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See detailFeeding ecology and phylogenetic structure of a complex neotropical termite assemblage, revealed by nitrogen stable isotope ratios
Bourguignon, Thomas; Sobotnik, Jan; Lepoint, Gilles ULg et al

in Ecological Entomology (2011), 36(2), 261-269

2. Nitrogen stable isotopes (hereafter delta 15N) were used to place termites from French Guiana rainforests along a wood-soil decomposition gradient, to test (i) whether feeding group assignation based ... [more ▼]

2. Nitrogen stable isotopes (hereafter delta 15N) were used to place termites from French Guiana rainforests along a wood-soil decomposition gradient, to test (i) whether feeding group assignation based on morphological characters was accurate and actually represented diet specialisation thresholds, and (ii) to what extent the dietary specialization of species is explained by phylogeny (phylogenetic autocorrelation). 3. delta 15N values vary over a range of 13 parts per thousand, suggesting that diet diversification contributes to the high species diversity in French Guiana. delta 15N values span a similar interval in all Termitidae subfamilies. Ranges of different subfamilies broadly overlap, although each of them diversified preferentially on one side of the wood-soil decomposition gradient. Congeneric species share similar feeding habits, whereas distant species tend to feed on distinct substrates. 4. Feeding groups did not completely match stable isotope data: there was no discontinuity between Groups III and IV, and no correlation between anatomical criteria used to distinguish these groups and delta 15N values. Nor was there any consistent difference in delta 15N values between wood feeders of the families Rhinotermitidae (Group I) and Termitidae (Group II). We also suggest that species feeding outside the wood-soil gradient should be distinguished for their peculiar feeding requirements. [less ▲]

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See detailFeeding ecology and seed dispersal of pigtail macaques (Macaca nemestrina) in Khao Yai National Park, Thailand
Latinne, Alice ULg; Huynen, Marie-Claude ULg; Savini, Tommaso ULg

in Folia Primatologica : International Journal of Primatology = Internationale Zeitschrift für Primatologie = Journal international de Primatologie (2008), 79

Seed dispersal has a profound influence on structure and diversity in tropical environment. Although all frugivorous primates disperse seeds, the contribution of dispersal by some species in forest ... [more ▼]

Seed dispersal has a profound influence on structure and diversity in tropical environment. Although all frugivorous primates disperse seeds, the contribution of dispersal by some species in forest regeneration is still discussed. For instance, baboons and macaques are controversially described as seed dispersers or as seed predators. We study the seed dispersal by a troop of pigtail macaques (Macaca nemestrina leonina) in the Khao Yai National Park (Thailand) in order to describe the mode of seed dispersal and the seed fate of each fruit species consumed by macaques, including the assessment of potential germination enhancement for dispersed seeds. Pigtail macaques disperse seeds either via feces, by swallowing seeds, or via cheekpouch storage, by spitting out seeds after processing the fruits in the mouth. Preliminary results of our study show that pigtail macaques in the study troop disperse the seeds of at least 15 fruits species. For some species (Nephelium melliferum, Baccaurea ramiflora), macaques use the 2 modes of seed dispersal simultaneously. If part of the seeds excreted are intact and viable, as shown by the cut test, some are destroyed during mastication and digestion, and therefore it seems that macaques are to be considered both as seed dispersers and predators. The size of dispersed seeds ranges from the largest defecated seed (Nephelium melliferum) of 22mm long and 13mm wide to the smallest (Dissocheta divaricata) less than 1mm long and 0.5mm wide. In the future, Tetrazolium test will also be used to assess seed viability, and the germination enhancement for seeds defecated or spat out will be assessed using germination test. Germination rate and germination delay will be compared for defecated, spat and control (seeds from non consumed fruits collected from trees foraged by the macaques) seeds. [less ▲]

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See detailFeeding ecology of bonobos living in forest-savannah mosaics: diet seasonal variation and importance of fallback foods
Serckx, Adeline ULg; Kühl, Hjalmar; Beudels-Jamar, Roseline et al

in American Journal of Primatology (2015)

