What can stable isotope ratios reveal about mangroves as fish habitat?
Abstract:Stable isotope ratios are applied in many ways to explore the relationship between mangroves and fishes. Here I summarize information pertinent to three central questions regarding the mangrove-fishes link: Can stable isotope ratios be used to (1) identify basal resource pools that support fishes associated with mangrove habitat?, (2) reveal aspects of consumer trophic structure in mangrove fish communities?, and (3) describe fish movement patterns with respect to mangroves? I review recent research developments that pertain to each question, including a discussion of the limitations of stable isotope ratios in understanding the mangrove-fishes link. I emphasize promising avenues for future research, including labeled isotope tracer experiments, probabilistic and spatial analyses of potential basal resource pools, novel community-wide and intraspecific metrics, and utilization of differential tissue turnover rates within and among organisms. Stable isotope ratios alone provide numerous insights into the role of mangroves as fish habitat, but the most thorough understanding of the mangrove-fisheries link is likely to stem from integrative approaches that combine stable isotope ratio analyses and other methodologies into a broad research framework.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: May 1, 2007
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