Feeding dynamics, nitrogen budgets, and ecosystem role of a desert stream omnivore, Agosia chrysogaster (Pisces: Cyprinidae)

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40 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Feeding habits, diel periodicity and total daily ingestion, and nitrogen budgets of longfin dace (Agosia chrysogaster) were examined on two occasions when food quality, but not quantity, differed. Agosia chrysogaster was found to be an opportunistic omnivore, consuming primarily insects when the preferred taxon (baetid mayflies) was abundant in the environment, but consuming primarily algae when mayfly abundance was low. Ingestion provided a better measure of diel feeding periodicity than gut fullness; feeding was diurnal on both sample dates, but more markedly so when the primary food was algae. Mean nitrogen content of algal foods was low, and A. chrysogaster apparently compensated for this by increasing its daily ingestion rate when algae were the major food. A reduction in nitrogen content of food during digestion from 4-6% (of dry mass) to less than 1% (in feces) suggested a high assimilation efficiency for nitrogen (nitrogen assimilated/nitrogen consumed = 72-78%). Populations of this abundant and successful cyprinid in Sonoran Desert streams may play an important role in ecosystem nitrogen dynamics. Nitrogen stored in fish biomass comprised 3-6% of the total nitrogen stored in Sycamore Creek, and excretion of ammonia by the fish represented 5-10% of total nitrogen uptake by algae. Such rapid recycling of usable nitrogen to primary producers is significant in this nitrogen limited stream ecosystem.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)143-152
Number of pages10
JournalEnvironmental Biology of Fishes
Volume21
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1988

Fingerprint

omnivores
Cyprinidae
Pisces
deserts
algae
desert
ecosystems
ecosystem
nitrogen
alga
ingestion
Ephemeroptera
mayfly
food
periodicity
nitrogen content
Agosia chrysogaster
budget
Sonoran Desert
assimilation efficiency

Keywords

  • Energetics
  • Feeding periodicity
  • Fish
  • Food habits
  • Food quality
  • Ingestion
  • Nitrogen cycling
  • Nitrogen excretion
  • Omnivory
  • Streams

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology
  • Aquatic Science
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics

Cite this

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title = "Feeding dynamics, nitrogen budgets, and ecosystem role of a desert stream omnivore, Agosia chrysogaster (Pisces: Cyprinidae)",
abstract = "Feeding habits, diel periodicity and total daily ingestion, and nitrogen budgets of longfin dace (Agosia chrysogaster) were examined on two occasions when food quality, but not quantity, differed. Agosia chrysogaster was found to be an opportunistic omnivore, consuming primarily insects when the preferred taxon (baetid mayflies) was abundant in the environment, but consuming primarily algae when mayfly abundance was low. Ingestion provided a better measure of diel feeding periodicity than gut fullness; feeding was diurnal on both sample dates, but more markedly so when the primary food was algae. Mean nitrogen content of algal foods was low, and A. chrysogaster apparently compensated for this by increasing its daily ingestion rate when algae were the major food. A reduction in nitrogen content of food during digestion from 4-6{\%} (of dry mass) to less than 1{\%} (in feces) suggested a high assimilation efficiency for nitrogen (nitrogen assimilated/nitrogen consumed = 72-78{\%}). Populations of this abundant and successful cyprinid in Sonoran Desert streams may play an important role in ecosystem nitrogen dynamics. Nitrogen stored in fish biomass comprised 3-6{\%} of the total nitrogen stored in Sycamore Creek, and excretion of ammonia by the fish represented 5-10{\%} of total nitrogen uptake by algae. Such rapid recycling of usable nitrogen to primary producers is significant in this nitrogen limited stream ecosystem.",
keywords = "Energetics, Feeding periodicity, Fish, Food habits, Food quality, Ingestion, Nitrogen cycling, Nitrogen excretion, Omnivory, Streams",
author = "Nancy Grimm",
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T1 - Feeding dynamics, nitrogen budgets, and ecosystem role of a desert stream omnivore, Agosia chrysogaster (Pisces

T2 - Cyprinidae)

AU - Grimm, Nancy

PY - 1988/2

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N2 - Feeding habits, diel periodicity and total daily ingestion, and nitrogen budgets of longfin dace (Agosia chrysogaster) were examined on two occasions when food quality, but not quantity, differed. Agosia chrysogaster was found to be an opportunistic omnivore, consuming primarily insects when the preferred taxon (baetid mayflies) was abundant in the environment, but consuming primarily algae when mayfly abundance was low. Ingestion provided a better measure of diel feeding periodicity than gut fullness; feeding was diurnal on both sample dates, but more markedly so when the primary food was algae. Mean nitrogen content of algal foods was low, and A. chrysogaster apparently compensated for this by increasing its daily ingestion rate when algae were the major food. A reduction in nitrogen content of food during digestion from 4-6% (of dry mass) to less than 1% (in feces) suggested a high assimilation efficiency for nitrogen (nitrogen assimilated/nitrogen consumed = 72-78%). Populations of this abundant and successful cyprinid in Sonoran Desert streams may play an important role in ecosystem nitrogen dynamics. Nitrogen stored in fish biomass comprised 3-6% of the total nitrogen stored in Sycamore Creek, and excretion of ammonia by the fish represented 5-10% of total nitrogen uptake by algae. Such rapid recycling of usable nitrogen to primary producers is significant in this nitrogen limited stream ecosystem.

AB - Feeding habits, diel periodicity and total daily ingestion, and nitrogen budgets of longfin dace (Agosia chrysogaster) were examined on two occasions when food quality, but not quantity, differed. Agosia chrysogaster was found to be an opportunistic omnivore, consuming primarily insects when the preferred taxon (baetid mayflies) was abundant in the environment, but consuming primarily algae when mayfly abundance was low. Ingestion provided a better measure of diel feeding periodicity than gut fullness; feeding was diurnal on both sample dates, but more markedly so when the primary food was algae. Mean nitrogen content of algal foods was low, and A. chrysogaster apparently compensated for this by increasing its daily ingestion rate when algae were the major food. A reduction in nitrogen content of food during digestion from 4-6% (of dry mass) to less than 1% (in feces) suggested a high assimilation efficiency for nitrogen (nitrogen assimilated/nitrogen consumed = 72-78%). Populations of this abundant and successful cyprinid in Sonoran Desert streams may play an important role in ecosystem nitrogen dynamics. Nitrogen stored in fish biomass comprised 3-6% of the total nitrogen stored in Sycamore Creek, and excretion of ammonia by the fish represented 5-10% of total nitrogen uptake by algae. Such rapid recycling of usable nitrogen to primary producers is significant in this nitrogen limited stream ecosystem.

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