Geographic variation in fatty acid composition and food source of the commercial clam (Venerupis decussata, Linnaeus, 1758), from the Tunisian Coast: Trophic links




Estuary and coastal lagoons, Fatty acid composition, Multivariate analysis, Trophic links, Tunisian waters, Venerupis decussata


Lake and coastal Tunisian areas are rich biodiversity habitats, although little information is available about the distribution of food sources for the inhabitant species. In this study, a fatty acid analysis was used to study the trophic ecology of Venerupis decussatac ommunities from 10 sites located along the Tunisian Coast. The richest population in fatty acids was found in S4 followed by S5 and S8, while that of S1, S3 and S10 were the least rich. Results from multivariate analysis confirmed the ecological position of the studied population based on their fatty acid composition. Our results divided the ten studied populations into three similar groups according to their ecological and geographical positions in relation to environmental parameters and food and trophic links. A principal component analysis revealed that diatoms and dinoflagellates were the predominate diets in all the sampling stations. Bacteria and urban discharge dominated the dietary source of clams from S10 and S9. Zooplankton were the preferred diet of V. decussata harvested from the two S2 and S3 lakes; although green algae, phytoplankton and detritus were absent from the dietary source of the two previous populations. Despite spatial differences, clams from the north and the south could be easily distinguished from each other, which indicates the utility of this method in the dietary analysis of different food chain links. This study proves that geographic, ecologic and abiotic factors as well as their mutual interaction should be properly investigated in studies focusing on the trophic chains of aquatic ecosystems.


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How to Cite

Bejaoui S, Boussoufa D, Telahigue K, Chetoui I, Ghribi F, Rabeh I, El Cafsi M. Geographic variation in fatty acid composition and food source of the commercial clam (Venerupis decussata, Linnaeus, 1758), from the Tunisian Coast: Trophic links. grasasaceites [Internet]. 2019Mar.30 [cited 2022Dec.8];70(1):e289. Available from:




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