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SFS Annual Meeting

Poster Details

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Understanding the relative importance of the aquatic and terrestrial carbon sources that support lotic food webs is a major research goal in aquatic ecology. While some studies suggest that nutritious algal carbon is preferentially consumed when available, others have found evidence for the assimilation of terrestrial carbon into food webs. Environmental microbial colonization and processing of terrestrial material is critical for the incorporation of this recalcitrant carbon into consumer food webs, but recently, some studies suggest that similar microbial processing can also occur post-ingestion, within the intestinal tracts of high-order consumers. For example, organisms that typically consume large amounts of refractile foods tend to possess longer intestinal tracts to support colonization of cellulose-digesting bacteria. To investigate the effect of diet composition on fish microbiome diversity, I collected omnivorous channel catfish (Ictalurus punctatus) from the Niobrara River (Nebraska, USA) in September 2018, and characterized gut contents, integrated diets (stable isotope analysis), and intestinal microbiome diversity (16S rRNA sequencing) for each individual. The combined use of these methods will help to provide insight into our understanding of allochthony in lotic food webs, as well as the management of an important aquaculture species.

Emily Arsenault (Primary Presenter/Author), University of Kansas,;

James H. Thorp (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), University of Kansas/Kansas Biological Survey,;

Mark Pyron (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Ball State University,;