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Marine Ecology Progress Series

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MEPS 345:117-127 (2007)  -  DOI:

Spatial dietary shift of macrozoobenthos in a brackish lagoon revealed by carbon and nitrogen stable isotope ratios

Gen Kanaya1,*, Shigeto Takagi1, Ei Nobata2, Eisuke Kikuchi1

1The Center for Northeast Asian Studies, Tohoku University, Sendai 980-8576, Japan
2Biological Institute, Graduate School of Science, Tohoku University, Sendai 980–8578, Japan

ABSTRACT: The food sources of 14 benthic consumer species (polychaetes, bivalves, amphipods and decapods) were investigated at 2 locations in a brackish lagoon (Gamo Lagoon, Japan) using carbon and nitrogen stable isotope ratios. Consumer diets were elucidated from the δ13C values of food sources, including riverine and terrestrial materials (<–25.6‰), autochthonous particulate organic matter (POM, –23.6‰), the macroalga Gracilaria vermiculophylla (–20.4‰), marine POM (–19.9‰), benthic and epiphytic diatoms (–16.5 to –15‰) and the macroalga Enteromorpha prolifera (–13.1‰). G. vermiculophylla was distinguished from marine POM by a high δ15N value. Consumers showed dietary shifts on a small scale (~200 m) corresponding to changes in the food supply. At the lagoon mouth (Site A) benthic diatoms were the major diet for deposit feeders with enriched δ13C and/or δ15N values. Suspension feeders also assimilated a certain amount of benthic diatoms as well as marine POM due to current induced resuspension at this site. In contrast, autochthonous POM (phytoplankton) was an important diet component in the inner lagoon (Site B-bare) where chlorophyll a concentration was high (110 to 113 µg l–1). In macroalgal patches (Site B-algae), epiphytic diatoms were a major dietary component of consumers. Based on the δ13C range of consumers (–21.5 to –13.5‰), the benthic food web was primarily based on estuarine and marine microalgal production, whereas riverine and terrestrial materials were of minor importance.

KEY WORDS: Food source analysis · Spatial change · δ13C · δ15N · Benthic consumers · Phytoplankton · Benthic diatoms · Epiphytic diatoms

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Cite this article as: Kanaya G, Takagi S, Nobata E, Kikuchi E (2007) Spatial dietary shift of macrozoobenthos in a brackish lagoon revealed by carbon and nitrogen stable isotope ratios. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 345:117-127.

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