, Volume 32, Issue 6, pp 941-945
Date: 15 Apr 2009

Preliminary assessment of Greenland halibut diet in Cumberland Sound using stable isotopes

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We provide preliminary carbon (δ13C) and nitrogen (δ15N) stable isotope assessment of the Greenland halibut (Reinhardtius hippoglossoides) diet in Cumberland Sound, with focus on two possible prey sources: pelagic represented by capelin (Mallotus villosus) and epibenthic represented by shrimp (Lebbeus polaris). The δ13C for the Greenland halibut stock indicated a pelagic carbon source in Cumberland Sound while stable isotope mixing models, IsoSource and MixSIR, indicated a 99% dietary composition of capelin relative to the shrimp. The δ15N did not vary across Greenland halibut size ranges and placed them at a fourth trophic position relative to a primary herbivore. This study provides the starting point for more elaborate Cumberland Sound research on the local Greenland halibut feeding ecology by confirming pelagic feeding and establishing relative trophic position as well as identifying stable isotopes as a useful tool for the study of diet in cold water fish species.