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See detailFeeding ecology of five commercial shark species of the Celtic Sea through stable isotope and trace metal analysis
Domi, Nadège; Bouquegneau, Jean-Marie ULg; Das, Krishna ULg

in Marine Environmental Research (2005), 60(5),

In order to trace their feeding habits, stable carbon and nitrogen isotope ratios (delta(15)N and delta(13)C), as well as trace metal concentrations (Zn, Cd, Fe, Cu, Se and Hg) were analysed in the ... [more ▼]

In order to trace their feeding habits, stable carbon and nitrogen isotope ratios (delta(15)N and delta(13)C), as well as trace metal concentrations (Zn, Cd, Fe, Cu, Se and Hg) were analysed in the tissues of five commercial shark species from the Celtic Sea: the tope shark Galeorhinus galeus, the black-mouthed catshark Galeus melastomus, the starry smooth hound Mustelus asterias, the spiny dogfish Squalus acanthias and the lesser-spotted dogfish Scyliorhinus canicula. Our results were compared to previously described stomach contents and isotopic composition of potential preys. Isotopic ratio delta(15)N suggested that tope sharks fed at a higher trophic level (16.7 parts per thousand in the muscle) than the other species, reflecting its piscivorous diet. The lower values of spiny dogfish (11.6 parts per thousand in the muscle) might be explained, amongst other things, by either its migratory behaviour or its preference for preys from lower trophic levels. Cd and Hg were correlated with isotopic ratios delta(13)C and delta(15)N, and were shown to be diet-related whereas Zn, Fe and Cu seemed much more linked to species-specific metabolism. Although this multidisciplinary approach is revealed as a useful tool for the study of shark ecology, the lack of known trophic fractionation suggests that isotopic data be compared to traditional diet analyses. (c) 2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. [less ▲]

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See detailFeeding ecology of harbour porpoises: stable isotope analysis of carbon and nitrogen in muscle and bone
Jansen, Okka; Geert, Aarts; Das, Krishna ULg et al

in Marine Biology Research (2012), 8(9), 829-841

Harbour porpoises are the most common small cetaceans in the North Sea and Dutch coastal waters. To study their trophic level and feeding location, stable carbon and nitrogen isotope ratios (d13C and d15N ... [more ▼]

Harbour porpoises are the most common small cetaceans in the North Sea and Dutch coastal waters. To study their trophic level and feeding location, stable carbon and nitrogen isotope ratios (d13C and d15N) were analysed in muscle and bone samples collected from 157 porpoises stranded along the Dutch coast (2006􏰄2008). In addition, samples from 30 prey species were analysed. Prey samples showed high d15N values in species of higher trophic level. In addition, geographic differences in isotopic composition were found, with higher d15N and d13C values in prey from more southern, coastal and estuarine areas. Based on muscle d15N values, we found neonatal enrichment and that larger porpoises, in particular males, seem to feed on lower trophic level species, compared to smaller individuals. Also bone d15N values show that larger animals had fed on lower trophic levels in distant times. Porpoises from the Eastern Scheldt reveal distinct d13C values in muscle, but not in bone. This shows that these animals had foraged in the Eastern Scheldt for a longer time period but were not born there. Seasonal variation in bone d15N and d13C values revealed two distinct groups of porpoises along the Dutch coast, a winter group (mainly males) that migrated from neighbouring regions and a Dutch subpopulation in summer. These results furthered our insight about shifts in trophic level and feeding location of harbour porpoises from the southern North Sea over time. [less ▲]

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See detailFeeding ecology of harpacticoid copepod species: Insights from stable isotopes analysis and fatty acid profiling
Mascart, Thibaud ULg; De Troch, Marleen; Remy, François ULg et al

Conference (2014, August 04)

Understanding how biodiversity influence ecosystem functioning is a major research question in current ecology research. Trophic diversity within communities strongly affects ecosystem functioning through ... [more ▼]

