Advertisement

Naturwissenschaften

, Volume 91, Issue 2, pp 90–93 | Cite as

Individual protein balance strongly influences δ15N and δ13C values in Nile tilapia, Oreochromis niloticus

  • Julia Gaye-Siessegger
  • Ulfert Focken
  • Hansjörg Abel
  • Klaus Becker
Short Communication

Abstract

Although stable isotope ratios in animals have often been used as indicators of the trophic level and for the back-calculation of diets, few experiments have been done under standardized laboratory conditions to investigate factors influencing δ15N and δ13C values. An experiment using Nile tilapia [Oreochromis niloticus (L.)] was therefore carried out to test the effect of different dietary protein contents (35.4, 42.3, and 50.9%) on δ15N and δ13C values of the whole tilapia. The fish were fed the isoenergetic and isolipidic semi-synthetic diets at a relatively low level. δ15N and δ13C values of the lipid-free body did not differ between the fish fed the diets with different protein contents, but the trophic shift for N and C isotopes decreased with increasing protein accretion in the individual fish, for N from 6.5‰ to 4‰ and for C in the lipid-free body from 4‰ to 2.5‰. This is the first study showing the strong influence of the individual protein balance to the degree to which the isotopic signature of dietary protein was modified in tissue protein of fish. The extrapolation of the trophic level or the reconstruction of the diet of an animal from stable isotope ratios without knowledge of the individual physiological condition and the feeding rate may lead to erroneous results.

Keywords

Nile Tilapia Stable Isotope Ratio Dietary Crude Protein Dietary Protein Content Scenedesmus Acutus 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Notes

Acknowledgements

This study was partly funded by a DFG grant to Dr. U. Focken (FO 267/8-1). The authors wish to thank R. Langel, Georg-August University of Göttingen, for analysis of the isotopic ratios, Dr. H. Richter for critical reading of the manuscript, and B. Fischer for support in the laboratory.

