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Trophic structure of the intertidal fish association in the rocky coast of Northern Chile Estructura trofica de la asociacion de peces intermareales de la costa rocosa del norte de Chile



Trophic structure of the intertidal fish association in the rocky coast of Northern Chile Estructura trofica de la asociacion de peces intermareales de la costa rocosa del norte de Chile



Revista de Biologia Tropical. March; 521: 201-212



The trophic relationships of 13 intertidal fish species collected in northern Chile (20deg. 18'S and 20deg. 54'S) from July 1997 to July 1998, the stomach content analysis of 820 specimens, were investigated. The importance of the prey items was assessed by means of gravimetric and frequency of ocurrence methods, together with the Shannon-Wiener (trophic diversity) and Pianka (trophic overlap) indexes. The results allowed to recognize a fish assemblage composed of: 46% of carnivorous species, preying mainly on porcelain crabs, polichaetes and minor crustaceans 23% of herviborous species, preying mainly on chlorophitic algae; 31% of omnivorous species, preying mainly on chlorophitic algae, Copepoda and Gastropoda. The carnivorous fishes Cheilodactylus variegarus, Helcogrammoides chilensis, Labrisomus philippii and the omnivorous Oplegnatus insignis showed euriphagic tendencies (>2.0 bits), however, the major trophic overlap (>0.90) was observed among herbivorous and omnivorous fishes. Finally, the increase of fish species towards lower latitudes and the increase of herbivory and omnivory levels in the rocky intertidal shore were analyzed.

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