Understanding how biodiversity influence ecosystem functioning is a major research question in current ecology research. Trophic diversity within communities strongly affects ecosystem functioning through trophic interactions between species. Various studies tackled ecosystem functioning via interactions between trophic guilds such as bottom-up and top-down control. However, few studies focussed on interspecific variability in the feeding ecology of organisms with overlapping trophic niche. Here, we in a North-Western Corsican Posidonia oceanica seagrass meadow and its variability over one year. The extensive P. oceanica meadows are occasionally interrupted by bare sand patches which serve as deposition and accumulation area for detritus, mainly derived from senescent macrophytes. These macrophytodetritus accumulation harbour a diverse community of Harpacticoida (Crustacea, Copepoda). The most abundant harpacticoids and their potential food sources (i.e. macrophytodetritus, epiphytic biofilm, macroalgae and particulate matter) were analysed for stable isotope ratios (δ13C, δ15N). Bayesian mixing model (SIAR) showed a minor contribution of macrophytodetritus while the epiphytic biofilm, present on the macrophytodetritus, appeared to be the major food source of harpacticoid copepods. In order to distinguish the several components of the epiphytic biofilm and their contribution, fatty acid profiling was used. The outcome revealed a general harpacticoid diet preference towards diatoms and bacteria, however specialisation for certain components seemed to reduce competition between harpacticoid species. In conclusion, our results underline the importance of multiple biomarker species-specific analysis, especially in complex and dynamic environments where a wide variety of potential trophic niches are present. [less ▲]

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See detailFeeding ecology of metamorphic and paedomorphic palmate newts (Lissotriton helveticus) in Larzac
Didaskalou, Emilie; Lejeune, Benjamin ULg; Lepoint, Gilles ULg et al

Poster (2016, December 16)

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See detailFeeding ecology of Southern Ocean seastars inferred from stable isotopes ratios
Le Bourg, Baptiste ULg; Blanchard, Alice; Danis, Bruno et al

Poster (2016, September 05)

The Southern Ocean is currently subjected to strong and contrasted impacts of climate change. The Western Antarctic Peninsula is one of the most rapidly warming regions of the world, resulting in sea ice ... [more ▼]

The Southern Ocean is currently subjected to strong and contrasted impacts of climate change. The Western Antarctic Peninsula is one of the most rapidly warming regions of the world, resulting in sea ice cover decreases. Increasing seawater temperature and sea ice cover reduction in Western Antarctic Peninsula and associated regions will likely impact food web functioning through temperature-related changes in consumer physiology, modifications of benthic community structure (e.g. expansion of exogenous species such as predatory crabs), modifications of benthic-pelagic coupling intensity or disruption of benthic production. Asteroids (Echinoderms) are an important group of southern benthos. This group also has a great trophic variability and is potentially more resistant than other organisms to temperature changes (Peck et al. 2008). Consequently, they will be likely impacted by modifications in food webs functioning rather by direct warming and investigating their trophic ecology is necessary to infer how climate change will impact them. In this context, the aim of this study is to use stable isotopes ratios of C, N and S to infer sea stars trophic ecology. 16 species of sea stars spanning 10 different families sampled in multiple and contrasted habitats across Subantarctic (South Georgia, South Sandwich Islands, Falkland Islands) and Antarctic (South Shetland Islands, South Orkney Islands, Western Antarctic Peninsula) locations. In total, tegument samples from 213 specimens was analysed. Diversity and plasticity of asteroid diet along Southern Ocean coasts were explored through isotopic niche parametrisation (e.g. niche width and overlap between species and/or populations; Jackson et al. 2011). The data will also be used in a larger scale research project on the trophic ecology of Antarctic sea stars. This project will notably compare trophic resources supporting asteroid communities in Western Antarctic Peninsula, where sea ice cover is decreasing, and in Terre Adélie, where sea ice cover is increasing (Parkinson & Cavalieri 2012). Ultimately, this project will help understanding which ecological processes determine how an animal group copes with environmental modifications linked to climate change. [less ▲]

