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Title: Trophic indices for micronektonic fishes reveal their dependence on the microbial system in the North Atlantic
Authors: Bode Riestra,Antonio 
Olivar, M. Pilar
Hernández León, Santiago Manuel 
UNESCO Clasification: 251001 Oceanografía biológica
Issue Date: 2021
Project: Biomasa y Flujo Activo en la Zona Batipelágica 
Sustainable management of mesopelagic resources 
Tropical and South Atlantic - climate-based marine ecosystem prediction for sustainable management 
Journal: Scientific Reports 
Abstract: The importance of microbes for the functioning of oceanic food webs is well established, but their relevance for top consumers is still poorly appreciated. Large differences in individual size, and consequently in growth rates and the relevant spatial and temporal scales involved, make the integration of microorganisms and large metazoans in a common food web framework difficult. Using stable isotopes, this study estimated the trophic position of 13 species of micronektonic fishes to examine the microbial and metazoan contribution to mid trophic level consumers. Vertically migrant species displayed higher trophic positions than non-migrant species in all depth layers. The estimated trophic positions agreed well with those from the literature, but all species displayed mean increases between 0.5 and 0.8 trophic positions when taking into account microbial trophic steps. Trophic position, but not the relative importance of the microbial food web, increased with individual size, suggesting that current estimates of the trophic position of top consumers and of the length of oceanic food webs are too low because they are based only on metazoan trophic steps. This finding calls for a review of trophic position estimates and of the efficiency of trophic transfers along oceanic food webs
ISSN: 2045-2322
DOI: 10.1038/s41598-021-87767-x
Source: Scientific Reports [ISSN 2045-2322], n. 11, 8488, (Abril 2021)
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