Journal of Oceanography

, Volume 75, Issue 1, pp 51–59 | Cite as

Diet source of Euphausia pacifica revealed using carbon- and nitrogen-stable isotopes in the Yellow Sea Cold Water Mass in summer

  • Heejoong Kim
  • Se-Jong Ju
  • Jung-Hoon Kang
  • Kyung-Hoon ShinEmail author
Original Article


Euphausia pacifica (E. pacifica) is an important food source for fish and other organisms in marine ecosystems. We analyzed the carbon- and nitrogen-stable isotope ratios in potential diet sources to determine the feeding characteristics of E. pacifica in the Yellow Sea Cold Water Mass (YSCWM), a habitat for oversummering. E. pacifica was collected in the spring and summer from the central and coastal parts of the Yellow Sea from 2012 to 2014, and potential prey were collected in summer 2014. Although the δ13C values of E. pacifica differed significantly in spring each year, they narrowed to a specific range in summer. The δ15N values were always 2‰ higher in summer than in spring, suggesting that the diet of E. pacifica inhabiting the YSCWM was limited. In coastal stations, the contribution of any major food source calculated using an isotope mixing model was not more than 20%, suggesting that E. pacifica is omnivorous. However, at two stations in the YSCWM, 2.0–5.0-mm and > 5-mm plankton contributed 42 and 22% of their diet on average, respectively. These results indicate that E. pacifica inhabiting waters affected by cold water feeds on relatively large zooplankton such as the copepods Calanus sinicus. Therefore, the YSCWM likely plays a role in the trophic shift of E. pacifica during the summer.


Euphausia pacifica Stable isotope Diet source Oversummering Yellow Sea Cold Water Mass 



This work was supported by “The study on the impact of the Yellow Sea Bottom Cold Water Mass to the ecosystem” by the Korea Institute of Ocean Science and Technology and “Development of practical technique to establish fisheries forensic center,” funded by the Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries, Korea.


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Copyright information

© The Oceanographic Society of Japan and Springer Japan KK, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Heejoong Kim
    • 1
    • 2
  • Se-Jong Ju
    • 3
  • Jung-Hoon Kang
    • 4
  • Kyung-Hoon Shin
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Marine Sciences and Convergent EngineeringHanyang UniversityAnsanRepublic of Korea
  2. 2.Department of Fundamental Environment ResearchEnvironmental Measurement and Analysis Center, National Institute of Environmental ResearchIncheonRepublic of Korea
  3. 3.Deep-sea Resources Research Center, Korea Institute of Ocean Science and TechnologyBusanRepublic of Korea
  4. 4.South Sea Research Institute, Korea Institute of Ocean Science and TechnologyGeojeRepublic of Korea

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