Trophic roles of particle feeders and detritus in a mangrove island prop root ecosystem

Ambler, J.W. and Alcala-Herrera, J. and Burke, R. (1994) Trophic roles of particle feeders and detritus in a mangrove island prop root ecosystem. Hydrobiologia, 292-29 (1). pp. 437-446. ISSN 0018-8158

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    Swarms of Dioithona oculata, shoals of Mysidium' columbiae, and schools of planktivorous fish were observed among mangrove prop roots on a lagoonal island. Detritus covering epiphytic and benthic macroalgae and invertebrates was a probable food source for pelagic mysids, and copepods, as well as benthic oysters and sponges. Open water blooms of dinoflagellate Amphidinium klebsii were probably only accessible to the swarming dioithonans which spend the night away from the mangrove prop roots. Dominant species were analyzed for stable carbon isotopic composition (expressed as 813C%0) to elucidate the origin and fate of detritus. Detrital components (-23.6 to -19.1%0), which included floating detritus, marine snow, prop root detritus, and detritus below prop roots, probably originated from the dominant subtidal macroalgal species (-24.2 to -14.6%0) and A. klebsii (-25.8 to -21.2%0), although other sources which are end-members could theoretically contribute since detrital isotopic ratios are half way between end-members. These other sources include the intertidal red algal Bostrychia spp. (-30.9 to -29.6%0), red mangrove Rhizophora mangle leaves (-28.2 to -27.0%0), and turtle grass Thalassia testudinum (-12.3 to -11.1%0). Particle feeders such as mangrove oysters, sponges, mysids, and dioithonans were usually enriched with l3C (-21.0 to -16.2%0) compared to their probable food sources, detritus and A. klebsii. At Anchovy Bay, adult mysids and planktivorous fish were more l3C enriched (1-3%0) than their probable prey, the dioithonans. Turtle grass may have a minor role in food webs, since dioithonans and mysids from Outer Twin and Anchovy Bays where turtle grass beds were abundant were consistently more l3C enriched (2-7%0) than in the Lair Channel where turtle grass beds were sparse.

    Item Type: Peer-reviewed Journal Article
    Related URLs:
      Unique ID or DOI: 10.1007/BF00229970
      Publisher: Kluwer Academic Publishers
      Keywords: Copepod swarms, mangrove, stable carbon isotopes, detritus, food web, Belize
      Subjects: (C) Ecosystems > (CB) Marine > (CBE) Mangroves
      (Z) Other or Unspecified
      Publication Sources: (3) Other Source > (3C) Other Universities
      Date Deposited: 13 Jan 2011 14:05
      Last Modified: 20 Jan 2011 14:24

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