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Marine Ecology Progress Series

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MEPS 359:145-150 (2008)  -  DOI:

Stable isotope analysis of food source and trophic position of intertidal nematodes and copepods

J. Rzeznik-Orignac1,2,*, G. Boucher1, D. Fichet3, P. Richard3

1UMR-CNRS 5178 Biologie des Organismes Marins et Ecosystèmes, Département Milieux et Peuplements Aquatiques, MNHN, CP 53, 61 rue Buffon, 75231 Paris cedex 05, France
2Institute of Oceanography, Department of Marine Ecosystem Functioning, Laboratory of Estuarine Ecology, University of Gdansk, Al. Pilsudskiego 46, 81-378 Gdynia, Poland
3CRELA UMR 6217 CNRS-IFREMER–Université de La Rochelle, Avenue Michel Crépeau, 17000 La Rochelle cedex 1, France

ABSTRACT: Four dominant nematode species and various copepods from an intertidal mudflat in Marennes-Oléron Bay were analyzed for δ13C and δ15N ratios together with their potential food source, the microphytobenthos. It was shown that microphytobenthic C is passed to nematodes either by grazing or predation on herbivorous meiofauna by other nematodes. Diatoms of different sizes exhibited different 13C content, which can be reflected in herbivorous meiofauna, such as the nematodes Daptonema oxycerca and Metachromadora remanei and the bulk of copepods, indicating they can select different sizes of diatoms. Results confirm the need to analyze meiofauna feeding habits at the species or genera level since the δ15N and δ13C signatures differed substantially among meiofaunal species.

KEY WORDS: Nematodes · Copepods · Meiofauna · Microphytobenthos · Benthic diatoms · Food web · Mudflat · Marennes-Oléron · Stable isotopes

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Cite this article as: Rzeznik-Orignac J, Boucher G, Fichet D, Richard P (2008) Stable isotope analysis of food source and trophic position of intertidal nematodes and copepods. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 359:145-150.

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