Tissue and size-related changes in the fatty acid and stable isotope signatures of the deep sea grenadier fish Coryphaenoides armatus from the Charlie-Gibbs Fracture Zone region of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge

Daniel J. Mayor*, Caroline J. Sharples, Lynda Webster, Pamela Walsham, Jean-Pierre Lacaze, Nicola J. Cousins

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Coryphaenoides armatus is a cosmopolitan deep-sea fish that plays a major role in the ecology of abyssal ecosystems. We investigated the trophic ecology and physiology of this species by determining the delta C-13, delta N-15 and fatty acid signatures of muscle, liver and ovary tissues of individuals collected from similar to 2700 m to the north and south of the Charlie-Gibbs Fracture Zone (CGFZ) of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, NE Atlantic. Fatty acid and delta C-13 data both suggested that C arrnatus shows an ontogenetic dietary shift, with the relative contributions of benthic and pelagic prey decreasing and increasing respectively as the animals grow. They also indicated that dietary overlap between animals living to the north and south of the CGFZ increases as they grow, suggesting that larger animals forage over greater distances and are not hindered by the presence of the CGFZ. Comparison of tissue-specific fatty acid signatures with previously published data suggests compositional homeostasis of the fatty acids 20:5(n-3) and 22:6(n-3) in the muscle, and 18:1(n-9) in the liver tissues. We ascribe this primarily to strict physiological requirements for these compounds, rather than simply to their abundance in the diet. We pose several speculative mechanisms to explain the observed trends in tissue-specific delta C-13 and delta N-15 values, illustrating some of the Mimerous processes that can influence the isotopic signatures of bulk tissues. (C) 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)421-430
Number of pages10
JournalDeep Sea Research Part II: Topical Studies in Oceanography
Issue numberPart B
Early online date5 Mar 2013
Publication statusPublished - 15 Dec 2013


  • coryphaenoides armatus
  • diet
  • fatty acid
  • fractionation
  • homeostasis
  • stable isotope
  • Eastern North Pacific
  • trimethylamine oxide
  • demersal fishes
  • amino-acids
  • laboratory experiments
  • trophic relationships
  • calanus-finmarchius
  • lipid biochemistry
  • macrourid fishes
  • bacterial lipids

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