preserved in lake sediment records can provide supporting insights into past environmental and ecosystem ...