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See detailFeeding ecology of the catfish Euchilichthys guentheri (Mochokidae, Siluriformes) of Pool Malebo, Congo River (Democratic Republic of Congo
Tembeni Makiadi, John; Mbomba Nseu, Bekeli; Micha, Jean-Claude et al

in Revue d'Ecologie (La Terre et la Vie) (2013), 68

Summary.— The feeding ecology of Euchilichthys guentheri (Schilthuis, 1891) of Malebo Pool (Congo River, Kinshasa, DRC) was studied between January 2008 and October 2010. The stomach contents of 243 ... [more ▼]

Summary.— The feeding ecology of Euchilichthys guentheri (Schilthuis, 1891) of Malebo Pool (Congo River, Kinshasa, DRC) was studied between January 2008 and October 2010. The stomach contents of 243 individuals were analysed and a diet was characterized by a feeding index computed by combining the occurrences, the numerical and volume percentages of the items identified in the stomach contents. The study showed that this species has an herbivorous diet mainly composed of periphyton. The study did not find any statistical differences in the diet related to the size of the specimens, the site and the hydrological season. The dietary strategies developed by this species likely contribute to its coexistence with the other Mochokidae species in Malebo Pool. The study thus provided relevant information regarding the feeding ecology of suckermouth catfishes intrinsically associated with the Congo River, one of the most threatened and biodiverse ecosystems of the Congo basin. [less ▲]

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See detailFeeding fluctuations in echinoids: from Weddell Sea to Bransfield Strait
De Ridder, Chantal; Michel, Loïc ULg; Lepoint, Gilles ULg et al

Conference (2014, September 09)

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See detailFeeding habits in a dimorphic metapopulation of the tiger salamander Ambystoma tigrinum nebulosum
Denoël, Mathieu ULg; Wissinger, Scott; Whiteman, Howard

Conference (2003)

Facultative paedomorphosis in salamanders refers to the presence of two ontogenetic pathways in natural populations – paedomorphosis, in which individuals retain gills at the adult stage, and ... [more ▼]

Facultative paedomorphosis in salamanders refers to the presence of two ontogenetic pathways in natural populations – paedomorphosis, in which individuals retain gills at the adult stage, and metamorphosis, in which larvae metamorphose. The Mexican Cut Nature Preserve (Colorado, USA) is composed of numerous ponds which are inhabited by paedomorphic and metamorphic tiger salamanders. While paedomorphs usually stay in the same aquatic habitat all their life, metamorphs may leave water and colonize other ponds. The aim of this study was to determine the feeding habits of the two morphs from this metapopulation. To this end, adults were caught by dip-netting, stomach-flushed, measured and marked. Paedomorphs were only found in permanent waters. Metamorphs were present in all habitats, but particularly in the temporary ponds. Diet differed between ponds – reflecting their invertebrate composition – with a preponderance of either microcrustaceans, fairy shrimp or insect larvae. In ponds inhabited by the two morphs, paedomorphs consumed more prey items. Because dry mass and energy content varied between invertebrates, feeding on some of them, such as fairy shrimp in the temporary ponds where they are abundant, gave high energy intake to the predators. Because such resources are only available to the dispersive morph, metamorphs are at the advantage in being able to avoid competition with paedomorphs in permanent ponds and in using transient resources from the productive temporary waters. [less ▲]

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See detailFeeding humans with edible insects : actual state and perspectives in Belgium and Europe
Sablon, Ludovic ULg; Alabi, Taofic; Drugmand, Didier et al

Poster (2012, August)

In future decades, world population will grow up to 9 billion of people and we will be confronted to a lack of nutritive resources. We will not continue to produce proteins with our conventional livestock ... [more ▼]

In future decades, world population will grow up to 9 billion of people and we will be confronted to a lack of nutritive resources. We will not continue to produce proteins with our conventional livestock as beef, poultry or pig. It will therefore look to other sources and edible insects are one of these solutions. Indeed, more than 2000 species of edible insects were actually consumed by 3000 ethnic groups in the world. In undernourished populations, entomophagy is essential to relieve deficiencies in proteins, fatty acids and some vitamins. In Europe, we have acquired sedentary habits and we have lost our ancestral harvesting and hunting traditions. It is the reason of disinterest for edible insects and entomophagy was considered as a "barbarian" food habit. Facing food challenges of tomorrow, it is important to sensitize industrialized populations and to reintroduce edible insects in our plates and habits. The first step is to overcome neophobia of food products. Our studies focused on different insect preparations and on perception of entomophagy by different age classes. Globally, our first results indicated that entomophagy was accepted by belgian consumers but the more difficult for them is to taste the first time. These results confirmed neophobia for this type of food products and thus the importance of positive informations and education for acceptance of entomophagy. [less ▲]

