Energy Sources for Detritivorous Fishes in the Amazon

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Science  05 Dec 1986:
Vol. 234, Issue 4781, pp. 1256-1258
DOI: 10.1126/science.234.4781.1256


Detritivorous fishes form an important part of the ichthyomass in the Amazon basin. Most of these fishes are contained in the orders Characiformes and Siluriformes (catfishes). The Characiformes constitute more than 30% of the total fish yield in the Amazon basin, whereas the catfishes are of minor importance. Stable isotope data indicate that Characiformes species receive most of their carbon through food chains originating with phytoplankton, while the Siluriformes receive a significant part of their energy from other plant sources.