Tim Nuttle of CEC Pittsburgh, a Certified Senior Ecologist, was a member of a team who authored an article published in the journal Freshwater Biology: “Dietary DNA metabarcoding reveals seasonal trophic changes among three syntopic freshwater trout species.” The study compared prey DNA from stomach samples collected from brown trout, brook trout, and rainbow trout. Using DNA allowed prey to be identified to genus or species in most cases and revealed that in spring, a large proportion of prey came from terrestrial sources—particularly caterpillars that fall into the water. The study also showed that in autumn, brown trout had distinct diets but brook trout and rainbow trout diets overlapped, potentially explaining why introduced rainbow trout often displace native brook trout in streams across their range.
Tim Nuttle of CEC Pittsburgh
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