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Article

Turnover Rates and Diet–Tissue Discrimination Factors of Nitrogen and Carbon Stable Isotopes in Seahorse Hippocampus reidi Juveniles Following a Laboratory Diet Shift

1
Department of Ecology and Marine Resources, Institute of Marine Research (CSIC), 36208 Vigo, Spain
2
Laboratório de Piscicultura Estuarina e Marinha, Instituto de Oceanografia, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande–FURG, Rio Grande 96201, RS, Brazil
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Md Sakhawat Hossain
Animals 2022, 12(10), 1232; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12101232
Received: 28 March 2022 / Revised: 27 April 2022 / Accepted: 8 May 2022 / Published: 10 May 2022
The main aim of the present study was to ascertain the effect of two feeding schedules (including copepods and Artemia nauplii) on the early development and physiology of seahorse Hippocampus reidi juveniles. For that, we analyzed seahorse performance (growth and survival) and trophic patterns by means of stable isotopes. Our results highlight that the welfare and condition of juveniles were enhanced by extending the period of feeding on copepods up to day 10 after the male’s pouch release. The analysis of turnover rates for δ13C and δ15N revealed that switching copepods to Artemia nauplii at earlier developmental stages would reduce prey assimilation resulting in lower growth rates and survivals. The present study also provides for the diet–tissue discrimination factors for δ13C and δ15N in seahorse juveniles for the first time.
The initial development of seahorse juveniles is characterized by low digestion capabilities. Stable isotope analysis is an effective tool in studies of trophic food webs and animal feeding patterns. The present study provides new insights for the understanding of growth and food assimilation in early developing seahorses following a laboratory diet switch. The study was performed in the early life stages of the seahorse Hippocampus reidi by assessing the influence of diet shift on changes and turnovers in carbon (δ13C) and nitrogen (δ15N) stable isotope in juveniles. Newborn seahorses were fed for 60 days following two feeding schedules (A6 and A11) based initially on copepods Acartia tonsa and subsequently on Artemia nauplii (since days 6 and 11, respectively). After the prey shift, we determined δ13C and δ15N turnover rates as functions of change in either body mass (fitting model G) and days of development (fitting model D), contributions of metabolism and growth to those turnover rates, and diet–tissue discrimination factors. Survival, final dry weight, and final standard length for diet A11 were higher compared to diet A6. The shift from copepods to Artemia led to fast initial enrichments in δ13C and δ15N. Afterwards, the enrichment was gradually reduced until the isotopic equilibrium with the diet was reached. In most cases, both fitting models performed similarly. The isotopic analysis revealed that 100% of tissue turnover was attributed to growth in diet A11, whereas 19–25% was linked to metabolism in diet A6. Diet–tissue discrimination factors were estimated for the first time in seahorse juveniles, resulting in higher estimates for diet A11 (2.9 ± 0.7‰ for δ13C; 2.5 ± 0.2‰ for δ15N) than in diet A6 (1.8 ± 0.1‰ for δ13C; 1.9 ± 0.1‰ for δ15N). This study highlights the relevance of feeding on copepods and their effect on isotopic patterns and discrimination factors in seahorse juveniles after a dietary shift. Regarding the application of the results achieved in relation to the feeding schedules in the rearing of H. reidi, a long period of feeding on copepods during the first days of development is highly recommended. View Full-Text
Keywords: Hippocampus; seahorse; diet switch; stable isotopes; turnover; discrimination factor Hippocampus; seahorse; diet switch; stable isotopes; turnover; discrimination factor
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MDPI and ACS Style

Hernández-Urcera, J.; Dias Carneiro, M.D.; Planas, M. Turnover Rates and Diet–Tissue Discrimination Factors of Nitrogen and Carbon Stable Isotopes in Seahorse Hippocampus reidi Juveniles Following a Laboratory Diet Shift. Animals 2022, 12, 1232. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12101232

AMA Style

Hernández-Urcera J, Dias Carneiro MD, Planas M. Turnover Rates and Diet–Tissue Discrimination Factors of Nitrogen and Carbon Stable Isotopes in Seahorse Hippocampus reidi Juveniles Following a Laboratory Diet Shift. Animals. 2022; 12(10):1232. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12101232

Chicago/Turabian Style

Hernández-Urcera, Jorge, Mario D. Dias Carneiro, and Miquel Planas. 2022. "Turnover Rates and Diet–Tissue Discrimination Factors of Nitrogen and Carbon Stable Isotopes in Seahorse Hippocampus reidi Juveniles Following a Laboratory Diet Shift" Animals 12, no. 10: 1232. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12101232

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