1998 Volume 47 Issue 6 Pages 471-479
Information is limited concerning variation of the δ15N with growth in marine organisms and consequently the effect of growth of marine biota on the δ15N is not yet well understood. The δ15N in 26 species of marine fishes taken from Japanese coastal waters together with 4664 stomach contents of these fishes were examined to investigate the effects of food habits and growth on the δ15N. The mean δ15N for two species that fed mainly on large-size fishes and six species that fed mainly on small-size fishes were 14.5±1.0‰ and 12.8±0.7‰, respectively. For five species that fed mainly on decapod crustaceans, two species that fed mainly on zooplankton, and three species that fed mainly on benthos (mainly Polychaeta), the δ15N were 13.0±0.7, 9.7±0.9, and 12.2±1.2‰, respectively. The mean δ15N in the species whose prey were mainly fish or decapod crustaceans was about 3-5‰ higher than the species whose prey was mainly zooplankton. Within the four species that shift their food habits with growth to higher trophic level, the δ15N significantly increased with growth in one species (Pacific cod), while not significant increase in the δ15N with growth in the remaining species.