Size-dependent trophic patterns of pallid sturgeon and shovelnose sturgeon in a large river system

Journal of Fish and Wildlife Management
By: , and 

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Abstract

This study compared patterns of δ15N and δ13C enrichment of pallid sturgeon Scaphirhynchus albus and shovelnose sturgeon S. platorynchus in the Missouri River, United States, to infer their trophic position in a large river system. We examined enrichment and energy flow for pallid sturgeon in three segments of the Missouri River (Montana/North Dakota, Nebraska/South Dakota, and Nebraska/Iowa) and made comparisons between species in the two downstream segments (Nebraska/South Dakota and Nebraska/Iowa). Patterns in isotopic composition for pallid sturgeon were consistent with gut content analyses indicating an ontogenetic diet shift from invertebrates to fish prey at sizes of >500-mm fork length (FL) in all three segments of the Missouri River. Isotopic patterns revealed shovelnose sturgeon did not experience an ontogenetic shift in diet and used similar prey resources as small (<500-mm FL) pallid sturgeon in the two downstream segments. We found stable isotope analysis to be an effective tool for evaluating the trophic position of sturgeons within a large river food web.

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Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Size-dependent trophic patterns of pallid sturgeon and shovelnose sturgeon in a large river system
Series title Journal of Fish and Wildlife Management
DOI 10.3996/022012-JFWM-013
Volume 4
Issue 1
Year Published 2013
Language English
Publisher U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Contributing office(s) Coop Res Unit Leetown
Description 12 p.
First page 41
Last page 52
Country United States
Other Geospatial Missouri River
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