Ontogenetic dietary shifts of largemouth bass do not increase trophic position in a shallow eutrophic lake in Japan

Natsuru Yasuno, Yasufumi Fujimoto, Tetsuo Shimada, Shuichi Shikano, Eisuke Kikuchi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


The trophic positions of top predators can provide useful information for estimating the length of food chains and for assessing the impacts of invasive species or the bioaccumulation of harmful compounds. In aquatic ecosystems, large carnivorous fishes may change their trophic positions ontogenetically. We used stable carbon and nitrogen isotope ratios to test the hypothesis that the trophic positions of largemouth bass, top predators in Lake Izunuma, Japan, would increase with total length (TL) as a result of ontogenetic shifts in diet. Results from a stable isotope analysis in R mixing model indicated that largemouth bass <100 mm TL fed mostly on zooplankton and small omnivorous fishes, while individuals from 100 to 199 mm TL size class relied more heavily on small omnivorous fishes. Red swamp crayfish Procambarus clarkii were a major food source for largemouth bass ≥200 mm TL. However, the trophic positions of largemouth bass did not increase with the dietary shift from zooplanktivory to piscivory, and actually decreased when larger fish shifted towards feeding on red swamp crayfish. In Lake Izunuma, the trophic positions of small omnivorous fishes and red swamp crayfish were not higher than those of zooplankton. This explains why the largest largemouth bass occupied lower trophic positions than smaller individuals. Our results suggest that the body size of carnivorous fishes should be taken into consideration when using their trophic positions as top predators to evaluate aquatic systems.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)355-364
Number of pages10
JournalAnnales de Limnologie
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • Crayfish
  • Invasive species
  • Piscivory
  • SIAR
  • Stable isotope

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aquatic Science


Dive into the research topics of 'Ontogenetic dietary shifts of largemouth bass do not increase trophic position in a shallow eutrophic lake in Japan'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this