Marine Biology

, Volume 158, Issue 7, pp 1619–1630 | Cite as

Spatio-temporal variations in the diet and stable isotope composition of the Argentine hake Merluccius hubbsi Marini, 1933 of the continental shelf of southeastern Brazil

  • Elizabeti Yuriko MutoEmail author
  • Lucy Satiko Hashimoto Soares
Original Paper


The feeding ecology of Merluccius hubbsi was investigated in 2 regions of SE Brazil. The major food sources for the hakes were fish, crustaceans, and squid. In the upwelling system of Cabo Frio, the diet was very similar in the summers of 2001/2002 and spring 2002; fish were the most important prey followed by crustaceans. In Ubatuba, euphausiids were an important prey during the winter 2001 (100 m), while in the summer 2002, fish and amphipods predominated in the diet in the shallower site (40 m) and squid in the deeper site (100 m). The hakes showed temporal differences in stable isotope signatures in both regions, while C:N ratios varied only in Cabo Frio. δ15N and δ13C (bulk and corrected for lipid content) increased with fish length, which seems to be related to the increasing importance of fish and decreasing importance of euphausiids and amphipods in the diet of larger hakes. The mean trophic level of 3.7 for M. hubbsi was estimated using δ15N of bivalves as baseline and the fractionation of 3.4‰ between trophic levels.


Phytoplankton Stable Isotope Trophic Level Continental Shelf Stomach Content 
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.



The authors are grateful to the crew of the RV Professor W. Besnard for helping in collecting the samples. We acknowledge Professor Dr Rubens Lopes (IOUSP), Dr Roberta A. Santos (Ibama-CEPSUL), Kazuko Suzuki, MSc. Meiri de Campos, MSc. Charles Gorri, and Caio Marques for their support in identifying certain prey organisms. This study is part of the PhD thesis of Elizabeti Y. Muto sponsored by The State of São Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP, n. 99/05454-0). The project DEPROAS was supported by National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq, PRONEX/Proc. n° 368/96). We thank the anonymous reviewer and Dr Christopher J. Sweeting for their helpful and thoughtful comments that contributed to improving the quality of this manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Elizabeti Yuriko Muto
    • 1
    Email author
  • Lucy Satiko Hashimoto Soares
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratório de Ecologia Trófica, Departamento de Oceanografia Biológica, Instituto OceanográficoUniversidade de São PauloSão PauloBrazil

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