Assessing Diet & Trophic Position of Fish in Chenderoh Reservoir, Malaysia: SCA & SIA Approach

Muneera Sultana *

School of Biological Science, Universiti Sains Malaysia, USM 11800, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia.

Amirul Aizal Abdul Aziz

School of Biological Science, Universiti Sains Malaysia, USM 11800, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia.

Nurul Fazlinda Mohd Fadzil

School of Biological Science, Universiti Sains Malaysia, USM 11800, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia.

Farah Mastura Rosli

Environmental Technology, School of Industrial Technology, Universiti Sains Malaysia, USM 11800, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia.

Yap Soon Koon

Environmental Technology, School of Industrial Technology, Universiti Sains Malaysia, USM 11800, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia.

Widad Fadhlullah

Environmental Technology, School of Industrial Technology, Universiti Sains Malaysia, USM 11800, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia and Renewable Biomass Transformation Cluster, School of Industrial Technology, Universiti Sains Malaysia, USM 11800, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia.

Zarul Hazrin Bin Hashim

School of Biological Science, Universiti Sains Malaysia, USM 11800, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia.

*Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.


The present study assessed and compared the diet and trophic positions (TP) of two carnivorous fish H. macrolepidota and C. ocellaris from Chenderoh Reservoir, Malaysia. The focal goal of the study was to understand the effects of invasive non-indigenous species (NIS), C. ocellaris, on the native indigenous (IS) fish species, H. macrolepidota. Data were acquired from September 2014 to February 2015 within the study area. The assessment was grounded in stomach content analysis (SCA) and stable isotope analysis (SIA), which collectively clarified the feeding habits and trophic positions (TP) of these selected fish. In total, 184 fish samples (comprising 64 individuals of H. macrolepidota and 120 individuals of C. ocellaris) underwent stomach content analysis (SCA). Additionally, 24 individuals (12 of H. macrolepidota and 12 of C. ocellaris), sampled from December 2014 to February 2015, were selected for stable isotope analysis (SIA). The mean RGL values for H. macrolepidota and C ocellaris were 0.98 ± 0.18 and 1.10 ± 0.15 (Mean ± SD), respectively, aligning with known ranges for carnivorous fish. These values also clarified that both species occupy higher TP in the food web as tertiary or quaternary consumers. SCA findings also revealed that fish and crustaceans were the predominant food categories for H. macrolepidota, while C. ocellaris predominantly fed on fish. The mean stomach fullness index (MSF) and the gastrosomatic index (GSI) corroborated the differences in the foraging performance of the fishes, with C. ocellaris having a higher MSF (2.03) compared to H. macrolepidota (0.65). These implied that C. ocellaris had plentiful of food and encountered fewer diet-related challenges in the ecosystem. From SIA, δ13C values indicated that the primary carbon sources for both species are C3 plants, particularly aquatic vegetation. Further, δ15N values further ensured that both H. macrolepidota and C. ocellaris are carnivorous in nature and occupy higher TP in the ecosystem.

Keywords: Non-indigenous species, NIS, IAS, Stomach content analysis, stable isotope analysis, SCA, SIA, Hampala macrolepidota, Cicla ocellaris

How to Cite

Sultana, M., Aziz , A. A. A., Fadzil , N. F. M., Rosli , F. M., Koon , Y. S., Fadhlullah , W., & Hashim , Z. H. B. (2024). Assessing Diet & Trophic Position of Fish in Chenderoh Reservoir, Malaysia: SCA & SIA Approach. Asian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Research, 26(5), 19–31.


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