Environmental Biology of Fishes

, Volume 91, Issue 4, pp 505–512

Decreased trophic position as a function of increasing body size of a benthic omnivorous fish from the largest freshwater lake in China


DOI: 10.1007/s10641-011-9808-0

Cite this article as:
Wang, Y., Yu, X. & Xu, J. Environ Biol Fish (2011) 91: 505. doi:10.1007/s10641-011-9808-0


Potential body size-trophic position relationships of the Darkbarbel catfish Pelteobagrus vachelli (Richardson 1846) were examined using stable isotope analysis. Pelteobagrus vachelli is a benthic feeding fish from Lake Poyang, the largest freshwater lake in China. Two-source mixing model with mussel (Corbicula fluminea) and snail (Bellamya aeruginosa) as baseline primary consumers of planktonic and benthic food webs, respectively, was used to estimate contribution of carbon derived from planktonic vs. benthic food web. Results showed that as an indicator of trophic position, δ15N was negatively correlated with the body length and weight of the fish; on the other hand, as an indicator of the end-member food sources, δ13C was not correlated with fish size. The mixing model results showed that the averaged trophic position of our sampled 3.3–12.7 cm Pelteobagrus vachelli was 3.1 ± 0.2 and derived 68 ± 27% of their food from the benthic food web, confirming that the feeding behavior of the catfish favors benthic food sources.


Stable isotopes Feeding ecology Mixing model Lake Poyang Pelteobagrus vachelli (Richardson 1846) 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Ecosystem Network Observation and Modeling, Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources ResearchChinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  2. 2.Graduate University of Chinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  3. 3.Donghu Experimental Station of Lake Ecosystems, State Key Laboratory of Freshwater Ecology and Biotechnology of China, Institute of HydrobiologyChinese Academy of SciencesWuhanChina

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