Trophic ecology of Octopus vulgaris paralarvae along the Iberian Canary current eastern boundary upwelling system

Roura, Álvaro, Doyle, Stephen R., Castro-Bugallo, Alexandra, Hall, Nathan E., Gonzalez, Ángel F., and Strugnell, Jan M. (2023) Trophic ecology of Octopus vulgaris paralarvae along the Iberian Canary current eastern boundary upwelling system. Scientific Reports, 13. 8744.

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Our knowledge of the diet of wild octopus paralarvae, Octopus vulgaris, is restricted to the first 2 weeks of its planktonic phase when they are selective hunters found near the coastline. These small paralarvae, bearing only three suckers per arm, are transported by oceanic currents from the coast towards offshore waters, where they complete the planktonic phase over 2 months. Here, we have investigated the trophic ecology of O. vulgaris paralarvae in two contrasting upwelling sub-regions of the Iberian Canary current (ICC) eastern boundary upwelling system and have evaluated dietary change as paralarvae develop (inferred by counting the number of suckers per arm, ranging from three to 15) along the coastal-oceanic gradient during their planktonic phase. Using high-throughput amplicon sequencing, we have characterised the diet of 100 paralarvae collected along the Northwest Iberian Peninsula (n = 65, three to five suckers per arm) and off the west coast of Morocco (n = 35, three to 15 suckers per arm), identifying up to 87 different prey species. The diet of paralarvae varied along the ICC, with crabs (53.4%), siphonophores (12.2%), copepods (12.3%), cnidarians (8.4%) and pteropods (3.7%) accounting for 90% of the variability detected off NW Iberian Peninsula, whereas off W Morocco, crabs (46.2%), copepods (23.1%), cnidarians (12.9%), krill (9.3%) and fishes (4.2%) explained 95.6% of the variability observed using frequency of observance (FOO%) data. Ontogenetic changes in the diet based on groups of paralarvae with similar numbers per arm were evidenced by the decreasing contribution of coastal meroplankton and an increase in oceanic holoplankton, including siphonophores, copepods, pteropods and krill. Trophic niche breadth values ranged from 0.06 to 0.67, with averaged values ranging from 0.23 to 0.33 (generalist = 1 and specialist = 0), suggesting that O. vulgaris paralarvae are selective predators through their ontogenetic transition between coastal and oceanic environments.

Item ID: 78896
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 2045-2322
Copyright Information: © The Author(s) 2023. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Date Deposited: 31 Oct 2023 00:24
FoR Codes: 31 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 3103 Ecology > 310305 Marine and estuarine ecology (incl. marine ichthyology) @ 100%
SEO Codes: 28 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 2801 Expanding knowledge > 280102 Expanding knowledge in the biological sciences @ 100%
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