References

  1. Adams TS, Sterner RW (2000) The effect of dietary nitrogen content on trophic level 15N enrichment. Limnol Oceanogr 45:601–607Google Scholar
  2. Ambrose SH, Norr L (1993) Carbon isotopic evidence for routing of dietary protein to bone collagen, and whole diet to bone apatite carbonate: purified diet growth experiments. In: Lambert J, Grupe G (eds) Molecular archaeology of prehistoric human bone. Springer, Berlin Heidelberg New York, pp 1–37Google Scholar
  3. Brett JR, Groves DD (1979) Physiological energetics. In: Hoar WS, Randall DJ, Brett JR (eds) Fish physiology. Academic Press, New York, pp 280–325Google Scholar
  4. Da Silva PA (1991) Untersuchungen zum Einfluss abiotischer und biotischer Faktoren auf den Energie- und Proteinstoffwechsel des Cichliden Sarotherodon galilaeus. Doctoral thesis, University of Hohenheim, GermanyGoogle Scholar
  5. DeNiro MJ, Epstein S (1978) Influence of diet on the distribution of carbon isotopes in animals. Geochim Cosmochim Acta 42:495–506Google Scholar
  6. DeNiro MJ, Epstein S (1981) Influence of diet on the distribution of nitrogen isotopes in animals. Geochim Cosmochim Acta 45:341–351Google Scholar
  7. Fisler JS, Drenick EJ, Blumfeld DE, Swendseid ME (1982) Nitrogen economy during very low calorie and very low protein diets. Am J Clin Nutr 35:471–486PubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. Focken U, Becker K (1993) Body composition of carp (Cyprinus carpio L.). In: Braunbeck T, Hanke W, Segner H (eds) Fish: ecotoxicology and ecophysiology. VCH, Weinheim, pp 269–288Google Scholar
  9. Focken U, Becker K (1998) Metabolic fractionation of stable carbon isotopes: implications of different proximate compositions for studies of the aquatic food webs using δ13C data. Oecologia 115:337–343CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Fry B, Sherr EB (1984) δ13C measurements as indicators of carbon flow in marine and freshwater ecosystems. Contrib Mar Sci 27:13–47Google Scholar
  11. Gannes LZ, O’ Brien DM, Martínez del Rio C (1997) Stable isotopes in animal ecology: assumptions, caveats, and a call for more laboratory experiments. Ecology 78(4):1271–1276Google Scholar
  12. Gannes LZ, Martínez del Rio C, Koch P (1998) Natural abundance variations in stable isotopes and their potential uses in animal physiological ecology. Comp Biochem Physiol 119A:725–737Google Scholar
  13. Gaye-Siessegger J, Focken U, Abel HJ, Becker K (2003) Feeding level and diet quality influence trophic shift of C and N isotopes in Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus (L.)). Isot Environ Health Stud 39:125–134CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Gaye-Siessegger J, Focken U, Muetzel S, Abel HJ, Becker K (2004) Feeding level and individual metabolic rate affect δ13C and δ15N values in carp: implications for food web studies. Oecologia 138:175–189PubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. Herrera LG, Gutierrez E, Hobson KA, Altube B, Díaz WG, Sánchez-Cordero V (2002) Sources of assimilated protein in five species of New World frugivorous bats. Oecologia 133:280–287CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Hobson KA, Clark RG (1992) Assessing avian diets using stable isotopes. II. Factors influencing diet–tissue fractionation. Condor 94:189–197Google Scholar
  17. Macko SA, Fogel Estep ML, Engel MH, Hare PE (1986) Kinetic fractionation of stable nitrogen isotopes during amino acid transamination. Geochim Cosmochim Acta 50:2143–2146Google Scholar
  18. McCutchan JH, Lewis WM, Kendall C, McGrath CC (2003) Variation in trophic shift for stable isotope ratios of carbon, nitrogen, and sulfur. Oikos 102:378–390Google Scholar
  19. Minagawa M, Wada E (1984) Stepwise enrichment of 15N along food chains: further evidence and the relationship between δ15N and animal age. Geochim Cosmochim Acta 48:1135–1140Google Scholar
  20. National Research Council (1993) Nutrient requirements of fish. National Academy Press, Washington, D.C.Google Scholar
  21. Pearson SF, Levey DJ, Greenberg CH, Martínez del Rio C (2003) Effects of elemental composition on the incorporation of dietary nitrogen and carbon isotopic signatures in an omnivorous songbird. Oecologia 135:516–523Google Scholar
  22. Richter H, Francis G, Becker K (2002) A reassessment of the maintenance ration of red tilapia. Aquacult Int 10:1–9CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Santiago CB, Bañes-Aldaba M, Laron MA (1982) Dietary crude protein requirement of Tilapia nilotica fry. Philipp J Biol 11:255Google Scholar
  24. Schimerlik MI, Rife JE, Cleland WW (1975) Equilibrium perturbation by isotope substitution. Biochemistry 14:5347–5354PubMedGoogle Scholar
  25. Szepanski MM, Ben-David M, Van Vallenberghe V (1999) Assessment of anadromous salmon resources in the diet of the Alexander Archipelago wolf using stable isotope analysis. Oecologia 120:327–335CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Vanderklift MA, Ponsard S (2003) Sources of variation in consumer-diet δ15N enrichment: a meta-analysis. Oecologia 136:169–182CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  27. Welch DW, Parsons TR (1993) δ13C - δ15N values as indicators of trophic position and competitive overlap for Pacific salmon (Oncorhynchus spp.). Fish Oceanogr 2:11–23Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Julia Gaye-Siessegger
    • 1
  • Ulfert Focken
    • 1
  • Hansjörg Abel
    • 2
  • Klaus Becker
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Aquaculture Systems and Animal Nutrition in the Tropics and SubtropicsUniversity of Hohenheim (480b)StuttgartGermany
  2. 2.Institute for Animal Physiology and Animal NutritionGeorg August University GöttingenGöttingenGermany

Personalised recommendations