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See detailFeeding in darkness alleviates density-dependent growth of juvenile vundu catfish Heterobranchus longifilis (Clariidae)
Baras, E.; Tissier, F.; Westerloppe, L. et al

in Aquatic Living Resources (1998), 11

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See detailFeeding of Brachionus calyciflorus on Tetrahymena pyriformis using
Joaquim-Justo, Célia ULg; Detry, C; Thomé, Jean-Pierre ULg

Poster (1998, June 22)

This study was carried out in the wider frame of the quatitative evaluation of trophic transfers occurring in large rivers between metozooplankton and protozooplankton. Since the rotifer B. calyciflorus ... [more ▼]

This study was carried out in the wider frame of the quatitative evaluation of trophic transfers occurring in large rivers between metozooplankton and protozooplankton. Since the rotifer B. calyciflorus is dominant in the river Meuse (Belgium) its feeding on the widespread ciliate T. pyriformis was studied. Grazing rates were either determined through monitoring of cell number variations in experimental media or through use of fluorescently labeled ciliates. The labeling procedure consisted in allowing the ciliates to ingest fluorescent microspheres (0.5 µm in diameter) for short period of time; since number of ingested fluorescent spheres are very stable [less ▲]

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See detailFeeding of planktonic rotifers on ciliates: a method using natural ciliate assemblages labelled with fluorescent microparticles
Joaquim-Justo, Célia ULg; Detry, Cédric ULg; Caufman, F. et al

in Journal of Plankton Research (2004), 26(11), 1289-1299

A method was developed to allow direct measurements of predation exerted by metazooplankton on ciliates. The method relied on the use of ciliates labelled with fluorescent microparticles (FMP). Optimal ... [more ▼]

A method was developed to allow direct measurements of predation exerted by metazooplankton on ciliates. The method relied on the use of ciliates labelled with fluorescent microparticles (FMP). Optimal labelling conditions were determined with ciliates from cultures (Tetrahymena pyriformis) and with natural ciliate assemblages sampled in a river. Labelled T. pyriformis were used as tracer food to determine gut passage time (GPT) and ingestion rates of the rotifer Brachionus calyciflorus in the laboratory. Predation of metazooplankton from the lowland river Meuse (Belgium) was determined by labelling natural assemblages of ciliates and using them as tracer food for metazooplankters sampled in the river. Optimal labels of ciliates, i.e. sharp distribution of FMP in cells, were obtained with short incubations (10 min) and low FMP concentrations (1 x 10(5) mL(-1)). GPT varied between 30 and 45 min for B. calyciflorus and from 25 up to >35 min for rotifers from the river. The ingestion rate of B. calyciflorus fed with T. pyriformis was 3.3 +/- 0.6 ciliate rot(-1) h(-1), i.e. 1.4 +/- 0.3 ngC rot(-1) h(-1). Metazooplankton species for which the ingestion of ciliates could be measured were the rotifers Keratella cochlearis, Euchlanis dilatata and Synchaeta spp. Ingestion rates measured ranged from 0.4 to 12.5 ngC rot(-1) h(-1). The method proposed proved to be useful in estimating the predation of microplankton on ciliates in semi- in situ conditions; in further developments, labelled natural assemblages of ciliates could be used for in situ incubations with the Haney chamber. [less ▲]

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See detailFeeding of Sarpa salpa in a Posidonia seagrass ecosystem: del 13C evidence for a mixed diet
Havelange, Stéphane; Lepoint, Gilles ULg; Dauby, Patrick ULg et al

Conference (1996, September)

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