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Aquatic Microbial Ecology


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AME 88:19-24 (2022)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/ame01981

NOTE
Feeding ecology and microbiome of the pteropod Limacina helicina antarctica

Patricia S. Thibodeau1,3,*, Bongkeun Song1, Carly M. Moreno2, Deborah K. Steinberg1

1Virginia Institute of Marine Science, William & Mary, Gloucester Point, VA 23062, USA
2Department of Marine Sciences, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC 27599, USA
3Present address: Graduate School of Oceanography, University of Rhode Island, Narragansett, RI 02882, USA
*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: The pteropod (pelagic snail) Limacina helicina antarctica is a dominant grazer along the Western Antarctic Peninsula (WAP) and plays an important role in regional food web dynamics and biogeochemical cycling. For the first time, we examined the gut microbiome and feeding ecology of L. h. antarctica based on 16S and 18S rRNA gene sequences of gut contents in the WAP during austral summer. Eukaryotic gut contents of L. h. antarctica indicate that this species predominantly feeds on diatoms and dinoflagellates, supplementing its diet with ciliates and foraminifera. Mollicutes bacteria were a consistent component of the gut microbiome. Determining the gut microbiome and feeding ecology of L. h. antarctica aids in identifying the underlying mechanisms controlling pteropod abundance and distribution in a region of rapid environmental change.


KEY WORDS: Zooplankton · Gut microbiome · Southern Ocean · Diatom · Dinoflagellate · Mollicutes bacteria · Western Antarctic Peninsula


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Cite this article as: Thibodeau PS, Song B, Moreno CM, Steinberg DK (2022) Feeding ecology and microbiome of the pteropod Limacina helicina antarctica. Aquat Microb Ecol 88:19-24. https://doi.org/10.3354/ame01981

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