Trophic niche segregation among herbivorous serrasalmids from rapids of the lower Xingu River, Brazilian Amazon Academic Article uri icon


  • 2018, Springer Nature Switzerland AG. In the Amazon Basin, several species of herbivorous serrasalmid fishes inhabit rapids, but it is unknown if they partition food resources during the annual low-water period when fish densities are high within greatly reduced volume of aquatic habitat. We investigated the trophic ecology of juveniles and adults of three species, Myleus setiger, Ossubtus xinguense, and Tometes kranponhah, common in rapids of the Xingu River during the low-water period. Diets, stable isotope ratios of muscle tissue, and functional traits were analyzed for 59 specimens of M. setiger, 175 of O. xinguense and 215 of T. kranponhah. The three species overlapped in dietary and isotopic space, with adult O. xinguense being most divergent. Juvenile and adult T. kranponhah and juvenile O. xinguense, two groups with broad diets, had lowest trophic positions estimated from isotopic data. Adult O. xinguense had the highest trophic position despite having large amounts of Podostemaceae in the diet. High trophic overlap during the low-water period suggests that either food resources are not limiting, or niches are partitioned by other means. Differences in functional traits of the three serrasalmids could be associated with differential efficiencies of swimming and feeding within microhabitats that vary according to water velocity and/or structural complexity.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Andrade, M. C., Fitzgerald, D. B., Winemiller, K. O., Barbosa, P. S., & Giarrizzo, T.

citation count

  • 19

complete list of authors

  • Andrade, Marcelo C||Fitzgerald, Daniel B||Winemiller, Kirk O||Barbosa, Priscilla S||Giarrizzo, Tommaso

publication date

  • February 2019