Diet and resource use among Greenland sharks (somniosus microcephalus) and teleosts sampled in icelandic waters, using δ13C, δ15N, and mercury
Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences
Stable carbon (δ13C) and nitrogen (δ15N) isotopes and total mercury (Hg) were used to investigate diet and resource use among Greenland sharks (Somniosus microcephalus) and 14 teleosts inhabiting Icelandic waters. Greenland shark stomachs contained 11 of the teleosts sampled, along with other fishes and marine mammal tissues. Teleost resource use ranged from pelagic (e.g., Argentina silus) to benthic (e.g., Anarhichas lupus) based on δ13C, and relative trophic positions (TP, based on δ15N) ranged from 3.0 (Mallotus villosus) to 3.8 (e.g., Brosme brosme). Greenland shark δ13C indicated feeding on benthic and pelagic resources, with a high input of pelagic carbon, and δ15N indicated a relative TP of 4.3. Log[Hg] increased with δ15N (i.e., TP) from teleosts to Greenland sharks and was higher in offshore vs. inshore teleosts. Linear regressions revealed that log[Hg] was better described by both δ15N and δ13C-assigned resource use than by δ15N alone. Hg was useful for supporting the TPs suggested by δ15N, and the higher Hg in offshore fishes could help explain the high Hg of Greenland sharks. Results from this study demonstrated the potential use of Hg as a dietary tracer in marine fishes.
McMeans, Bailey C.; Svavarsson, Jöundur; Dennard, Susan; and Fisk, Aaron T.. (2010). Diet and resource use among Greenland sharks (somniosus microcephalus) and teleosts sampled in icelandic waters, using δ13C, δ15N, and mercury. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, 67 (9), 1428-1438.