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DNA metabarcoding reveals diverse diet of the three-spined stickleback in a coastal ecosystem

Jakubavičiūtė, Eglė and Bergström, Ulf and Eklöf, Johan and Haenel, Quiterie and Bourlat, Sarah J. (2017). DNA metabarcoding reveals diverse diet of the three-spined stickleback in a coastal ecosystem. PloS one. 12 , 1-16
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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0186929

Abstract

The three-spined stickleback (Gasterosteus aculeatus L., hereafter 'stickleback') is a common mesopredatory fish in marine, coastal and freshwater areas. In large parts of the Baltic Sea, stickleback densities have increased > 10-fold during the last decades, and it is now one of the dominating fish species both in terms of biomass and effects on lower trophic levels. Still, relatively little is known about its diet-knowledge which is essential to understand the increasing role sticklebacks play in the ecosystem. Fish diet analyses typically rely on visual identification of stomach contents, a labour-intensive method that is made difficult by prey digestion and requires expert taxonomic knowledge. However, advances in DNA-based metabarcoding methods promise a simultaneous identification of most prey items, even from semi-digested tissue. Here, we studied the diet of stickleback from the western Baltic Sea coast using both DNA metabarcoding and visual analysis of stomach contents. Using the cytochrome oxidase (CO1) marker we identified 120 prey taxa in the diet, belonging to 15 phyla, 83 genera and 84 species. Compared to previous studies, this is an unusually high prey diversity. Chironomids, cladocerans and harpacticoids were dominating prey items. Large sticklebacks were found to feed more on benthic prey, such as amphipods, gastropods and isopods. DNA metabarcoding gave much higher taxonomic resolution (median rank genus) than visual analysis (median rank order), and many taxa identified using barcoding could not have been identified visually. However, a few taxa identified by visual inspection were not revealed by barcoding. In summary, our results suggest that the three-spined stickleback feeds on a wide variety of both pelagic and benthic organisms, indicating that the strong increase in stickleback populations may affect many parts of the Baltic Sea coastal ecosystem.

Authors/Creators:Jakubavičiūtė, Eglė and Bergström, Ulf and Eklöf, Johan and Haenel, Quiterie and Bourlat, Sarah J.
Title:DNA metabarcoding reveals diverse diet of the three-spined stickleback in a coastal ecosystem
Series/Journal:PloS one (1932-6203)
Year of publishing :2017
Volume:12
Page range:1-16
Number of Pages:16
Publisher:Public Library of Science
Associated Programs and Other Stakeholders:SLU - Environmental assessment > Programme Coastal and sea areas
ISSN:1932-6203
Language:English
Publication Type:Journal article
Refereed:Yes
Article category:Scientific peer reviewed
Version:Published version
Copyright:Creative Commons: Attribution 4.0
Full Text Status:Public
Agris subject categories.:M Aquatic sciences and fisheries > M40 Aquatic ecology
Subjects:(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 1 Natural sciences > 106 Biological Sciences (Medical to be 3 and Agricultural to be 4) > Ecology
(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 4 Agricultural Sciences > 401 Agricultural, Forestry and Fisheries > Fish and Aquacultural Science
Agrovoc terms:Gasterosteus aculeatus, coastal waters, feeding habits
Keywords:three-spined stickleback, Gasterosteus aculeatus L., diet, coastal ecosystem, Baltic Sea, DNA metabarcoding
URN:NBN:urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-e-4687
Permanent URL:
http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-e-4687
Additional ID:
Type of IDID
DOI10.1371/journal.pone.0186929
Web of Science (WoS)000413403000052
ID Code:15261
Faculty:NJ - Fakulteten för naturresurser och jordbruksvetenskap
Department:(NL, NJ) > Department of Aquatic Resources
Deposited By: SLUpub Connector
Deposited On:19 Jan 2018 12:13
Metadata Last Modified:02 Sep 2020 18:30

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