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Seasonal and ontogenetic shifts in the diet of Arctic charr Salvelinus alpinus in a subarctic lake

Authors

  • A. P. Eloranta,

    Corresponding author
    1. University of Jyväskylä, Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences, PB 32, FI-40014 Jyväskylä, Finland
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  • K. K. Kahilainen,

    1. University of Helsinki, Department of Environmental Sciences, PB 65, FI-00014 Helsinki, Finland
    2. Kilpisjärvi Biological Station, Käsivarrentie 14622, FI-99490 Kilpisjärvi, Finland
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  • R. I. Jones

    1. University of Jyväskylä, Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences, PB 32, FI-40014 Jyväskylä, Finland
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Errata

This article is corrected by:

  1. Errata: Corrigendum Volume 77, Issue 7, 1730, Article first published online: 16 November 2010

Tel.: +358 142604237; fax: +358 142602321; email: antti.eloranta@jyu.fi

Abstract

Seasonal and ontogenetic shifts in the diet of Arctic charr Salvelinus alpinus were studied in a deep, ultra-oligotrophic lake in subarctic Finland from both stomach contents and the stable carbon (δ13C) and nitrogen (δ15N) isotope compositions of muscle and liver tissues. Both diet and isotope results indicated that the S. alpinus population relied mainly on littoral benthic energy sources. The strong littoral reliance appeared largely independent of season or fish size, although the data lacked small (total length, LT, <130 mm) and young (<3 years) S. alpinus. Liver isotope values of intermediate-sized S. alpinus (200–350 mm), however, suggested exploitation of the increase in the abundance of pelagic zooplankton in the late open-water season. The results suggest that, in general, a strong littoral reliance of fishes can be a feature in subarctic lakes throughout the year. Due to its faster isotopic turnover rate and thus higher resolution for temporal diet changes, liver could be more commonly used in stable-isotope studies of fish trophic niche shifts instead of using only the less responsive muscle tissue.

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